Give your grass a boost with our pick of the best granular, liquid and year-round lawn feeds
If you’re lucky enough to have a lawn of your own, chances are you’re keen to get the best out of it. Besides the summer mowing sessions and occasional watering, indulging your grass with a specialised feeding routine throughout the year will help prevent weeds and moss from taking over, as well as encouraging any limp, sparse grass to grow greener and thicker.
A good lawn feed can banish dry, brown patches with a good dose of nutrients to the soil beneath, and encourage lush, green and fast-growing grass. Depending on the combination of nutrients included, you can boost the greenness of your grass in just a few days with a water-soluble lawn feed, or allow a slow-release of fertiliser to keep working for months on end.
With a few different varieties of lawn feed available, each ideal for application at different times of year, it’s worth getting to grips with a few basics before making a decision. We’ve set out a short guide to lawn feeds below, along with our top recommendations.
Best lawn feed: At a glance
- Best for households with children and pets: Westland SafeLawn | £16
- Best liquid lawn feed: Miracle-Gro Liquid Concentrate | £8.40
- Best overall lawn feed: Miracle-Gro Evergreen | £19
- Best lawn feed for greener turf: Plantworks Empathy Seaweed | £8
- Best lawn feed for winter: MOOWY | £13
- Best lawn feed for killing moss: Guard-en-Force | £9.95
How to choose the best lawn feed for you
What does lawn feed actually do?
Lawn feed isn’t exactly food; it’s more a combination of mineral nutrients that help your grass to grow. Just like other plants, grass needs a regular supply of nutrients to keep it growing healthily. The main nutrients needed are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), each of which provide your lawn with different benefits.
- Nitrogen aids with leaf growth, resulting in a deep green colour when your lawn is happiest. Nitrogen-heavy lawn feeds are best applied when grass puts out new growth, so in the spring and summer.
- Phosphorus (or phosphate) helps with root development, as strong roots mean less disease and fewer pests. It’s best applied in early spring or autumn.
- Potassium helps to build plant cells, which means more resistance against diseases and drought, and is best applied in spring or autumn.
How do I read a lawn feed label?
Typically, a lawn feed label will provide information about the percentages of each mineral nutrient via its NPK number: the nitrogen (N) number, followed by the phosphorus (P) number and the potassium (K) number. There are different nutrient combinations for different times of year and various types of grass.
A balanced lawn feed will have these three mineral nutrients in equal measures; in other words, a ratio of 5:5:5. This would indicate a fertiliser that’s applicable all year round. A more nitrogen-heavy lawn feed will have a less balanced NPK number. It will give grass a green boost but also makes your lawn more susceptible to scorching in hot weather – so it shouldn’t be used as your main fertiliser, and should be used in combination with a slow-release fertiliser too. Luckily, lawn feed companies understand that this information is confusing so most also explain what season a particular feed is intended for.
When should I feed my lawn?
Although it depends on the type of lawn you have and what condition it’s in, an easy rule to adhere to is feeding once each season or even just once a year with a slow-release fertiliser. If you opt for the former, your feeding schedule might look like this:
- In mid-spring (late March to April), when the soil is moist or when rain is expected, you can feed your lawn with a product that contains weed and moss control. It will kill off any moss that’s grown over winter, and help accelerate grass growth after the cold months. Once the weeds are under control, it’s fine to use a lawn feed that solely feeds the grass.
- In the heat of an English summer, the grass won’t be growing – in fact, it’s more likely to be scorched by any fertilisers. Stop feeding your lawn during prolonged dry spells, and once there’s been a good rainfall, wait a few days then feed again. Aim to feed the lawn every six to eight weeks throughout the summer.
- In autumn, your grass should be fed so it grows at a slow rate and so the roots can be strengthened against the cold. That’s when a specialised autumn feed is needed. You should also rake well during autumn to remove dead grass and weeds.
Anything else I should know?
Lawn feed comes in various forms: liquid and granular are two of the most common. Although there isn’t much difference between the results they achieve, liquid lawn feed is typically cheaper as it’s concentrated, and is easier to store. Don’t over-apply a lawn feed if you don’t see immediate results either, as that can lead to black marks, holes and scorching.
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The best lawn feed you can buy in 2023
1. Westland SafeLawn Child and Pet Friendly Natural Lawn Feed: Safest lawn feed
Price when reviewed: £16 for 5kg | Check price at B&Q
If your lawn is often frequented by children and animals, it makes sense to opt for a safe, non-chemical fertiliser. Westland SafeLawn is made from 100% natural ingredients, including granulated chicken manure plus other organic matter – ingredients that may result in a slight smell when opening the packaging.
Simply scatter around 35g of the granular feed per 1m² patch of lawn and water it thoroughly straight after application. If you’re keen to help the germination of the added grass seed present in the feed then keep the lawn well watered for the next fortnight. The organic matter won’t stain like other fertilisers if you happen to step across it, and won’t scorch your lawn either, even if it’s over-applied.
You can apply Westland SafeLawn every three weeks between February and September, but it’s advised not to use during either a drought or when the ground is frosted over. This 5.25kg bag should provide 150m² of lawn coverage.
Key Specs – Type: Granular; Application: By hand or spreader; Seasons: February-September
2. Miracle-Gro Evergreen Fast Green Liquid Concentrate Lawn Food: Best liquid lawn feed
Price when reviewed: £7.95 for 1L | Check price at Amazon
This liquid lawn feed kicks into action in just 24 hours, so it’s a great option if you need fast results. Using the measuring cap provided, add 40ml of the liquid feed into four litres of water. Once it’s been thoroughly mixed in, use a rose or sprinkle bar attachment on your watering can to apply it to the lawn. Wait until the lawn has dried off before allowing children and pets into the area again, and you should see a deeper green shade across your grass by the next day.
Liquid lawn feed is perfect for smaller gardens or those with no hose, and it can be reapplied every six weeks throughout the summer. As this is purely a lawn feed it won’t kill off weeds or moss, so it can be used in combination with another feed. A 1-litre bottle of Miracle-Gro Evergreen should cover 100m² of your grass.
Key Specs – Type: Liquid; Application: Watering can; Seasons: March-September
3. Miracle-Gro Evergreen Complete 4 in 1 Lawn Food: Best overall lawn feed
Price when reviewed: £18 for 7kg | Check price at Amazon
This granular feed packs a punch, killing weeds, controlling moss and revitalising lawns in seven days with just one application. Miracle-Gro’s Watersmart formula helps grass to absorb water more effectively, which in turn protects against heat and drought – basically anything that could stress your grass.
Because it includes high amounts of both potassium and nitrogen, the Miracle-Gro Evergreen lawn feed shouldn’t be applied to bone dry grass as it can result in scorching. This can also happen if you use too much – so stick to the recommended 35g per square metre, scattered onto the grass by hand and then watered in if no rain falls after two days. Don’t walk on the lawn until the Miracle-Gro has fully dried either, as the iron sulphate can leave brown stains on clothes or patio slabs. Children and pets should also be kept away from the grass at this time.
A 7kg bag provides 200m² of lawn coverage, and it should be applied once between April and September when the weeds are actively growing, with a maximum of two applications per year and a gap of at least three months between.
Key Specs – Type: Granular; Application: By hand; Seasons: April-September
4. Plantworks Ltd Empathy Lawn Feed Liquid Seaweed Stimulant: Best lawn feed for greener turf
Price when reviewed: £10 for 1L | Check price at Homebase
Seaweed has long been used as a soil improver, thanks to its natural content of nitrogen, potassium and phosphates. Endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society, this liquid seaweed stimulant from Plantworks contains organic seaweed extract that improves plant development by increasing chlorophyll production. The feed also contains extra iron from sustainably harvested kelp extract.
A litre of this concentrated lawn feed is pretty economical: it makes up to 50 watering cans’ worth (although you can also use a hose to apply it) for just £8. To use, just add two capfuls of the liquid into 4.5 litres of water, mix well and apply evenly to 10m² of your lawn. It shouldn’t be harmful to animals and children once dried, and you can apply every fortnight from March until October.
Key Specs – Type: Liquid; Application: Watering can or hose; Seasons: March-October
5. MOOWY Year-Round Lawn Feed: Best lawn feed for winter
Price when reviewed: £13 for 1kg | Check price at Amazon
MOOWY gives an all-round nutrient boost for your grass, no matter what the season. It’s a slow-release fertiliser that keeps working for 60 days, strengthening plant roots and boosting the chlorophyll in your grass thanks to its high nitrogen content. MOOWY suggests mowing your lawn no shorter than 5cm before spreading the granules evenly and then lightly watering in, regardless of the time of year you’re using it. You should see greener grass within seven days, although bear in mind that there’s no weed or moss killer in this feed.
For the best results, MOOWY claims this fertiliser should be used regularly every six to eight weeks, along with mowing your lawn every week. That said, the high nitrogen content makes us a little cautious when using this product on young or recently sown lawns.
MOOWY lawn feed is child and pet safe and doesn’t have any odour. The pouch-style packaging is also resealable for easy storage, and a one-kilo bag will cover 50m² of lawn.
Key Spec – Type: Granular; Application: By hand; Seasons: Year-round
6. Guard-en-Force Tradefarmni Iron Sulphate: Best lawn feed and moss killer
Price when reviewed: £9.95 for 1kg | Check price at Amazon
If you’re looking for a lawn fertiliser that also does a great job at eliminating pesky weeds and moss, go with Guard-en-Force. A kilo of this stuff will cover (and get rid of) around 500 square metres of moss.
It’s extremely powerful so be sure to use it with caution and experiment with the lowest measurement first: use 1 to 2 grams per litre of water per square metre of lawn and apply with a sprayer for better coverage.
You can use it all year round if desired, but be careful where you open the tub – some customers have mentioned that accidental spillages inside the house left rust-like stains. It’s also advised to keep children and pets away until at least 96 hours after application and watering.
This lawn feed is particularly effective when used in the autumn through until spring for ridding your lawn of worm casts too, as the slimy remnants can make mowing the grass rather muddy and slippery.
Key Spec – Type: Powder; Application: By hand or by spreader; Seasons: Year-round