Lawn – Which Fertilizer to Use

Q: How do I know which is the best fertilizer for my lawn?

A: A confusing array of fertilizer brands awaits homeowners at the garden center. Fortunately, grass cannot read the advertisements!

Fertilizer bags with similar nutrient numbers will perform much the same. For instance, 30-3-9 fertilizer will perform much like 29-3-4. In general, look at the first number on the bag (Nitrogen) to compare value between brands.

Read the fertilizer bag to find out what the manufacturer recommends. An alternative is to divide the first nutrient number into 100. The result is the number of pounds of fertilizer to spread on 1000 square feet. Using 30-3-9 as an example, a good rate would be 3.3 pounds of fertilizer per 1000 square feet of lawn.

If the numbers on the bag are similar, make your decision based on price. The better brands are formulated to have some percentage of “slow release” nitrogen.

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