If you’re interested in a more environmentally and family-friendly approach to lawn care, our choice for the best organic lawn fertilizer should be in your cart. Not only do they carry dozens of different fertilizer packs, they even use satellite imagery and regional information to give you a custom lawn plan.
We’ve also included other organic lawn fertilizers and a buyer’s guide, giving you more options and all the information you’ll need to pick the exact right product for your lawn.
Let’s get started!
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Our Top Pick
Best Organic Lawn Fertilizer
Sunday Lawn Fertilizer
Sunday Lawn Fertilizer takes organic lawn care to a brand new level! You’ll get the best fertilizers for your climate, soil type, and specific needs.
Get $20 Off With Coupon Code EHG20
All you have to do is visit their website, enter your address, and Sunday does the rest. They’ll calculate how much product you need and what products are best based on your area.
A few days later, your first round of products will arrive on your doorstep.
|Product||Details||Where to Buy|
|NPK ratio: customized for your lawn|
Coverage: 3,000 sq ft per pack
Coupon Code: $20 Off with 'EHG20'
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Scotts Natural Lawn Food
|NPK ratio: 11-2-2|
Coverage: 4,000 sq ft per bag
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|NPK ratio: 8-0-0|
Coverage: 5,000 sq ft per bag
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|NPK ratio: 5-2-0|
Coverage: about 1,000 sq ft per bag
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|NPK ratio: 9-0-2|
Coverage: 6,250 sq ft
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|NPK ratio: micronutrients only|
Coverage: over 3,200 sq ft
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|NPK ratio: 19-0-3|
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Organic Lawn Fertilizer Reviews
When it comes to organic fertilizer products, you have a lot of options. Some are tailored to specific times of the year or formulated to treat certain issues, while others are more general use and can help revive your garden and your lawn.
In our review, we chose a variety of high-quality products so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
Sunday Lawn Fertilizer
Save $20 with Coupon Code ‘EHG20’
- Highly customizable
- No-hassle maintenance schedule
- Natural and safe ingredients
- Free soil test
Sunday Lawn Care is our top pick of the best organic lawn fertilizer. They offer 16 different lawn fertilizers, each made to combat specific issues and replenish certain nutrients.
Some of their more specialized products include a Pet Patch treatment, Winter Prep, and Heat Defense. Their most popular product is Grass Machine, an all-around fertilizer for mature lawns. It contains a nutrient ratio of 15-0-3.
The lack of phosphorus makes this a safer product for local waterways. If your lawn is brand new or your soil lacks phosphorus, they also offer a Lawn Starter product with a nutrient ratio of 8-16-8.
Each product’s ingredient makeup differs, but most contain a hybrid of natural ingredients, such as kelp and molasses, and synthetic macro compounds like urea. This combination of ingredients assures maximum nutrient absorption without disrupting the natural ecosystem of healthy soil.
When you should apply these products and what grass types they work best for, Sunday does all the work for you.
Once you enter your address on their website and answer a few questions, they will put together a customizable plan for you. Your shipments will be timed for your region’s optimal lawn maintenance schedule and the products perfectly tailored to your climate, soil type, and the age of your lawn.
If you’re searching for an effective, no-hassle lawn fertilizer that is safe for your family and the environment, you’ve found it with Sunday.
You can read our hands on, in depth review of Sunday lawn care with before and after photos here.
Save $20 with Coupon Code ‘EHG20’
Scotts Natural Lawn Food
- All-natural ingredients
- Safe and easy to use
- Full-spectrum nutrient ratio
If you’re looking for a truly all-natural fertilizer to keep your lawn looking great, this simple formula from Scotts is the place to start.
This granulated fertilizer contains only natural, animal-based ingredients, including feather meal, meat meal, and blood meal. It has a nutrient ratio of 11-2-2, making it a good choice for lawns that are still maturing and for areas that are unusually low in phosphorus.
The company recommends using the product four times per year, with at least six weeks between applications. An application in mid-spring, early summer, early fall, and before winter will have the most significant benefit in most climates. Bahiagrass and centipede grass will do better with half as many feedings.
Because most mature lawns do not need extra phosphorus, we’d recommend switching to a zero phosphorus fertilizer once your lawn is well established. This will save you money while avoiding an unnecessary buildup of excess nutrients that are likely to get washed down the storm drain.
Scotts Natural is safe for pets and children because of its natural, whole-source animal ingredients. Plus, it is less likely than chemical types to contribute to waterway pollution. It does have a very distinct fertilizer odor compared to others on this list, but this dissipates after a few days.
Most people think about fertilizing their lawn in spring in hopes of giving their grass a boost after the long winter. Selecting a fertilizer tailored explicitly for this purpose can provide you better results than a general fertilizer. For those spring feeds, we recommend Espoma Lawn Booster.
This organic and natural fertilizer is made with a combination of manure and feather meal to deliver a wide range of nutrients and a boost of extra calcium. This lesser discussed nutrient is essential for nutrient absorption and can be especially helpful in spring to get your grass greening up quicker.
This lawn booster has a nutrient ratio of 8-0-0. This super-boost of nitrogen will encourage mature lawns’ robust growth but is not well suited for immature or freshly sodded yards.
Users report a strong but expected manure-like smell with this product, but it dissipates quickly, especially after watering.
Espoma Lawn Boost is meant to be used in early spring. For additional fertilizer applications later in the year, you’ll want to look to some of the other great products we’ve reviewed here.
Are you after an all-purpose fertilizer that you can use year-round for your shrubs and flowers as well as your lawn? Milorganite Organic Fertilizer may be all you need.
Milorganite has been around for over 90 years and is one of the best-known natural fertilizers. This unique product is made only by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. As you’ve probably guessed, its main ingredient is recycled human waste.
Before you turn your nose up at this fertilizer, processing human wastewater with certain microorganisms produces an incredibly nutrient-dense and effective fertilizer. It also produces a finished product that is 100% safe and pathogen-free–even more so than animal manure.
And creating this fertilizer is a necessary step to purify wastewater to return it to Lake Michigan. This means your dollar is doing double duty to help the environment when you choose this product.
It doesn’t get much greener than that!
Milorganite has a nutrient ratio of 6-4-0, making it an excellent fertilizer for immature lawns and gardens. The high nitrogen and phosphorus levels encourage rapid, robust root growth. But due to the lack of potassium, this would not be the best fertilizer to use before winter or in areas affected by lawn pests and diseases.
Safer Brand has been making family and Earth-friendly fertilizer products for years. Their Lawn Restore fertilizer continues this trend while adding specialized care for mature lawns needing a bit of help.
This fertilizer has a nutrient ratio of 9-0-2. That high nitrogen mark supports sustained, healthy growth and helps turn dull, yellowed grass back to a deep green. And because it is phosphorus-free, you don’t have to worry about adding to waterway pollution.
It’s a mix of fast-release nitrogen and slow-release nitrogen in the form of chicken manure. The former allows you to see results as soon as three days after the first application. Meanwhile, the latter keeps your lawn healthy and green for months.
You can apply this organic lawn fertilizer any time of year. It is an excellent choice for fall application to give your lawn plenty of nutrients and healthy soil to start on in the spring.
The new recipe is reported to have more of an odor than the original, and there is still some question as to what ingredients may have changed. But if it is anything like the original, it will provide everything your lawn needs to thrive.
Not even the best fertilizers contain everything your lawn needs to thrive. Most focus on nitrogen levels and don’t have all the micronutrients your lawn and soil need. Adding a supplemental product like this Micronutrient Booster can help your lawn reach its full potential.
This liquid fertilizer does not contain any nitrogen or other common macronutrients. Instead, it is loaded with chelated iron, sulfur, zinc, magnesium, and manganese. By dosing your lawn with this in addition to one of the other fertilizers listed here, you can better help support the microsystem living in the soil.
This means more robust, disease-resistant grass and a reduced need for fertilizing year to year.
You can apply Micronutrient Boost any time of year. It works great not just for lawns but also for flower gardens, trees, shrubs, and vegetables.
Late fall isn’t the only time of year your lawn will benefit from targeted nutrition. In hot climates, a special application of high-nitrogen fertilizer in late spring can help protect your lawn from heat and drought. Natural Alternative Late Spring fertilizer does just that.
With a nutrient ratio of 19-0-3, this fertilizer has the highest nitrogen percentage on our list at 19%. This huge nitrogen boost helps plants stay green and strong even through hot and dry summers. And the added 3% potassium gives your grass added protection from the stresses summer can cause.
Using this high nitrogen fertilizer multiple times throughout the year would be overkill (and a little tough on the wallet). But if your lawn often suffers from yellowing and die-back in the summer, it is worth picking up for that single yearly application.
Synthetic/Chemical vs. Organic Fertilizer – What’s the difference?
If you care about protecting your family and the environment, you’re probably naturally drawn to organic fertilizers and other lawn products. But do you know what makes organic products different from traditional methods?
We’ve put together this handy table to help you understand where organic products differ from chemical and synthetic types. In most cases, these differences make organic products better, but there are some less than desirable traits that need to be understood.
|Feature||Organic Fertilizer||Synthetic/Chemical Fertilizer|
|Ingredients||Compost, natural animal products, and/or treated sewage||Highly dense synthetic nutrients created in a lab|
Lower with sustained release
|Higher with instant release|
|Safety for people and pets||Safe to play on lawn immediately after application||Safe to play on lawn only 48 to 72 hours after application|
|Adverse health effects||None when used properly||Illness in infants and a wide range of cancers|
|Environmental risks||Less likely to run-off into water supplies; increases health of soil||Large contributor to polluted waterways; contributes to the greenhouse effect|
|Long-term health of lawn||Supports and elevates a healthy biosystem in soil and lawn||Kills friendly microbes necessary for long-term soil and lawn health|
|Short-term risk to lawn||Nutrients are released slowly, so effects will take time to appear||Must be applied carefully and in lower amounts to avoid burning the lawn|
|Price tag||More expensive than traditional fertilizer||Fairly cheap|
What Is Organic Fertilizer Made of?
While organic fertilizer may take longer to start working and cost you a little more than chemical types, it is clear that these products, overall, are worth the investment.
But it is important to remember that not all organic fertilizers are made equal.
When it comes to what goes into your bag of organic fertilizer, there are three essential ingredients. Some fertilizers contain a mix of all, while some only contain one or two. And each has its own pros and cons when it comes to how it will affect your lawn.
Humans have been using animal products to fertilize their crops for millennia. The most common type used in this way is manure—usually cow, chicken, or horse. Manure also contains plenty of good bacteria and enzymes to help enrich overall soil health.
But manure isn’t the only animal product you’ll find in organic fertilizers. Some can include bone, blood, feather meals, and other ground animal parts leftover at slaughterhouses. This organic lawn fertilizer also contains a wealth of naturally occurring nutrients and enzymes but in a less vegetarian-friendly package.
One of the major downsides to animal-based fertilizers is the smell. Not only will these leave your yard a bit stinky for a few days, but they can attract wildlife and bugs. Your pets are also likely to take an interest in the lawn after an application and may need to be watched carefully.
Plant-based fertilizers are made with traditional compost material or specialized formulations that contain industry by-products such as paper or banana peels. For traditional types, fruit and vegetable scraps, lawn clippings, dead leaves, and similar items are mulched and decomposed to create these fertilizers’ base.
Because these ingredients undergo natural decomposition, they are loaded with naturally occurring nutrients, essential microbes, and healthy enzymes that will give your soil a considerable boost.
Believe it or not, some organic fertilizers contain treated human sewage. While this might sound disgusting on the surface, these types don’t differ all that much from manure-based fertilizers. They contain many naturally occurring nutrients, microbes, and enzymes and have the added bonus of giving a waste product new life.
The sewage in these products has been treated to the point that it is safe to handle and poses none of the risks of handling raw sewage. Though, it is worth noting that the USDA does not allow the use of treated sewage fertilizers in organic commercial crop farming due to the high levels of metals, pharmaceuticals, and hormones found in human excrement.
If you are wary of using this type of fertilizer on your lawn, stay away from products that list “biosolids” on the ingredients list.
Organic Fertilizer Buying Guide
Organic fertilizers are a great alternative to chemical methods for reviving dead grass, reinvigorating dull lawn, and general yard upkeep.
To get the most out of your new organic fertilizer, we’ve put together this handy buyer’s guide, so you know what to look for, when to use it, and how to prep your grass to receive the most benefits.
NPK – Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium
Anytime you talk about lawn fertilizer, the term “NPK” is likely to come up. This acronym stands for nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium – the three most essential nutrients for lawn health. They appear in varying amounts in each product.
- Nitrogen is vital for slow, sustained growth and key to helping your lawn retain that brilliant green color. Because of this, it usually has the highest concentration compared to the other two nutrients.
- Phosphorus is most crucial for newly seeded or sodded lawns because it encourages strong root development. Without phosphorus, unestablished lawns will grow very slowly. This nutrient is less necessary to mature lawns and may or may not be present in your fertilizer. Phosphorus is also one of the biggest contributors to waterway pollution, and its use is restricted in certain regions.
- Potassium is beneficial for nutrient absorption and protection. It helps your lawn stand up to the cold, drought, and various diseases. It is also crucial for nitrogen and phosphorus absorption. This nutrient is typically present in all fertilizers at lower concentrations than nitrogen.
The amount of each of the above nutrients will be given in the format N-P-K.
If a bag is labeled with “10-2-5,” it contains 10% nitrogen, 2% phosphorus, and 5% potassium. The remaining 83% of the material is made up of organic matter, much of which will aid in the breakdown of these nutrients and the long-term health of your lawn.
Applying Your Fertilizer
Organic fertilizers like Revive come in various forms, including granules, pellets, and liquid.
Granules and pellets can be spread by hand or with a fertilizer spreader. Because organic fertilizer will not burn grass, there is little risk of doing it by hand, even if it is over-applied. Though, it will take some work, especially if you have a large yard.
If this is the case, investing in a handheld or rolling fertilizer spreader may be worth it. Not only do these devices allow for an even application, but they make the process much simpler. Check out our reviews of the best fertilizer spreaders for more information.
Liquid fertilizers only require a hose for application. These types typically come in a container that is attached to the end of your garden hose. Some products are made in different concentrations, while others are pre-set for the perfect application. As the water moves through the hose, the correct amount of fertilizer liquid is forced out.
Use sweeping motions to cover each area of your lawn. It will be more challenging to get an even application with a liquid type, but the process will not take as long as spreading granules.
Is Your Lawn Ready for Fertilizer?
When using organic fertilizers, it is crucial to apply BEFORE it is really needed. Unlike traditional fertilizers, which start acting immediately, organic fertilizers take time to break down and absorb. If you wait until your lawn is already spotty and yellow, you’ll have to live with it that way for a while longer.
The best time to apply lawn fertilizer is in the fall. Not only will these nutrients help protect your lawn over winter, but they will set your soil up for rapid growth in the spring. Fertilizing in spring is a good idea too, but it will take more time to absorb because the soil will be colder and less active.
Not all fertilizers are suitable for all-year-round use. Be sure to check the directions included with the product for the best results.
Timing isn’t the only thing you need to consider before applying your fertilizer. Here are a few more things you can do to ensure your lawn receives the maximum benefit from your fertilizer application.
- Consider a soil test – A simple soil test can tell you what nutrients your lawn is already lacking so you can buy the fertilizer that will give the most significant benefit. You can purchase these tests from Amazon or at your local nursery.
- Mow – Short grass allows topically applied nutrients to reach the soil faster, so mow your lawn to about 2 inches high before application.
- Dethatch – Going over your lawn with a sturdy rake will help break up “pads” of grass to allow better nutrient penetration to the soil.
- Aerate – Aerating your lawn is another excellent way to guarantee the fertilizer finds its way into the soil rather than just running down your sidewalk.
Once your lawn is ready, it’s time to apply your fertilizer!
If you are applying liquid fertilizer, try to time your application for a dry spell. This will ensure your product has time to absorb before any heavy downpours threaten to wash it away.
For dry fertilizers, you’ll want to water soon after application to help dissolve the pellets and push the nutrients down toward the soil. Just be sure not to over-water. If water is running down your sidewalk afterward, you can be sure much of your fertilizer is too!
The Wrap Up
We are excited to see more and more natural and organic fertilizers hit the market each year. But even among such a vast, growing selection, it was easy for us to pick the best organic lawn fertilizer.
Sunday Lawn Care offers the widest selection of natural, Earth, and family-friendly fertilizers of any company. With their subscription service, you can find the perfect fertilizer to help your lawn look its best, whether it is brand new, decades-old, or suffering from specific deficiencies.
Their line of products is soil-health focused and designed for customized use all year long. And all of this customization is available with minimal effort on your part.
If you are after something that’s more of all-purpose fertilizer, we recommend Milorganite Organic Fertilizer or Scotts Natural Lawn Food. Both contain only safe, natural ingredients and are packed with soil-healing microbes.
Whichever of the above fertilizers you choose, you can feel confident that you’ve made the safe choice for your lawn, your family, and the planet.