Do your neighbors' yards always look greener and more plush than yours? If you're left wondering what you're doing wrong, there's probably an easy answer: Fertilizer.

Fertilizer provides a boost of nutrients that supercharges your lawn. The right fertilizer will help your lawn grow fuller and greener all year; you just need to apply it the right way and at the correct times.

Fertilizers Decoded

Shopping for fertilizer can be confusing. You'll notice the NPK ratio on the bag that indicates the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium amounts. For example, if a fertilizer’s NPK ratio is 12-0-10, it contains 12 percent nitrogen, no phosphorus and 10 percent potassium. In general, nitrogen helps green up the grass, phosphorus encourages root growth and potassium protects from drought and disease.


The importance of good soil can't be understated. For any fertilizer to work well, you should strive for high-quality soil. A few products to help fix problem soil include Leafgro, BLOOM, and Jonathan Green's Love Your Soil.

Once your soil is in good shape, it's time to fertilize. However, it can be difficult to know which fertilizer is right for your lawn. The grass type, time of year and climate are all top considerations. Stop worrying and instead ask a Homestead Gardens expert for assistance. They'll help you decipher the numbers you need, so you can then decide if you want synthetic or organic fertilizer.

Synthetic fertilizers are made from minerals, gasses and chemicals. One of the main benefits of going the synthetic route is the fast results. One of the downfalls is that if you don't apply it correctly, you could do more harm to your lawn than good.

Eco-conscious homeowners typically prefer to use organic fertilizers, which are made from living organisms. These offer a more natural option without environmental or health risks. The downfall is they can take a few weeks to a month to make an impact, so patience is key.

Espoma Organic Lawn Food Fall WinterizerA Good Option for Autumn

Grass thrives in the cooler temperatures of fall, which means it's an ideal time to fertilize. One popular option for fall fertilization is Espoma Organic Fall Winterizer. This is a granular product, so you don't have to worry about mixing liquid with water. The slow-release formula will help keep grass looking great all autumn long and give it a super-nutrient boost that will help it thrive in future seasons, too. That means if you apply fertilizer now, you'll be welcomed with a healthy, lush lawn come springtime!

Visit a Homestead Gardens retail store for everything you need to get your soil and lawn in tip top shape for winter and next spring! Read more fall lawn care tips from our experts...

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