THE BEST Organic Fertilizers for Lawns

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Written By: Mark Marino

a Massachusetts Core Applicator License holder and owner/operator of Lawn Phix,

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My favorite organic fertilizer is 10-0-1 Organic Lawn Food by Jonathan Green—sulfate of potash (SOP), slow-release nitrogen from feather meal and soybean meal, plus iron. Lawn Food also contains sulfur and calcium, which makes for a beneficial filler for the turf. What’s not to like? I use this mainly in my backyard, where my kids and dogs play, and the turf looks great. But this 10-0-1 also makes for a nice non-burning option for warmer summer months when you don’t want to push a lot of top growth. This is my favorite non-grass seed product by Jonathan Green.

When many people think of fertilizer, the synthetic fertilizer type is the only type that comes to mind. You know, the chemical fertilizers packed with potentially harsh chemicals facilitate green grass, but possibly at the expense of the environment.

The good news is that you have options beyond this synthetic, conventional lawn fertilizer when it comes to treating your lawn grass – and organic lawn fertilizer, including Milorganite Alternatives, just so happens to be one of them.

The organic lawn fertilizer product category has really exploded over the past few years as home and property owners have become more serious about environmentally friendly lawn care. In this post, we’ll look at everything you need to know about organic lawn fertilizer – from liquid fertilizer to chemical fertilizer – to help you get a lush lawn. We’ll also cover the best organic lawn fertilizer and what to look for as you plan out your organic lawn care program.

Here’s my list of best fertilizers and lawn food for organic lawn care:

1. Jonathan Green 10-0-1


Jonathan Green is my personal organic fertilizer favorite. It is entirely organic and packed with nutrients to feed the turf gently. It contains granules that are homogenous and easy to spread. In addition, Jonathan Green has food-grade organics such as feather meal, soybean meal, and blood meal. It can be used on new or established lawns and is safe to use in yards for kids and pets when properly applied.


  • One application feeds turf for 10 weeks
  • Does not burn grass


  • Takes time to break down for absorption 

Compare prices of Jonathan Green’s Organic Lawn Food on their website, Yard Mastery, and Amazon.

2. Espoma Organic Lawn Food

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Espoma Organic Lawn Food is one of the best organic fertilizers for every season. This lawn food is safe for the environment, children, and pets. Espoma contains a unique formation of Bio-Tone microbes and non-staining iron. Espoma Organic Lawn Food turns yellow lawns into a vibrant green color. Use of this environmentally friendly food reduces the number of times you cut your grass


  • One bag covers up to 5,000 square feet
  • Improves soil and deepens roots


  • Contains a small amount of nitrogen

3. Anugreen 16-0-2 Fertilizer


Anugreen Fertilizer is a high nitrogen lawn fertilizer that contains a special formula to instantly give grass a deep green color. This formula lasts as long as eight weeks. This fertilizer has slowly and immediately releases nutrients to your grass to improve it immediately but continues to feed it over the long term. Anugreen Fertilizer has nitrogen, potash, sulfur, and iron. 


  • Contains recycled and renewable organic material 
  • It is USDA certified


  • Mainly for cool season grass only

4. Safer Brand Ringer Lawn Restore


Safer Lawn Restore Fertilizer is easy to use and gives your lawn the necessary nutrients to grow thick and lush. This is an organic nitrogen formula that creates a healthy root system while promoting quick growth. It can help a thinning lawn and mitigate any stressful conditions. You can use your hands or fertilizer spreaders for application. Also safe to use in yards with kids and pets.


  • Ideal for lawns under environmental stress
  • Improved formula provides 25% more coverage


  • Not all states allow use before March 15

5. Innova 7-1-2


Innova 7-1-2 is one of the best organic lawn fertilizer options available. It is friendly for children, pets, and the environment, including waterways. Innova 7-1-2 is completely derived from plants. It contains amino acids, potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. Innova 7-1-2 is ideal for all climates and types of grass. 


  • Do not contain biosolids, manure, composted waste products, or animal parts
  • Slow release formula prevents over applying 


  • May cause an infestation of mites

6. Purely Organic Lawn Food


Purely Organic Lawn Food does not have any harsh ingredients, manure, or biosolids. Purely organic lawn food contains soybean meal and other organic materials that make your grass green and strengthen your root system. It does not contain any dangerous chemicals and is safe for children and pets.


  • Lasts for as long as eight weeks
  • It can be an all season lawn food
  • Does not have an unpleasant odor


  • Must use water to activate the fertilizer

7. Milorganite Organic Lawn Fertilizer


Milorganite Organic Lawn Fertilizer is great organic lawn care because it is friendly to the environment and encourages the growth of trees, flowers, shrubs, as well as grass. It will feed your lawn for up to three months with one application. In addition, it helps strengthen root development. One bag covers 2,500 square feet. If you are not sure about Milorganite, check out Milorganite Alternatives.


  • Includes slow releasing nitrogen
  • Will not burn your grass


  • May have an unpleasant odor

8. Scotts Natural Lawn Food

Scotts Natural Lawn Food - Organic Lawn Fertilizer - Scotts

Scotts Natural Lawn Food help create a green lawn that is lush and thick. You can walk on the grass immediately after application. It is safe for children and pets. Scotts Natural Lawn Food is great for new or existing laws. It helps protect your grass from environmental stress like weather and weeds. 


  • Ideal for any grass type in any season


  • Must use a fertilizer spreader for best results 

The Basics of Organic Lawn Fertilizers

The purpose of any type of fertilizer is to feed your lawn to promote healthy grassroots and, ideally, control weed growth. It’s what any type of lawn fertilizer is meant to do, and an organic, natural lawn fertilizer is no exception.

The best organic lawn fertilizers use naturally occurring mineral deposits like bone meal, composted waste, food waste, and other types of organic matter to create control weeds and help facilitate a green lawn. Most organic lawn fertilizers also do a good job of stimulating soil microbes and helping the soil pH so that all the nutrients can aid in plant growth and help your flower beds as well.

What’s more, most organic fertilizers are slow-release, meaning they’ll feed your lawn for longer. As a result, the NPK, or Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium makeup, of organic fertilizers is typically a bit lower than most synthetic fertilizers. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just means that organic tends to be a slow-release fertilizer that works harder for longer on your lawn.

Organic Fertilizers vs. Conventional Fertilizers: What You Need to Know

The big difference between organic lawn fertilizer and conventional mixes is largely makeup. While slow-release organic fertilizer tends to be comprised of natural ingredients, synthetic fertilizers are created via manually processing raw materials.

But there are many more differences between organic and synthetic fertilizers, such as:

  • Organic fertilizers work to feed not just the plant and the grass, but the soil as well. In other words, organic fertilizers promote healthy soil and lush lawns. Just do a before and after soil test and see the difference for yourself. Conventional fertilizers tend to just feed the grass and plants.
  • Organic fertilizers won’t just help feed your lawn immediately, but they’re also safe for pets and children, and safe for the environment.
  • Unlike with conventional fertilizer, if you inadvertently over-apply organic lawn fertilizer, you’re likely not going to damage the lawn. When you use conventional fertilizers, failure to spread over the lawn evenly can lead to a burned lawn.
  • When you apply the best organic lawn fertilizer types, you’ll actually find that you have to apply less overall fertilizer because natural ingredients work harder for longer compared to synthetic chemicals.

In addition to the ability of organic fertilizer’s ability to help you maintain a green yard, it’s worth noting that you’re able to generally treat the same amount of square feet as you would with a bag of conventional fertilizer. You can purchase bags of natural fertilizer from your local garden center that can treat up to 5,000 square feet or more of cool-season grasses, bermudagrass, and more.

It’s even available in larger quantities for treating golf courses.

Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer for a Healthy Lawn

One of the nice things about organic fertilizer compared to chemical fertilizers is that they feed for longer and help promote a green, more uniform-looking lawn. This means the time you spend on lawn care will decrease so that you can do other things, like enjoy your yard.

Organic Compost for a Greener Lawn

What is the best organic fertilizer for lawns?

There are brands that would fall into the best organic lawn fertilizer category, from pasteurized poultry manure to purely organic lawn food to other brands.

When should I apply an organic fertilizer to my lawn?

The best organic lawn fertilizer brands have different mixes for different times of the year. Suggested application is typically in the early spring, late spring, summer, and fall for best results.

Is organic lawn fertilizer safe?

Absolutely. Organic lawn fertilizer is safe for both the environment and for pets and children. In most cases, grass treated with organic lawn fertilizer can be immediately walked and played on the following application.

Can you put down too much organic fertilizer?

The nice thing about organic fertilizer is that if you do, it won’t damage your lawn or plants. This differs from the harsh chemicals included in conventional fertilizers that can burn your lawn if it is over-applied.

What is a good organic fertilizer for your lawn?

The best organic fertilizer for your lawn is Andersons Innova Organic Fertilizer. It has a high amount of amino acids and an extended-release of nitrogen into your lawn. It is 100% natural and derived from plants. Innova provides all the nutrients and vitamins that your lawn needs.

Is organic fertilizer better for your lawn?

Yes, organic fertilizer provides benefits that inorganic fertilizers do not. For example, they are better able to improve the structure of the soil, increase the amount of water the soil can hold, and promote the activity of essential soil microorganisms.

What is the most effective organic fertilizer?

The most effective organic fertilizer is Espoma Organic Lawn Food. It is ideal for any season. It has a particular formation of Bio-Tone microbes and non-staining iron. This helps turn a yellow lawn into a vibrant green.

How can I fertilize my lawn without chemicals?

You can take some steps to fertilize your lawn without using any chemicals. First, you should raise your blades on your lawnmower when cutting your grass. You should not cut any more than 1/4 of the grass when you do cut it. Your blades should be sharp all the time. Grass clippings have nitrogen and trace minerals that are food for your soil. Grass clippings are one of the greatest natural fertilizers.

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Author's Note: this piece has been updated for accuracy since its first publication on
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Author: Mark Marino
My name is Mark Marino, and I am the founder, owner, and operator of Lawn Phix. With a passion for lawn care and turf nutrition for over a decade, I've dedicated countless hours to correcting soil and perfecting lawns. Today, my expertise, backed by formal courses at UMass Extension Pesticide Education, allows me to offer top-tier lawn care services and advice. I am a fully licensed and insured lawn care applicator in Massachusetts, specializing in comprehensive turf nutrition, weed control, and lawn pest control. My license number is AL-0053865. Contact me at [email protected] or +1 (508) 500-8402.

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