Choosing the Right Fertilizer

Fertilizer selection is based upon a number of factors - overall turf condition, amount and frequency of foot traffic, soil test results, history of disease, temperature and drought stress, desired growth, and greening results. Use the tips below as a guide for choosing a fertilizer with the appropriate nutrient ratio for your turf and landscape needs.

Choose a fertilizer with a high nitrogen-to-potassium ratio (2:1 or higher) when:

  • Turf is in overall good condition.
  • The desired result is consistent and/or accelerated top growth.
  • Applying in the spring when no fertilizer was put down in the fall.

Choose a fertilizer with a high potassium-to-nitrogen ratio (1:2 or higher) when:

  • Soil test results show low potassium levels.
  • There are periods of stress from heat, cold, drought, or traffic.
  • Turf area to be fertilized has a history of disease.

Choose a fertilizer with a balanced nitrogen-to-potassium ratio (1:1) when:

  • Turf is in good condition and general maintenance is desired.
  • Stressful conditions, such as drought, high heat, or traffic persist.
  • A reduction in top growth is desired.