clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

The 5 Best Fertilizers (2022 Review)

Using fertilizer is an important step to maintaining a lush, healthy lawn. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best fertilizers on Amazon to help you find the one that’s right for you. The products included in this article are available at various retail stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

fertilizer Workshop Media

To enjoy a thriving oasis of plant life in your yard, applying fertilizer is a must. There are numerous types of available fertilizers to support different plants as well as drive away common weeds. To help you make an informed purchase, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best fertilizers on Amazon. Keep reading to learn more about our top recommendations.


Best For Dandelion Control: Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed

If you’re tired of seeing more dandelions and clovers in your yard than green grass, consider this two-in-one fertilizer. It contains a powerful weed and feed solution that supplies your lawn with nutrients while killing existing dandelions and clovers. More so, it keeps these invasive weeds out of your lawn for the entire season.

Key Features

  • Comes in a 14.29-pound bag
  • Treats up to 5,000 square feet
  • Fertilizes grass and kills dandelions and clovers

What Customers Are Saying

Although customers who left positive reviews emphasized that you must carefully follow the instructions to get good results with this fertilizer, they said that their lawn thrived and was free of dandelions and clovers only weeks after the initial application. Conversely, other customers experienced mixed results. They shared that the fertilizer either gave them healthy grass that was full of dandelions or killed dandelions at the expense of also killing grass.

Best For Organic Gardening: Burpee Bone Meal Fertilizer

A 6-8-0 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium helps promote strong roots for new plants in your garden. Any gardener who’s growing organic vegetables and other foods will find value in this three-pound bag of bone meal, as it’s versatile enough to support a wide variety of species.

Key Features

  • Comes in a three-pound bag
  • Fertilizes plants
  • Has an organic formula

What Customers Are Saying

The bag size and organic listing were highlights of this fertilizer in many positive reviews. Customers with small gardens found that the bag offered plenty of fertilizer for their plants. However, negative feedback for this fertilizer highlighted roaches and other unwanted insects being attracted to the mix’s bone meal. Other customers also found that the bag was difficult to reseal once it was opened.

Best Liquid Fertilizer: Simple Lawn Solutions Lawn Energizer

Easy to attach to your garden hose, this grass fertilizer is perfect for homeowners with an already-healthy lawn that just needs an extra push for sustained growth. For thick, green grass, it provides iron, nitrogen, and micronutrients.

Key Features

  • Comes in a 32-ounce spray container
  • Treats up to 3,200 square feet
  • Fertilizes grass

What Customers Are Saying

After trying different lawn fertilizers, customers experienced fast and satisfactory results using this liquid option. They said that it was easy to apply to large gardens and that it brought out a deep and vibrant green grass color. However, other customers said that it stained their fences, rocks, and other areas of their yard.

Best For Flowers: Down To Earth Rose and Flower Fertilizer

Although this versatile organic mix is advertised to work especially well on newly planted flowers, it promotes healthy growth during nearly any stage of the life cycle. The five-pound box is compostable as well, so it’s perfect for those who are particularly eco-conscious.

Key Features

  • Comes in a five-pound box
  • Fertilizes plants
  • Has an organic formula

What Customers Are Saying

Most happy customers experienced fast and sustained growth using this organic fertilizer. Some also used it as a supplement to their compost. Unhappy customers reported issues with its strong odor and bug attraction.

Best For Crabgrass Control: Scotts Turf Builder Crabgrass Preventer

This combination grass feed and crabgrass killer is a time-saving option for homeowners who have brown, weed-infested grass. With coverage for up to 10,000 square feet, these two bags offer plenty of fertilizer for larger lawns.

Key Features

  • Comes with two 13.35-pound bags
  • Treats up to 5,000 square feet per bag
  • Fertilizes grass and kills crabgrass

What Customers Are Saying

Overall, customers experienced a clear difference before and after applying this fertilizer and weed killer mixture. However, some users noticed a sharp decline in grass health and weed protection toward the end of the summer.

Buyer’s Guide

The appropriate fertilizer can position your lawn or garden for sustained growth. However, it’s imperative to choose the right mix based on what you’re growing. From soil composition to seasonality, consider the following information in our buying guide to make a confident and informed decision.

Soil Composition

Clay-based soil requires different nutrients than organic soil that contains tree bark, bone meal, straw, and other organic matter. To make your decision easier, most fertilizers are specifically designed for one type or the other.

Liquid vs. Solid

Some lawn and garden fertilizers are liquid, while others are granular pellets. As long as the ingredients are appropriate for what you’re growing, choosing a liquid or solid formula usually comes down to preference. However, there are disadvantages to each. For example, liquid fertilizers pose an environmental hazard if they get into the water supply, and pellets take more time to start working.

NPK Rating

NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The NPK rating or ratio tells you how much of these elements a particular fertilizer has. Nitrogen is generally effective at keeping grass green, while phosphorus helps with root growth, and potassium guards against disease. For a lush and vibrant lawn, look for a fertilizer with more nitrogen. For a high garden yield, prioritize phosphorus. To keep dandelions and other invasive species at bay, choose a fertilizer that’s high in potassium.

Seasonality

Applying fertilizer at the wrong time of year could result in wasted nutrients. You should fertilize most perennials and vegetables in the spring and bulbs in the fall. You can fertilize trees and shrubs during both times of the year.

Quantity

Feeding a small garden bed should require only a single bag or container of fertilizer. Conversely, you may need multiple bags of fertilizer if you have a large lawn. If you’re fertilizing grass as opposed to plants, the bag of fertilizer should say how many square feet it can cover.

Weed Control

Many grass fertilizers have built-in weed control. These formulas may target dandelions, clovers, crabgrass, and other unwanted growth in your lawn. While weed protection may be useful for large lawns, most herb and vegetable gardens don’t need it.

Fertilizer vs. Compost

The primary distinction between fertilizer and compost is that fertilizer provides the soil with nutrients, while compost provides nutrients to the plants that are rooted in the soil.

In many cases, compost and fertilizer have synergistic effects. The organic matter in compost concentrates the fertilizer’s nutrients, delivering them to the plants more efficiently. So, while you can fertilize your plants without compost, it’s more effective to supplement plant growth via a combination of the two.

How To Apply Fertilizer

Here are a few basic tips on how to fertilize your lawn:

  • Test the ground first to ensure that your fertilizer can provide the nutrients that your soil needs.
  • If you’re vegan or vegetarian, avoid fertilizer mixes with bone meal or blood meal. These are by-products of the meat industry.
  • Don’t apply fertilizer if it’s windy or rainy outside. Wet conditions wash away liquid fertilizer, and windy conditions blow away granular fertilizer.
  • A high-concentration fertilizer isn’t necessarily better than a low-concentration one. Compare the release time to the concentration level to get a better understanding of a product’s overall efficacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do I need to apply fertilizer?

Apply fertilizer to clay soil every four to six weeks. For organic soil, fertilize it every three to four weeks.

When is the best time to apply fertilizer?

The type of grasses, herbs, vegetables, fruits, or flowers you’re maintaining and the climate you live in determine the best time of year to fertilize. Typically, fall is best for cool-season grasses, and early-to-mid spring is an ideal time to fertilize warm-season grasses and most plants.

Do I need a fertilizer spreader to distribute fertilizer?

While a fertilizer spreader isn’t necessary, it can make it easier to apply an even layer of fertilizer over large areas, especially lawns. You don’t need a fertilizer spreader to cover smaller areas, such as flower beds.

Is fertilizer toxic to humans?

Yes. Plant and lawn fertilizers can poison humans as well as pets if they’re accidentally ingested. Store your fertilizer away from food, children, and pets when it’s not in use. We also recommend wearing work gloves when you’re handling it.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.