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How Much Does It Cost to Fertilize a Lawn?

Low
$30
Average Cost
$40 - $140
High
$200
(professionally applied liquid organic fertilizer)

Get free estimates from lawn care and gardening professionals near you
Here's what happens next

How Much Does It Cost to Fertilize a Lawn?

Low
$30
Average Cost
$40 - $140
High
$200
(professionally applied liquid organic fertilizer)

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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 has a broad range, depending on the fertilization type and lawn size. The average cost to fertilize 5,500 sq.ft of grass ranges from $40 to $140, depending on the condition of your lawn, your topography, and grass type. Most people pay around $70 for fertilization.

Lawn Fertilization Costs

Lawn Fertilization Costs
National average cost$70
Average range$40-$140
Minimum cost$30
Maximum cost$200


Updated: What's new?

Lawn Fertilization Cost by Project Range

Low
$30
Fertilization as part of a regular lawn care package
Average Cost
$40 - $140
Professionally applied liquid organic fertilizer
High
$200
Aeration and fertilization with an additional lime treatment for 5,500sq.ft.

Lawn Fertilizers Cost by Type

Depending on the type of grass you have, the climate you live in, and what your overall goals are for your lawn, you may need a specific fertilizer. Fertilizers come in a broad range with synthetic and organic varieties. Your landscaper may recommend or use one specifically, while others allow you to choose.


Lawn Fertilizers Costs

Lawn Fertilizers Costs


FertilizerAverage Synthetic CostAverage Organic Cost
Fast Release$12 - $30$20 - $50
Weed and Fungus Control$20 - $50$40 - $70
Granular$20 - $70$30 - $70
Water Soluble$20 - $80$12 - $80
Gradual Release$25 - $30$40 - $50
Crystalline$25 - $50$25 - $70
Liquid$25 - $50$25 - $50


Fast Release

Fast-release fertilizers work right away. They are frequently liquid but can be water-soluble or granular as well. They feed your lawn quickly, not over an extended time. They cost between $12 and $50, depending on the type and whether they are synthetic or organic.

Weed and Fungus Control

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. They cost between $20 and $70.

Granular Fertilizer Prices

Granular fertilizer is one of the more common types. It is typically a gradual-release formula that is scattered over the lawn and dissolves slowly with water. It costs between $20 and $70 on average.

Water-soluble Fertilizer Price

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. They cost between $12 and $80.

Gradual Release

Gradual-release fertilizers nourish your lawn over a longer period of time. They are better for lawns that need help all season, rather than those that just need a quick boost before the growing season starts. They cost between $25 and $50.

Crystalline

Crystalline 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 before you use this fertilizer to find out exactly what is missing and what you need to add. They cost between $25 and $70.

Liquid Fertilizer Prices

Liquid 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 it to dissolve into the water. They cost between $25 and $50.

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 as well, depending on the brand, what you need the fertilizer to do, and the fertilizer type.

Average Cost to Fertilize a Lawn Per Acre

While most people fertilize smaller lawns, you can usually find slightly better costs per square foot if you have acreage of grass to fertilize. These are the average costs to fertilize a lawn based on standard lawn sizes in the U.S.


Average cost to fertilize a lawn

Average cost to fertilize a lawn


Lawn Size in AcresLawn Size in Square FeetAverage Cost to Fertilize
1 acre43,560$566
3/4 acre32,670$425
1/2 acre21,780$283
1/3 acre14,520$189
1/4 acre10,890$140
1/5 acre8,712$113
1/6 acre7,260$95
1/8 acre5,445$70


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.


Fertilizer for grass growth in granules with gloves and scoop

Labor Cost to Fertilize a Lawn

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. Expect the labor portion to make up roughly $50 - $60 of the $70 cost to fertilize a 5,500 sq.ft. lawn, between $0.009 and $0.011 on average.

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.


Gardener horticulturalist spreading lawn fertiliser to cultivate lawn

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.

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 grass’ growing cycle.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Lawn Aeration

When you seed your lawn, you may want to aerate it as well as fertilize it to facilitate good growth. The cost of aerating a lawn is between $45 and $50 on average.

Crabgrass Treatment

If you have crabgrass, you may want to treat it. This is usually done as a form of weed control that targets this pest and costs between $40 to $50 on average.

Grubs

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, costing between $50 - $80 on average.

Adding Lime

Grass grows best in acidic soil. If your soil is not very acidic, have a lime treatment done to facilitate good growth. It costs on average about $70 - $90 per treatment.

Dethatching

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 helps remove this at a cost of $45 - $50 on average.

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.

FAQs

  • 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.

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

Updated:
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
A seed and fertilizer spreader out on a lawn.
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Cost to fertilize a lawn varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.