How Much Does Lawn Fertilization Cost?
$76 - $393
$76 - $393
Updated August 16, 2022Written by HomeAdvisor.
Homeowners pay an average of $225 for lawn fertilization. Typically, you can expect to pay between $76 and $393. A single professional application costs $50 to $150. You’ll pay anywhere from $250 to $1,000 per year or $0.02 to $0.14 per square foot per year. Labor tends to run $20 to $30 per hour but varies regionally.
Doing it yourself costs about half of what a professional charges, but you may not get the same results. DIYers pay $1 to $2 per 1,000 square feet per application for fertilizer alone. You can skip fertilizing, instead choosing to xeriscape (creating water-efficient landscaping) to save money on water and time and expenses on mowing.
Choosing to hire a pro or do it yourself comes down to time, results and cost. We’ll dig into those details below.
Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located?
Where are you located?
|Typical Range||$76 - $393|
|Low End - High End||$39 - $800|
Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,983 HomeAdvisor members.
Fertilizing an acre starts at $2,000. Professionals determine the price based on size. Most lawns are 5,000 to 11,000 square feet, or under 1/8 to 1/4 of an acre.
Know the size of the treatable area before negotiating with lawn care professionals.
Google Earth has a program homeowners can use to measure their yard.
|Yard Size in Acres||Yard Size in Square Feet||Cost Per Year|
|1/2 acre||21,825||$1,000 - $3,000|
|1/3 acre||14,550||$750 - $2,000|
|1/4 acre||10,912||$550 - $1,500|
|1/5 acre*||>8,730||$450 - $1,200|
|1/6 acre*||7,275||>$350 - $1,000|
*Most common lot & yard sizes.
The type of fertilizer you need depends on the state of your lawn, what it needs in terms of nutrients, release time, and whether it needs any other treatments simultaneously. The fertilizer you use also impacts how much you'll pay. The table below shows you the cost to fertilize between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet, based on fertilizer type.
|Fertilizer Type||Cost Range for 50-Pound Bag (Labor Included)||Average Cost for 50-Pound Bag|
|Fast-release||$100 – $325||$210|
|Moss and fungus control||$100 – $325||$210|
|Weed and feed||$100 – $325||$210|
|Pre-Emergent||$100 – $325||$210|
|Granular||$125 – $350||$240|
|Water-soluble||$125 – $375||$250|
|Gradual-release||$125 – $500||$310|
|Crystalline||$125 – $500||$310|
|Liquid||$150 – $600||$375|
An application of fast-release fertilizer over 5,000 to 10,000 feet costs an average of $210, or somewhere between $100 and $325. Fast-release fertilizers start releasing nutrients as soon as they hit the soil, which is great for a quick nutrient boost to help with immediate plant health.
However, they don't build good, long-term soil health; you may find you end up having to fertilize more frequently than if you'd used other types. That's because the soil health never truly improves, and the grass starts to rely on the rapid-release fertilizer products you apply, rather than building strong, deep root systems to find nutrients for themselves.
Moss and fungus control fertilizer costs $210, with a price range of $100 to $325. This is another combination fertilizer that also contains a moss and fungus killer to help keep your lawn nourished and free of moss and fungus.
A mixed application of pre-emergent herbicide and lawn fertilizer costs an average of $210, with most people paying between $100 and $325. A pre-emergent fertilizer contains a growth inhibitor, usually chemically bound to the nitrogen in the fertilizer, that prevents weeds from growing while providing nutrients to your lawn.
Like pre-emergent, weed and feed costs around $210, or between $100 and $325 for up to 10,000 square feet. And, just like pre-emergent fertilizer, weed and feed has a pesticide and fertilizer combo. The difference is that weed and feed kills off already-growing weed, rather than inhibiting new growth.
Typically costing $240 per application, granular fertilizer can cost as little as $125 for 5,000 square feet, or as much as $350 for 10,000 square feet. Granular fertilizer is usually slow-release, whether you choose synthetic or organic. These products are usually water-soluble, so application is easy.
Water-soluble fertilizer costs $250, on average, with most people paying between $125 and $375. As with liquid fertilizer, water-soluble products are easy to apply, but easy to overdose. Pay close attention to the manufacturer's directions when mixing to make sure you don't over-fertilize your lawn.
Gradual release fertilizer costs $310, with a range of $125 to $500. You'll pay toward the higher end of the range for organic products. Gradual release is more expensive than fast-release because you need to use it less frequently, and it helps to build longer-term plant and soil health.
At an average of $310, crystalline fertilizer costs between $125 and $500 to cover up to 10,000 square feet. Crystalline fertilizers tend to cost more—particularly the organic ones—because they target a specific lawn problem or deficiency.
For example, a soil test costs $15 to $30 for a regular lawn testing kit. If your test reveals your soil lacks phosphorus and iron, you'd choose a crystalline fertilizer formulated for high iron and phosphorus but low nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium.
For liquid fertilizer, expect to pay around $375, or between $150 and $600. A synthetic product will likely cost you up to $475 for enough to cover 10,000 square feet. The same volume in an organic product will set you back around $600. Liquid fertilizers are easy to apply, but it's also easy to apply too much, so you'll need to be extra careful, making sure to read the directions on the packaging.
For either organic or synthetic fertilizers, you’ll pay $25 to $100 per treatment. They supply plants with the 13 nutrients they need to flourish. These nutrients are potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, copper, boron, zinc, chloride, iron, manganese and molybdenum. Plants cannot distinguish between organic and synthetic fertilizers.
Organic: $50–$100 per treatment. Made from plants, manure, seaweed, worm castings, blood meal, and other organic compounds.
Better for the environment but can still create environmental harm
Synthetic: $25–$80 per treatment. Human-made compounds based on by-products from the petroleum industry.
Only provide specific nutrients for specific plant types
Can harm microorganisms and degrade the soil
Can harm local ecologies
They come in either liquid or crystalline forms and have coatings for slow and fast release. Some varieties also mix in herbicides and fungus control chemicals.
Most companies charge between $300 and $800 per treatment for up to 11,000 square feet. You can choose from national companies or local businesses, and how much you'll pay depends on the brand you choose and where you live. Take a look at some of the most popular brands and their average fees for lawn fertilization.
|Brand||Cost Range (Labor Included)||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|Scotts Lawn||$300 – $500||$400|
|Lawn Doctor||$400 – $700||$550|
|TruGreen||$550 – $800||$675|
Besides just materials, you’ll need to consider these factors that influence prices, including:
Climate and number of treatments
Services you choose. Combining fertilizer with other lawn care projects versus just doing the fertilization.
Whether you do it yourself or hire a licensed and insured professional
Regional pricing differences
Quality of fertilizer
Regional pricing differences can vary by up to 50% or more. What might cost you around $30 in rural America might run $50 in higher cost-of-living areas like New York or San Francisco.
Expect to pay two to three times as much in southern states compared to northern. In cold, northern climates, you might only need three applications while southern areas may need 6 to 10 applications with longer growing seasons and mild, short winters.
Xeriscaping your yard costs $2,000 to $14,000 but saves time and money in the long term. Xeriscaping, a type of yard designed to use little to no irrigation in arid climates, can both save you money and time. With less water usage and no lawn services, you can save $600 to $1,500 per year or more.
A few facts on xeriscaping:
Americans use 45 to 70 gallons of water per square foot per year on their lawns. At an average of $1.50 per 1,000 gallons, you save $350 to $525 on water and $250 to $1,000 on fertilizing for an annual savings of $600 to $1,525.
It'll both benefit the environment and reduce your water bill. With hardscapes and plants designed to thrive in dry conditions, you'll use less water.
It reduces or eliminates the cost of fertilizing. Without fertilizer, there’s no runoff or freshwater pollution.
It’s expensive to install, but inexpensive to maintain. Likely, you’ll make back your investment in a few years.
It’ll cost you half as much to do it yourself, or about $40 per 1,000 square feet if you do all the same treatments like a pro. However, a professional service usually gets better results, saves you time and makes sure all the applications happen on schedule.
For the best-looking yard, hire a lawn care professional near you today.
The upfront price tag usually looks like twice as much, but once you factor in tools, chemicals, and time, you hardly save any doing it yourself.
Professional Results. Pros almost always get lusher, greener lawns than DIYers.
Safe: If not handled properly, serious illness and property damage can occur. Professionals have been trained on how to apply fertilizer in a safe way and according to local and federal guidelines.
Upfront cost: Overall, you’ll pay slightly more than you would to do it yourself, usually about $100–$200 per year plus equipment.
Find the best service. Browse reviews and research licensed and insured pros in our lawn care service directory.
Fertilize your lawn in the spring (March, April, May, or June) with weed and feed. In summer (June, July, August, or September), use turf builder. And, in the fall (September, October, or November), use a winterizer.
In the southern U.S., you might skip the winterizer and use turf builder or weed and feed year-round.
Always follow the directions on the fertilizer bag or bottle. Remember to use the right seasonal fertilizer for your climate. Contact a local lawn care service if you’re unsure.
Fertilize your lawn three to five times per year. Follow the directions on the bag of fertilizer or have your professional advise you on the correct number of applications. Be sure not to over-fertilize; doing so can ruin your lawn, leading to expensive and time-consuming repair work.
You should fertilize your lawn right after mowing it. This allows the fertilizer a few days to absorb before you mow or water it again. Be sure to discuss with your local lawn care professional whether or not the type of fertilizer you use works best right after mowing if your lawn has any special considerations, such as damage, drought, or other factors.
Fertilize your lawn after it rains, not before. If it rains, or you water immediately, it’ll create runoff where the chemicals go deeper into the soil and end up in streams or drains and not feeding your grass. This not only wastes money, time, and product, but could lead to environmental impacts on your local water supply.
Over-fertilizing can damage your lawn's root system, imbalance the soil, and burn your plants. Under-fertilized grass may not be as thick and lush and can develop thin patches and dead areas. This will get worse the longer it's left untreated, as the nutrients in the soil get used up without being replenished.