The Best Organic Fertilizers For Home Lawns For A Greener & Healthier Yard

Mowing, watering, and fertilizing, are essential for a healthy lawn. Mowing is as simple as maintaining a sharp blade and cutting the grass at the correct height. Likewise, watering is simple once you learn the fundamentals of deep, infrequent watering. The nourishment of grass lawns, however, is somewhat complicated. On top of that, there are gazillions of different fertilizers available on the market. So, which should you choose? Let’s take a closer at the best organic lawn fertilizer.

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best organic lawn fertilizer

Photo Credit Organic fertilizers are far less intense than synthetic fertilizers and hence safer to use.

In general, there are two types of lawn fertilizers. Organic and chemical. Chemical fertilizers can help you grow green and healthy grass, but they often contain potentially harmful compounds that can cause harm to the surrounding ecosystem. Organic fertilizers, however, enable you to achieve a lush lawn and healthy soil without the use of these harsh chemicals. And they are harmless to children, animals, and the environment.

However, you must have a basic understanding of the state of your lawn in order to choose the best organic fertilizer for it. Is the grass, for example, suffering from a deficiency of an essential nutrient? Or is it in good health and just needs to be fertilized?

That said, read on to learn about some of the best organic fertilizers on the market, as well as their distinguishing characteristics and pros and cons.

Our Top Picks For The Best Organic Lawn Fertilizers
Best Overall

Best Value For The Money

Best All Season Organic Fertilizer

Best Organic Fall Fertilizer

Best Organic Spring Fertilizer

Best Quick-release Organic Fertilizer

Best Slow-release Organic Fertilizer

Best Liquid Organic Fertilizer

Best Organic Fertilizer Without Phosphorus
The Andersons Innova Premium Fertilizer

Jonathan Green Organic Lawn Fertilizer

Scotts Natural Lawn Food

Espoma Organic Fall Fertilizer

Espoma Organic Lawn Booster Food

Safer Brand 9334 Lawn Restore Fertilizer

Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer

Urban Farm Fertilizers Liquid Lawn Fertilizer

Purely Organic Lawn Food

Related: How Cold Is Too Cold To Fertilize Your Lawn? A Comprehensive Guide

\What Are Organic Lawn Fertilizers?

Best organic lawn fertilizer

Photo Credit Organic fertilizers use bone meal, seaweed, and feather meal to maintain and improve the health of a lawn.

Organic lawn care involves the use of organic lawn fertilizers, which prevent, control, and remove weeds while also maintaining the grass using only natural materials. 

Pesticides, synthetic compounds, and chemicals are not used in organic lawn fertilizers. They are also friendly for pets and children, even though they typically are less effective than synthetic fertilizers, which often use strong synthetic compounds & pesticides.

Organic lawn fertilizers often combine non-hazardous substances such as bone meal, seaweed, and feather meal, among others, to maintain and improve the health of a lawn.

Consider This When Buying An Organic Fertilizer

buying organic fertilizer

Photo Credit If a soil test reveals sufficient phosphorus in the lawn soil, use a fertilizer without added phosphorus.

Before selecting the best organic lawn fertilizer for your yard, it is essential that you take into consideration a number of other important elements in addition to the nutrient requirements that are disclosed by the results of the soil test. Some of them are:

Lawn Condition

When selecting an organic fertilizer for the lawn, it is critical to take into account the current state of the grass. For instance, the grass in the yard could look yellow at times despite the fact that it has been adequately maintained and fertilized. 

This is a frequent iron deficiency symptom. Therefore, if you want your grass to have a more vibrant green color, use a lawn fertilizer that contains supplemental iron. 

Similarly, suppose the grass is robust and has dense leaves and a dark green hue. In that case, you should select a fertilizer with moderate to high nitrogen concentration (at least 10 percent), with very little or no potassium and phosphorus. 

In addition, if there is already enough phosphorus present in the soil, then there is no need to apply a fertilizer that contains phosphorus. 

In situations like these, the usage of phosphorus must be subject to stringent regulations in order to prevent soil and water pollution.

NPK Ratio

On the fertilizer label, look for the NPK ratio. It provides information regarding the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that are present in the product, expressed as a percentage of the overall weight. Nitrogen is essential for maintaining a green tint and for leafy growth. Phosphorus promotes deep root formation.

And potassium is an essential nutrient that improves vitality and resilience to disease. Organic lawn fertilizer often contains two to three times as much nitrogen (N) as potassium and phosphorus (P and K) combined. Nitrogen is highly unpredictable. 

Unused nitrogen depletes over time and needs to be replaced. Potassium and phosphorus, however, remain in the ground and are not required in high concentrations.

Granular Vs. Liquid

The rate at which they are absorbed by the soil is what differentiates liquid organic fertilizers from granular organic fertilizers. Dry, granular formulations decompose more slowly, providing a steady supply of nutrients to the grass over a period of several months.

Whereas, readily available moisture in liquid fertilizers allows for a more rapid rate of growth in plants. So, choose liquid fertilizer if you want to provide nutrients to your plant quickly. 

However, both liquid and granular forms of organic fertilizers work similarly. Bacteria and fungus in the soil eat the natural elements of these fertilizers, which they then release into the ground at a controlled rate and in a form that is easily absorbable by the plants.

Related: Lawn Fertilizer Schedule | When To Fertilize Your Grass For The Best Results?

Type Of The Fertilizer

Organic fertilizers are animal-, plant-, and mineral-based. Mineral-based fertilizer ingredients include naturally occurring gypsum, greensand, sulfur, dolomitic limestone, and rock phosphate. They improve soil trace nutrient levels.

Plant-based lawn foods include kelp, soybean, alfalfa, cottonseed, and compost. Microbes in the soil turn these compounds into plant nourishment faster than animal-based products. They work quickly, often within a matter of days or weeks. 

Animal-based fertilizers include bone meal, fish emulsion, and dung. These compounds give lawns and garden plants season-long benefits as they gradually degrade over time.

However, to supply the best possible balance of major and minor nutrients, most organic fertilizers contain a combination of these elements and compounds mentioned above.

Pros & Cons Of Using Organic Lawn Fertilizers

Pros and cons

Photo Credit Organic fertilizer gives the grass a more natural, green look than artificial lawn fertilizers.

Before we move on to discussing and comparing different organic lawn fertilizers, it would be wise to discuss some of their salient features, benefits, and cons. This will help you decide whether or not organic fertilizers are worth it and which you should buy!

Resourceful

Organic fertilizers are made from natural ingredients that would otherwise be considered waste. They often make use of items like poultry manure and fish bones, both of which would typically be thrown away, to create a product that is both healthy and useful.

Environmentally Friendly

Chemical fertilizers can seep into local water bodies causing harm to plant and animal life. Sometimes, the chemicals used in these fertilizers can even end up in our drinking water.

In some areas, the use of chemical fertilizers is even prohibited by law due to the potential for environmental damage. However, this does not apply to organic fertilizers because they are totally natural and do not put the ecosystem in any kind of danger.

Safe For Pets & Kids

Since organic fertilizers are perfectly safe, there is no need to worry about the long-term repercussions of spending a lot of time around a chemically fertilized lawn, especially if children or pets are allowed to graze on the grass while barefoot. 

Chemicals and other harsh synthetic materials are not present in organic lawn fertilizers. This implies that you can use them without worrying that exposing kids or household pets to the fertilizer will make them sick.

Improve Lawn Aesthetics

When compared to artificial fertilizer, organic fertilizer offers the grass a more natural bright green appearance. A well-maintained and healthy-looking lawn will make the owner proud and the neighbors envious! You can also boost the value of your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers by working to make your yard more visually appealing.

Related: What Is The Best Lawn Fertilizer Ratio? A Comprehensive Guide To N-P-K Numbers

Pros & Cons Of Organic Lawn Fertilizers

ProsCons
Lowered levels of chemical exposure for you, your family, and your pets.

Over time, it will improve the quality of your soil and will revive the ecosystem of your lawn.

There is no need to avoid walking on your lawn for a certain amount of time after application.

There will be no pollution of the groundwater and local water bodies by chemical runoff.

Will not cause your lawn to burn or develop scorched patches even if too much is applied.
It will take more time and work before you start to see the results.

There is a possibility that grub infestations will occur more frequently on your lawn.

It is also very much likely that you will see more weeds than usual on your turf grass.

Organic Lawn Fertilizers | The Top Picks

An organic grass fertilizer must be well-formulated and have all of the nutrients that are necessary for grass to thrive in order for it to be considered a top choice. The products mentioned below are versatile enough to be used for a wide variety of tasks, and they have a track record of success when it comes to the care and upkeep of healthy lawns.

The Andersons 7-1-2 Innova Premium Organic Fertilizer

The Andersons

Photo Credit Innova is meant to produce healthy soils and plants by providing the ideal carbon and nitrogen ratio of 6:1.

For regular grass maintenance, use Innova Premium Organic Fertilizer, a slow-release product with an NPK of 7-1-2 NPK and some amino acids. Innova delivers all of the minerals and vitamins that your lawn needs. It has no chemical additives and is made from plant-based ingredients only. Users of this product like that it does not have an unpleasant scent and gives lawns an even green color within a short time.

Some users noted a difference in only a few days, while others reported that the transformation took a month. One bag of Innova Premium will cover about 4000 square feet. 

However, if you want the grass on your lawn to be denser, you can experiment with the amount of fertilizer. Since this is an organic product, it is safe for use around both children and animals. It is effective not just on lawns but also as a slow-release, all-purpose fertilizer for plants in the garden, where it can be utilized. 

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Contains no by-products from animals
No burning with slow release.
No danger with excessive use
No unpleasant odor
Organic
Pet- and child-friendly
More pricey than some other fertilizers
The bags occasionally include mites.

Jonathan Green 7566565 Organic Lawn Food 10-0-1

Jonathan Green 7566565 Organic Lawn Food 10-0-1 - best organic lawn fertilizer

Photo Credit A sophisticated, all-organic lawn fertilizer that gives outstanding turf nutrition for 8 to 10 weeks.

Jonathan Green is a personal favorite when it comes to organic fertilizers. It is entirely organic and brimming with nutrients, making it ideal for subtly nourishing the turf. Those granules are uniform and simple to disperse. Jonathan Green Lawn Food is a mixture of animal and plant proteins, including soybean and bird feathers.

When administered correctly, it is safe and can be used on both newly seeded and established lawns. Its specific formulation provides an increase in nitrogen in addition to iron so that the grass continues to grow with a deep green hue for as long as ten weeks. The area is immediately safe for the traffic of children and pets following the application. 

A single fertilizer bag can provide nutrition for up to 5K square feet of space.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
A single treatment feeds the turf for ten weeks
Does not burn grassNatural ingredients
Outstanding results
Safe for kids and animals
It has animal by-products. Therefore, it might not be suited for vegans.
It smells because it contains ingredients originating from animals.
It takes time to break down for absorption.

Scotts Natural Lawn Food

Scotts Natural Lawn Food

Photo Credit Scotts Natural Lawn Food is made with natural ingredients to naturally green and feed your lawn.

With its unique composition, Scotts Natural Lawn Food provides both potassium and phosphorus, as well as a balanced ration of nitrogen, to new and struggling lawns.

This all-purpose Scotts Natural Lawn Fertilizer consistently earns the top spot on “best of” lists thanks to its adaptability and user-friendliness. It can be used at any time and on any type of grass. Scotts Natural Grass Food contributes to a healthy and thick green lawn.

Immediately following the application, you can walk on the grass, and both kids and pets are safe. This bag of lawn food will treat 4,000 sq. ft. of grass, and over the course of a few weeks, your grass will develop a deeper green color and become thicker. 

I recommend this product because I am confident that it is a natural lawn fertilizer. It is made from animal feces. Therefore, it adheres to zero-waste principles. Although it is safe for dogs to eat, some pet owners say that it does cause a poop problem. 

Not to mention the fact that you’ll have to reapply the fertilizer if your dog ends up eating it.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Organic ingredients
Safe for kids and pets
Suitable for any type of grass
There are no re-entry restrictions after the application
Applicable at any time of year
Animal products make it unsuitable for vegans
For best performance, a fertilizer spreader is needed
Mildly unpleasant odor
Pets may be enticed to consume lawn food

Espoma EOFW30 Organic Fall Fertilizer

Espoma EOFW30 Organic Fall Fertilizer - best organic lawn fertilizer

Photo Credit A low-cost, chemical-free lawn fertilizer that is safe for children and dogs.

Espona makes an excellent organic fall fertilizer that will winterize your lawn and prepare it for a healthy regrowth the following year. The formula has been enhanced with minerals, iron dose, and bacillus colony forming units to assist it in withstanding harsh weather conditions. 

It is suitable for use with warm-season grasses (such as St. Augustine grass, bentgrass, bermudagrass, zoysia grass, and centipede grass) and with cool-season grass grasses (e.g., fine fescue, tall fescue, bluegrass, perennial ryegrass). 

A lawn’s health and overall resiliency can be significantly improved by using Espoma’s Organic Lawn Food. It contains controlled-release nitrogen and calcium. After spreading this natural fertilizer, you can start using your lawn right away; however, you should be warned that a strong odor may persist until you water the grass. 

In addition, lawns that were formerly yellow are transformed into a lush, emerald green color after being treated with Espoma Organic Lawn Food. Furthermore, using this environmentally friendly food minimizes the number of times you have to trim your grass.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Child and animal-friendly
It improves the soil and deepens the roots.
One bag can cover an area of up to 5,000 sq. ft.
Organic
Granules need to be watered twice to absorb
Nitrogen content is very low
Unpleasant odor of chicken excrement

Espoma EOLB30 Organic Lawn Booster Fertilizer

Espoma EOLB30 Organic Lawn Booster Fertilizer

Photo Credit The Espoma EOLB30 product has a unique formulation that enhances the overall health of a lawn.

The Espoma EOLB30 Organic Lawn Booster Fertilizer is widely regarded as one of the most effective organic fertilizers to use throughout the springtime. This lawn food is completely safe for use around children, animals, and the environment. 

The Espoma EOLB30 Organic Lawn Booster Fertilizer is formulated with a one-of-a-kind combination of Bio-Tone microorganisms and iron that does not discolor the grass. 

With the help of organic components, your garden will be made strong to resist the harsh conditions of the summer. Espona’s Organic Lawn Booster is a top choice for an environmentally friendly spring turfgrass treatment as it was formulated to give your lawn a boost without the use of any harmful chemicals.

The efficiency of this lawn food is praised by the users, who report that their grass grows denser, fuller, and greener as a result. It only took a few days before people could see the results of their efforts, but it took several weeks for them to transform completely.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Child and animal-friendly
It improves the soil and deepens the roots.
One bag can cover an area of up to 5,000 sq. ft.
It is organic
Granules need to be watered twice to absorb
Nitrogen content is very low
Unpleasant odor of chicken excrement

Safer Brand 9334 Lawn Restore Fertilizer

Safer Brand 9334 Lawn Restore Fertilizer

Photo Credit Safer Brand 9334 Lawn Restore Fertilizer revitalizes lawn to a thick turf by strengthening root systems.

Organic fertilizers are known for showing effects considerably more slowly than their synthetic equivalents, but Safer Brand Lawn Restore is one of the few organic choices that work in just days. This organic nitrogen-based fertilizer not only stimulates rapid development but also helps establish healthy root systems in the grass. 

This bag of lawn fertilizer has an NPK ratio of 9-0-2, and it can treat an area of grass equivalent to approximately 6,250 square feet. 

It is made from natural products such as alfalfa, feather meal, and blood meal, and it does not include any chemicals in its composition. Some users have noted that the feed is nearly impossible to use in a spreader due to the granules’ inconsistent sizes, which range from the size of peas to the size of dust particles. 

In addition, Safer Brand has just introduced a new formulation of their widely used lawn fertilizer, which, according to customer reviews, is more difficult to spread evenly and emits a smell that is significantly stronger than the product’s prior formulation.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Components obtained from natural sources
Friendly to both children and animals
Ideal for lawns subjected to environmental stress.
Upgraded formula gives a coverage increase of 25%
A stench of chicken excrement
Potentially challenging application
Various outcomes

Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer

Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer - best organic lawn fertilizer

Photo Credit The fertilizer’s exceptional performance reduces the requirement for watering a lawn quite significantly.

Granular Milorganite fertilizer has been a go-to for both commercial and amateur gardeners for almost a century, making it an industry veteran among branded organic fertilizers. Its nitrogen and iron boost is designed to make your lawn lively, but because it lacks potassium, you should only apply it on healthy, well-established turfgrass. 

One application will provide up to three months’ worth of nourishment for your lawn. In addition, it aids in enhancing root development. Milorganite Organic Lawn Fertilizer is an excellent organic lawn care product since it is kind to the environment and promotes the growth of a wide variety of plants in addition to grass, including flowers, shrubs, and trees. 

It is made out of biosolids, which are created by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District out of sewage waste streams. Utilizing a spreader is the most effective method for applying it. It will allow for more precise administration. 

It is necessary for you to distribute the granules around the turf in a consistent manner. According to the “holiday schedule,” you can use it four times per year.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Available in a 36-pound package
It contains nitrogen that releases slowly
Safe for kids and animals
Slow-release functionality. Feeds the grass only when needed
The smell scares away wild deers
Will not cause grass burns
It has an unpleasant odor
Variable Price

Urban Farm Fertilizers Liquid Lawn Fertilizer

Liquid Lawn - best organic lawn fertilizer

Photo Credit Liquid Lawn 13-1-2 with Iron is a custom-blended lawn, pasture, and hay fertilizer.

Suppose you are a fan of liquid fertilizers. In that case, you will be pleased to learn that there is a powerful organic solution that combines the quick absorption and simple application of a liquid with the absence of harmful chemicals. 

This super-concentrated liquid fertilizer has an overall NPK level of 13-1-2, making it ideal for treating nutrient-deficient lawns immediately. It contains 13 percent nitrogen in addition to iron to stimulate grass growth at the beginning of the spring season. 

Its nutrient-dense formulation, which is derived from natural fish products and provides the ground with amino acids, bacteria, enzymes, and vitamins, has earned it a lot of praise.

Customers advise that one should be prepared for a fragrance that is slightly reminiscent of a fish-flowing application. This organic fertilizer blend contains humic acid, hydroponic-grade minerals, bat guano, sea kelp, earthworm castings, and other components. 

Use a hose-end sprayer for the most straightforward and convenient application (sold separately). One gallon of this concentrate can be used to produce 256 gallons of fertilizer. This, in turn, can be used to treat an area of 5,000 square feet up to eight times

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
It gives quick results
It is easy to handle and use
It is all organic
It can be pretty smelly

Purely Organic Lawn Food

Purely Organic Lawn Food

Photo Credit Purely Organic’s lawn food is created with organic components, including soy and distillers grains.

There are no harsh additives, manure, or biosolids in Purely Organic Lawn Food. It only contains soybean meal and other organic components that green your grass and fortify its roots. It has an NPK ratio of 10-0-2, which is quite good. 

Also, it does not have an offensive odor, unlike the majority of organic fertilizers, which often smell like manure. Therefore, it might be an ideal product for homeowner groups or gated communities that prohibit the use of manure. 

In addition, it is free of any potentially harmful ingredients and is perfectly safe for use around both children and animals. Users have mixed feelings about this product, with most being pleasantly surprised. For instance, the fertilizer can attract beetles. 

As a result, they may damage not just your lawn but also your dog’s digestive tract. However, there is no scent to the product. Therefore, a person who has a dog does not need to be concerned about an unpleasant odor.

People also mentioned that the effects of this lawn food lasted longer than those of others that they had used. Some also said that it made their lawn more resistant to drought than it had been in the past. 

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
It can serve as a year-round lawn food.
It can last up to eight weeks.
No limitations on re-entry
There is no foul odor
The fertilizer needs to be activated with water.
More costly than the majority of lawn food

Organic Lawn Fertilizer N-P-K Ratios

These are simply some typical numbers for N-P-K, and the exact amounts will differ based on the type of food and where it was harvested. You can pick some of these up from the garden center in your neighborhood or order them over the internet.

Organic fertilizerNitrogen (N%)Potassium (P%)Phosphorus (K%)Product weight required for 1 number of N in pounds
Soybean meal71314
Shellfish fertilizer33133
Seabird guano12828
ReVita Compost Plus34333
Organic pellets (various ingredients)66616
Milorganite64016
Kelp meal21350
Greensand016NA
Fish pellets77214
Feather meal12008
Earth Food1.50.50.533
Cottonseed meal31133
Corn gluten meal100010
Composted cow manure0.50.30.5200
Composted chicken manure0.50.30.5200
Blood meal, steamed315033
Blood meal101010
Alfalfa pellets51220

Final Thoughts

The vast majority of organic fertilizers have a delayed release, which means that they will continue to nourish your grass for a more extended period of time. 

In addition, they do not include any potentially hazardous ingredients and may be used without worry around both children and animals.

The organic lawn feeds that were discussed earlier are all best-selling products that deliver outstanding results. However, the organic lawn feed that is most suitable for you will depend on the specifics of your needs and preferences.

Fertilizer, or lawn food, is applied to lawns in order to encourage healthy grass growth and, ideally, weed suppression. It’s what every lawn fertilizer is supposed to do, and organic lawn fertilizer is no exception.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When should I use organic fertilizer on my lawn?

The absolute ideal time to fertilize a lawn with organic fertilizer is in the spring when the soil temperature hits 55 degrees Fahrenheit (not the air temperature). Plan on submitting two applications each year if you want to keep things simple. 

A good rule of thumb is that if you live in a location with cool seasons, you should fertilize your lawn in the early fall and then again in the late spring after the grass has greened up.

However, if you have warm-season grass, you need to fertilize it twice a year, once in the late summer or early fall and once in the late spring.

Is organic fertilizer really better?

Both organic and inorganic fertilizers can supply essential nutrients for growth. However, while inorganic fertilizers can provide a substantial quantity of nutrients in a short time, organic fertilizers do so in a more natural and slow manner. 

Also, as organic fertilizers decompose, they not only release nutrients but also enhance the structure of the soil and increase its capacity to retain water.

Should I water after organic fertilizer?

If your grass gets liquid fertilizer, wait until it dries before watering, typically for 2-4 hours. However, if the fertilizer is in granular form, it should be immediately watered in.

Furthermore, recommendations for containers may differ, but you should thoroughly water your plants after fertilizing them. Watering the lawn aids in the fertilizer’s activation, breakdown, and the start of nutrient feeding to the grass plants.

What does Epsom salt do for grass?

Epsom salt is an organic molecule rich in minerals that are beneficial to lawns. For instance, the iron in Epsom salt promotes the robust and healthy growth of grass. Moreover, by using Epsom salt on your lawn, you can also raise the soil’s levels of sulfur and magnesium, two nutrients necessary for healthy grass growth.

What are the disadvantages of organic fertilizer?

The major drawback of using organic fertilizer is the chance that it sometimes lacks essential elements like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, or NPK. Moreover, microorganisms are also needed for organic manure to decompose and release nutrients into the soil. So, if they are absent from the soil, organic lawn foods won’t work.

Sources for Further Reading

Organic Lawn Fertilization. (2022). The University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved 31 August 2022, from https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/organic-lawn-fertilization/

Organic Lawn Care | University of Maryland Extension. (2022). Retrieved 31 August 2022, from https://extension.umd.edu/resource/organic-lawn-care

Is organic fertilizer better for lawns? (2020). The University of New Hampshire. Retrieved 31 August 2022, from https://extension.unh.edu/blog/2020/05/organic-fertilizer-better-lawns

Organic Fertilizers for the Garden. (2013). The University of Massachusetts Amherst. Retrieved from, https://ag.umass.edu/home-lawn-garden/fact-sheets/organic-fertilizers-for-garden

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