Recommended Products For DIY Lawn Care


These are some of the products and services I recommend from a handful of trusted businesses in the lawn and garden space.

Table of Contents + Necessities

Fertilizers & Lawn Food

My Most Commonly Recommended Fertilizers Of Them All

Basic lawn fertilization requires regular application of NPK. Based on my review of decades worth of turf science publications I regard the ratio of 8-2-5 to be the optimal NPK requirement of well managed lawns all over the world.

To put that into practice means you might apply roughly 4 pounds of Nitrogen to a lawn over the course of a growing season along with 1 pound of Phosphorus and 2.5 pounds of Potassium. Obviously this would not all be applied at once but rather spread out throughout the year.

In my own lawn I try to fertilize on the low end of the spectrum for NP&K but I do tend to go heavier on the trace elements and minor nutrients as well as on the biostimulants. IMO by focusing on the overall health of the grass and the soil it grows in, the lawn will grow slower and stay healthier improving its ability to resist disease, overcome heat stress, and deal with drought conditions.

I also value fertilizers that are made from natural sources of nutrients rather than synthetic or semi-synthetic sources. My favorite fertilizers use Alfalfa meal, Feather meal, Soybean meal, Bone meal, Fish emulsions, Kelp, etc as opposed to Urea or Ammonium Sulfate.

The synthetic fertilizers are necessary though for many aspects of lawn care so I don’t write them off. I own and use them situationally so I’ve included some of them in the list below as well.

These Are My Top 5 Lawn Fertilizers ↓

Grass Genie 10-0-6

Grass Genie 10-0-6 w/ Humic Acid

My favorite granular fertilizer right now is Lawnbox’s Grass Genie product. It’s an OMRI listed 10-0-6 and its main source of Nitrogen is Soybean Meal. It also includes humic acid and well-rounded dose of Potassium which is often lacking in many fertilizers.

Grass Genie contains fast acting organic Nitrogen and Sulphate of Potash and can be purchased right here.

Total Lawn Fish Hydrolysate 2-4-1

Lawnbright’s Total Lawn Fish Hydrolysate 2-4-1

My second favorite fertilizer is Lawnbright’s Total Lawn product which is a sprayable product that only requires a hose on your part. It is an OMRI listed 2-4-1 fish hydrolysate based product that includes a ton of micro and trace nutrients in addition to the dominant Phosphorus application from the fish emulsion.

This product also contains humic acid and a bit of kelp extract for better root development. When used on conjunction with Grass Genie it’s easy to achieve a 8-2-5 ratio over the course of an entire growing season.

You can buy Total Lawn right here (2-4-1) or Total Lawn Phosphorus Free here (20-0-10).

Cytogro Rooting Cytokinins

Cytogro (Source of Cytokinins)

My third favorite “fertilizer” is not an actual fertilizer, it falls under the bio-stimulant category, or possibly the Plant Growth Regulator (PGR) category.

CytoGro is a product made by Ecologel. It isolates the Cytokinins found in Giant North Atlantic sea kelp, the exact plant growth hormone responsible for telling plants to produce more roots instead of shoots, and delivers it alone to the grass causing slower top growth (less mowing) and more root growth (better turf resilience).

Most kelp products include all of the growth stimulating auxins found in sea kelp resulting in an emphasis on leaf growth over root development. With CytoGro they only give me the hormones I want from kelp.

Grass roots are the foundation of a lawn, we want them to be as dense as possible so CytoGro makes this a real possibility. You can buy Cytogro right here.

Alfalfa Meal 2.5-0.5-2.5

Alfalfa Meal 2.5-0.5-2.5

My fourth favorite fertilizer is straight Alfalfa meal. You can buy this from regular well-stocked garden stores locally or online. I’ve purchased Down To Earth’s (roughly 3-1-2) alfalfa meal pellets many times and I’ve used Dr. Earth’s 5-0-2 All Purpose Nitrogen Fertilizer many times in the past which is predominantly made from alfalfa meal.

The reason for fertilizing with alfalfa meal is because alfalfa meal contains a naturally occurring compound called triacontinal. Triacontinal is a fancy plant sourced compound that causes increases in root mass and density. And because the NPK density is so low it is an easy way to top dress more organic matter into your soil every time you fertilize.

I use alfalfa meal as often as I can and nearly every time I put seed on the ground. You can buy a big bag of Alfalfa Meal right here.

Soil Fit 8-0-3

Soil Fit 8-0-3

My Fifth favorite fertilizer is a product called Soil Fit. It’s an 8-0-3 product sold over at Yard Mastery and is a blend of roughly 2/3 naturally sourced nitrogen and 1/3 synthetic nitrogen. This gives you an immediate water-soluble boost in growth followed by a sustained natural component that slowly feeds the lawn for months.

Not only does Soil Fit make it easier for lawn owners to transition from Big Box store synthetic fertilizers to slower natural sources but it also contains biostimulants in the bag including Kelp, Humic Acid, and Peptides as well as Calcium for improved plant hardiness.

You can buy Soil Fit right here in a variety of sizes.

The following section includes some of my other go to fertilizers that I use and recommend for a wide variety of situations.

Starter Fertilizers
N-Ext 16-21-2 GreenePOP

Improve Plant Hardiness (Potassium/Calcium/Silica)
7-0-20 Stress Blend (with Bio-Nite™) – Granular Potassium Heavy Fertilizer

Micro Nutrients
Southern Ag Essential Minor Elements

Liquid Iron
Southern Ag Liquid Chelated Iron

PH Adjustment
Jobs Garden Lime (Calcium Carbonate) – For Increasing Soil PH

Other Root Growth Fertilizers
N-EXT RGS Root Growth Stimulant

N-EXT Humic12 – 12% Liquid Humic Acid

Trace Elements
Azomite Granular

Other commonly purchased products that I haven’t listed yet and don’t dislike are listed below:

Jonathan Green Organic Lawn Food (10-0-1) via Yard Mastery

N-Ext Air8 via Yard Mastery

GreenePunch 18-0-1 Fertilizer via Yard Mastery

N-Ext Greene EfFect 7-0-0 via Yard Mastery

N-Ext MicroGreene 0-0-2 via Yard Mastery

N-Ext FloraGreene 4-0-2 via Yard Mastery

N-Ext 9-0-1 GreeneStart™ Multipurpose Fertilizer via Yard Mastery

Yard Mastery Homepage

Weed Control - Post & Pre-Emergents

Limiting Weeds In The Lawn Is Easier Than You Think

MESO 4SC Select – Generic Mesotrione (An Alternative to Tenacity) – YM
This is a a pre and post emergent herbicide that is typically used during the seeding process of new or existing lawns. It doesn’t interfere with germination or rooting of new plants but rather interfere’s with the weed’s ability to do photosynthesis.

This is the generic version of Mesotrione; the same exact stuff used in Tenacity but at a lower cost.

You can also pick up the actual Tenacity Herbicide from Tenacity is the brand name version of Mesotrione.

Just like the generic version you can use this product when you seed or overseed to help prevent weeds from germinating alongside your baby grass. This product is usually only slightly more expensive than the generic version MESO 4SC Select.

Prodiamine 65 WDG – Generic Version of Barricade – YM
This Pre-Emergent Herbicide is used in both warm season and cool season lawns to prevent the rooting of both grassy weeds and broadleaf weeds that are trying to germinate. Crabgrass is a common weed this ingredient targets.

Here is a larger size of Generic Prodiamine 65 WDG. These are liquid herbicides that must be sprayed on but granular versions are also available.

This granular 0-0-7 + Prodiamine product by Yard Mastery is a perfect way to fertilize your lawn in the early spring to push the grass plant’s ability to stand up to turf stress while simultaneously getting that prodiamine pre-emergent protection.

If you want the basic granular dispersible granular prodiamine called Barricade then it can be purchased easily on Amazon here or on DoMyOwn here.

0-0-7 With Dithiopyr – YM
For those of you looking to fertilize with a Potassium only granular product but also want the pre-emergent and post-emergent control that dithipyr provides then this product is for you.

Dithiopyr works as a short duration (3-4 month) pre-emergent and a post-emergent for weeds that have already germinated within a few weeks prior to application. This is a great pre-emergent for people who waited a little too long to get prodiamine down on the lawn.

Typical target weeds this product prevents include crabgrass and poa annua, the undesirable annual bluegrass.

You can also buy the straight liquid dithopyr product known by the brand name Dimension here on DoMyOwn’s marketplace.

■ Pendimethalin
Product recommendation coming soon.

Triad-Select – YM
This product uses Dicamba, 2,4D and MCPA as primary active ingredients for post emergent control of undesirable grassy and broadleaf weeds.

It is similar to over-the-counter weed killers that you see at big box stores but the concentrations of the active ingredients is higher making the product more effective or capable of eliminating the weeds in your lawn on the first try.

This product is used on cool season grass types plus Bermuda and Zoysia.

Defender Herbicide (
This product uses Florasulam as it’s active ingredient and targets many weeds as a post-emergent. It is frequently used for early season control of dandelions which other pre-emergent products won’t stop or kill.

Celsius® WG Broadleaf and Grassy Weed Control for Warm Season Turf – YM
This is a post-emergent product for use on warm season grass types excluding bahia. It uses three main active ingredients including Dicamba 57.4%, Iodosulfuron-methyl-sodium 1.9%, Thiencarbazone-methyl 8.7%. Dicamba is frequently used in weed killers for cool season grasses so that’s not what makes this product a warm season herbicide; it’s the other active ingredients.

HALO Select – Generic Halsulfuron (An Alternative to SedgeHammer®) – YM
This product uses Halosulfuron-methyl 75%, the same as SedgeHammer but in generic form. The herbicide can be applied to both warm and cool season grasses to control both purple and yellow nutsedge as well as Kyllinga. It works as a post-emergent and can also suppress a variety of additional weeds although Nutsedge is the main one.

Liquid Thatch Removers & Digesters

These Products Make Thatch Management Easy

N-Ext D-Thatch via Yard Mastery

Lawn Star Liquid Lawn Dethatcher via Amazon

Soil Testing Kits

You Have To Test Your Soil Periodically To Know If Your pH Is Off

If you want to make sure you are applying products to your lawn that the soil is actually in need of… and you don’t want to apply products to your lawn that your soil has an over-abundance of then doing a lab soil test is a necessity. There are a bunch to choose from so I’ve listed a few below that I like. Alternatively you can see this page for a full overview of all of the best soil tests on the market today.

■ AgriTech Corp –

■ Yard Mastery Soil Testing Kit – YM

■ Sunday Lawn Care Subscription – New subscriptions receive a free soil test for your property.

Lawn Care Subscriptions (Delivered To Your Door)

These Services Deliver Your Products To You Whenever They Are Needed, Automatically

Mailed-to-you when you need it is a somewhat new thing in the yard care space. In years past you could hire a company to come to your yard and do what needed to be done based on time of year but now these delivery services send you easy to apply products to your yard based on your grass type, climate, and time of year. When the box arrives in the mail you just apply everything to the yard and then wait for your next shipment. Easy-peasy.

■ Lawnbright – Organic & Natural Lawn Fertilizers & Biostimulants

Lawnbright has become my first choice in lawn fertilizers because they do everything I have told my readers and subscribers to do since 2020. Fertilize with lower levels of nitrogen from natural and organic sources while adding plenty of micronutirents, trace minerals, and soil amendments.

Focusing on slower but healthier growth will give you a lawn that is better able to resist disease, drought, extreme heat, excessive wear and tear, and it won’t have to be mowed as often.

These products even contain biostimulants right in the base fertilizers so you don’t have to stock a ton of different products in your garage. Molases, Kelp, Fish Emulsion, Iron, Humic Acid, and more are just some of the biostimulants these fertilizers include on top of basic NPK.

Lawnbright products can be purchased as a subscription service right here or you can purchase individual products (a la carte) right here. My favorite is probably Black Gold and RootRX.

Don’t forget to take your $$$ off your Lawnbright order by using coupon code MECHANIC15 when you checkout!

■ Sunday Lawn Care Subscription Service

The Sunday lawn care delivery service is far more well known than Lawnbright but the product line is also far more average. Most fertilizers in this lineup contain a heavy concentration of urea nitrogen and low amount of Phosphorus and Potassium. Although they do have a few specialty products that you can purchase separately most all of the typical bags of fertilizer that get delivered to your door contain little to no biostimulants or micronutrients.

I don’t want to undersell this product line however, I’m mostly just trying to differentiate it from Lawnbright listed above.

GetSunday is going to give most people faster growth and a quicker green-up due to the higher amount of urea in the bags and the price per 1000 square feet is also probably going to be a touch lower.

Just like Lawnbright you can buy a subscription plan or buy products individually (or both).

I’ve used Sunday lawn care products in my lawn periodically for years now and have no complaints other than that they use more urea than I am comfortable applying to my own lawn regularly. Here is a playlist of videos that I’ve made that all feature me using Sunday products in my own lawn.

Use code MECHANIC20 after you insert your address to see your Sunday lawn plan. You can start the process out right here.

Also, as a cool perk, Sunday will throw in a free soil test for new accounts.

Personally, I like doing everything myself in the lawn, right up to product selection and timing of my lawn applications but obviously Lawnbright and Sunday do make it all so easy. You don’t really have to even think about what to put down or when if you don’t want to.

With a subscription you still have to actually apply the product to the lawn yourself but at least it’s far cheaper than paying a local lawn care company to come out to your house and do the same thing all year every year.

More Recommended Lawn Apps

These Random Products Simply Work

Additionally here are a few non-fertilizer products that greatly help in keeping your lawn healthy.

■ CytoGro by Ecologel Solutions

Cyto Gro Quart

Pricing Available on Yard Mastery

This is a unique lawn product that is packed with Cytokinins, a plant hormone found in seaweed, which stimulate root development in lawn grasses making it a very powerful product to use to encourage deep root growth and resistance to lawn stressors like summer heat, drought, and freezing soil.

The grass’ hormonal response to this product can also be seen in it’s effect on delaying or exiting winter dormancy making this a great tool for greening a lawn up in the early Spring or keeping it growing deep into the Fall.


■ N-Ext Humic12

N-EXT Humic12 Gallon

Pricing Available on Yard Mastery

Humic acid is a product that goes into the soil and allows for improved nutrient availability and uptake into your grass plant’s root systems.

If you apply it then the plant will be able to use more efficiently the nutrients already present in the soil and will be able to use new fertilizer treatments more effectively with less waste or leaching.

This is a very important product to apply to the soil under your turf-grass regularly. This product can also be used in tandem with most all other lawn applications at the same time making it very easy to get down on the lawn all season long.

■ N-EXT RGS (Root Growth Stimulator)

N-EXT RGS Gallon

Pricing Available on Yard Mastery

It’ll help your roots grow deeper and tougher!

■ Hydretain

Pricing Available on Yard Mastery
This product basically makes it so that you don’t have to water your lawn as much or as often… meaning you save money month after month after month on your water bill when you use it. That’s a win-win in my book.

Lawn Tools

These Are The Most Useful Tools I Could Recommend

►► The ProPlugger ◄◄

I use this tool mostly for taking soil samples below the main root zone of the grass, looking at my thatch layer, and comparing soil layers by depth. Other people use this to make grass plugs for transplanting or to dig clean holes in garden beds. I use this tool surprisingly a lot!

Here’s an Amazon affiliate link to the ProPlugger.

►► The Ames True Temper Thatch Rake ◄◄

I use this thatch rake multiple times throughout the year but most often in the mid Spring and early Fall. You can see my review of this rake in the video below.

Here’s an Amazon affiliate link to the Ames True Temper Thatch Rake.

►► The ReoTemp Compost & Soil Thermometer ◄◄

ReoTemp makes mostly non-digital analog thermometers for soil, composting, and worm bins. I like to use the smaller compost thermometers for monitoring my lawn soil temps throughout the days of the growing and dormant lawn seasons. These thermometers can be left outside and will hold up to the weather. They can be bought in many different lengths in both regular and heavy duty styles. Here is a video review of the style I’ve been using for a couple of years now.

Here’s an Amazon affiliate link to the 20-Inch ReoTemp Compost Thermometer and here is an Amazon affiliate link to the 24-inch heavy duty version.

Simple Plant Food (Lawn Fertilizers)

Simple Lawn Solutions’ Liquid Products Are Affordable & Work Well

Now let’s move on to some of the liquid and granular fertilizers, weed preventers, and misc. lawn applications I recommend to my readers and viewers:

These are the products I’ve been using a lot lately from Simple Plant Food (Chemwise). They offer an excellent hybrid-organic liquid product line that’s affordable for owners of smaller properties.

■ Simple Aeration Soil Builder ■

Simple Aeration Quart

Pricing & Specs

0-0-8 + 1.5% Iron – 6% Humic Acid

This is a liquid aeration product but I like it mostly because it’s a single lawn app that delivers a good amount of highly plant available potassium to the lawn that doesn’t need to be watered in to work. The Potassium is foliar available.

You also get 6% humic acids for nutrient uptake benefits and included sea kelp extracts for improved root depth & development in your existing grass plant systems.

Molasses is added to feed microbial life making this a very well rounded product; in fact this is my favorite liquid lawn aerator product on the market. I still recommend core aeration but this is a very powerful tool in the shed.

■ Simple Balance Lawn Food ■

Simple Balance Quart

Pricing & Specs


This is a nitrogen fertilizer that contains half slowly available Urea-Triazone and half fast available water soluble Nitrogen.

You get a 7-1 ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus which is closely in-line with my preferred NPK ratio for residential lawns.

The Potassium is a split between Potassium Phosphate & Acetate giving it a broad availability to lawns in both the soil and the foliar canopy.

For general lawn fertilization this product is a great option that won’t leave your soil deficient in anything over the long run.

■ Simple Enhance Root Builder ■

Simple Enhance Quart

Pricing & Specs

1-1-1 + .02% Iron – .02% Manganese

This is a complex root booster product that comes in at a modest 1-1-1 ratio but also includes micronutrients and molasses which will feed the microorganisms in your soil resulting in a healthier soil bed for deeper healthier roots.

■ Simple Green Lawn Food ■

Simple Green Gallon

Pricing & Specs

20-0-0 + 1% Iron – .25% Manganese – .25% Magnesium

This product is a great option to quickly pop more leaf growth and deeper green color due it’s slowly available nitrogen content paired with chlorophyll and photosynthesis enhancing micronutrients.

It is safe to use regularly because it’s not too high in anything, the nitrogen is in the Urea-Triazone form, and the micros have excellent foliar absorption rates.

I can see using this product in a variety of situations throughout the year.

■ Simple Maintain Lawn Food ■

Simple Maintain Gallon

Pricing & Specs


This is a phosphorus free balanced lawn food that should maintain health over time so long as the lawn receives a little bit of Phosphorus in other applications throughout the year.

Most of this Nitrogen is derived from Urea-Triazone giving it a lower burn likelihood and a slower delivery to the plant meaning less leaching.

The Potassium Acetate is also more available to the plant through foliar contact making this a great source material to use in a liquid fertilizer.