A green, beautiful lawn can significantly increase a home’s curb appeal. The verdant turf often goes a long way in making your outdoor space more inviting and livable.
However, proper care is essential for your lawn to remain lush all year long. One main way to keep the lawn green and full of life are to supply it with food and fertilizers, especially during hot seasons.
With countless fertilizers and lawn foods available on the market, choosing the right product can take time and effort.
So here is a detailed review of the best summer lawn fertilizer for grass to save you the headache of searching.
What Fertilizer to Use in Summer?
Low-nitrogen fertilizer is the best for use in summer.
Nitrogen-rich fertilizers are often suitable for spring during grass green-up and growth, but in summer, such fertilizers can stress the grass and cause burns instead of promoting growth.
The 6-0-0 fertilizer is typically the best-suited choice for the garden in the summer. It works best when applied before it rains.
This timing allows the fertilizer to penetrate the soil properly and get distributed to the plant roots. Whenever possible, fertilize your lawn during the early part of the summer.
The complete range of fertilizer ratios ideal for the summer lawn include 15-0-8, 6-0-0, and 10-0-4. They do an excellent job keeping the grass healthy and strong while avoiding fertilizer-related burns.
What Are the Numbers and Letters on Fertilizer?
The letters and numbers help identify the fertilizer and indicate its nutrient composition. These are called the NPK ratio, or the ratio of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium in the fertilizer.
The NPK numbers are printed directly on the front of the fertilizer bag. An NPK ratio of 15-0-8 means the fertilizer contains 15% Nitrogen, 0% Phosphorus, and 8% Potassium.
- N – Nitrogen
- P – Phosphorus
- K – Potassium
These three nutrients are the essential organic ingredients that lawn grass requires to remain beautifully green.
However, you may need to conduct a soil test to determine which nutrients are low or missing in the soil to decide the best N-P-K ratio.
What is the Summer Fertilizer N-P-K Ratio?
The summer fertilizer N-P-K ratio is the respective amounts of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium your lawn grass requires in the fertilizer.
Summer’s recommended lawn fertilizer numbers are 15-0-8, 6-0-0, and 10-0-4. All three ratios indicate fertilizers with little to no phosphorus, as high levels of this nutrient in the summer can hurt the plants.
Notice that while a 3-4-5 NPK ratio would mean the fertilizer has 3% Nitrogen, 4% Phosphorus, and 5% Potassium, it does not end there.
The fertilizer will also contain micronutrients like copper, magnesium, and iron, together with fillers. The NPK ratio is only used to indicate the product’s macronutrient composition.
The rest of the ingredients play an important role but have a lower impact, hence are never captured in the summer fertilizer N-P-K ratio.
Best Summer Lawn Fertilizer for Grass Growth
The best fertilizer for summer months focuses on helping the lawn to retain water, maintain deeper roots, and control weeds.
Here are our best picks of fertilizers that excel in these regards.
1. The Andersons Professional PGF Fertilizer – Best Summer Lawn Fertilizer
If you live in a place that experiences particularly hot summers, the Andersons Professional PGF Fertilizer may be your perfect choice.
The product is formulated for high-heat environments with little rainfall. It boasts moderate amounts of nitrogen which are just the right amounts to promote lawn density without the risk of administering too much fertilizer.
The fertilizer is formulated to offer quick results—with noticeable improvement starting from as little as one week.
The 16-4-8 NPK ratio of this product means it is a complete fertilizer providing your lawn with all the essential macronutrients in one bag.
Each macronutrient has been provided in a moderate ratio to safeguard against the risk of fertilizer burn.
The Andersons Professional PGF fertilizer is also high in iron and other micronutrients essential for healthy plant and grass growth.
- The fertilizer is fast-acting, guaranteeing a rich, green turn in just 6 to 14 days.
- Slow-release nitrogen in the formula allows for constant feeding for longer, up to 8 weeks.
- It has Humic DG, a carbon-based compound that enriches lawn soil, allowing plants to process nutrients better.
- The professional formula is reliable and trusted by professionals.
- The product may be unideal for lawns requiring pure nitrogen in higher doses.
2. Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food – Best Nitrogen Summer Grass Fertilizer
Scotts summer lawn food is richly formulated with plenty of nitrogen to feed the lawn and keep it green through the hot season.
The fertilizer also contains just the right amounts of phosphorus to promote the growth of strong, deep roots responsible for nutrient uptake.
Since summer is characterized by limited moisture, your grass will benefit from the improved ability to absorb water and nutrients and remain verdant throughout.
You can apply this fertilizer to any grass type to help improve its health and build deep roots. This allows for unlimited options regarding its use.
If your lawn looks dull, the high levels of nitrogen in this fertilizer may be a godsend. The fertilizer is also loaded with essential micronutrients that contribute to protecting the grass against future problems.
- This summer lawn fertilizer is ideal for any grass type.
- The product comes with straightforward application instructions.
- It features Scotts’ exclusive All-in-One Particle technology to ensure even feeding and greening.
- The high nitrogen levels in this fertilizer could cause plant burns if proper spreader settings are not used.
3. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food – Best Water-soluble Grass Fertilizer for Summer
Miracle-Gro water-soluble lawn food may be a perfect choice if you want to feed your lawn instantly.
The water-soluble formula allows you to spray the product directly into the grass, absorbing the fertilizer directly through the leaves and the soil through the roots.
Thanks to its unique formula, this high-quality fertilizer will make your lawn thick, soft, and green sooner than standard fertilizers.
The high amount of iron in this nutritious product further complements the nitrogen and makes the grass softer, with a green carpet-like look.
The fertilizer is high-coverage, with just one bag capable of feeding up to 7,200 square feet.
- The fertilizer is modestly priced, making it a great choice for a tight budget.
- Its formula allows it to work for all grass types.
- This product boasts instant action.
- The unique formula allows it to feed up to 7,200 square feet, so you can cover a large area at a low cost.
- The fast action means you must watch out for an overdone.
4. Scotts Green Max Lawn Food – Best Summer Lawn Fertilizer for Thick Grass
This product’s special combination of nitrogen and iron is expertly formulated to create lush green foliage out of damaged turf quickly.
It boasts a dual-action formula that offers quick results, with significant changes noticeable in just two to three weeks.
The fertilizer is loaded with iron that quickly turns any yellowing or brown spots of the lawn into spotless green foliage.
Perhaps the only limitation of this NPK 27-0-2 that lacks phosphorus is its inability to support the roots.
You want to use this on the grass with already established roots because the lack of phosphorus means it won’t help the roots grow deeper.
Nonetheless, with 27 percent nitrogen in the formula, the product has the right amount to feed the grass without burning it.
The formula also contains potassium to keep your lawn looking hearty with strong grass blades, as the nitrogen does its part in pushing them to come out.
- The product works with all grass types.
- It delivers fast results.
- It has a perfect balance of nitrogen, iron, and phosphorus necessary for a lush green lawn.
- The fertilizer does not help the roots.
5. Simple Lawn Solutions Advanced – Best All-purpose Plant Food
Here is summer lawn fertilizer that feeds your lawn holistically, thanks to a fully balanced formula complete with all the macronutrients any plant needs.
It is suited to all grass types in the summer, so you can administer it to any lawn without restrictions.
The liquid form of this Simple Lawn Solutions fertilizer allows it to feed the lawn quickly, leading to fast action and instant results.
The fertilizer is also loaded with seaweed and fish for additional nutrients to the lawn grass. Because the fertilizer is available in liquid form, it is easy to administer by spraying.
The sprayer helps distribute the nutrients evenly for better results. You don’t have to be an expert in using the product correctly.
- The liquid fertilizer is designed to be easy to apply.
- It is suited for use on all grass types.
- It contains all essential macronutrients supporting the growth of strong, healthy grass and deeper roots.
- It is produced in the United States.
- Some users need help with the sprayer mechanism.
6. Southern Ag Chelated Liquid Iron – Best Chelated Iron Supplement for Summer Lawn
Here is another plant food designed for easy use. It is a liquid concentrate designed to give quick results once applied to your lawn.
If you have a yellowing lawn of grass turning brown with unsightly patches, the chances are that they are not getting enough iron.
This is especially true if you live in a place with water-saturated soil that makes iron unavailable to plants.
If that happens, applying this chelate can help correct that iron deficiency and make the nutrient available for your lawn, restoring its beautiful green color.
The Southern Ag Chelated Liquid iron is designed to bring back the greenness to your lawn and brighten your yard.
It performs this role without promoting extra growth, so you will not have any additional mowing to deal with.
- The fast-acting formula of this product ensures that you see the results in just a few days.
- The results are long-lasting, taking up to 8 weeks before requiring no reapplication.
- Spot treatment allows for more economical use of the product.
- It is easy to apply.
- The product lacks essential macronutrients responsible for lush lawn growth.
7. Joyful Dirt Premium Concentrated Fertilizer – Best Organic Lawn Fertilizer for Summer
Joyful Dirt Premium Concentrated Fertilizer may be perfect for homeowners who wish to promote eco-friendliness.
The product boasts a clean and pure organic formula that is sustainable and eco-friendly.
The Clean and pure plant food is designed for all plant and grass types, including flower gardens, herb gardens, vegetable gardens, and lawns.
So while you buy it for your lawn, you can use it as a one-stop solution for all your fertilization needs and lawn care.
The Joyful Dirt Premium Concentrated Fertilizer contains mycorrhizae nutrients that allow your grass and garden plants to absorb water and nutrients better.
This makes the fertilizer a perfect choice for summer when soil moisture reduces. Your lawn will benefit from increased soil moisture and nutrient uptake of over 100 times normal uptake.
- The organic formula is safe to use around pets and kids.
- It is designed for easy application. Shake it onto the soil and water the lawn, or mix it directly in a watering can before application.
- The fertilizer is versatile and suitable for all plant types.
- It contains nutrients such as Mycorrhizae that help plants use less water and absorb nutrients better.
- The compact size of one bottle may be small for bigger gardens and lawns.
8. Milorganite Slow-Release Nitrogen Fertilizer – Best Non-burning Formula for Lawn Grass
Milorganite Slow-Release Nitrogen Fertilizer is a perfect summer lawn fertilizer for homeowners with little time for yard work.
Thanks to the slow-release formula, a single application will keep feeding your lawn for up to 10 weeks.
If you are not a fan of frequent yard work, this product may be your best choice. It allows you to administer it once and forget about it for a while.
The product will not overwhelm your lawn grass due to the slow pace at which it releases nutrients into the soil. This makes it easy to use even by inexperienced gardeners.
Because the fertilizer is loaded with phosphorus, it supports the growth of plant roots, which can be highly beneficial in summer.
With deeper roots, the lawn grass can take up moisture and nutrients better from the soil.
The heat-dried microbes in this product are organic, making the fertilizer more ecologically friendly. It is also enriched with non-staining iron that helps keep your yard clean and lush.
- The fertilizer supports roots growth and leaf growth.
- It has a non-burning formula that prevents your lawn grass from fertilizer burn.
- Its slow-release formula allows it to feed your turf for up to 10 weeks.
- The formula has no salts, making it better for drought conditions.
- It is low cost, hence more affordable.
- Its nitrogen content is low, leading to slow results.
9. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass – Best Nitrogen Fertilizer for New Grass
If your lawn has patches uncovered by grass, Scotts Starter Food can help you seal those bare patches quickly before stubborn weeds take advantage of them.
The fertilizer helps your grass grow 70 percent thicker and 35 percent faster than unfed grass. Additionally, it supports the growth of new grass by getting them off to a quick start.
The fertilizer promotes faster blade and grass root development thanks to a good balance of nitrogen and phosphorus in the formula.
This ensures you have new grass in your yard in no time. You will be happy to know that this fertilizer is designed for all grass types in summer.
The product has all the essential macronutrients in a 24-25-4 NPK ratio—a complete formula for grass growth.
- The fertilizer promotes faster growth of new grass.
- Plenty of nitrogen and potassium in the formula ensures thicker and greener grass in your yard.
- It improves seeding results, making it suitable for sod and grass plugs.
- It requires careful application and adequate watering to avoid burning the grass.
10. Simple Lawn Solutions Lawn Food – Best Lawn Fertilizer and Weed Killer for Summer
This fertilizer from Simple Lawn Solutions is the ultimate liquid lawn fertilizer for stronger, deeper roots.
With a 3-18-18 NPK ratio, the product does an excellent job promoting the growth and spread of strong, deeper roots.
Stronger, deeper roots are perfect for summer as they help improve moisture and nutrient uptake when the soil is dryer.
Despite the high phosphorus and potassium percentage in this formula, it will not burn your lawn, thanks to an organic formula.
The fertilizer is made from organic products that make it safe for your lawn. With thicker and more beautiful grass with stronger, deeper roots, weeds will be nonexistent.
- It is suitable for all types of grass.
- It works quickly to turn grass greener.
- The formula is safe for pets and kids.
- The spray mechanism can be difficult to use.
Why Fertilize Your Lawn During Summer?
Different varieties of grass respond differently to hot weather. While some will take on the high temperatures without wilting and dying away, the turf still needs some nitrogen to remain lush.
If the soil has little to no nitrogen to support the grass, it may be unable to live through the season.
- Fertilizing your lawn during summer can replenish the soil with the nitrogen and micronutrients the grass needs to survive.
- The fertilizer help ensure the lawn retains its green, vibrant color through the sweltering sun—thanks primarily to nitrogen and potassium in the fertilizer.
- Fertilizing the lawn also encourages new growth, which eventually promotes denser and more beautiful grass cover. The phosphorus in your summer lawn promotes the growth of plant roots, ensuring a robust and sturdy root structure.
- Aside from helping to maintain density, growth, and green color, summer lawn fertilizers also encourage turf recovery from damage. The lawn can sustain damage from blunt lawn blades and other occasional stresses.
- Thanks to the lawn density that summer lawn fertilizers create, they help discourage the growth of undesirable weeds like dandelion and grasses like crabgrass. They also minimize the risk of erosion.
- Fertilizing your lawn in summer also helps prevent the onset of malnourished turf grasses, which are generally more prone to damage from insect attacks and disease.
Types of Summer Lawn Fertilizers for Grass Growth
Not all summer fertilizers are created equal, nor do they work the same way. Understanding these variations can help you choose the right product for your lawn when the hot months set in.
Slow-Release Lawn Fertilizer
This type of fertilizer gets its name from how it works—releasing nutrients into the soil constantly over time.
This way, it works slowly over a long period, limiting the chances of overwhelming the grass plants with nutrients.
This type of fertilizer can significantly save you the trouble of having to carry out yard work from time to time.
Once you apply it, you can expect it to supply the soil with the required nutrients for the predetermined duration, during which you can rest.
Because of these enticing advantages, slow-release fertilizers typically cost more than their faster-acting peers.
On the whole, a slow-release product is the best for summer as it stays in the soil longer while minimizing the risk of fertilizer burn.
Water-soluble Lawn Fertilizer
This product is available in powder form, which is dissolved in water and applied to the soil or leached out of the soil easily.
It is the least common type of fertilizer for lawn care. Its main advantage is the ease with which you can control the exact amount of nutrients applied to your plant.
This explains why this type of fertilizer is often reserved for house plants. Nonetheless, water-soluble fertilizers are cost-efficient and easy to store.
Liquid Concentrate Fertilizer
As the name suggests, liquid concentrate fertilizer is a concentrated liquid containing organic and all-natural ingredients that plants require for lush and compact growth.
The liquid can be sold in a bottle or jar to be diluted in water for use on the lawn. The concentrated formula contains a mix of water-soluble fertilizers in various N-P-K ratios.
Once mixed with water in the manufacturer’s recommended ratio, you can spray the fertilizer directly on the lawn until wet for quick results.
Ready-To-Use Lawn Fertilizers
This product is a premixed, water-soluble fertilizer with a hose attachment. The hose is intended to simplify the use of this liquid, making it ideal for beginners or homeowners with limited time for lawn care.
Once you have the product, all you have to do is spray the fertilizer directly on the lawn. This way, it is quick to use and easy to store.
It also spreads the nutrients evenly, and you do not need to buy additional equipment when using this fertilizer type.
Lawn Fertilizer Spray
Three types of summer lawn fertilizers above fall under this category. These are:
- Water-soluble fertilizers
- Liquid concentrate fertilizers
- Ready-to-use fertilizers
All three types of lawn fertilizer require spraying directly to the lawn grass, even though each of them comes in a different form (powder, concentrate, and ready mixture).
Lawn fertilizer spray feeds the grass and promotes growth through uptake from the soil and directly through the plant leaves.
This characteristic makes these fertilizers ideal for situations or homeowners who want quick results because they are fast-acting.
However, they also have a downside: run-off fertilizer can leach into water sources and present a health risk.
Read: When can I walk on new grass?
Chelated Iron Supplement
This is not a typical NPK fertilizer but a chelate that helps make iron available to plants in soil types prone to iron deficiency.
Such deficiency manifests in discolorations in plant leaves-the leaves becoming brown or dull yellow.
Water-saturated soil like clay prevents iron from being available to plants. The iron in these soil types reacts with hydroxide and oxygen, becoming unavailable for plant uptake.
The chelated iron supplement helps prevent this iron oxidation so that the nutrient is available for plant roots to absorb.
How to Choose the Best Summer Fertilizer for Grass
To choose the best summer fertilizer for lawns, start by understanding the macronutrients plants require to remain green throughout the year.
Nitrogen is an essential macronutrient that plants need throughout the year. It ensures beautiful green grass by stimulating leaf and shoot growth and creating a more vibrant plant color.
Therefore, your summer fertilizer must have a good mix of nitrogen in its formula to ensure a green leafy and healthy lawn that is lush and strong.
This explains why nearly every lawn fertilizer has a high nitrogen content.
Phosphorous is an essential macronutrient that promotes healthy root growth. As such, it is typically essential for vegetables and plants. Grass also needs it to spread and create good coverage around your yard.
Phosphorous also promotes flowering and budding in flowering shrubs and plants, which explains why you don’t see much of it in summer lawn fertilizers.
You only need this macronutrient at the beginning of the growing season, when it encourages the establishment of roots. This is usually in spring.
Potassium helps turf and plants become heartier. It is to your lawn what vitamins are to humans and animals.
As such, too much of this macronutrient can hurt the grass and garden plants. You need to remember all these factors when choosing the best lawn fertilizer for summer heat.
Ultimately, you want a fertilizer with moderate amounts of nitrogen and little to no phosphorus and potassium.
How to Avoid Grass Fertilizer Burn in Summer
Too much fertilizer can cause brown or yellow patches on plants. So if you see such discoloration after treating your lawn with fertilizer, the chances are that excessive fertilizer is responsible for the scorching.
Thankfully, you can avoid this burn with simple strategies and precautions.
- Use a slow-release fertilizer and administer it following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Administer the fertilizer when the grass is dry, and then water the lawn adequately after fertilizer application.
- Avid overlaps when using a granule/spreader combination. Overlapping passes frequently result in fertilizer saturation in some areas.
- Look for the right mix when choosing your lawn fertilizer. Ensure the summer lawn fertilizer has moderate nitrogen and low phosphorus and potassium levels to avoid overload and lawn burn.
How to apply the best lawn food for summer
How you apply the fertilizer can make a difference, so ensure you do it correctly to avoid shortfalls such as lawn burn.
Here are some tried and true steps to follow for better results.
Step 1: Test your soil
You can send a soil sample for testing in a lab or use home soil tests. This step will help you determine the nutrients missing in the soil to provide them in the fertilizer.
Soil testing also helps you avoid overloading the soil with specific nutrients already available in the desired balance.
Step 2: Buy high-quality fertilizer
You want summer fertilizer rich in nutrients for your lawn. Buying reputable brands can guarantee quality as such brands have tried and tested their formulas and proven them effective.
Step 3: Check the temperature
Fertilizers require specific temperature ranges to work. Therefore, you want to ensure you have the right temperature range before administering the product to your lawn for it to work.
For instance, summer temperatures may be in their 70s or mid-80s. So, check the mercury level against the temperature ranges specified on the fertilizer label to ensure it is ideal.
Step 4: Plan with the rain forecast
You want to check with the weatherman to ensure no rain has been forecast right before the day of administering the fertilizer.
Fertilizer needs to go on dry soil, followed by adequate watering. So the ideal scenario is to administer the fertilizer right before it rains.
Step 5: Wear protection
Before you start administering the fertilizer, ensure you protect yourself properly. Face masks or respirators will help protect you from inhaling the chemicals.
A pair of hand gloves will also help keep the product from coming in contact with your skin.
Step 6: Take advantage of a spreader with settings
The settings on a spreader will tell you the precise amount of fertilizer dispersed in every square foot.
This can go a long way in preventing the fertilizer from piling up in certain areas and burning the lawn.
Summer Lawn Fertilizing Care Tips
This section provides a quick rundown of the tips to keep in mind when applying fertilizer to your lawn at different points in summer.
In Early Summer
- Target warm-season grass with fertilizer. These Florida lawn grass types accept fertilizer better when temperatures are about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Avoid fertilizing cool-season grass at this time. Set aside cool-season grasses for treatment in fall.
- Treat the warm-season grasses for pests. Pesky bugs like Japanese beetles, European chafers, and June bugs can wreak havoc on your lawn in summer. Ensure you target them for extermination.
- Control weeds that might take advantage of thinning lawns at the onset of summer.
- Feed the grass with midsummer fertilizer.
- Replace or alternate fertilization with deep watering to help the soil retain moisture.
In Late Summer
- Overseed thinning grass with tuff building fertilizer. This will encourage new plant growth, especially if your lawn struggles with thinning grass or bare patches.
After late summer comes fall. Here are the best fall fertilizers for lawns that will help keep your lawn looking healthy and lush.
Grass Food for Summer FAQs
What is the best lawn fertilizer ratio for summer?
The best summer lawn fertilizer numbers are 6-0-0, 10-0-4, and 15-0-8. These ratios keep your grass healthy and strong without the risk of fertilizer burn.
What is the best fertilizer for grass in the summer?
Low-nitrogen fertilizers are the best choice for summer lawns. They feed the grass while avoiding the risk of fertilizer-related burns.
Is it OK to fertilize your lawn in the summer?
Absolutely. Feeding your lawn with the right summer fertilizer can help strengthen the lawn to make it better withstand the drought associated with the hot summer conditions.
What should I apply to my lawn in summer?
Apply only a fertilizer formulated for summer feeding. These will promote the growth of your lawn grass and ensure they remain lush and healthy through the summer months without damaging or hurting them.
Is it OK to fertilize the lawn in July?
Yes, you can always apply fertilizer in July if necessary, even though fertilizing in June and August is recommended to keep the lawn green.
Final Verdict: Best Summer Grass Fertilizer
You want your turf to remain lush in the summertime? You will need the best summer lawn fertilizer for grass.
This does an excellent job of supplying the lawn grass with the food and nutrients it requires to grow and survive unfavorable weather. Our top choice in this regard is the Andersons Professional PGF Fertilizer.
The product is formulated for high-heat environments with little rainfall and will not burn your lawn, thanks to moderate amounts of nitrogen and a well-balanced formula.