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DIY Lawn Fertilization: Benefits & Risks

For North Carolina homeowners looking to save money and have more control over their lawn care, DIY fertilization may be an appealing option. But, while there are certainly benefits to this approach, it is also important to understand the risks that come with taking on this task yourself. In this article, we will explore both the advantages and disadvantages of DIY lawn fertilization in North Carolina so you can make an informed decision about how best to care for your lawn.

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Benefits Of DIY Lawn Fertilization

Two Hands Holding Fertilizer Out Of A Bucket

Fertilizing your lawn doesn’t have to be seen as a chore or an expensive lawn care service that requires professional assistance. If you so desire, you can keep your own lawn lush and green with DIY fertilizer applications. There are many benefits to fertilizing and caring for your own lawn, and we encourage all our readers to consider the following benefits when deciding if DIY lawn fertilization is right for you!

Saving Money

Whether you go with professional services or you decide to go the DIY route, lawn fertilization costs depend on the size of your lawn and the type of fertilizer you use. On average in the United States, a 10,000-square-foot lawn costs about $400 to professionally fertilize throughout the entire season. However, much of this cost is due to labor and equipment used by professionals. DIY lawn fertilization eliminates the most expensive part of professional lawn fertilization by leaving you to pay only for the fertilizer you purchase and any (if any) equipment you choose to use to apply it, such as nozzle sprayers or spreaders.



When you decide to fertilize your lawn yourself, you are the one who is in control of when and how often you apply fertilizer. This can be more convenient than professional because it allows you to tailor fertilizer applications around other plans or priorities on certain days. With DIY lawn fertilization, you can also adjust the amount of fertilizer being applied based on the current needs of your lawn without having to wait for a separate appointment or pay additional fees for special requests. DIY fertilization allows you to fertilize your lawn when you want and how you want!


This one may seem less important to the health of your lawn, but your health matters too! Getting outside and applying fertilizer can be a great low-impact workout. Proper fertilizing entails walking at a steady and even pace across your entire lawn, often 2 or 3 times. Every single inch of your lawn must be properly fertilized, or else you are leaving your yard more vulnerable to weeds and diseases that can rapidly spread to even the healthiest parts of your lawn. This type of work and close attention to detail requires plenty of walking, bending, squatting, reaching, and other types of movement that will help keep your lawn and your body in tip-top shape!

Personalized Choices

Lawn Health (1)

Professional lawn fertilization services tend to work with only the highest-quality chemical fertilizers to help ensure the best results possible. This is not always the best option for homeowners who are more concerned with eco-friendly options, as many commercial products can be harmful to the environment if applied incorrectly. DIY lawn fertilization puts you in control of which products you apply to your lawn, from various types of chemical fertilizers to all-natural options. Below is a list of some of the most popular DIY choices for natural lawn fertilization:

  • Manure
  • Compost
  • Bone Meal
  • Seaweed/Kelp
  • Corn Gluten Meal
  • Fish Emulsion
  • Alfalfa Meal
  • Rock Phosphate

Risks Of DIY Lawn Fertilization

Large Patch

DIY lawn fertilization does have its benefits, but let’s not forget that professional fertilization services exist for a reason. Though DIY and natural products may prove successful for some homeowners, many find that all their hard work is in vain when they just can’t seem to get the green results they desire. There are a number of reasons why you may want to avoid DIY applications and go with professional services instead, and we have laid out just a few of those reasons below.

Improper Amounts

Applying too much or too little fertilizer to your lawn can create many issues that will almost certainly require professional help. Applying too much fertilizer can cause your lawn to become more susceptible to weeds and diseases, while not applying enough will leave your grass weak and vulnerable to pests. Of course, the most common issue among inexperienced lawn care enthusiasts is turf burn, caused by applying too much nitrogen fertilizer in an attempt to attain a green lawn as quickly as possible. Professional services are equipped with the right products and knowledge to ensure that the correct amounts of fertilizer are applied at all times.

Wrong Types

granular fertilizer in fall

Just as important as the amount of fertilizer used is the type of fertilizer you use, as well as the time of year at which you apply a particular fertilizer. There are all kinds of fertilizers, from granular or liquid to early spring or pre-winter, and they each serve a specific function. For example, liquid and starter fertilizers are heavy in nitrogen in order to give struggling lawns a quick burst of energy as grass begins its growing season, but granular and fall fertilizers have a slow-release delivery system that is best for lawns that are preparing for winter dormancy. Too much or not enough nitrogen introduced to your lawn at the wrong time could have disastrous results that lead to a host of other problems.

Hazards To People & Pets

It’s no secret that certain fertilizer products have caused harm to people in the past, which is exactly why you do NOT want to just quickly grab the first product you see and apply it to your lawn. Professionals are up-to-date on all the latest product recalls and information, so you can rest assured that you are getting the safest fertilizer treatments when you call for a lawn service. Also, depending on the product you apply, it could take anywhere from 24-72 hours (or more) before it is safe for pets and children to play on again. If you don’t know how long to wait, or if you apply way too much fertilizer, your furry friends and little ones could get sick by ingesting or rolling around in the grass before the fertilizer has been absorbed. Professional companies will inform you about all the safety precautions that come with their fertilizer applications.

Lack Of Results

Weed control for dandelions

Even if you apply all the right amounts and types of fertilizers throughout the year, there is no guarantee that DIY applications will be as effective as professional fertilization. Turf burn, patchy lawns, thin grass, and many other issues can plague even the most diligent DIYer, leading to more frustration and more money out of your pocket. Though you may pay more in up-front costs for professional lawn care, utilizing professional services means getting the highest-quality fertilization services possible. These services often come with pest control, grub prevention, weed control, and other additional functions that make them well worth the money. Plus, though you can not make any guarantees about DIY fertilization, a reputable lawn care provider will always give you a money-back guarantee that they will keep working for your lawn until you see the results you want!

The Best Lawn Fertilization For North Carolina

RDS Lawn Care Services

RDS Lawn Care has provided top-quality lawn fertilization services in the Carolinas for years. Whether you are looking to repair damage from a DIY mishap or just want to make sure your lawn looks its best, RDS has the services and experience to help. We offer personalized fertilization plans for North Carolina’s unique climate and soil types so that you can be sure that your lawn is getting the exact fertilizer mix it needs for maximum growth and health. To get started with us today, contact us at (704) 822-1625 for a free quote!


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