Big Box Store Fertilizers vs. Specialty Brands – Which is Best for Your Lawn


Keeping our gardens healthy and fertilized has become big business these days. There will always be the compost and manure users and those things are great for our gardens, but sometimes people want more. The fancy labels promise to do more and make your plants bigger and better, so we try to help our plants reach new heights. Fertilizer is not just for our gardens anymore. So how do you feel about big box store fertilizers vs. specialty brands, which is best for your lawn?

Specialty Brands

These special blends will offer you more than just nitrogen, phosphate, and soluble potash. In some cases the company can create a special blend for your yard based on a sample of your soil. It is made specifically for the problems you want solved on your property. Please check the labels thoroughly when buying specialty fertilizer to make sure of what you are getting. You don’t want to add something to your soil that would damage it overall. These blends can be quite enticing and will get you motivated to see results and get the job done quicker.

Big Box Store Fertilizers

Many fertilizers in big box stores do not have micro nutrients added. You must add the extra nutrients that you want, which will cost you more money. These fertilizers basically have the same ingredients of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium at different ratios. The other ingredients are fillers such as clay pellets or limestone. There is a purpose for these fillers and they help with the distribution of the fertilizer and balance things out to prevent chemical burn.

What will you choose?

I would suggest that you choose the product that fits well with your budget. It seems like that would be common sense, but many people will go over board and soon run out of funds trying to buy the expensive stuff with all the bells and whistles. If you have a small area to work with and you can afford the expense, it may be beneficial to try a specialty brand. No one will know how your lawn became so beautiful but you, so don’t try to impress the neighbors. There is always the inexpensive stuff that will do just as well.


Get your soil tested first before you mix in any fertilizers. The health of your soil is important when trying to grow a healthy lawn and garden.  The soil may be lacking certain minerals and nutrients or it could be more acidic. These things are important to know when looking for the right fertilizer. Make sure that you double check the labels to avoid mishaps. If you left your glasses at home, please ask the salesperson what the label says. I can’t stress this enough.


What kind of fertilizer do you use?

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