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Do you have a yard that needs some love? There are few things more satisfying than having a lush, green lawn. The only problem is the amount of work required to maintain it!
Liquid fertilizer is one way to get your lawn looking its best without all the hard work. It adds nutrients and stimulates growth in your grass so that it stays thick and healthy for much longer. With the use of one of the best liquid fertilizers, roots develop better so they don’t dry out in the summer heat.
This article will discuss why fertilizer may be needed, how liquid fertilizers help with growing healthy grass, when they should be applied, and we’ll reveal our top choices when it comes to choosing a liquid fertilizer, based on testing, data, and research.
Liquid fertilizers are one of the best and easy ways to keep lawns healthy and vibrant. The top liquid fertilizers contain a high concentration of nitrogen, a critical component for healthy soil.
What is a Liquid Fertilizer?
Liquid fertilizers are liquid concentrates, made from a mixture of various chemical compounds and other substances. They can be mixed with water or sprayed onto the ground to deliver nutrients that plants need for growth.
In some cases, these chemicals may have been extracted directly from natural sources such as animal manures or seaweed. The fertilizer is then applied in smaller amounts over a larger area than would be possible if traditional granular forms were used; this means greater coverage rates, and it often winds up being cheaper.
Liquid fertilizers often appear more expensive than regular synthetic fertilizers, but they’re worth it because you’ll get much better results by applying them correctly – often at lower quantities per application. In the end, liquid fertilizer often winds up being less expensive because of the concentration and the coverage.
Liquid fertilizers are usually applied in one of two ways:
- With a container that is attached to the end of a hose
- Through a sprayer (after being mixed with water)
See our list of the best garden sprayers if you’re looking to buy one.
Advantages of Using Liquid Lawn Fertilizers
There are several different types of lawn fertilizers to choose from, but liquid fertilizers have a few advantages over some of the other options.
- Ease of Use – You can attach the fertilizer can with a distribution hose easily and start fertilizing the lawn immediately. It is just as easy as watering a lawn. It’s a quicker way to add nutrients to your lawn when compared to granular fertilizers. Liquid fertilizers are easy to handle and transport, even when their container isn’t attached to a hose. There’s no need for bags of fertilizer or messy sacks – it’s all contained in one bottle or sprayer.
- Long-Lasting – Because liquid fertilizers contain more concentrated nutrients, your container will last longer than other options such as granular fertilizer or seed treatment.
- Even Distribution – They can be distributed evenly in a given area. The hose attached to the liquid fertilizer bottle ensures an even spray in uniform amounts. All parts of a lawn can be treated evenly.
- Work Quickly – As the concentrated liquids impact both the roots and the surface, they get absorbed much quicker than granular fertilizer, showing results very quickly. Liquid can be applied to the foliage or the ground, and it results in faster absorption of the food needed by your lawn.
- Versatile – Most liquid fertilizers are to be diluted before use. So, the concentration can be diluted with water according to your requirements. To maintain a soil structure and with individualized care, liquid fertilizer can be diluted as per the particular needs making it more versatile.
- Can be Blended with Other Nutrients – Liquid fertilizer can be easily mixed with other variants to make a mixture of your choice. You can choose different fertilizer variants to mix with liquid fertilizer and get a concentrate best suited for your lawn. This will help to get the right amount of essential nutrients your yard requires.
- Low Cost – Most liquid fertilizers are available as high concentrate solutions. So, you get more quantity out of a small bottle, saving your money. It is also much easier to store compared to big, bulky bags.
Whether you have a thick green lawn and you’re looking to maintain it, or if your lawn is struggling and needs some help, liquid fertilizer is a good choice.
When Should Liquid Fertilizer Be Applied to a Lawn?
The best liquid fertilizers should be applied in the spring and fall, however, it may not always be necessary depending on your lawn’s condition and the health of the lawn. You should apply fertilizer if your grass is thin and struggling or if you expect harsh weather conditions to be coming.
In the spring, fertilize to provide nutrients needed for root development, which will help thicken turf and prevent weed competition.
In the fall, fertilizers should be applied when cool-season grasses are starting to go dormant so it can provide early-season protection against winter damage from cold weather. In warmer climates and in periods of drought, liquid fertilizers may need additional applications throughout the year.
How to Choose the Best Liquid Lawn Fertilizer for Your Lawn?
There are a lot of choices available when you’re looking for the best liquid lawn fertilizer. Let’s take a look at some of the factors to consider:
- How big is your lawn? Make sure you purchase a container large enough to cover your lawn. The size of your lawn may also impact whether you want a liquid fertilizer or another type of fertilizer. With liquid, you’ll need to be able to reach everywhere with a hose, or you’ll need a sprayer.
- Do you have the necessary types of equipment to apply liquid fertilizer? In most cases, all you’ll need is a hose. However, you’ll need a sprayer if you want to treat a large lawn that you can’t reach with the hose. If you don’t have a sprayer, be sure to choose a product that is attached to the hose.
- Do you have weed issues? Some fertilizers also include weed killers. You’ll need to decide if this is important to you.
- When will you apply it? Some fertilizers are made to be applied at specific times of the year, like spring or fall.
The Best Liquid Fertilizers
Our top-rated fertilizer is made by Scotts, a household name in the industry. This liquid turf builder not only feeds your lawn, but it also works to kill weeds like dandelions, buckhorn, chickweed, clover, pigweed, poison ivy, and more. It contains plenty of nitrogen, which is a key ingredient. The weed killer will be most effective if you spray when weeds are active. Weeds will begin to die off in just a few days.
Related: The Best Dandelion Killers for Lawns
This product will can fertilize your lawn in 24 hours, giving you the quick results you’re looking for. Best of all, it’s available in a ready-to-use bottle with a sprayer nozzle and is attached to a garden hose. After applying the fertilizer, continue to rinse the lawn briefly with just water. That’s about as simple as it gets.
The only downside to this product is that since it attaches to a hose, you can only apply it to areas of your yard that can be reached with a hose. Technically, you could put it in a sprayer, dilute it, and apply it with the sprayer. But if that’s what you’re going to do, you’re probably better off with a product that is packaged to be used with a sprayer.
Our second choice is another product from Scotts. Unlike the one we have ranked as the best liquid fertilizer, this product does not kill weeds — it’s strictly a fertilizer. However, if you’re not having issues with weeds, or if you’re using a separate weed killer, this product is perfectly designed to suit your needs.
Scotts Liquid Turf Builder can deliver nutrients with the help of a hose attachment, making it extremely convenient for most homeowners. Just connect the hose to the bottle and activate the trigger to use the fertilizer.
Prepared with a 29-0-3 nutrient ratio, it is designed to be used in any season, making it extremely versatile (although it should be applied when the grass is actively growing). Scotts recommends applying during early spring, late spring, early fall, and late fall.
The addition of a greening agent in the concentrate helps make your lawn greener and more beautiful, in addition to simply being more healthy.
The fertilizer bottle is easy to work with as it has a simple on/off lever on the top to be controlled with a thumb. This lever controls the water flow to use the fertilizer ratio accordingly, so you don’t have to worry about the proper dilution.
Like the previous product, the only real downside is that you must be able to reach all areas of your lawn with a hose in order to use Scotts Liquid Turf Builder. We have it rated behind Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control because it does not kill weeds.
If you’re looking for a natural product, Dr. Earth Super Natural Liquid Lawn Fertilizer promises to improve the health of both soil and grass with its formula. It’s a 100% sustainable fertilizer (create with recycled grocery produce, fish, and meat), which sets it apart from Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control and Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Lawn Food. Results can be seen in 7-10 days and this product is entirely safe for children and pets, which is important for many families.
A bio-stimulant technology makes this product stand apart from other variants of fertilizers. This technique allows more substantial root growth, with an increase in resistance to heavy rains and drought conditions, and leads to a green and vibrant lawn.
Dr. Super Natural Liquid Lawn Fertilizer can be used any time of the year and on warm and cool-season lawns. It’s also ideal for use on new lawns and sod, which can be more sensitive.
Like the Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control and Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Lawn Food, this product can only be applied to areas that can be reached with a hose (unless you dilute it and use it with a sprayer).
If for some reason you decide not to go with one of our top three rated products, this product from EZ-Gro is another excellent choice. This one can be used on lawns, in addition to gardens and other plants and shrubs. The versatility makes it an excellent choice, especially for homeowners that have a garden.
As a 20-20-20 product, it contains equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It also includes micronutrients that promote growth.
Unlike the first three products we covered, this one does not come in a container that attaches to a hose. For this reason, it’s less convenient for application on a small lawn and more ideal if you plan to apply it with a sprayer. Since you’ll need to mix it with water for dilution, it comes with a free measuring cup to make sure you get the appropriate amount.
Triple 10 All Purpose Liquid Fertilizer is a high-quality general purpose liquid fertilizer that’s perfect for all stages of plant growth. It contains Amino Acids (5.5%) & Seaweed Extract, which provide the essential nutrients plants need to maximize their growth potential. This generic liquid fertilizer is designed for use on flowers, fruits, vegetables, and turf grasses.
This highly concentrated, water-soluble fertilizer contains essential macro and micro-nutrients needed by grass and plants to grow healthy and strong. It can be used in your yard, on garden plants, and even on indoor plants.
The container does not attach to a hose, so you’ll need to mix and dilute it with water.
Southern Ag Chelated Liquid Iron is not a fertilizer, but it will improve your lawn by giving you a deep, rich green color. In addition to lawns, this product can also be used on gardens and other plants. The container does not attach to a hose, so you’ll need to mix it with water and apply it with a sprayer. Because it’s highly concentrated, it can last quite a while. And since it will need to be applied with a sprayer, it’s best suited for use on large yards.
The last three products we’ll cover are all from Simple Lawn Solutions. This brand is not as well known as Scotts, but it’s still an effective choice. This lawn energizer comes in a large gallon container, making it suitable for large lawns or commercial use.
You’ll need to mix this product with water and apply it with a sprayer. It also comes in a smaller 32-ounce container that can be attached to a hose, just like the Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control and Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Lawn Food. It includes iron, nitrogen, and a micronutrient blend. You can use it on all grass types.
This product from Simple Lawn Solutions uses a nitrogen and potassium blend with humic acid for a healthy lawn. The result is a beautiful green, thick lawn. It can be used on all grass types.
Like the previous product from Simple Lawn Solutions, this one is available in different sizes, including a 32-ounce container. The 32-ounce bottle conveniently attaches to your hose, just like the Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control and Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Lawn Food.
This growth booster from Simple Lawn Solutions promotes vertical and lateral growth. It is ideal for recently-planted lawns or for new sod.
Like the other products from Simple Lawn Solutions, it can be used on any type of grass and comes in containers of different sizes, including a 32-ounce bottle that attaches to a hose.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know My Garden Requires Fertilization?
Most lawns could benefit from an application of fertilizer twice per year (spring and fall). However, fertilizer is especially important if you notice signs like sparse growth, thinning patches and dead blades.
Many people notice their yard is getting sparse in places where they didn’t know there was any problem. You may also see an area where your grass looks duller than other parts of your lawn. Patches can become dry or brittle with no signs of new life emerging from below ground level.
If you don’t apply anything, then these areas will just get worse – until eventually, the grass dies.
What Ratio is to be Used While Applying a Liquid Fertilizer?
The correct ratio depends on the specific product you’re using. Different products will have different ideal ratios. Be sure to check the instructions on the packaging or label.
How Long Does Liquid Fertilizer Last?
Different products will last for various lengths of time. Generally, two applications per year is sufficient for most lawns but lawns that are struggling or more stressed due to extreme weather may need three or four applications per year.
When Should I Spray Fertilizers?
Fertilizer should be applied early in the spring before grass and plants start growing and again late in the fall before browning. You can apply in between as needed, but generally not more than four times per year.
Liquid lawn fertilizers are quick and straightforward and effective for small and large yards. Most of these products act fast, giving you excellent results. They’re also extremely convenient since you can apply them with a hose or a sprayer.
When you use the best liquid fertilizer, you’ll get a beautiful, healthy lawn without the need to spend countless hours on maintenance.
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