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June 14, 2024

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    Few things are more rewarding as a homeowner than having the most luscious lawn on the block. Unfortunately, getting that rich, desirable green grass can be tricky, and many people end up with a patchy or weed-filled lawn. That’s where lawn fertilizer services come in.

    Proper fertilization can enhance the appearance and health of your grass. It also acts as a pre-emergent weed killer and reduces the risk of weeds taking over your property. I’ve not only researched but have tested a few of these lawn care companies to help you become the envy of the neighborhood. Below, you’ll find my top picks for DIY lawn fertilizers, tips on how and when to fertilize, and the best professional lawn services for beautifying your yard.

    Top Pick


    Limited Time:
    50% Off Your First Application
    Best DIY Lawn Service
    Sunday Lawn Care Logo


    Limited Time:
    $20 Off Smart Lawn Plan (SUNDAY20TOH)

    What Are the Best Lawn Fertilization Services?

    Lawn fertilization is a project many homeowners do themselves, as it’s affordable and usually not a complicated process. However, depending on your lawn care needs, professional lawn fertilization services save you quite a bit of time, and they’ll cut the risk of over-fertilization and ruining your lawn. Believe it or not, with rising costs, it’s starting to make more sense to hire out for these jobs.

    For many homeowners, hiring a professional is well worth the investment.

    TruGreen: Best Customer Service
    Best Customer Service



    Our Rating

    Limited Time:
    50% Off Your First Application

    TruGreen is our top pick for professional fertilization services. It’s considered the best lawn care company because it has highly trained and knowledgeable technicians who use high-quality lawn analysis to determine the best products and schedules for your lawn. Its service plans are affordable and varied for customization and affordability.

    TruGreen has a massive service area spanning the entire continental United States, so chances are very high that it can serve you and has completed services successfully in your specific region before.

    Check out TruGreen’s comprehensive fertilization plans and get a free quote today.

    PlanEssential LawnComplete LawnUltimate Outdoors
    Weed Control 
    Customized ServiceX
    Lawn aeration and Overseeding
    Tree and Plant ServicesX
    Mosquito/Pest Control ServicesXX
    To learn more, read our full Trugreen Review.
    Best DIY Lawn Service

    Sunday Lawn Care


    Our Rating

    Limited Time:
    $20 Off Smart Lawn Plan (SUNDAY20TOH)

    Rather than providing professional fertilization and lawn care services, Sunday Lawn Care sends you the products you need and lets you do the rest. It offers a unique blend of professional advice based on a soil sample from your property and a DIY application to minimize your costs. Sunday Lawn Care only supplies organic and all-natural products, so it’s safe to use on any lawn.

    Check out Sunday Lawn Care’s plans and products and get started today.

    PlanBasic CareKeep & ProtectGrow & Renew
    Soil Test
    Nutrient Applications
    Weed TreatmentsX
    Grass Seed ApplicationsXX
    Find more information in our detailed Sunday Lawn Care Review.

    Compare Trugreen and Sunday to other top lawn care brands:

    Professional Vs. DIY Lawn Fertilization Services

    Now that you know the industry’s best options for lawn fertilization, take a look at some benefits and drawbacks of each service method.

    Pros & Cons of Professional Lawn Fertilization

    Professional lawn care companies provide scheduled and customized applications designed specifically for your grass type and soil needs. Although it’s more expensive than a DIY job, it saves you time and the frustration of learning the process and destroying your grass.

    Whether you choose a local lawn care company or go with a well-known national fertilization service, professional care is critical to getting the proper fertilization for your lawn.

    It saves you time and frustration
    Designed specifically for your lawn’s needs
    Often comes with a satisfaction guarantee
    Professional products for better results
    More expensive than DIY jobs
    Need to choose the right company for good service

    Pros & Cons of DIY Lawn Fertilization

    DIY lawn fertilizers are more affordable than professional services. Doing it yourself allows you to choose specific products — like pet and kid-safe options — and only apply when and where you want lawn treatment. However, it takes more time to develop a treatment plan and there’s a risk of damaging your lawn if you complete your lawn maintenance improperly.

    Ultimately customizable
    More affordable
    Less potent products than professional services
    Take more time
    Risk of damaging your lawn

    Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fertilizer Company

    There are several factors you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing the best lawn care fertilizer company. Some of these are:

    Experience: Consider the company’s experience in the lawn care industry. A well-established company with experienced professionals is more likely to understand your specific needs and provide effective solutions.

    Services: Different lawn fertilizer companies may provide various services. Some may offer a comprehensive range of lawn care services, while others may focus solely on fertilization. Choose a company that aligns with your needs and preferences.

    Additional Service may include things like:

    • Lawn mowing
    • Lawn aeration
    • Shrub care
    • Crabgrass removal
    • Soil tests
    • Insect Control
    • Grub control
    • Landscaping services
    • Leaf removal
    • Soil amendment

    Options: A good lawn fertilizer company should offer customized fertilization plans based on your lawn’s unique requirements, soil condition, climate, and grass type. Avoid one-size-fits-all approaches as they may not be as effective.

    Enviro-Friendliness: Look for a company that emphasizes eco-friendly and sustainable lawn care practices. This includes using environmentally safe fertilizers and minimizing using harmful chemicals.

    Pricing: Obtain quotes from multiple lawn fertilizer companies and compare their prices. Be cautious of companies that offer significantly lower prices as they may compromise on the quality of their services.

    Lawn Fertilizer Service Cost

    Lawn fertilization costs, or generally, lawn care expenses, will depend on who is doing the work — the homeowner or a professional — the type of products used, how often applications need to be done, and much more. Some general pricing is listed below for both professional or DIY fertilization.

    Professional Lawn Fertilizer Service Pricing

    Professional lawn fertilizer services vary in price depending on the size of your property, the health of your lawn, and the services included in your plan. Most individual applications average between $60 and $130. Programs with more frequent applications will be more costly overall.

    DIY Fertilizer Pricing

    DIY lawn care products vary in cost depending on a few factors, namely the type of fertilizer and the quantity you need to treat your lawn. Most granular products fall between $10 and $30, enough to treat 5,000 square feet. Liquid fertilizers usually cost between $15 and $40 for the same coverage area. Fast-release fertilizers are typically a bit more affordable than extended-release options.

    Types of Lawn Fertilizer

    There are a variety of reliable lawn fertilizers to choose from, and most contain the same core components: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

    Plants require these elements to uptake and use nutrients from the soil. The right combination can help your grass thrive and make the ground inhospitable to weeds. Below are the primary types of lawn fertilizers available for residential use.

    1. Quick-Release Fertilizer

    Quick-release fertilizer is one of the most popular fertilization products because, as the name suggests, it works rapidly to boost your lawn’s appearance. It usually comes in a coarse powder form, and you spread it over your grass to instantly increase nitrogen levels. Examples of quick-release fertilizers include Scott’s Turf Builder Built for Seeding and Vigoro Mixed Lawn Weed and Feed.

    Quick-release fertilizer works by increasing nitrogen levels quickly. Nitrogen is a component of chlorophyll, and it helps grass take root more rapidly and thicken. Using quick-release fertilizers works quickly, but it can burn your otherwise healthy lawn if you use too much, typically with short-lived results.

    2. Slow-Release Fertilizer

    Slow-release fertilizers typically come in pellet form, and you can apply them using a spreader. The pellets slowly release nutrients into the soil to sustain healthy growth, so results are usually slower but last longer than with quick-release options.

    Slow-release fertilizers are less likely to burn your grass or harm the environment. Examples of slow-release fertilizers include Milorganite’s Slow-Release Nitrogen Fertilizer and EcoScraps Slow-Release Fertilizer.

    3. Granular Fertilizer vs. Liquid Fertilizer

    Fertilizers can either come in granular or liquid form. Granular options come in pellets or coarse powders that you spread over the lawn with a seed spreader. These usually result in less application of nutrients since the pellets and grains can vary in size and nutrient density. However, they’re more affordable and easier to put down.

    Liquid fertilizers deliver nutrients to your lawn more rapidly and evenly. Most get applied with a garden sprayer, and while the application process is a bit more time-consuming, you can get a more even spread of nutrients across your lawn. Liquid fertilizers are more expensive than granular options.

    4. Organic Fertilizer

    Organic fertilizer comes from natural sources instead of synthetic ones. Most organic fertilizers are made of compost, bone meal, worm castings, kelp, and other natural sources. When added to your lawn, microbes consume them and break down the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium your grass needs to thrive.

    Organic fertilizers are naturally safer for lawns frequented by children and pets, and they’re easier on the environment. They take longer to start working, but the results often last longer than synthetic options.

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    Types of Fertilizer Spreaders/Sprayers

    In addition to fertilizer options, you’ll also have your pick of how to apply the product you choose for your lawn.

    No single method of fertilization works best for every homeowner, but you can start by deciding on a liquid fertilizer or a granular one. It’s best to put granular fertilizers down with a garden spreader, but a garden sprayer is usually best for liquid fertilizers.

    For most lawns, fertilizing in the early spring is the best option, but it depends on the weather in your area and the type of grass you have. These factors will also typically dictate whether a liquid or granular fertilizer is better and how often you should fertilize your lawn.

    Below are all of the tools you can use to apply fertilizer.

    • Hand-held spreaders and sprayers: Handheld spreaders and sprayers are very affordable and easy to maneuver around your property. However, they hold the least fertilizer, so they’re generally not ideal for larger properties.
    • professional lawn
    • Drop spreaders: Drop spreaders are also typically set on wheels, but they drop the fertilizer steadily as you push them over your lawn. These are ideal for small or medium-sized properties with garden beds or other landscaping features that you don’t want to fertilize in the surrounding area.
    • Backpack sprayers: Backpack sprayers consist of a pack filled with liquid fertilizer and a handheld spray gun for shooting the fertilizer over your lawn. These can be convenient for precision fertilization, but they’re more prone to uneven fertilization. Backpack sprayers are unsuitable for larger properties.
    • Wheeled sprayers: Wheeled sprayers work like backpack sprayers, but the tank is conveniently on wheels to take pressure off your back. These still include a spray gun for application, so you’ll have to apply it evenly for the best results.
    • Tow-behind sprayers: Tow-behind sprayers are also on wheels but usually get pulled by a ride-on mower or another motorized piece of landscaping equipment.

    Best Time to Fertilize Your Lawn

    The best time to fertilize your lawn depends on the type of grass you have. Warm-season grass species like Bermuda and zoysia are best to fertilize in the spring. Treat cool-season species like fescues and bluegrass in the late summer or early fall.

    How Often You Should Fertilize Your Lawn

    Most homeowners benefit from fertilizing one to four times in a given season rather than year-round applications. The exact number depends on the health of your soil, the type of grass you have, and the condition of your lawn.

    Benefits of Fertilizing Your Lawn

    There are numerous benefits to fertilizing your lawn that help it’s appearance and overall health. By hiring an expert lawn care fertilization company, you’re providing exactly what your lawn needs. Here are some of the benefits of a professional lawn care service provider handling your fertilization:

    1. Dense Growth: Lawn fertilizer provides all the nutrients your grass needs to support root development and encourage grass to grow thick and green. This is what causes that plush feel when you step on a dense lawn.
    2. Improved Color: It’s hard to beat a deep green lawn and fertilizer contains nutrients that enhance chlorophyll production resulting in a greener lawn.
    3. More Resilience: Drought, cold, and foot traffic will kill your grass. Fertilizing your lawn regularly will allow it to become more resilient to these factors.
    4. No More Weeds: A dense and healthy lawn can naturally crowd out weeds and prevent them from taking root. Fertilization helps the grass grow vigorously, making it more challenging for weeds to establish themselves.

    Our Recommendation

    Lawn fertilization is crucial for maintaining a healthy-looking lawn and proper soil conditions while minimizing weed growth. You can choose more affordable DIY solutions if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to do the applications yourself and have some knowledge of how to fertilize without damaging your yard. Professional fertilization services are often a better option, as these typically guarantee results and reduce project time and frustration.

    TruGreen has some of the best fertilization services in the industry, providing customized lawn care programs based on the pH and condition of your soil. The company makes obtaining a beautiful lawn a breeze and reduces the stress of learning how to fertilize and treat your yard correctly.

    We’ve all been through this at least once in our lives. We look around and envy the neighbors’ lawns and can’t seem to get our own in order. If you’ve been wondering about how to quicken grass growth, choosing the best lawn care fertilizer service will make a significant improvement in the growth and density of your grass. Good luck and don’t stress it.

    Top Pick


    Limited Time:
    50% Off Your First Application
    Best DIY Lawn Service
    Sunday Lawn Care Logo


    Limited Time:
    $20 Off Smart Lawn Plan (SUNDAY20TOH)

    FAQs About Lawn Fertilizer Companies

    Is lawn fertilizer natural/organic?

    Some lawn fertilizers are natural and organic, but not all are. Many commercially-available products are synthetic. Choosing between organic and chemical fertilizers depends on what’s important to you in terms of pet safety, quick results, etc. Organic options typically include compost, blood meal, bone meal, worm castings, and more.

    Is fertilizer pet safe?

    Some fertilizers are pet safe, but some can be detrimental or even highly toxic to your pets. Choosing a natural, organic fertilizer specifically labeled as “pet safe” is best if you have pets that play on your lawn.

    How Often Does My Turf Need To Be Fertilized?

    Most lawns need to be fertilized once or twice per year. The fertilization really depends on where you live and how the local climate will impact your lawn. You will not want to over-fertilize an area as this will end up causing burnout and other problems in the turf. A slow-release fertilizer will stay in the turf for months at a time, slowly releasing its nutrients. Even if you can’t see that the fertilizer is working, it is likely doing its job.

    Should I apply fertilizer myself?

    This is a personal question that you’ll ultimately have to answer for yourself. DIY fertilization is more affordable, but it’s also more time-consuming and takes more effort. You also run the risk of damaging your lawn or wasting money on products if you don’t apply them properly.

    Should I apply fertilizer to my whole lawn?

    In most cases, yes; if part of your lawn needs fertilizer, then all of it will benefit from an application. However, you need to be careful not to over-fertilize areas, as this can burn your grass.

    What is TruGreen's cancellation policy?

    TruGreen allows you to cancel at any time but keep in mind that this can vary from state to state. You can also opt-out of all future correspondence.

    Methodology: How We Rank Lawn Care Companies

    At Today’s Homeowner, we strive to bring you the most accurate information for your home improvement projects. Our lawn company ratings emphasize what matters most to you — a wide range of useful products with reliable service and impressive results.

    Our ratings are based on publicly available information about each company, secret shopping via phone and internet, customer-review analysis, and discussions with lawn and landscaping specialists.

    Each company can earn up to 100 points divided across five categories. We assess those point scores, then convert them to a five-star scale to determine rankings. We researched popular lawn care companies across the country to develop the following category breakdown:

    • Plan Options (36 points): Lawn care companies earn the most points in this category if they offer a wide range of plans to fit various homeowner needs. Companies providing services like fertilization, aeration, seeding, and tree/shrub care will earn more points than providers with base-level plans.
    • Additional Offerings (11 points): We score this category by evaluating additional offerings that enhance a company’s overall service selection. Companies that provide pest control services, organic lawn care products, and a la carte options score the highest in this category.
    • Customer Service (25 points): We considered how far each company goes to ensure customers have convenient, intuitive access to products and services with contact forms, online chat features, and additional learning resources.
    • State Availability (8 points): We factored each company’s state availability into its overall score. Companies with more locations and wider service areas score higher than those with limited availability.
    • Trustworthiness (20 points): We score each company’s trustworthiness based on its Better Business Bureau accreditation and score, number of years in business, and Google Star ratings.

    We monitor company data on an ongoing basis to keep rankings and information up to date.

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    Reviewed for accuracy, cost data, industry best practices, and expert advice by Coty Perry.
    Editorial Contributors
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    Coty Perry

    Expert Writer & Reviewer

    Coty Perry is a lawn and garden writer for Today’s Homeowner. He focuses on providing homeowners with actionable tips that relate to the “Average Joe” who is looking to achieve a healthier and greener lawn. When he isn’t writing he can almost always be found coaching youth football or on some trail in Pennsylvania in search of the next greatest fishing hole.

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    Lora Novak

    Senior Editor

    Lora Novak meticulously proofreads and edits all commercial content for Today’s Homeowner to guarantee that it contains the most up-to-date information. Lora brings over 12 years of writing, editing, and digital marketing expertise. She’s worked on thousands of articles related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing, plumbing, lawn/garden, pest control, insurance, and other general homeownership topics.

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