Our customer base may not be the DIY-ers, but we do get asked about that side of lawn care a fair amount. Fertilizers purchased at a hardware store are no where near the quality of fertilizer used by professional lawn care companies.
There are a number of hardware store products that any homeowner can use. Additionally, we’ll reveal some professional grade fertilizers that are used in the lawn care industry.
Scott’s is one of the most common and one of the best quality fertilizers. Scott’s was founded in Ohio in 1868 and have since created fertilizers for different climates and seasons. Although the company started by selling grass seed.
Usually, this fertilizer is applied twice a year, in the spring and the fall. Due to the intense heat of the sun, it’s best not to apply this fertilizer during the summer months. If you live in a milder climate, a summer application may work.
Burning your lawn is more of a risk when using a store-bought brand.
Miracle Gro is a sister company of Scott’s that merged in 1995. It is a high-quality fertilizer product range from tree and shrub food to fertilizer for gardening. The Miracle Gro fertilizers can start working immediately and should be applied by strictly following the instructions on the container. When you overdo the fertilizer, you hinder the very growth you are trying to promote.
Pro Mix is an innovative brand that focuses on environmentally friendly fertilizers. Their products are organic certified due largely to the peat moss they utilize in their products. Heal & Feed Lawn Fertilizer advertises it’s uses for high traffic & play area, for shade & sun, and new lawn & patch repairs. Their primary focus lies in renewable energy, with organic products for lawn care, trees, plants, shrubs, and gardening.
Vigoro fertilizers are granular and are only sold at Home Depot. The Vigoro company makes a variety of products including garden edging, fencing, mulch, and landscape fabric. Effectiveness with the fertilizer really comes down to how well the product is applied. So, although some find Scott’s fertilizer works better than Vigoro it really comes down to the application.
Green Cross fertilizer is similar to Vigoro in that it can only be purchased from Lowes or Rona. They recommend applying the fertilizer three to four times per growing season. With more applications, it becomes more important to follow the directions on the bag to protect your lawn.
Golf Green fertilizer is a reputable brand with fertilizers ranging from synthetic, organic to garden mixes. The lawn fertilizer is a slow-release nitrogen blend that will not burn your lawn when instructions are followed correctly. The Golf Green products have a mixture of micro-nutrients to help balance the lawn.
Sta-Green was founded in 1904. They sell fertilizers with a slow-release formula and quickly absorbed granules. Pricing for their products is mid range. The lawn specific products sold by Sta-Green include weed and feed, all-purpose lawn fertilizer, lawn starter, and winter fertilizer.
Spring is when your lawn needs a nitrogen boost. The fertilizer you choose should have a high nitrogen content, and it should be a mix of slow and fast release. In Alberta specifically, this blend of fertilizer should be applied between April 1st and June 1st. These fertilizers are not recommended for the summer or the fall.
Once the weather is consistently warm it’s safe for your first fertilizer application. If you apply too early you could easily burn the vulnerable grass. Fertilizers also work by releasing more nutrients as temperatures and moisture levels rise.
This fertilizer has a 27-0-2 ratio with a 5% iron percentage, which is perfect for your spring application. It advertises a deep greening in three days and will last up to eight weeks with a slow-release nitrogen. It is formulated so as not to stain concrete, decks, or driveways.
Additionally, Scott’s advertises this fertilizer as safe to re-enter the lawn immediately after the application. Water after an application and make sure the lawn receives 1-inch of water per week. Although your lawn should receive that amount of water throughout the season anyhow.
This fertilizer has an even higher nitrogen percentage, at a ratio of 36-0-6 and only 0.325% iron. The Miracle-Gro lawn food is a fast release fertilizer and advertises a green lawn in just a few days. To apply you’ll need to connect a garden hose and spray it across the lawn.
A liquid fertilizer has certain advantages over granular fertilizer. It is the fastest way for your grass to absorb nutrients. The ratings speak for themselves, this product has a 4.4-star rating with over three thousand reviews.
Cool season grasses go dormant and stop growing in the summer due to the heat. In Canada, the fertilizer you’ll want to use should be more balanced to promote root growth.
Grasses in Canada flourish in temperatures of 10 to 20 degrees Celsius. In the hot temperatures of the summer, your lawn grass will appear brown and die if not cared for properly. This involves applying the proper fertilizer and implementing a regular watering schedule.
Based on our research the best DIY summer fertilizer is the Pro Mix Fertilizer 20-0-5.
With only 20% nitrogen content the slow-release fertilizer prevents your lawn from burning out. The 5% potassium content help strengthen the grass roots which struggle during the hot summer months. A percentage of organic matter helps to maintain a green lawn while also assisting the grass in using the nutrients well.
This fertilizer is combined with peat moss to help improve microbial activity and create stronger roots and healthier soil.
After coming out it’s summer dormancy, your cool season grass will enter into a growth season in the fall. Autumn is one of the most crucial seasons in lawn care, especially for weed control and seeding. However, applying a fertilizer before the winter months sets your lawn up for renewed growth in spring. Before winter dormancy, it’s essential to treat your lawn one last time with a fall fertilizer.
The fertilizer that wins, for a Canadian fall application is Scott’s Turf Builder Winter Guard Fall Lawn Food.
This fertilizer has a mix of macro nutrients that will encourage growth the following spring. You can re enter the lawn after applying this fertilizer, in either September or October.
This lawn food is formulated to repair the damage from summer heat and drought. For the best results apply this fertilizer with an aeration and seed.
There is a big difference between the DIY fertilizers and the professional grade. DIY fertilizers don't have high quality micronutrients. The professional grade fertilizers are slow release, meaning they will keep your lawn greener for a longer period of time. Listed below are the top three stores that carry professional grade lawn fertilizers.
Brett Young is a fertilizer distributor located near Edmonton, Alberta. They provide agricultural, golf and turf solutions to customers across Western Canada. There usually isn’t a minimum order requirement, meaning you can purchase these high-quality products for yourself.
They can be shipped at a cost but are local – for those in Alberta.
SiteOne is a big supplier of everything from lawn care to landscaping. In 2020, they bought Burnco Landscaping and will soon become one of Canada’s largest landscape supply stores. They carry custom blend fertilizers as well as high quality Lesco fertilizer. SiteOne is equipped with a very knowledgeable staff and are able t make recommendations based on which season it is.