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Scotts Fertilizers: What is the Best Way to Feed Your Lawn?

Owning a lawn requires quite a bit of maintenance throughout the year, and to keep it looking healthy and green requires more than just water and a quick mow. Lawn care can seem a bit overwhelming at first, and you’ve probably found yourself asking why are certain spots turning brown, why are dandelions popping up everywhere, and what do you mean I have to FEED MY LAWN?!

And when you hit the stores to find a solution you have most likely been faced with a wall of products that claim to solve all your problems, if you are willing to shell out the cash for about a dozen different treatments.

Lawn care actually is not this frustrating, and the Scotts Lawn Care Company has been around for quite some time to help you take the stress out of lawn treatments. I’ll highlight some of their most popular lawn feeds below to help you get started determining which product is best for your lawn.

Best Scotts Fertilizers Comparison Chart

ModelCoverage AbilitySeasonalGrass TypeGranular or LiquidPet and Child Safe

Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food

5,000 to 15,000 sq. ftAny SeasonAnyGranularYes

Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food

5,000- 15,000 sq. ftYes, winterAny
granular
Yes

Scotts Green Max Lawn Food
2,500, 5,000, or 10,000 sq. ftyes, growing seasonAnygranularYes

Scotts Natural Lawn Food
2,500 - 4,000 sq. ftAny seasonAnygranularYes

Scotts Turf Builder Summerguard with Insect Control
5,000- 15,000 sq. ftyes, summerAnygranularno

Why Use Scotts Fertilizers?

Scotts lawn care products have actually been around since 1868 when the founder, O.M. Scott began selling lawn seed in Ohio. The company is considered an industry leader, with offices and research facilities located throughout the world to bring consumers the most innovative, effective, and cost worthy products for your yard and garden projects. Therefore, when you buy Scotts, you know you are getting a product from lawn care experts.

Scotts fertilizers are specially blended for different types of grasses, climates, insect controls, and weed eradication, making your application tasks that much more simple- and affordable.

Features

Scotts offers a wide variety of choices to choose from for your individual lawn care feeding needs, but they make the process simple through a walk through lawn care plan. Although some of their products require a Scotts lawn fertilizer schedule to work well, some of their top sellers include their top quality fertilizers that are general to a wide variety of different lawn types that simply need regular applications dispensed on the growing season.

Lawn Care Plan

If you aren’t sure where to start, Scotts provides a personalized lawn care plan to help guide you to the correct product to achieve a lush, green, and healthy looking lawn. This program takes into account what your current lawn looks like, your grass variety, and what tools you may already have to help you get the job done. It’s very basic, but does point you in the right direction of care if you are unfamiliar with the many ways different fertilizers can work for you.

Granular and Liquid Choices

Both granular and liquid fertilizers are available for different application techniques and lawn size coverage.  Each have their own set of properties to help treat your lawn, and it’s nice to have choices depending on what applicable tools you may already have purchased concerning your yard.

Granular fertilizers require a spreader of some sort in order to ensure even coverage. These types of fertilizers often have varying mixes of different nutrient needs, and also can easily mix in insect or weed controls. The downside of granular feeds is that not all the nutrients always reach the roots for use, but you do have the options of both quick, and slow release choices for longer feeding windows.

Liquid fertilizers are quick feeds that generally supply an even coating of fertilizer either right to the ground or through the leaves of the grass. This is often a good choice for quick results or trouble areas that need immediate attention.

Seasonal Feeds

Depending on the types of grass you have you’ll want to feed them differently throughout the year.  Many people make the mistake of applying one type of fertilizer multiple times per year and are unaware of the specific needs certain grasses may need, and when. This can also be a waste of fertilizer since some grasses may not always need a feeding when it is being applied. Knowing what types of grasses you have is a good start, but also know what nutrients are needed, and when, makes the fertilization process much more affordable.

Scotts offers multiple choices of feed specific to seasonal lawn needs. That way you can determine if you are overfeeding, and wasting, fertilizer during certain times of the year.

Weed Control

It’s not uncommon to have weeds taking root within your yard. Lusher, thick lawns often keep the worst of these at bay, but if you are growing a lawn, have a sparse lawn, or simply have neglected a healthy lawn for too long- weeds may start to become more than a small problem. Once weeds take root they have an uncanny ability of multiplying more quickly than your grass does, and can begin to take over and kill out the vegetation that should be there.

Treating your lawn for weeds can be done regularly, or you can tie it specifically to your fertilizing times by purchasing a feed that also has dual weed control properties. Scotts offer both to give you both choices and convenience to your regular yard care.

 

Insect Control

Dead areas of grass are often less about a lack of water, and more about what’s going on beneath the surface. Insects can, and will, feed upon the tender grass roots, cutting off nutrient supply and killing off your grasses once and for all. Other insects find your lawn the perfect place to hide out until they can hitch a ride to the nearest food source, like on your pet or children- or even use you as a food source, such as fleas and ticks.

Treating your lawn for critters while you feed is a good way to ensure that your favorite backyard hangout also doesn’t double as an evening meal for the bugs that have taken up residence.

How to Choose the Best Scotts Feed For Your Lawn

With the many products Scotts offers for your lawn care, it’s important to narrow down your needs to determine which will work with your lawn for the best results.

How thick your lawn is, the color of your grass, and how many weeds are present are all things to consider to help determine what, exactly, is needed for overall care. Initial treatments and follow up feedings can help fix even the worst of your lawn issues once you have narrowed down what your problem is.
Many people just think grass is grass, but depending on where you live, chances are you have very different grasses that are more specific to your climate changes. In fact, you may have more than one type of grass, especially if you have a large yard.
If you have a spreader than you are probably already familiar with granular fertilizers, but which type of spreader you own may work differently with varying grass feeds. Although the overall end result is supposed to be the same- namely your fertilizer is spread evenly over the yard, your walking speed, and spreader settings may determine how successful your feeding is.
Your lawn size may determine how you want to apply your fertilizer. Certain techniques may be more tedious or more expensive than others, so it’s important to take this into account prior to purchase. Comparing prices, application technique, and amounts needed should be looked at, as should commercial application processes if you have a large amount of space to treat.

5 of Scotts Top Rated Feeds to Consider

Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food

Quick Info

    • Coverage Ability: 5,000 to 15,000 sq. ft
    • Seasonal: Any Season
    • Grass Type: Any
    • Granular or Liquid: Granular
    • Pet and Child Safe: Yes

This all seasonal, all grass fertilizer is one of Scotts top sellers since it requires very little knowledge of your lawn needs. This is a faster release fertilizer and it is recommended that you feed your lawn 2 to 4 times a year depending on the type of grass you have and where you live (due to growth rates and dormancy).

The process behind this feed is to green up and thicken your existing lawn to help choke out any weeds through the growing season. Proper application should result in a lush, green lawn with very few, if any problem areas. It is also pet and child friendly so you can utilize your yard immediately after application.

Pros

  • All season
  • Not specific to any one type of grass
  • Heals burnt grass

Cons

  • Heavy applications will burn grass
  • Sunny exposures may burn upon application, wait until evening and water
  • May not see results depending on lawn’s specific needs
Z

Best Suited For

This is a good product for lawn owners who only have a very basic knowledge of their lawn but want to improve its quality and appearance. Complaints are pretty specific to a heavy application or use of the fertilizer in the heat of the day which may begin to burn out the lawn once water has been applied which helps the fertilizer soak in.

Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food

Quick Info

  • Coverage Ability: 5,000- 15,000 sq. ft
  • Seasonal: Yes, winter
  • Grass Type: Any
  • Granular or Liquid: granular
  • Pet and Child Safe: yes

This fertilizer can be used with any type of grass, and is specific to fall applications to help grow deep roots and repair from drought, summer heat, and foot traffic. This slow release granular application helps feed your lawn through the winter months as roots will continue to grow during dormancy. Repair takes place through these months to help your grass come back stronger and thicker in the spring.

This feed is also safe for pets and children, so there is no need to have to avoid use after application. Is should be used in conjunction with the other seasonal feeds to help keep your lawn healthy through the entire year.

Pros

    • Specific to grass repair
    • All grass types
    • Kid and pet safe
Z

Best Suited For

Cons

    • Not everyone sees results
    • May burn new seedings
    • Will burn out grass if too heavy an application is used
  • This is a good choice for anyone who would like to be a little more specific in addressing seasonal grass needs without having to apply too much effort into their knowledge of the types of grasses they have. Complaints are mostly concerning not seeing any results, which if you already have a healthy lawn chances are you wouldn’t see anything drastic as this is a feed that is part of a year round maintenance program.

    Scotts Green Max Lawn Food

    Quick Info

    • Coverage Ability: 2,500, 5,000, or 10,000 sq. ft
    • Seasonal: yes, growing season
    • Grass Type: Any
    • Granular or Liquid: .granular
    • Pet and Child Safe: .yes

    This is a quick release, high iron fertilizer that is specific to lawns that need fast results. Results should be seen as quickly as three days after initial application with proper watering. This product is for treating lawns that have been burnt out or damaged, and can be used with any other fertilizing system you already have in place.

    It is important to follow the watering directions as this requires high amounts of watering for a few days after application to make sure it is well soaked in and the nutrients are properly released through the moisture application. This is also a pet and child friendly product, so there is no need to worry about avoiding areas you’ve applied it to.

    Pros

    • Quick greening
    • Fixes burnt out areas
    • Can use with other fertilizer cycles
    Z

    Best Suited For

    Cons

    • Requires a lot of watering
    • May stain sidewalks, etc after water application
    • May burn without proper watering

    This is a good feed for lawns that are suffering from obvious nutrient deficiencies or areas where the soils are considered poor. This is an iron rich feed specific for greening up the lawn, but iron can leach quickly out of soils so multiple applications throughout the growing season may be needed. Complaints were specific to not seeing any results (possibly due to a lack of proper watering), and how the granules turn a rust color after water has been applied which may stain sidewalks and driveways.

    Scotts Natural Lawn Food

    Quick Info

    • Coverage Ability: 2,500 – 4,000 sq. ft
    • Seasonal: Any season
    • Grass Type: Any
    • Granular or Liquid: .granular
    • Pet and Child Safe: .yes

    This all natural fertilizer includes bone and blood meals, as well as potash amongst its ingredients. You should see results within one to three weeks, and reapplication is recommended quarterly throughout the year.  Made to answer the want for a non-chemical feed, Scotts Natural Lawn Feed is a best seller, and despite most of their fertilizers now being kid and child friendly, is popular with pet owners.

    Good for both direct lawn feedings and soil amendments, the combination of ingredients in the soils can help balance the pH for healthier soils. Sandy soils may not hold the nutrients well however, but that applies to any fertilizer type and sand combination due to the higher incidence of leech occurrence.

     

    Pros

    • Uses natural products, not chemical
    • Safe for pets and children, even upon accidental ingestion
    • Helps temper acidic soils
    Z

    Best Suited For

    Cons

        • May also feed and grow weeds
        • Dogs may try and eat it, although safe
        • May not work well in sandy soils

    This is a good choice for anyone in need of a fertilizer, but not interested in application of chemical nutrients. Complaints mostly surrounded not seeing any results (possibly due to not applying enough) and dogs wanting to eat the stuff. Since the feed is made from animal byproducts this is not surprising and cannot harm your pets in anyway, even with ingestion.

    Scotts Turf Builder Summerguard with Insect Control

    Quick Info

    • Coverage Ability: 5,000- 15,000 sq. ft
    • Seasonal: yes, summer
    • Grass Type: Any
    • Granular or Liquid: .granular
    • Pet and Child Safe: .no, must wait until it is well watered in

    Turf Builder Summerguard is specifically formulated to feed actively growing lawns that may be losing nutrients through the growing season. It also has an insect control mixed in to help eradicate and control a large variety of common lawn pests. This is a good fertilizer to use in conjunction with other seasonal choices if insects happen to be a problem.

    This feed helps strengthen grass against drought and heat, and is popular within Southern climates for any type of grass. This is not a pet and child friendly fertilizer however, and it is suggested that you make sure all dust is settled and the fertilizer is well watered in before allowing any contact to occur. After that is is considered safe with no reviews mentioning adverse effects.

     

    Pros

    • Good feed for loss of nutrients during active growing season
    • Protects against common lawn pests
    • Improves lawn’s ability to absorb water
    Z

    Best Suited For

    Cons

    • Some people have not seen results
    • Insects more affected than lawn health
    • Possible slower release than needed for actively growing lawn

    This is a good choice for anyone who feels their lawn is suffering due to dry climates and heat, and may have issue with insects within the lawn. Complaints mostly surround not seeing any changes in their lawn health, although most people notice a significant eradication of bugs.

    Conclusion

    In general fertilizers are somewhat specific to your lawn needs, but Scotts makes it easy to pinpoint your biggest wants and provides enough choices that even the most uninformed can’t go wrong with one of their general fertilizers. Of course you may not see as drastic results as if you used a fertilizer step program or seasonal specific feeds, but results are still in existence for overall lawn health. If you are unsure of what needs you do have, then choosing a fertilizer such as Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food really is the best choice with regular, seasonal applications to provide a continual amount of nutrients directly to your lawn’s roots.

    Have you used Scotts products on your lawn? What have been your results? We’d love to hear your comments and questions below. And as always, please share!

    About The Author

    Danielle McLeod

    Danielle McLeod cuts a tragic figure in the High School English classroom teaching literature by day, and moonlighting as a writer and graphic artist by night. Published in a variety of travel magazines, and now a blog, Danielle enjoys coming up with home and garden projects to complete with her two young boys. A native of Michigan, she resides in Southeastern New Mexico with her variety of horses, poultry, and variable mix of rescue dogs (there’s a cat or two in there as well). In her free time she enjoys travel, art, photography, and a good book!

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