New sod should not be fertilized, and established sod (at least six to eight weeks old) does not require fertilizing. The vast majority of lawn problems can be cured with the proper amount of sunlight and water. Fertilizing at the wrong time, with the wrong fertilizer, or in the wrong amounts creates or greatly magnifies any existing problems. Using a mulching lawn mower will add nitrogen without any nasty side effects.


Our recommendation is to fertilize no more than once a year during the summer. Look for a 3:2:1 ratio (nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium) rather than a particular brand. With Bermuda and Zoysia, you will want to apply pre-emergents two times a year, typically in February and September.

Synthetic or organic: Which one will it be?

We have a detailed list of pros and cons for each approach. While we don't sell fertilizers of any type, our preference for organics is quite clear.

Organic - Pros:

  1. Promotes healthy soil.
  2. Clean; environmentally safe.
  3. No petrochemicals required to manufacture.
  4. Safer to apply.

Organic - Cons:

  1. Less widely available.
  2. Slightly higher cost.

Synthetic - Pros:

  1. Widely available.
  2. Slightly lower cost.

Synthetic - Cons:

  1. Destroys soil ecosystem.
  2. Environmentally destructive.
  3. Large amounts of petrochemicals required to produce.
  4. Weaker plants.
  5. Application entails risk.