Selecting a Lawn Fertilizer

There are four major considerations in selecting a lawn fertilizer:

The Analysis

This indicates the percentage (by weight) of the three major nutrients in a fertilizer: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

First number is NITROGEN (N). It makes grass plants grow and become greener.

Second number is PHOSPHORUS (P). It stimulates root and seedling development.

Third number is POTASSIUM (K), which promotes disease and drought tolerance.

The analysis is printed on the front of every fertilizer package. It tells nothing, however, about the way the fertilizer will perform. Two fertilizers with the same analysis can produce dramatically different results.

The Nitrogen Release-Rate

How fast the nitrogen is released determines not only how fast the grass will green up, but also how much it will grow, how heavy the clippings will be, how much will be wasted by leaching and runoff and how long the results will last.

Lawn grasses require a steady, controlled feeding to produce a thick, green lawn.

The Scotts patented, controlled-release fertilizers deliver just enough quick-release nitrogen to produce a fast greening, while the balance is released gradually, by microbial action in the soil, over a period of approximately eight weeks. As a result, the lawn is fed continuously, so there is a constant supply of nitrogen for the grass plants.

Other slow release fertilizers often use other coated particle technologies, such as coating nitrogen with sulfur or another material. The nitrogen is then released as the coating dissolves, without the controlled, slow release that is patented by Scotts.

Granule Content

Most fertilizers supply the three basic nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) in separate granules which are of different sizes and shapes. The Scotts patented All-In-One Particle Technology combines the proper ratio of timed-release nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium into every particle, so each grass plant gets exactly what it needs to thrive, and every inch of the lawn is fed exactly the same. Scotts granules give better coverage during spreading with more particles per square inch than ordinary brands. Better coverage means a consistent, even feeding for excellent results.


The most important of all the ways to compare fertilizers is to see for yourself. Try this test on your own lawn. Spread Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Fertilizer on half of your lawn. Use any other fertilizer on the other half, and witness for yourself the amazing difference in results.