Who doesn’t dream of a beautiful lawn? You might think it’s quite easy to get this one right. Mow a bit, fertilize from time to time, maybe scarify once a year, that’s all it needs. It’s not that easy after all. One should do all this, but also properly. Because when you get it wrong, there are brown spots, moss, clover, weeds, and bald patches. It doesn’t have to be. The right lawn fertilizer and the correspondingly well-executed fertilization alone cannot create a dream lawn, but they are an important step on the way there.

Lawn needs nutrients

Regardless of whether you have a purely ornamental lawn in the garden or a stressed lawn, they should all be fertilized. There are also exceptions. If the lawn is dense and lush green, with no brown or bare spots or weeds, then fertilization is unnecessary. The lawn has everything it needs to live. You can fertilize, but it’s pointless. Lawn roots only absorb as many nutrients as they really need. If they have everything they need, the lawn fertilizer seeps into the ground unused and, in the worst case, gets into the groundwater.

Basically, one can say that heavily used lawns require more fertilizer than less or less used ones. Everything is crucial but the right composition and quantity.

Before fertilizing – soil sample

With fertilizer, no matter which plant it is to be used for, the right combination of nutrients is important. You should never just fertilize straight away! A soil sample should always be taken first. This is sent to an institute for soil analysis. The right fertilizer can only be selected when you have this back.

The soil samples often show that the soil is over-fertilized. Far too much fertilizer is used not only on the lawn, but also in the rest of the garden. Our home gardens are often hopelessly over-fertilized. It’s bad for the environment, for the plants, especially for the lawn, and for our wallets too. A lot doesn’t help much, you should always keep that in mind. Too much fertilizer damages the lawn much more than too little!

What nutrients do plants need?

The most important nutrients are water, oxygen and carbon dioxide. There are also minerals such as nitrogen, phosphorus , potassium and magnesium. These are required in comparatively larger quantities. In smaller ones, on the other hand, calcium, copper, sulphur, zinc and iron. There are hardly any fertilizers that contain all the components.

The most important components of a lawn fertilizer are:

  • Nitrogen (N) – promotes growth and the ability to regenerate (annual requirement – 5 to 35 g/m², ornamental lawn 10 – 25, commercial lawn 5 – 25 and sports lawn 15 – 35)
  • Phosphorus (P) – important for metabolism and root growth (annual requirement 2 to 10 g/m², ornamental lawn 3 – 5, commercial lawn 2 – 5, sports lawn 5 – 10)
  • Potassium (K) – increases the resistance of plants to heat, cold and diseases (annual requirement 5 to 25 g/m², ornamental lawn 5 – 15, commercial lawn 5 – 15, sports lawn 10 to 25)
  • Magnesium (Mg) – ensures beautiful green leaves and strengthens health

The smallest numbers given in brackets apply to low loads, the largest to high loads.

When and how often to fertilize?

The question depends on the stress on the lawn. Decorative lawns that are less stressed get by with two fertilizations, if you have children or dogs or otherwise subject your lawn to heavy wear, you may have to do it four times.

  • 1st fertilization – between March and April – about 100 g/m²
  • 2. Fertilization – mid-May to mid-June – 50 g/m²
  • 3. Fertilization – July – 50 g/m²
  • 4. Fertilization – late August to mid-September – 50 g/m²

It is best to fertilize in the evening hours. This makes sense, especially when precipitation is announced for the night or the following day. Under no circumstances should lawn fertilizer be left on the stalks when the sun is shining on them. This leads to burns. If there is no rain, the garden hose has to go. It must be artificially watered.
Shade lawn requires significantly less fertilizer!


  • Nitrogen is particularly important when fertilizing for the first time. Grass growth should be stimulated.
  • The second fertilization focuses on potassium so that the plants are well equipped to withstand summer heat and drought.
  • The third fertilization is again nitrogen-stressed. A long-term fertilizer is used to ensure growth in the summer months.
  • The fourth, potassium-rich fertilization ensures ripening and strengthens the roots and stalks for the winter.

fertilizer types

Slow Release Organic Fertilizers – consist primarily of horn shavings, chicken droppings, molasses, spent grains, guano and the like. They are all natural products. However, this fertilizer in the soil must first be converted into nutrients by microorganisms, which takes time. Therefore, an improvement in the lawn can only be seen after several days or even weeks, depending on the soil temperature, which is also decisive for this process. Soil fertility is improved overall by organic fertilizers. There is no over-fertilization. However, when using purely organic fertilizers, there are often undersupply, usually recognizable by moss in the lawn.

mineral fertilizer
– artificial fertilizer. This fertilizer shows a quick immediate effect, usually after two to three days. After two to three weeks, however, this effect wears off again, and quickly. In addition, mineral fertilizers can quickly cause burns, especially if they are applied unevenly and incorrectly. The good thing about mineral lawn fertilizers is that the components are available individually, so you can only fertilize with nitrogen or only with potash.

Organic-mineral mixed fertilizer as long-term fertilizer – for many users the best lawn fertilizer. It combines the good sides of mineral and organic fertilizers. The mineral component ensures an immediate effect, the organic component a long-term effect. At the same time, organic components improve the water and nutrient capacity of the soil. There are hardly any burns.

Liquid Fertilizers – Mostly used for golf courses and soccer fields, but there are also for the home garden. However, they are often very expensive.

apply fertilizer

Many people like to spread the lawn fertilizer manually. It’s quick and you don’t need any tools (equipment). However, it will be quite uneven the first few times, because practice is needed. The different colored stripes on the lawn later show how the fertilizer was spread, where there was a lack of fertilizer and where there was too much.

A particularly even application is important for combined products with weed killers. Here it is better to use a device, a fertilizer cart. But you have to be able to deal with that too. With these wagons, the fertilizer is distributed very evenly. The condition is that you work at a steady pace. You have to be careful with the turns. There is often over-fertilization. Also, the tracks should not overlap. Too much lawn fertilizer can cause burns.

The unsightly web effect that can occur with a fertilizer wagon can be avoided with a centrifugal spreader. This is mainly used for large lawns, from around 100 m². The amount of fertilizer per m² can be regulated. However, you have to be able to handle the wagon, otherwise too much fertilizer will fall out in one place when you start and you will burn the lawn.

manufacturers and suppliers

The best-known manufacturers are probably WOLF-Garten, COMPO, MANNA, Oscorna, Cuxin, AGRAVIS Raiffeisen and Neudorff. Of course there are many more, but they are not so well known.
You can buy lawn fertilizer in DIY and garden centers, in plant markets, from gardeners, in supermarkets, depending on the season in discount stores and of course on the World Wide Web. Here you have the largest selection and can compare prices very well. However, you always have to keep an eye on the delivery costs and add them to the price!

Known products (names/brands)

A distinction is made between lawn fertilizers

Starter fertilizer (when planting new plants or for regeneration in spring)

  • Starter fertilizer – Compo lawn starter fertilizer – 5 kg approx. 35 euros = approx. 7 €/kg
  • Manna Dur Lawn starter fertilizer – 25 kg approx. 60 Euro = 2.4 € / kg


  • Manna DUR premium long-term fertilizer – 10 kg approx. 30 euros = 3 €/kg
  • Compo Premium Rasendünger – 10 kg ca. 50 Euro = 5 €/kg
  • Oscorna Rasaflor Lawn Fertilizer – 20 kg approx. 45 Euro = 2.25 € / kg
  • Neudorff Azet-Rasendünger – 20 kg approx. 40 Euro = 2 € / kg
  • Cushion Micro-Rasendünger – 20 kg approx. 40 Euro = 2 € / kg
  • Wolf-Garten Lawn Fertilizer Blue Power – 7.2 kg carrying bag between 18 and 42 euros = from 2.40 €/kg

and fall fertilizer

  • Neudorff Azet HerbstRasenDünger – 20 kg approx. 40 Euro = 2 € / kg
  • Oscorna Rasaflor Lawn Fertilizer – 20 kg approx. 45 Euro = 2.25 € / kg
  • Cuxin Lawn Autumn Fertilizer – 10 kg approx. 25 euros = 2.50 €/kg
  • Wolf-Garten Lawn Autumn Fertilizer – 2.5 kg approx. 15 euros = 6 €/kg

What I noticed during my internet research is that there are sometimes horrendous price differences for some products. Double prices and more with another provider are normal. So it’s definitely worth finding out more about products and prices. Large packs are always significantly cheaper than small packs per kilogram. So if you can winter the sack (25 kg) dry and frost-free, you should grab it and save. Fertilizer keeps well.

Recommended or less recommended fertilizers

  • Synthetic resin-coated fertilizers, so-called noble fertilizers, are usually good. Their disadvantage is their price, which is considerable. If you don’t mind and are satisfied with the effect, you should stick with it.
  • If you only want to fertilize and don’t want to destroy moss and weeds at the same time, you should keep your hands off combined fertilizers!
  • Pure nitrogen fertilizer for home gardeners is not available. You have to switch to a complete fertilizer. Nitrophoska extra (NPK – 20 – 5 – 10) or horn meal (better than shavings) is recommended.
  • It’s different with phosphorus. Here you can use superphosphate as a mineral lawn fertilizer and as organic bone meal.
  • In the case of potash, patent potash is usually used. You can use it for all plants in the garden so that they survive the winter well.

When it comes to lawn fertilizer from the discounter, scholars and users argue. Many use the “cheap offers” and are happy about their bargains. But they are not that cheap when you compare other products, the big bags. It’s cheaper with a branded product than with the discount fertilizer. The content and NPK information often match exactly. Nevertheless, I know many experts who absolutely advise against the cheaper lawn fertilizers. Inferior resources should be used. I’m not a chemist and I don’t know. We have already used Aldi fertilizer and expensive special fertilizer. Honestly, I haven’t seen any difference, but I can’t look down into the ground to see what it’s like down there either. There is no difference above ground, but that’s not all.

Alternative to conventional lawn fertilizer

Anyone who has small children who crawl across the lawn or a dog like me, who wants to do something to improve the soil, i.e. for the microorganisms and the environment, will be looking for an alternative to the many chemical fertilizers. I’ve found something interesting that I’m going to try next gardening season. It is a vital system for plants, is called 3 A 86 and is a plant additive made from seaweed. It consists of three different types of algae. The mass is micro-finely ground and packed in smaller bags. It is a pure plant strengthener and has a lasting effect and that is important. However, it is best applied by spraying.

This product can be used in the entire garden, regardless of whether fruit and vegetables, trees, flowers, perennials, lawns, almost everything except plants that need a low pH value ( rhododendrons , azaleas, heather and ericaceous plants). I will test it. So far I’ve heard a lot of good things about this remedy. I let myself be surprised. Although the price is high at first, the remedy is so productive that you can take it with you forever.

We hobby gardeners fertilize too much in most cases. Besides, why do we need such a perfect lawn? I don’t think it’s that bad if there’s a bit of clover or a few daisies in between, but I know I’m rather the exception. We’ve tried a lot, our lawn isn’t bad, but it’s not perfect either. Now it’s time to fertilize with seaweed, let’s see what happens. In any case, our little lady dog ​​will thank us if she can continue to play undisturbed on the lawn. Our daughter’s dog used to have big problems after we fertilized the lawn and he was playing outside. That will definitely not happen again.

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