How Much Does It Cost to Fertilize a Lawn?

Average range: $150 - $500
Average Cost
(5,500 sq. ft. of fertilization with mid-grade fertilizer)

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Reviewed by Laura Madrigal. Written by

If you want to increase the health of your lawn and boost the rate at which it grows at the start of the season, fertilizing your grass can help. Fertilizer adds the right nutrients to your soil so that your grass can grow and come in thick, lush, and green. Most people have their lawns fertilized right before the main growing season of the year - in the spring and summer - but some lawns may need additional fertilization or treatment throughout the year if there have been chronic problems in the past.

The average cost to fertilize a lawn ranges from $150 to $500, depending on the fertilization type and lawn size. The average cost of professional lawn fertilization is around $200, covering approximately 5,500 sq. ft. of lawn and includes fertilization materials, supplies, and labor costs. On the low end, you could pay as little as $50 for a single application that’s included with an existing lawn care package. At the high end of the price range, some people spend as much as $1,500 on aeration and premium fertilizers to cover a half-acre (20,000 sq. ft.) of grass.

Lawn Fertilization Costs

Lawn Fertilization Costs
National average cost$200
Average range$150-$500
Minimum cost$50
Maximum cost$1,500

Lawn Fertilization Cost by Project Range

Fertilization as part of a regular lawn care package
Average Cost
5,500 sq. ft. of fertilization with mid-grade fertilizer
Aeration and fertilization with premium fertilizers for 20,000 square feet, or a half-acre property

Average Cost to Fertilize a Lawn per Acre

With the average cost of lawn fertilization ranging from $0.02 to $0.40 per sq. ft. with labor and materials included, several variables may be considered. While most people fertilize smaller lawns, you can usually find slightly better costs per sq. ft. if you have acreage of grass to fertilize. After all, lawn fertilization is generally priced by the sq. ft. Many landscapers and service providers will offer discounted rates for a larger area because the additional materials and labor don’t add much to the expense. However, based on standard lawn sizes alone, these are the average costs to fertilize a lawn:

Cost to Fertilize a 1/8, 1/6, 1/5, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 3/4, or 1 Acre of Lawn

Cost to Fertilize a 1/8, 1/6, 1/5, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 3/4, or 1 Acre of Lawn

Lawn Size in AcresLawn Size in Sq. Ft.Average Cost (Materials and Labor)
1/8 acre5,445$200
1/6 acre7,260$250
1/5 acre8,712$275
1/4 acre10,890$300
1/3 acre14,520$350
1/2 acre21,780$400
3/4 acre32,670$450
1 acre43,560$500

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Cost to Fertilize Lawn per Sq. Ft.

The average cost to fertilize a lawn per sq. ft. is between $0.02 and $0.08, with most people spending about $0.04 per sq. ft. on professional fertilization that includes labor and materials. Some people need premium services or additional work done, increasing the cost per sq. ft. to as much as $0.40 or more. The exact cost per sq. ft. depends on the type of fertilizer being used and the exact services being performed, including additional services like aeration.

Organic vs Synthetic Fertilizer

Most fertilizers come in two varieties, organic and synthetic. Both help nourish your lawn and give it what it needs to grow. Synthetics tend to be faster-acting and more powerful. It is possible to overuse them if you are not careful. Organics work more slowly, but it is difficult to use too much. They also do a better job of enriching your soil.

Synthetics tend to be less expensive in general. It is possible to find some less-expensive organics, depending on the brand, what you need the fertilizer to do, and the fertilizer type. In the table and subsections below, we discuss the average costs of synthetic and organic fertilizer 1, how the costs are determined, and what factors could impact how much you spend.

Cost to Fertilize a Lawn With a Synthetic or an Organic Fertilizer

Cost to Fertilize a Lawn With a Synthetic or an Organic Fertilizer

Type of FertilizerAverage Costs (Materials Only)
Synthetic$40 - $90
Organic$75 - $150

Synthetic Fertilizer Price

The average synthetic fertilizer 2 cost is much cheaper than organic fertilizer, costing around $40 to $90 for the materials only to fertilize a 5,500 to 6,500 sq. ft. lawn. Synthetic fertilizers are cheaper because they are easier to make. They are composed of compounds that are affordable to create or use. They are also more readily available, which helps offset the cost. Some people don’t like to use chemicals, however, so they may be willing to pay for organic fertilizer.

Organic Fertilizer Cost

Organic fertilizer costs, on average, $75 to $150 for the materials to fertilize a 5,500 to 6,500 sq. ft. lawn. The market for organic fertilizers is continuing to expand, making them more readily available. This helps lower the costs, but it is still a bit more expensive than a synthetic counterpart. While everyone has their own opinion on what will be best, your landscaper will be the best one to determine what’s right for your job, depending on the various circumstances. Organic fertilizer certainly has its benefits for the cost, including being a safer choice for homes with kids or pets.

Lawn Fertilizers Cost by Type

The various types of fertilizers range in price from $20 to $85, on average. Depending on the type of grass you have, the climate you live in, and your overall goals for your lawn, you may need a specific fertilizer. Fertilizers come in a broad range of synthetic and organic varieties. Your landscaper may recommend or use one specifically, while others allow you to choose. For example, the weed and feed cost will be higher for an organic weed killer compound than a synthetic one. Your lawn care professional will advise you on the best option, regardless of its formula or cost.

Cost of a Synthetic and Organic Fast Release, Weed and Fungus, Granular, Water Soluble, Gradual Release, Crystalline, and Liquid Fertilizer

Cost of a Synthetic and Organic Fast Release, Weed and Fungus, Granular, Water Soluble, Gradual Release, Crystalline, and Liquid Fertilizer

FertilizerAverage Synthetic CostAverage Organic Cost
Fast Release$20 - $40$30 - $50
Weed and Fungus Control$20 - $50$40 - $70
Granular$25 - $75$30 - $80
Water Soluble$25 - $80$35 - $85
Gradual Release$35 - $60$50 - $70
Crystalline$35 - $65$50 - $75
Liquid$40 - $60$60 - $80

Fast Release

Fast-release fertilizers cost $20 to $50 on average, depending on whether they are organic and synthetic. These products are preferred because they are easy to use and work right away. They are frequently liquid but can be water-soluble or granular. They feed your lawn quickly, not over an extended time. They may be used in addition to long-acting fertilizers or weed control products or on their own.

Weed and Fungus Control

Weed and fungus control fertilizers cost an average of $20 to $70 and are great to help feed the lawn while killing weeds and eradicating fungus. If you have issues with weeds or fungus, you can get a fertilizer that helps with this. Synthetics do this by adding chemicals that kill the weeds but not the grass. Organics do this by changing the soil’s chemistry.

Granular Fertilizer Prices

Granular fertilizer is one of the more common types and has an average cost of $25 to $80. It is typically a gradual-release formula that is scattered over the lawn and dissolves slowly with water. These fertilizers are easy to come by, and they are often the more affordable option for those who want something organic that isn’t going to cost a small fortune.

Water-soluble Fertilizer Price

The average water-soluble fertilizer price is between $25 and $85. Water-soluble fertilizers are usually a solid form that is dissolved in water before application. This is applied using a specific sprayer that hooks onto your hose. It is important to ensure that these products are mixed properly to guarantee complete coverage and protection.

Gradual Release

Gradual-release fertilizers have an average cost of $35 to $70. These fertilizers are designed to nourish your lawn for a longer period. They are better for lawns that need help all season rather than those that just need a quick boost before the growing season starts. If you have a lawn that has ongoing issues, this might be a better alternative to paying for regular fertilization with short-acting products.


Crystalline fertilizers cost between $35 and $75, depending on the formula chosen and whether it is organic or synthetic. These fertilizers are less common and are generally made up of very specific nutrients that you want to add to your lawn. You may want to have your soil tested 3 before using this fertilizer to find out exactly what is missing and what you need to add.

Liquid Fertilizer Prices

Liquid fertilizers cost between $40 and $80, depending on whether they are organic or synthetic and how much is needed. These fertilizers are usually mixed with water and sprayed onto your lawn. They are easier to work with than water-soluble fertilizers since you do not need to wait for them to dissolve into the water. They do have the highest price, but they typically produce the best and longest-lasting results with the easiest application.

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Lawn Fertilizer Service Cost

Expect the labor portion to make up roughly $50 to $60 of the $70 cost to fertilize a 5,500 sq. ft. lawn or between $0.09 and $0.11 per sq. ft. on average. Labor makes up a big portion of the cost to fertilize a lawn. Landscapers usually purchase fertilizer in bulk, so they do not pay the same price per bag as you do. They may charge less for materials because of this. Depending on the company or landscaper you choose, they may charge labor by the hour at a rate of around $45 to $75 per hour, but it’s generally charged by the sq. ft. The amount of time required depends on the size of the lawn and the method being used to fertilize. The average is around one to two hours for a ¼- to ½-acre property.

Lawn Fertilization Cost by Company

The three major companies hired for lawn fertilization charge an average of $200 to $700 for their services, depending on the size of the lawn and the materials used. Several well-known companies provide lawn fertilization services, but these are the most popular services people choose for this project. Each has its own types of materials or methods used, rates, and other considerations. In the table and sections below, we will look at the average cost of each service, what’s included, and other important things to know.

Cost of Scotts Lawn, Lawn Doctor, and TruGreen Fertilization Services

Cost of Scotts Lawn, Lawn Doctor, and TruGreen Fertilization Services

CompanyAverage Costs (Materials and Labor)
Scotts Lawn$200 - $300
Lawn Doctor$300 - $600
TruGreen$450 - $700

Scotts Lawn Service Cost

The average Scotts Lawn Service cost is between $200 and $300, depending on the size of the lawn and the type of treatment requested. Some people spend more on this service if they have a bigger area that needs fertilization. Others spend less if they have a smaller yard or choose a less comprehensive treatment plan and ongoing maintenance. Usually, these services are offered as yearly maintenance plans and are provided as one-time services.

Lawn Doctor Fertilization Service

Lawn Doctor fertilization service costs an average of $300 to $600 with a yearly maintenance contract, depending on the fertilizers used and the size of the lawn being treated. Lawn Doctor provides a selection of customized maintenance plans for consumers to ensure that people get the services they need. They have a strong reputation and offer organic fertilizers in addition to synthetic chemicals.

TruGreen Lawn Service Prices

TruGreen lawn service prices average $450 to $700, making them some of the most expensive in the industry. However, the company is known for providing higher-quality products and more detailed or comprehensive services for customers. The brand also has a strong reputation and offers a wider selection of organic fertilizers and products. They can provide fertilization, weeding, and other lawn maintenance solutions.

How Much Does a Bag of Fertilizer Cost?

Fertilizer has a wide range of costs depending on how many square feet it needs to cover, fertilizer type, what it is designed to do, and whether it is synthetic or organic. Expect a bag of fertilizer designed to cover between 5,000 and 5,500 square feet to cost between $25 and $50, depending on these factors.

When to Fertilize a Lawn?

The most common time to fertilize a lawn is at the start of its growing season. Depending on whether you live in a warm or cool climate, this could be anytime from the spring to summer months. However, your lawn may have other needs that vary the timing of the fertilizer application. For example, if your lawn has weeds you want to kill, wait until after they come up, but while your grass is still growing, before applying a weed and feed fertilizer. Some lawns that need a lot of help may require periodic applications of fertilizer to help facilitate good growth. Speak to your landscaper about a schedule that will work for your lawn.

How Much Fertilizer for a Lawn?

Another consideration in your project is how much fertilizer you’ll actually need for the lawn. Several factors must be considered here. Even though a lot of the focus has been on square footage, that is only one of the things that affects how much fertilizer you need. Fertilizer is a key element in maintaining a healthy lawn. When it isn’t done correctly, it can be bad. There is even such a thing as too much fertilizer.

For starters, you’ll want to plan for a total of five feedings throughout the season to deliver the best results. You’ll also want to think about the type of fertilizer you’re spreading and how it spreads. For example, a professional might be able to apply a liquid in a short time. Granules might require a little more material to cover the ground well.

The final consideration is the amount of nitrogen that different grasses need throughout the season. The amount of fertilizer you need depends on the type of grass you have and its nitrogen requirements. This is where working with a professional comes in handy. They know the requirements for different types of grass and how to apply the correct amount of fertilizer for each job.

Lanscaper Fertilizing a Lawn Using a Fertilizing Machine

Main Components of Fertilizer

Most fertilizers contain varying amounts of specific chemicals, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The exact amount of each of these, as well as other materials in the mix, depends on several factors, including location, soil type, grass type, and what you want to accomplish with your lawn. Your landscaper can assist you in determining the correct fertilizer for your lawn.

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Can You Apply Ironite and Fertilizer at the Same Time?

Ironite is a fertilizer made for grass that is deficient in iron. Apply it when your grass begins to lose its color and looks less green. It can be applied at the same time as other fertilizers, but they are usually applied at different times in the growing cycle of the grass. This is when it is best to leave lawn care to the professionals. They understand the perfect application times for various fertilizers, chemicals, and other nutrients.

Liquid vs Dry Fertilizer Cost

The average cost range for liquid fertilizers is around $40 to $100 per application, while dry fertilizers will cost about $25 to $85 per application for the fertilizer only. Typically, liquid fertilizer will be more expensive than dry products, but that also depends on the exact products involved. For example, a liquid synthetic chemical fertilizer 2 might be cheaper than a dry organic compound because the latter is organic. More important than the cost is deciding which type of application will be best for your lawn.

The cost differences are so minute in the big picture that it’s far more beneficial to choose the right product, not just the cheapest one. Liquid fertilizer is easy to handle, apply, and blend with other products, but granular products may offer a more precise application and have better slow-release options. Another consideration is whether the liquid or dry fertilizer could affect things like kids or pets, but there are generally safe products available in both categories. Your fertilization specialist can help determine which type of fertilizer is best for your lawn.

Landscaper Hands Holding Fertilizer with Gloves On

Compost vs Fertilizer

Compost 1 and fertilizer are two different materials that have two different purposes. Compost feeds the soil like fertilizer, but the latter is designed more to help with the growth of plants, including grasses. On the other hand, compost is more focused on restoring the nutrient balance in the soil just for the sake of creating balance. Composting is becoming a popular choice for those who are trying to reduce their carbon footprint. It can be an affordable way to improve the health of your soil. However, fertilizer may still be needed for total lawn health.

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Lawn Aeration

Lawn aeration costs about $545 for the aeration of a 10,900 sq. ft. lawn. When you seed your lawn, you may want to aerate and fertilize it to facilitate good growth. Aeration involves removing the physical barriers preventing the soil and grass from absorbing nutrients and allowing air and water in to promote a healthier lawn.

Crabgrass Treatment

Crabgrass 4 treatment generally costs an additional $40 to $50. If you have crabgrass, you may want to treat it with your weed control regiment. Crabgrass might not seem like a problem, but it can be unappealing and isn’t very comfortable to walk on. It may invite insects and other unwelcome guests into your lawn, leading to further damage.


Getting rid of grubs 5 costs an average of $50 to $80, depending on how severe the infestation is and what kind of grubs you have. The size of the area being treated may also impact the cost. Grubs may show up in your lawn during the later months of the summer. They attract other pests that may dig holes in your lawn. Using a grub-killing fertilizer treatment usually helps eliminate the problem and adds a little extra boost to your lawn.

Adding Lime

Adding lime to the soil will cost, on average, about $70 to $90 per treatment. Grass grows best in acidic soil. If your soil is not very acidic, have a lime treatment done to facilitate good growth. This treatment is typically done in addition to fertilization and other treatments, but it can also be done as a standalone service. Speak to your lawn professional to learn more about adding lime.


Dethatching has an average cost of $45 to $50. Sometimes a layer of dead and living roots and material buildup between your grass and the soil, making it hard for the fertilizer to reach the soil. Dethatching removes this layer of buildup so that the soil and grass grow as they should and get the nutrients they need. Removing the dead roots and buildup provide better water and air intake, as well.

Mulching Cost

The average cost of mulching a lawn is around $150 to $400 and can be done to enhance your newly fertilized lawn. Mulching 1 is decorative, but it can be a protective feature in your landscaping, promoting proper drainage and protecting plants from the elements and various creatures or insects. Many people choose to have a complete lawn service performed with fertilization or different services to enhance the overall look of their lawn. Putting down mulch is often done in tandem with fertilization and other lawn maintenance. The exact cost depends on the size of the area being mulched and what type of mulch is used.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Many landscapers offer discounts if you sign up for regular services. This includes having your lawn fertilized up to 10 times a year at roughly $35 - $40 a visit. Other annual packages are available as well.
  • While it is possible to apply your own fertilizer for less money, using a professional service means that you also gain their expertise. They know which fertilizers will work best for your lawn and determine when it is safe to use your lawn after applying certain synthetic fertilizers.
  • Always read the label and follow instructions carefully when using fertilizers. Proper application keeps your children and pets safe and prevents lawn damage.
  • Fertilizing helps your grass grow thicker with stronger roots, which may reduce weeds. It also helps prevent soil erosion and mud buildup.
  • Using the wrong fertilizer type on your lawn can burn the grass and leave it looking worse than before. The fertilizer must be spread properly to ensure even distribution and at the correct time in the growth cycle.
  • It is important that the grass is not too wet or the ground too dry when applying fertilizer to ensure that the right amount of the nutrients reach the grass and prevent denitrification or burning of the plants.


  • What is the best lawn fertilizer for early spring?

This depends on the grass type and your goals, but generally, a gradual-release fertilizer designed for your soil acidity is the right choice.

  • How much does it cost to have your lawn fertilized?

The average cost to fertilize a 5,500sq.ft. lawn is around $70.

  • What do the 3 numbers on lawn fertilizers mean?

This is the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the fertilizer, which varies depending on your grass’ needs.

  • What should I put on my lawn in the spring?

This depends largely on your lawn needs, but generally, either lime or a good gradual-release fertilizer is the best choice.

  • What is the best fertilizer for tomatoes?

This depends on your soil type, but bone or blood meal works well in all kinds of gardens.

  • How often should you fertilize your lawn?

This depends on the needs of your lawn. Some lawns require fertilizing every 6 weeks, others only once a year.

  • Can I fertilize right after mowing?

If you bag the clippings, yes in general this is fine. Otherwise, the clippings could prevent the fertilizer from reaching the roots.

  • Should I fertilize my lawn before or after rain?

If the ground is not too dry, fertilizing before it rains is better.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Compost: (Also known as Mulching, Organic fertilizer) A natural substance derived from plant, animal, or mineral matter that is added to soil in order to make it more fertile
2 Chemical fertilizer: (Also known as Synthetic fertilizer) An inorganic, chemically-derived, substance applied to soil/plants to increase soil fertility and aid plant growth
glossary term picture Soil Test 3 Soil tested: Chemical analysis kit used to assess soil pH, and sometimes soil nutrients, for the purpose of making fertilizer recommendations (type, quantity, and frequency)
glossary term picture Crabgrass 4 Crabgrass: A type of unwanted grass found in lawns. It keeps growing and spreading seed throughout the warm season, which makes it difficult to kill
glossary term picture Grub 5 Grubs: The larva of a beetle. While the adult beetle poses little threat to a lawn, the grubs can ruin a lawn by feeding on the roots of the grass

Cost to fertilize a lawn varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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