5 Best Fertilizers for Bermudagrass in 2022 [Reviews]

person pouring granulated fertilizer into a manual push-style grass feeder

Don’t get lost in the Bermuda Triangle searching for the best lawn fertilizer for your Bermudagrass yard. We’re here to make it simple. These are the best fertilizers for Bermudagrass based on quality and value, followed by a buyers guide to explain what you should look for in a Bermudagrass fertilizer. 

Top 5 Fertilizers for Bermudagrass – Reviews 

1. Milorganite 0636 Nitrogen Fertilizer

Milorganite 32 lb. Slow-Release Nitrogen Fertilizer

Milorganite’s nitrogen fertilizer is an eco-friendly choice for your lawn that benefits your soil while it feeds the grass. This nitrogen fertilizer contains organic matter that breaks down into the soil to support beneficial microorganisms and improve the soil structure. 

At the same time, this fertilizer encourages lush, green grass growth with just enough nitrogen and iron to benefit your lawn but not so much that you have to worry about burning the grass. Plus, for everything it does, Milorganite 0636 has an extremely affordable price tag, especially for organic fertilizer. 

Specifications:

  • Type: Granular fertilizer
  • NPK ratio: 6-4-0
  • Time release: Slow-release
  • Effective period: 10 weeks 
  • Package size: 32 lbs
  • Coverage area: 2,500 square feet 
ProsCons
Cost-effective
Adds organic matter to the soil 
Contains no salt, so it won’t dry out grassroots
Long-lasting effects
Contains no potassium (one of the most important plant nutrients) 
Does contain phosphorus, so not an option in states with a phosphorus fertilizer ban 
Not certified for organic gardening by the Organic Materials Research Institute (OMRI)

Where to buy:

2. Safer Brand Lawn Restore Fertilizer

Safer Brand Lawn Restore Fertilizer – 20 Lb

Safer Brand’s Lawn Restore fertilizer is another organic option that’s good for your soil as well as your Bermudagrass. This fertilizer is phosphate-free, so it won’t pollute water sources, and it isn’t banned in any state. Plus, it’s safe around pets and small children immediately after you apply it to the lawn. 

Even though it doesn’t contain phosphorus (the nutrient usually associated with root growth), this fertilizer supports a deep, healthy root system, which will help your Bermudagrass survive drought stress and extreme temperatures. Your grass will also green up in as little as three to five days after application. 

Specifications:

  • Type: Granular fertilizer 
  • NPK ratio: 9-0-2
  • Time release: Slow-release 
  • Effective period: 8 weeks 
  • Package size: 20 lbs
  • Coverage area: 5,000 square feet 
ProsCons
Provides nutrients from all-natural materials (such as feather meal and blood meal)
Pet-friendly and kid-friendly 
Phosphate-free
Not OMRI-listed 
Lawn Restore III has an unpleasant smell that earlier versions of the product didn’t have

Where to buy:

3. The Andersons PGF Complete Fertilizer with Humic DG

The Andersons Professional PGF Complete 16-4-8 Fertilizer with Humic DG 5,000 sq.ft.

The Andersons Fertilizer with Humic DG is a professional-grade fertilizer for homeowners who are serious about lawn care and willing to pay extra to prove it. So, what exactly do you get for the premium price tag? 

For one, this is a complete and balanced fertilizer that contains all three of the most important plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) in the ideal ratio for most lawns, including Bermudagrass. Another benefit is the super-fine particles, which ensure even distribution and allow the fertilizer to blend with your soil more seamlessly. 

And, of course, there’s the added bonus of Humic DG, a proprietary soil amendment that contains humic acid and fulvic acid. These natural compounds help your grass absorb more of the nutrients in the soil, so none of the fertilizer goes to waste. 

Specifications:

  • Type: Granular fertilizer 
  • NPK ratio: 16-4-8
  • Time release: Slow-release
  • Effective period: 8 weeks
  • Package size: 18 lbs
  • Coverage area: 5,000 square feet
ProsCons
Packed with soil nutrients, including micronutrients (not just NPK)
Improves your grass’s ability to absorb nutrients 
Expensive
Not for use in states with a ban on phosphorus fertilizers 

Where to buy:

4. Scotts Turf Builder Southern Lawn Food

Scotts Turf Builder Southern Lawn Food, 5,000 sq. ft.

Scotts Turf Builder Southern Lawn Food is specifically designed to boost healthy growth through extreme heat and drought, so it’s perfect for warm-season grasses that grow in the South, such as Bermuda. It’s a great choice for fertilizing during summer and can reduce the amount of water your lawn needs to get through the hottest part of the year. 

This fertilizer contains a high percentage of nitrogen to give you the dark green lawn of your dreams. It also has a relatively high amount of potassium, which supports overall plant health. This fertilizer doesn’t contain phosphorus, which means it’s less harmful to aquatic ecosystems when rain carries it into natural bodies of water. 

Specifications:

  • Type: Granular fertilizer 
  • NPK ratio: 32-0-10
  • Time release: Slow-release 
  • Effective period: 6 weeks
  • Package size: 14 lbs
  • Coverage area: 5,000 square feet 
ProsCons
Boosts root growth and green grass growth through harsh summers 
Safe for kids and pets immediately after you apply it to the lawn
Includes Scotts patented All-in-One particles for even distribution of nutrients
Phosphate-free
Not good for soils with a phosphorus deficiency 
Large amount of nitrogen will burn grass and turn it brown if you over-fertilize any spots by mistake 

Where to buy:

5. Pennington Smart Seed Bermudagrass Seed and Fertilizer Mix

Pennington Smart Seed Bermudagrass Mix with 2x faster results 8.75 LB

Has your lawn withered from pet-related damage, heavy foot traffic, or drought? This combination of Bermudagrass seed and fertilizer can fill in those bare patches. It’s also great for overseeding your lawn to make it thicker. The fertilizer included is ideal for helping new Bermudagrass seedlings grow strong. 

Spring or early summer is the best time to spread this seed and fertilizer mixture. You should see your new grass sprouting in as little as 10 to 14 days. Along with the Bermudagrass seed, the mixture includes a cool-season grass for quicker results than you get when planting Bermuda on its own. 

Specifications:

  • Type: Fertilizer-coated grass seed 
  • NPK ratio: 1-0-0
  • Time release: Slow-release
  • Effective period: 6 weeks 
  • Package size: 8.75 lbs
  • Coverage area: 2,500 square feet if planting all-new grass; 5,000 square feet if overseeding an established lawn 

Where to buy:

Pros Cons
Repairs patchy lawns 
Helps Bermudagrass crowd out weeds 
Works quickly 
Mostly for overseeding rather than just fertilizing 
Only effective if applied in spring or early summer 

Buyers Guide to Choosing the Right Fertilizer 

There are many different types of fertilizers for Bermudagrass, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. This guide will help you pick out the best fertilizer for your Bermuda lawn. 

Hint: For information on fertilizers for other grass types, see our lists of the Best Fertilizers for Grass (all types) and the Best Fertilizers for St. Augustinegrass

Bermudagrass Fertilizer Needs

Bermudagrass is a warm-season grass type that begins growing for the year in late spring and continues to grow actively through summer. It slows down in fall when temperatures cool off and finally enters dormancy in winter. 

Like most grasses, Bermuda benefits from at least three fertilizer applications per year. The following table shows the best fertilization schedule for Bermudagrass, along with information on the best fertilizers to use at different times of the year. 

When to fertilize BermudagrassNutrient needs at this time of yearBest fertilizer for Bermudagrass at this time of year
Spring: When grass greens up after the last expected frost in your area, usually April  Low nitrogenMilorganite 0636 Nitrogen Fertilizer 
Early summer: Once grass growth speeds up, usually JuneHigh nitrogenScotts Turf Builder Southern Lawn Food
Early fall: At least 6 to 8 weeks before the first expected frost date in your area, usually September Low nitrogen, at least some potassium Safer Brand Lawn Restore Fertilizer 

Bermudagrass generally needs 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet each year. Split up that 2 to 4 pounds between the three applications (or however many applications you choose to do this year). Note that if your yard is not 1,000 square feet, you need to adjust the amount of nitrogen accordingly. 

Figure out how much nitrogen a fertilizer contains by multiplying the nitrogen percentage (the first number in the NPK ratio) by the size of the package. 

  • Example: Milorganite 0636 Nitrogen Fertilizer has an NPK ratio of 6-4-0, and the package contains 32 pounds of fertilizer. 
  • Calculation: 6% nitrogen (0.06) x 32 pounds of fertilizer = 1.92 pounds of nitrogen 

Bermudagrass may also need other soil amendments to adjust the soil pH. Bermudagrass does best in soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. If a soil test shows your soil’s pH is higher than this range, you can lower it by adding sulfur. If a test shows your soil’s pH is lower than this range, raise it by adding agricultural lime. 

Bermudagrass Central has another recommendation for a yearly Bermudagrass fertilization program, which you’ll find details about in this video:

How to Use the NPK Ratio 

A fertilizer’s NPK ratio shows what percentage of the most important plant nutrients (aka macronutrients) it contains:

  • Nitrogen (N): The first number in the NPK ratio shows the percentage of nitrogen. Nitrogen encourages faster growth and gives grass its deep green color. Plants need more nitrogen than any other nutrient, so this is almost always the highest number in an NPK.
  • Phosphorus (P): The second number shows the percentage of phosphorus. Phosphorus supports healthy root growth, but it also causes water pollution and is banned in several states, so many fertilizers do not contain any phosphorus. 
  • Potassium (K): The third number shows the percentage of potassium. Potassium is good for the overall health of the grass. 

Your soil naturally contains some level of each plant nutrient already. However, soils vary a lot from location to location, and the soil in your yard might have a deficiency or excess of a particular nutrient. That’s why it’s a good idea to get a soil test before you choose a fertilizer.

Each state has at least one university extension that provides soil testing services. Find your state’s extension on the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s land-grant university directory.

The results of your soil test will let you know if your soil is lacking or has too much of any nutrients, including the three NPK nutrients and others (called secondary nutrients and micronutrients) that plants need in smaller amounts. Your soil test results may even tell you exactly what NPK ratio to look for in your lawn fertilizer. 

Types of Fertilizer 

Once you know what NPK to look for, there are still many different types of fertilizers to choose from. Which one is best for your lawn depends on your specific needs and personal preferences. We’ll explain some of the different types available so you can make an informed decision.

  • Slow-release vs. quick-release: Quick-release fertilizers release all their nutrients at once for an instant growth boost. Slow-release fertilizers release their nutrients gradually, over the course of several weeks, for continuous, consistent feeding. You’ll have to apply quick-release fertilizers more often than slow-release fertilizers. 
  • Liquid vs. granular: Liquid fertilizers are easier to apply because you simply use a sprayer to apply them across your lawn, but they’re almost always quick-release fertilizers, which means they don’t last as long. Granular fertilizers come in tiny, solid particles (aka granules) that take a little more time and effort because you apply them by walking a fertilizer spreader across your lawn. They typically have more even, longer-lasting results than liquid.
  • Organic vs. synthetic: Fertilizers made with organic materials are usually more expensive than synthetic ones. For the higher price, you get the benefits of organic materials: They’re better for your soil’s health and safer for the environment. 
  • Starter fertilizer: Some fertilizers are designed specifically to help new lawns establish strong roots and healthy growth. If you’re planting new grass seed, you definitely want to use a starter fertilizer
  • Seeding fertilizer: Some fertilizers include actual grass seeds so that you overseed and fertilize your lawn at the same time. If your grass is thin or has many bare patches, you may want to overseed with a seed/fertilizer mix. 
  • Weed and feed: Many fertilizers contain herbicides to kill and prevent broadleaf weeds, crabgrass, and other turfgrass weeds. When you apply a weed and feed fertilizer, you don’t have to go through the application process all over again for a separate weed control product. 
  • Pest control: Similarly, there are fertilizers that contain pesticides for killing and preventing certain lawn pests, such as grubs or armyworms. If your lawn has had problems with pests in the past, a pest control fertilizer might be a good idea for you.
  • Disease prevention: There are also fertilizers with fungicides to prevent lawn diseases such as dollar spot, brown patch, and other issues caused by fungi. You only need to look for a fertilizer with disease prevention if your lawn has battled a disease in the past. 

FAQ About Fertilizing Bermudagrass

1. How do I make my Bermudagrass thicker and greener?

You can make Bermudagrass thicker and greener with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Nitrogen makes grass green and helps it grow faster. 

Other ways to encourage Bermudagrass to grow thicker include:

Overseeding to fill in thin and bare patches
Aerating the lawn to fix compacted soil 
Mowing the grass lower and more frequently than usual to encourage more lateral growth rather than upward growth 
Watering the lawn after you mow 
Preventing weeds with pre-emergent herbicide in spring 

2. How can I make Bermudagrass spread faster?

Just as it encourages faster upward growth, nitrogen fertilizer will encourage your Bermudagrass to spread faster. Regularly apply nitrogen fertilizer during your grass’s growing season (late spring through summer) for thicker, faster growth. 

You can further speed spreading by cutting the grass very low — 1 inch or shorter — and very often, about twice per week. 

3. Is lime good for Bermudagrass?

Agricultural lime is used to raise soil pH levels, which may or may not be good for your Bermudagrass depending on what your soil pH already is. 

If your soil’s pH is lower than Bermudagrass’s preferred range of 6.0 to 6.5, then, yes, lime will benefit your grass. However, if your soil’s pH is 6.0 or higher, then lime could hurt your grass. 

4. Can you overfertilize Bermudagrass?

Yes, you can overfertilize any kind of grass. But as long as you follow the instructions on the fertilizer package, you should be fine. 

You’re more likely to overfertilize and burn your grass when using high-nitrogen fertilizers, liquid fertilizers, and quick-release fertilizers. 

Basic Bermudagrass Maintenance

Fertilizing on a regular schedule is an important part of keeping your lawn thick and healthy, and the best fertilizers for Bermudagrass will definitely help you in that department. 

But there’s a LOT more to proper lawn maintenance than just fertilizing. Here are a few more Bermudagrass maintenance tips from Texas A&M’s Guide to Bermudagrass Lawns:

  • Mow the lawn at a height of 1 to 2 inches for common Bermuda or ½ to 1½ inches for hybrid Bermuda varieties. 
  • Water the lawn only when it shows signs of drought stress, which will probably happen every 5 to 10 days depending on the weather. 
  • Apply pre-emergent herbicides in spring to control crabgrass and other summer weeds.
  • Remove thatch from the lawn with a verticutter (also known as a vertical mower or power rake) in spring if the thatch layer is thicker than ½ inch. 
  • Look out for symptoms of common Bermudagrass pests, such as grubs, armyworms, and Bermudagrass mites, so you can treat any infestation ASAP. 

Does all this lawn maintenance sound like too much work? Lucky for you, LawnStarter’s local lawn care pros are a click away. Let our crews mow, trim, edge, and fertilize your Bermudagrass lawn instead. 

Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock

LawnStarter participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. LawnStarter may earn revenue from products promoted in this article. 

Jordan Ardoin

Jordan Ardoin

Jordan Ardoin is a writer and indoor plant enthusiast hailing from Florida. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing her two cats around the house and trying to keep her houseplants alive.