Your Complete Guide to Michigan Lawn Fertilizers

Man fertilizing a lawn

Getting your lawn green, lush and healthy is one thing. Keeping it this way is another.

Lawn fertilizers can help you maintain a healthy yard in multiple ways. One, fertilizers deliver essential nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, which are essential root development. And two, fertilizers can help limit weed growth.

But, despite its benefits, there are some setbacks, too. If you were to apply the wrong type of fertilizer or apply too much or too little of it, it could lead to soil degradation or lawn damage. In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about using and selecting lawn fertilizers in Michigan.

Types of Fertilizers

There are many types of lawn fertilizers, and it’s important that you’re applying the right type to your lawn at the right time of the year. Read on to learn more about these various types.


These “dry fertilizers” resemble small pellets, which are spread on a lawn using an aptly named “fertilizer spreader.”

Granular fertilizer is more affordable than other types of fertilizer and is easy to apply. However, the pellets do need to break down in order to release their nutrients. We recommend thoroughly watering after application, or applying the fertilizer just before heavy rain. Additionally, pellets can spread onto sidewalks and other common areas, so it’s good practice to sweep up any errant spread.


Liquid fertilizers are sprayed onto lawns in liquid form. They allow for quick release of nutrients into grass and soil. Unlike granular, you will also get the same proportions of nutrients in each drop. This will help you prevent under or over fertilizing.


Fitting to the name, both natural and synthetic slow-release fertilizers distribute nutrients at a very slow, gradual pace. Noting this, you shouldn’t expect to see immediate results after applying a slow-release formula, but results over several weeks. In fact, the results of slow-release fertilizers can last for up to eight weeks. Slow-release fertilizers also tend to be a better option for the environment because they do not leach into the soil as much as quick-release fertilizers.


Fast or quick-release fertilizer distributes nutrients immediately. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could easily stress your lawn. This is because the rapid release of nutrients could leach the soil and burn your lawn. Fast-release fertilizer results only tend to last for a few weeks.


The best option for the eco-conscious consumer, organic blends are derived from natural materials. The fertilizer mix includes compost, bone meal, blood meal, fish, kelp, and other similar ingredients. Organic fertilizer is ideal for soil health and the results can last for up to six weeks. However, organic blends tend to be more expensive than natural or synthetic ones, and it may take property owners longer to see results.

When to Apply a Lawn Fertilizer in Michigan

How often should you fertilize your lawn? Well, that depends on a variety of factors, including soil health, lawn health, and the time of the year.

To develop stronger roots and a healthier lawn, it’s suggested that homeowners in Michigan fertilize their lawns five to six times a year. The best time to fertilize your lawn is when the ground temperature reaches at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit, usually around March or April. The type of fertilizer you use during your first application should have some sort of crabgrass preventer in it.

The second application should be around May or June, when your grass starts growing the most (which is when it starts to lose its stored nutrients). The third and fourth applications should be during the summertime, anywhere from July to early September. Then, before the cold weather hits (ideally in October), you will want to apply the last application, which will help your lawn store nutrients over the winter.

Additionally, while the ideal time of day for fertilizer application is usually in the early morning or evening hours when the sun isn’t at its strongest, it’s fine to fertilize at any point in the day. Just remember to water or spray your lawn after applying fertilizer.

Request Lawn Fertilizer Services Today

Do you still have questions about the best lawn fertilizers in Michigan? Get in touch with our experts at Design One! Serving Michigan for over 30 years, we provide commercial and residential landscaping solutions, including custom landscape design and hardscape installations.

Our team can help you understand when and how to apply fertilizer, as well as provide professional recommendations on the best type of fertilizer for your lawn. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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