Pricing Guide: How much Does Lawn Fertilization Cost?

Lawn fertilization costs about $380 for the average-size U.S. lawn with a typical price range between $88 and $544.

How much does lawn fertilization cost? Hiring a lawn care professional for fertilization costs about $380 for the average-size U.S. lawn with a typical price range between $88 and $544.

If you have a smaller lawn, you will pay less. If you have a bigger lawn, you likely will pay more. Other factors affecting the cost of lawn fertilization include what kind of fertilizer you are using, and whether you hire a pro or handle the lawn fertilization as a DIY project.

How Much Does Lawn Fertilization Cost?

Most lawn care companies charge by the size of your lawn but some charge by the hour, so we have broken down costs for both for the smallest, largest and average-size lawns across the U.S.

Oh, and how did we come up with these yard sizes?

  • Smallest average lawn size in U.S. (Nevada): 4,386 square feet
  • Average U.S. lawn size: 10,871 square feet
  • Largest average lawn size in U.S. (Vermont): 73,979 square feet

If you know your yard size, you can multiply that by 2, 3.5, and 5 cents per square foot to calculate the cost of fertilization for your yard.

For example, the average prices for the smallest and largest average — and the U.S. average — yard sizes at 3.5 cents per square foot adds up to:

Average Cost of Lawn Fertilization at 3.5 cents per square foot:

  • Average U.S. lawn: $380
  • Average Vermont lawn (largest in U.S.): $2,589
  • Average Nevada lawn (smallest in U.S.): $154

Paying by the hour might be advantageous if you have a very large property — unless you have a slower worker. Fortunately, most professional lawn care providers have skilled workers and top-notch equipment. 

To calculate the costs of fertilization per hour at a rate of $30, $50, and $60 per hour, we estimated that it takes a professional landscaper between one and two hours to fertilize a 10,000-square-foot lawn.

How fast or slow is your lawn care fertilization team? We used a range of 83.33 to 166.66 square feet per minute.

Cost of Fertilization by Location

Where you live can have a big impact on the cost of lawn fertilization. Several key factors are at play. The balance of supply and demand will change from town to town, and wealthier residents can drive up the price. The cost of labor, transportation, and materials also vary by region. 

Here is a sampling of the average rate per square foot rate cost of fertilization for 20 major U.S. cities.

Other Factors that Affect Cost

Your lawn fertilization bill will vary depending on the type of fertilizer (granular, liquid, pre-emergent, post-emergent, organic), the weight/volume of fertilizer, and whether you hire a pro or go DIY.

Types of Lawn Fertilizer

Fertilizer is typically made by combining three chemicals that help plants grow: phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. Most fertilizers will be based on different ratios of these three chemicals, though some will include herbicides to get rid of weeds. 

Not sure what kind of fertilizer you need? These are the most common fertilizer types with a bit on how they work and their benefits and drawbacks:  

Granular/Time Release: Time-release fertilizers are designed to slowly release their chemicals over time. These are perfect if you want to fertilize your lawn infrequently or are concerned about over-fertilizing. 

Liquid: Liquid fertilizers quickly release chemicals. If you want to brighten your lawn fast and jump-start its growth, liquid fertilizers are a good way to go. Just make sure you know your dose. It’s easy to overdo it.

Pre-Emergent: As its name suggests, pre-emergent fertilizer is laid down in early spring, before your lawn really takes off for the year. This fertilizer typically includes herbicides to kill off weeds before they get started and is often chemically bound to a conventional nitrogen-based fertilizer. 

Post-Emergent/Weed and Feed: Like pre-emergent fertilizer, these blends mix herbicides with conventional fertilizer. However, while pre-emergent fertilizers prevent weed growth, weed and feed fertilizers are more commonly used to treat weeds that have already established themselves on your lawn. 

Organic: Organic fertilizers are made from naturally occurring compounds like blood meal, crushed shells, powdered manure, and wood. People like these fertilizers because they are eco-friendly and easier on the environment.

Organic fertilizers also are great if you are not as experienced in lawn care. Why? Organic fertilizers decompose slowly so it’s hard to over-fertilize. 

For DIY lawn fertilization, the fertilizer itself is usually pretty low-cost. Here are ballpark costs for various types and amounts of common fertilizers: 

Note: 1 pound of fertilizer is recommended for 1,000 square feet of lawn. 

Cost of Fertilizer by Type

The type of fertilizer you buy is going to affect how much you spend on your lawn fertilization. Here are the average costs per pound or liquid ounce of common fertilizers. Time-release fertilizers have the widest range since some of them are highly specialized.

Services Commonly Bundled with Fertilization

Fertilization often is bundled with other yard care services, such as aeration, dethatching, grub treatment, overseeding, and crabgrass treatment. 

Here are a few commonly bundled services and their price-points for an average U.S. lawn in case you want to take your turf to the next level: 

Aeration: Add-On Price Range: $45-$50

Aeration is a method of breaking up compacted dirt by sticking spikes in the ground. This will break up clots of dirt that prevent your roots from getting needed water and nutrients. 

Dethatching: Add-On Price Range: $45-$50

Dethatching is the process of removing the top-most layer of organic material in your soil. Similar to aeration, this creates room for root growth so your grass can soak up needed nutrients. Dethatching often precedes fertilization. 

Grub Treatment: Add-On Price Range: $50-$80

Your turf can support only about five grubs per square foot before these natural pests start damaging your lawn. Letting a grub infestation get out of control can ruin the appearance of your yard. Grub treatments typically involve spraying insecticides that reduce the population. 

Overseeding: Add-On Price Range: $150-$300

Overseeding is the laying down of new grass seed over the top of your lawn without tearing up existing grass. Overseeding is a great way to replant bald patches and thinning parts of your lawn. 

Crabgrass Treatment: Add-On Price Range: $40-$50

Crabgrass is a very opportunistic weed that can crowd out your turf. Crabgrass treatment is a common add-on to fertilization that involves spreading specialized herbicides in targeted areas of your lawn to keep this aggressive plant from taking over.  

Cost of DIY Lawn Fertilization

Maybe you’d rather fertilize the lawn yourself? Let’s cover a few pros and cons before you get started. 

Pros: You’ll save money. It’s much more affordable to simply buy fertilizer and distribute it yourself. You also might enjoy the satisfaction of taking care of your lawn.

Cons: DIY lawn fertilization will take some time, so you may need to trim your weekend plans. It’s also easy to over- or under-fertilize your lawn if you’re not sure how much to lay down. 

If you go the DIY lawn fertilization route, you likely will need to purchase a fertilizer spreader.

A fertilizer spreader might not be necessary depending on your preferred type of fertilizer and the size of your lawn. However, if you would like some specialized equipment, a spreader will give you an even application and a quicker work time. 

Let’s compare the prices for two types of spreaders: handheld and push spreaders. You carry handheld spreaders around your lawn, while push fertilizer spreaders are wheeled across your grass. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Lawn Fertilization

What are the best times of year to fertilize?

Early spring is generally the best time to fertilize your lawn because your dormant grass will need a lot of nutrients to get going. A lot of lawn care experts recommend fertilizing a second time in the fall to give your plants some stored energy for the winter. 

How often should you fertilize you lawn?

We recommend fertilizing at least once or twice a year. 

What’s wrong with over- or under-fertilizing your lawn?

There are a few problems with over-fertilization. You can have a buildup of organic material that leads to root rot and will damage your lawn. Over-fertilization also harms the environment as rainwater runoff can carry lawn care chemicals to local waterways. There are no real dangers with under-fertilizing your yard, except that your lawn may take longer to recover from the winter or have a harder time fending off weeds or grubs. 

What are the factors that determine the cost of fertilization?

The size of your lawn is the most important determining factor. After that, which company you choose and where you live will have the greatest influence on price. 

Conclusion

Your yard needs nutrients and TLC to stay green and healthy. Fertilization helps keep your lawn looking like a golf course.

How much will you lawn fertilization typically cost? Hiring a lawn care professional for fertilization costs about $380 for the average-size U.S. lawn with a typical price range between $88 and $544.

Your final price depends on your yard size, how much fertilizer you need, the type of fertilizer used, and whether you prefer to hire a pro or do this yard work yourself.

When you start shopping for lawn fertilization services, consider what is most important to you: 

  • How much do you want to spend on lawn fertilization? 
  • How often do you need to fertilize? 
  • Which would you rather spend more of? Money or time? 
  • Do you want the satisfaction of taking care of your own lawn? 

How you answer the above questions will determine whether you want to fertilize your lawn yourself or would rather hire a pro. If you decide expert help is the way to go, find a lawn care professional near you. Get a few estimates from a few lawn fertilization services, check their references and maybe ask your neighbors who they use, and then hire the best one for your lawn care needs.

Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Cory Ferrer

Cory Ferrer

Cory Ferrer is a LawnStarter writer with a background in communication, creative writing, and education. He spends his free time exploring Denver, taking long bike rides, and browsing used bookstores.