Every summer across the nation, homeowners vie for their neighborhood’s lushest lawn, but it’s no simple task. It requires regular mowing and watering, weed control, disease control, and perhaps most importantly, giving the grass a reliable food source. Today’s lawn fertilizers are designed to provide the grass with nutrients needed for healthy growth and rich color.
Lawn fertilizers come in both liquid and granular forms, but liquid fertilizers are absorbed rapidly by the grass and offer the quickest noticeable results. Ahead, learn what to look for when shopping for liquid lawn food, and find out why the following products are among the best liquid lawn fertilizers available today. Happy grass growing!
- BEST OVERALL: Simple Lawn Solutions 16-4-8 Complete Balanced NPK
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Medina HastaGro 12-4-8 Lawn Food
- BEST HIGH NITROGEN: Scotts Liquid Turf Builder Lawn Food
- BEST STARTER FERTILIZER: Simple Lawn Solutions Extreme Growth Booster
- BEST WEED CONTROL: Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control
- BEST WITH IRON: Simple Lawn Solutions Lawn Energizer Blend
- BEST ADDED NUTRIENTS: The Urban Farm Liquid Lawn Fertilizer 13-1-2
- ALSO CONSIDER: PetraTools Nitrogen Fertilizer – Liquid Lawn Solution
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Liquid Lawn Fertilizer
Most lawn fertilizers are similar—they contain the nutrients grass needs to produce rich color and grow steadily throughout the summer season. But, they’re not a cure-all for poor soil. Instead, they supplement relatively healthy soil to produce an attractive lawn. Consider some fundamental factors when shopping for liquid lawn fertilizer.
Most turf grasses do best when grown in soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with 7 considered “neutral.” Numbers below 7 are progressively more acidic, and numbers above 7 are progressively more alkaline. While some fertilizers may help balance pH slightly, they won’t change the pH of soil that’s markedly too high or too low on the scale. Gardeners concerned about the pH level should have their soil tested and then add amendments, such as lime or sulfur, to raise or lower the pH, depending on the results of the tests.
Lawn fertilizers are typically higher in nitrogen than any other nutrient in order to green up the lawn and promote robust growth. Most commercial fertilizers are labeled based on the amount of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) they contain by volume. A typical NPK ratio for liquid lawn fertilizers might be 16-0-6, which would indicate 16 percent nitrogen, 0 phosphorus, and 6 percent potassium.
Occasionally the (K) in NPK stands for potash rather than potassium. Potash is a form of potassium, but both serve the same purpose—to boost root growth and overall grass health. Phosphorus may or may not be included in liquid lawn fertilizer. If it is, it can stimulate grass seed production, which can be helpful if the user wants the grass to reseed itself.
Organic vs. Synthetic
Most liquid lawn fertilizers are not organic, meaning they contain artificial and chemical ingredients. They are formulated in a lab, and the nutrients are the synthetic equivalent of nutrients found in nature. Liquid lawn fertilizers often contain concentrated ingredients and are designed to be diluted before applying the product to the lawn.
If applying an organic lawn product is important, it might be better to choose a granular grass food, which is more likely to contain ingredients such as composted manure or earthworm castings. For the most part, turfgrass varieties react the same to synthetic fertilizers as they do to natural fertilizers.
Frequency of Application
Grass quickly absorbs liquid fertilizers—both through its leaf blades and through its roots—but fertilizers also pass relatively quickly out of the soil. For this reason, liquid lawn fertilizers are often applied more frequently than granular fertilizers, some of which are designed to dissolve gradually over a period of weeks.
Fertilizing frequency depends on the brand and manufacturer’s recommendation and can be anywhere from 2 weeks to a month. Don’t make the mistake of applying a fertilizer more often or at a higher rate than recommended. Over fertilizing can burn the grass, leading to brown areas of dead turf.
Our Top Picks
Products have to be at the top of their game to earn a spot in our lineup of the best liquid lawn fertilizers. They have to contain the nutrients all grass types need for rich color and robust growth. In addition, application instructions should be easy to understand. The following fertilizers vary slightly—because no two lawn needs are identical—but all of them are well suited to keeping lawns green and lush.
Those looking for a balanced lawn fertilizer that will promote vibrant color, healthy growth and reduce the stressful impact of mild soil deficiencies need look no further than Simple Lawn Solutions Complete Balanced lawn food. It has an NPK ratio of 16-4-8, providing plenty of nitrogen for boosting growth and greening up a lawn. It also offers smaller amounts of phosphorus and potassium for encouraging strong root development and overall grass health.
This Simple Lawn Solution product comes in its own applicator spray bottle that connects to the end of a standard garden hose for automatic dilution. A single, 32-ounce container covers up to 3,200 square feet of lawn, and users can adjust the flow rate via a nozzle adjustment on the sprayer.
- NPK ratio: 16-4-8
- Coverage: 3,200 square feet
- Organic or synthetic: Synthetic, but also contains natural fish and seaweed emulsions
- Included applicator sprayer
- High nitrogen for quick greening
- Contains added nutrients for overall turf health
- Manufacturer does not list recommended reapplication time
Get Simple Lawn Solutions 16-4-8 liquid lawn fertilizer at Amazon, Walmart, or Simple Lawn Solutions.
Fertilizing a lawn regularly during the growing season can get expensive, but with Medina’s HastaGro 12-4-8 fertilizer, users can treat up to 16,000 square feet of lawn, making it an affordable option that can last for multiple applications depending on yard size. The manufacturer suggests applying HastaGro four times per growing season.
Use this liquid lawn fertilizer in a hose-end liquid dispenser or mix it at the rate of 1 ounce of fertilizer per 1 gallon of plain water in a pump-type garden sprayer. In addition to ample amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, HastaGro contains trace minerals, including copper, iron, calcium, and zinc, to help supplement lawn needs.
- NPK ratio: 12-4-8
- Coverage: Up to 16,000 square feet
- Organic or synthetic: Synthetic
- Treats up to 16,000 square feet
- Dilutes for pump sprayer or use in a hose-end dispenser
- Contains added trace minerals
Get Medina liquid lawn fertilizer at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.
Home landscapers looking to green up a lackluster lawn may want to consider Scotts Liquid Turf Builder Lawn Food, which has a high-nitrogen NPK ratio of 29-0-3. This liquid fertilizer comes in its own applicator bottle that attaches to the end of a standard garden hose, so there’s no mix or mess.
Users may see results in the form of greener grass in just a day or two with this powerful nitrogen-rich formulation. A 32-ounce bottle of Liquid Turf Builder treats up to 2,000 square feet of lawn. The manufacturer recommends applying the fertilizer four times per year, in early spring, late spring, early fall, and late fall. Follow application instructions carefully, and do not exceed the recommended rate to keep from over fertilizing and burning grass.
- NPK ratio: 29-0-3
- Coverage: Up to 2,000 square feet
- Organic or synthetic: Synthetic
- Greens lawns quickly
- High nitrogen content
- Applicator bottle included
- Users report burned spots at ratios higher than recommended
Get Scotts Turf Builder liquid lawn fertilizer at Amazon, Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, or Target.
The generous amount of phosphorus in this liquid lawn fertilizer boosts grass seed germination rate. The inclusion of humic acid (a soil-based nutrient) increases nutrient uptake in tiny seedlings to help them get off to a good start. Simple Lawn Solutions Extreme Growth Booster fertilizer features an NPK ratio of 6-18-0, making it well suited for applying to newly seeded areas. It also contains nitrogen to help boost seedling growth and color once the seeds sprout.
Like other Simple Lawn Solutions fertilizer products, Extreme Growth Booster comes in its own applicator bottle that attaches to the end of a garden hose for automatic dilution as you water. One 32-ounce bottle of this liquid fertilizer treats up to 3,200 square feet of just-seeded soil.
- NPK ratio: 6-18-0
- Coverage: Up to 3,200 square feet
- Organic or synthetic: Synthetic, but also contains humic acid, a natural organic substance found in soil
- Comes in an applicator bottle
- Contains high phosphorus to promote germination
- Contains nitrogen for greening and growth
- Phosphorus level too high for an existing lawn
Get Simple Lawn Solutions Extreme liquid lawn fertilizer on Amazon.
Feeding the lawn is a great idea—unless you’re feeding weeds at the same time. Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control takes care of both issues simultaneously. This multipurpose product features an NPK ratio of 25-0-2 to encourage quick greening and robust growth, but it also contains 2,4-D, an herbicide that targets broadleaf weeds, such as clover and dandelions, without harming grass.
Turf Builder with weed control comes in a ready-to-use applicator bottle. Just attach it to the end of a standard garden hose and turn on the water. The product automatically dilutes as you spray the grass. One 32-ounce bottle of this fertilizing and weed-killing product treats up to 6,000 square feet and can be reapplied in 3 to 4 weeks if necessary to kill stubborn weeds not killed by a first application.
- NPK ratio: 25-0-2
- Coverage: Up to 6,000 square feet
- Organic or synthetic: Synthetic
- Easy-to-use applicator bottle
- High-nitrogen content for quick greening
- Contains broadleaf herbicide
- Overspray may kill desirable plants
Get Scotts Turf Builder with Weed Control liquid lawn fertilizer at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s.
Many fertilizers help grass turn a lush shade of green, but those with iron offer a deeper green coloring that many find highly attractive. Simple Lawn Solutions Lawn Energizer Blend is just such a product. The nitrogen content in this NPK 6-0-0 product promotes greening, while the inclusion of iron deepens the green shade. The product also contains the micronutrients manganese, magnesium, and sulfur that can be depleted in some soil types.
Lawn Energizer comes in its own applicator bottle for easy use—just attach it to a garden hose and apply it as you spray the lawn. This 32-ounce bottle treats up to 3,200 square feet. A slight downside is that the iron content can leave rust-like stains on foundations, sidewalks, and driveways if not rinsed off immediately.
- NPK ratio: 6-0-0
- Coverage: Up to 3,200 square feet
- Organic or synthetic: Synthetic
- Comes in its own applicator spray bottle
- Nitrogen for quick greening
- Contains iron to deepen the green color of grass
- Can stain nearby objects if not rinsed off immediately
Get Simple Lawn Solutions Lawn Energizer liquid lawn fertilizer at Amazon, Newegg, or Simple Lawn Solutions.
Some lawns can use an extra boost of nutrients, such as those found in The Urban Farm’s Liquid Lawn Fertilizer, which contains several natural ingredients, including bat guano, worm castings, kelp, humic acid, and more in a concentrated liquid. Urban Farm’s formulation features a nitrogen-based NPK 13-1-2 ratio that helps grass develop lush coloring and boosts growth.
The added nutrients help balance soil needs and can help re-establish healthy soil for better overall lawn growth. The concentrated liquid comes in a 3.78-liter jug that treats up to 60,000 square feet of lawn. For the best results, reapply the product every 2 to 3 weeks.
- NPK ratio: 13-1-2
- Coverage: Up to 60,000 square feet
- Organic or synthetic: Synthetic but contains several natural ingredients
- Treats a large area—up to 60,000 square feet
- High nitrogen promotes quick greening
- Added nutrients address potential deficiencies
- Applicator bottle not included
Get The Urban Farm liquid lawn fertilizer at Amazon, Walmart, or The Urban Farm.
Most lawn fertilizers contain ample nitrogen to green up a lackluster lawn quickly. PetraTools Nitrogen Fertilizer also contains gradual-release nitrogen that helps lawns maintain their lush hue. The concentrated liquid should be diluted and used in a hose-end sprayer (not included) or a pump-type garden sprayer.
The super-high nitrogen level in this 28-0-0 NPK ratio is designed to do one thing—green up the grass. The formulation contains 70 percent quick-release nitrogen that’s rapidly absorbed by the grass blades and roots and 30 percent slow-release nitrogen that is absorbed at a slower pace to help keep grass looking good between feedings. The manufacturer suggests applying the fertilizer in spring and again in summer.
- NPK ratio: 28-0-0
- Coverage: Up to 12,800 square feet
- Organic or synthetic: Synthetic
- Quick greening
- Slow-release nitrogen to help maintain green color
- Treats nitrogen-deficient soils
- Spray applicator not included
Get PetraTools liquid lawn fertilizer on Amazon or PetraTools.
While any of the liquid lawn fertilizers on this lineup are well suited for helping the grass grow and maintain a lush green color, our best overall pick, Simple Lawn Solutions 16-4-8 Complete Balanced NPK, ticks all the boxes. It offers a balanced 16-4-8 NPK ratio to promote general lawn health and comes in its own applicator bottle. Our best bang for the buck pick, Medina HastaGro 12-4-8 Lawn Food, contains a wide range of nutrients and treats up to 16,000 square feet, making it a budget-friendly option.
How We Chose the Best Liquid Lawn Fertilizers
We researched dozens of lawn fertilizers before deciding on the products for this lineup. To qualify, the fertilizers had to contain the nutrients necessary for healthy grass growth. They had to contain nitrogen, the top nutrient choice for beautiful lawns. Depending on the stated purpose of the fertilizer, however, it could also include additional nutrients designed to treat specific types of nutrient depletion in soil or boost new seed germination.
While we considered the brand—Scotts is a well known and highly respected manufacturer of lawn products—we didn’t automatically eliminate products from smaller or niche manufacturers as long as they contained the ingredients lawns need.
The products we selected are made for various lawn situations, but will boost grass health and improve lawn color.
The Advantages of Liquid Lawn Fertilizers
Both liquid and granular lawn fertilizers can supply the grass with the nutrients needed to grow healthy and strong, but liquid fertilizers offer some specific benefits.
- The best liquid fertilizer is absorbed quickly, and benefits can be seen in 2 to 4 days.
- Diluting liquid fertilizer is often less complicated than calibrating a drop or broadcast spreader, making the application of liquid lawn fertilizers more user-friendly.
- Liquid fertilizers can often be applied during periods of light rain or drizzle, so there’s no waiting to feed the lawn.
- The best liquid lawn fertilizer concentrate can be diluted to cover a large lawn area.
Tips for Using Liquid Lawn Fertilizers
Applying liquid lawn fertilizer is usually straightforward; a few tips can make it even simpler and enhance the results.
- Use a liquid hose-end sprayer if possible. While using a pump-type garden sprayer is possible, users will have the extra work of stopping to pump up the pressure in the sprayer and adding more solution each time they run out. With a hose-end applicator, all that’s necessary is to attach the sprayer to the end of the garden hose. The solution is automatically diluted while being sprayed.
- Walk backwards when using a spray fertilizer. It’s the simplest way to apply the solution uniformly—plus, you won’t be walking through grass that’s already been saturated with fertilizer.
- Consider marking out lawn areas with stakes to help you track where you’ve already fertilized. By creating workable areas, say 15 feet wide, it’s easy to apply the fertilizer spray uniformly. Using flags or stakes to mark the areas can help.
Along with regular mowing and watering, fertilizing is one of the best things you can do to ensure a healthy, beautiful lawn. Those new to DIY-lawn care are likely to have some questions when choosing the best spray fertilizer.
Q. Is liquid fertilizer good for your lawn?
Yes. It will feed the grass with the necessary nutrients to keep it looking good.
Q. How do I choose a fertilizer for my lawn?
Most lawn fertilizers are formulated to help the grass grow—as long as the soil is healthy. Any one of the products in our lineup is well suited to helping develop a lush, green expanse. If the soil’s not healthy, however, have it tested and apply the recommended amendments to correct the deficiencies.
Q. What is a good liquid fertilizer?
A good liquid lawn fertilizer is usually one with more nitrogen than any other nutrient, as nitrogen is essential for green coloring and robust growth. In an established lawn, the best liquid fertilizer for sod will also be the best liquid fertilizer for grass.
Q. When should I apply liquid lawn fertilizer?
That depends on the specific product, but many liquid lawn fertilizers call for applying every 2 to 4 weeks, starting in early spring.
Q. When will I notice the results after applying liquid lawn fertilizer?
Sometimes as soon as the next day. In liquid form, nitrogen is quickly absorbed by the grass and it should appear greener in 1 to 3 days.
Q. How long does liquid lawn fertilizer last?
Unfortunately, liquid fertilizer for grass passes out of the soil more quickly than granulated fertilizers, so plan to reapply a liquid lawn fertilizer every 2 to 4 weeks, as recommended on the package.