A thick, green lawn is about as American as apple pie. But what happens if you don’t want to use a bunch of toxic chemicals to achieve your triumphantly plush patch of grass? Chemical synthetic fertilizers will definitely make your grass green, but that temporary growth can come at a cost over the long term. In contrast, the best organic lawn fertilizers use naturally-derived ingredients to “build up” your soil with key nutrients and a diversity of microbes, so that grass roots grow strong, and their tops stay deeply green and healthy — for the long haul.
So what organic lawn fertilizer should you use this year? We’ve rounded up 6 of the best options to get you started, including gentle, odorless, and liquid varieties. Let’s get growing!
Our Top Picks
|Best Overall: Espoma Organic Lawn Booster Fertilizer |
If your lawn needs an effective, nontoxic boost, this Organic Lawn Fertilizer from trusted brand Espoma is just the thing.
|Best Budget: Scotts Natural Lawn Food |
Scotts Natural Lawn Food is the go-to choice for affordable organic lawn care.
|Best Liquid: Urban Farm Liquid Lawn Fertilizer |
If you need an effective lawn fertilizer but want the convenience of a liquid, the Urban Farm Liquid Lawn Fertilizer delivers.
|Best Low-Odor: Purely Organic Lawn Food |
Purely Organic Lawn Food has all the advantages of an effective organic fertilizer, without the one (stinky) disadvantage.
|Best For Sprinkler Systems: Grass So Green All Purpose Blend Fertilizer |
If you have a sprinkler system, Grass So Green is an easy way to boost the health of your yard every time you water.
|Best Gentle: Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Pure Worm Castings |
Wiggle Worm’s Soil Builder Castings will gently nourish your yard or any other plants or vegetables.
A Closer Look: Best Organic Lawn Fertilizers
Now we will dive deeper into each of the 6 options in our list and give you info, specs, and customer feedback to help you make your decision.
1. Espoma Organic Lawn Booster Fertilizer
The overall natural lawn fertilizer
Brand: Espoma | Size: 14-30 lbs | NPK: 9-0-0 | Labels: Certified Organic | Price: 💰💰💰
The Espoma brand comes in first amongst the best organic lawn fertilizer products. (It also tops our best organic tomato fertilizers list.) Like the rest of Espoma’s organic fertilizer line, this nontoxic lawn fertilizer contains a rich array of “Bio-tone” microbes as well as a healthy 9% nitrogen boost. The Organic Lawn Booster also comes in “Fall Winterizer” and “Spring Booster” formulas for more specific seasonal applications.
As with all organic fertilizers, you’ll get the best results by following the directions carefully, watering frequently, and avoiding over-fertilizing.
- Trusted brand
- Safe to use around children and pets
- “Works fast and my lawn looks great!”
- Won’t burn grass, or leach out from soil
- “Makes my lawn more resilient and weed-resistant”
- Strong smell
- Can be messy or dusty
- Dogs are sometimes attracted to fertilizer initially
2. Scotts Natural Lawn Food
The best value organic lawn fertilizer
Brand: Scotts | Size: 29 lbs | NPK: 11-2-2 | Labels: OMRI-listed | Price: 💰
Scotts is a brand traditionally known for their synthetic fertilizer, but they’ve entered the certified organic arena with this all-natural, OMRI-listed Natural Lawn Food. It’s nontoxic, easy to apply, and won’t break the bank.
You can also use Scotts Natural Lawn Food during any season, for any grass type, and either before or after seeding.
- Good value
- Smell fades after a week
- “I have the greenest lawn on my block”
- Easier to apply than some other organic brands
- Marketed for lawns, but also a good all purpose plant food
- Strong smell
- Attracts dogs, and sometimes flies
3. Urban Farm Liquid Lawn Fertilizer
The best organic liquid fertilizer for lawns
Brand: Urban Farm Fertilizer | Size: 1 Gallon | NPK: 13-1-2 | Price: 💰💰
This organic liquid fertilizer provides an instantly accessible source of macro and micronutrients for your lawn, including some less commonly found nutrients like calcium and iron. The liquid formula is quick and convenient, and designed for hose-end application, or garden tank sprayers.
Safe to use around children and pets, this fertilizer utilizes nontoxic ingredients like worm castings and bat guano, and other naturally derived additives like beneficial bacteria, humic acid, enzymes, mycorrhizae, and more.
The Urban Farm Liquid Lawn Fertilizer also gets some of the best organic lawn fertilizer reviews around. Many people even reported seeing improvements overnight.
- Super concentrated
- Small, family run business
- “Works as described and better”
- Good value – 1 gal treats a 5,000 sq ft lawn at least 8 times
- Will burn if not diluted correctly
4. Purely Organic Lawn Food
The best low odor organic lawn fertilizer
Brand: Purely Organic Products | Size: 25 lbs | NPK: 10-0-2 | Price: 💰
There’s one unfortunate drawback you hear about again and again when reading about people’s experiences with the best organic lawn fertilizer products: they may be effective, but they’re also pretty stinky.
That’s where the Purely Organic Lawn Food saves the day. This lawn fertilizer avoids some of the more common organic fertilizer ingredients, like manure or biosolids, and instead utilizes only natural plant ingredients, such as grains and soy. It features a slow-release formula that won’t burn your lawn, and it’s phosphorus-free for those looking for a fertilizer that meets municipal regulations. (Which are meant to protect local waterways, streams and wells.)
- Very effective
- “Magic in a bag”
- Strengthens lawn and helps prevent weeds
- Not only doesn’t smell bad, it smells pleasant
- “Helped to nurse my burnt out lawn back to life”
- Easy to use with a spreader and goes on evenly
- Can be prone to bug contamination
- Doesn’t work as quickly as other fertilizers
5. Grass So Green All Purpose Blend Fertilizer
The best organic lawn fertilizer for sprinkler systems
Brand: American Hydro Systems | Size: 1 Gallon | NPK: 19-0-0 | Price: 💰
If you’re fortunate enough to have an automatic sprinkler system, keeping your lawn thick and lush is super easy with this organic liquid fertilizer.
The Grass So Green formula uses all-natural ingredients to maintain healthy grass with each watering session, without worrying about multiple seasonal applications. Take the guesswork out of fertilizing, while boosting your lawn’s nutrition every time you turn on your sprinkler system.
- Good price
- Easy to apply
- “Results are simply amazing”
- Can be combined with rust preventers
- Can burn grass if not diluted properly
- Not for use outside of a sprinkler system
- Can take a couple of weeks to start noticing effects
6. Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Pure Worm Castings
The best gentle organic fertilizer for lawns
Brand: Unco Industries | Size: 12-30 lbs | NPK: 1-0-0 | Labels: OMRI-listed | Price: 💰💰💰
Worm castings are the product of vermicomposting, and they make for a very versatile and gentle fertilizer. More commonly used as a garden fertilizer, castings can also be used to deliver effective nutrients to your lawn. In addition to fertilizing, worm castings can also help build soil, promote drought tolerance, and increase grass growth.
All you have to do is broadcast or rake this odorless and nontoxic fertilizer across your grass to start reaping the benefits of worm castings.
This Soil Builder is also our pick for best multi-purpose organic fertilizer, as it can be used to fertilize nearly anything, from houseplants to gardens to lawns.
- Good value
- Nontoxic and gentle
- Easy to use and super effective
- Some experienced problems with aphids after use
- Doesn’t “green” grass as dramatically as other fertilizers
What to Look for in an Organic Lawn Fertilizer
Here’s a couple of things you need to consider before making your final decision. We’ve also got a quick list of why you need to switch to all organic lawn care!
Most fertilizers have an NPK Fertilizer Analysis, which is the formula’s ratio of nitrogen(N), phosphorus(P), and potassium(K). Different fertilizers can have very different proportions of NPK, and the ones on our list are formulated especially for lawns and grasses. It’s not unusual for some organic lawn fertilizers to be missing phosphorus (P), as there are some municipalities that have restricted its use (due to the potential for runoff).
All the fertilizers on our list use natural ingredients, some use certified organic ingredients, and some are “OMRI-listed”. OMRI stands for the Organic Materials Review Institute, a nonprofit organization that uses USDA standards to determine whether a product qualifies as organic. If a fertilizer is OMRI-listed, it is free of any chemical or synthetic ingredients, safe around pets and children, and safe to use in organic gardening.
Keep in mind, an absence of certified labels doesn’t always mean a product isn’t organic. Smaller brands often cannot afford the process to maintain organic certification, but still use 100% natural ingredients.
Top 6 Reasons to Care for Your Lawn Organically
The ingredients that make up organic fertilizers are biodegradable, renewable, and don’t present hazards to pets or children.
Organic lawns often require less watering than synthetically-treated lawns.
Organic fertilizers truly feed the soil beneath the grass, rather than giving a short temporary burst of “green” and then leaching nutrition from the soil.
An organic lawn fertilizer will feed your grass slowly, and is less likely to “burn” grass with heavy chemicals or too much nitrogen.
Using a natural fertilizer means doing your part for the environment. Organic fertilizer is biodegradable, while synthetic fertilizer creates salts, minerals and other chemicals that cause runoff and harm our waterways.
Synthetic fertilizers may seem cheaper upfront, but organic fertilizers are an investment in the long term health of your lawn, and may prevent re-seeding or other costly measures in the future.
For this guide on the best organic lawn fertilizers, our team spent 4 hours researching the most popular options from over 50 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read over 150 user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each fertilizer. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 6 organic fertilizers for lawns on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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