Top 8 Best Starter Fertilizers | 2021 Reviews (Pennington)

Are you thinking of growing your lawn to look their best? You may also be planning on planting new seedlings for growing potted plants. You know that not everyone is born and gifted with a green thumb. Thankfully, starter fertilizers have been innovated to give additional nutrients to your plants and have them grow beautifully.

Treat your plants with care and give them what they need to help them look their best when they grow. Many supplements, such as starter fertilizers, are now offered in the market and are available on Amazon, waiting to be delivered to your doorstep.

Dive into the list below for the best starter fertilizers we could find and grab the one best suited for your needs. You may have that green thumb, after all.

Top 8 Best Starter Fertilizers Reviewed

  1. Pennington UltraGreen Starter Lawn Fertilizer – Best Overall
  2. Scotts Lawn Food for New Grass – Best Premium
  3. EarthPods Best Root Starter Fertilizer – Best Value
  4. Jobe’s Organics Fast Start Granular Fertilizer
  5. The Andersons Starter Turf Fertilizer
  6. Voluntary Purchasing Group Fertilome
  7. Voluntary Purchasing Group Fertilome
  8. Jonathan Green Lawn Fertilizer

#1. Pennington UltraGreen Starter Lawn Fertilizer – Best Overall

Pennington UltraGreen Starter Lawn Fertilizer

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  • NPK: 22-23-4
  • Area cover: 5000sq.ft.
  • Content weight: 14lbs
  • With 5% Fe
  • Extended feeding up to three months

Boost your seedlings’ growth with this premium blended fertilizer, made with packed nutrients essential for plant nutrition. It will thicken the growth of your lawn and make it look greener and fresher than ever, making your neighbors wonder how a lawn could be kept so healthy.

This starter fertilizer induces a 7.8% slow release of nitrogen that allows maximum absorption of nutrients for your plants, building up deeper and thicker roots, a fuller grass, and faster lawn establishment for you. Many have noticed how their lawns have doubled in thickness and how their grasses appear deeper, darker, with vibrant green color.

Pennington puts 5% iron in the mix of their starter fertilizer to induce the deep green luscious color of your lawns. You can use their product for new lawns with seed or sod or for overseeding existing lawns. You will be pleased with its helpfulness for fast lawn establishment. It is no wonder how it is selected as Amazon’s choice for their vast choices in starter fertilizers.

Many purchasers have switched from one brand to Pennington as they have been amazed by the great results it brought to their lawn. However, this starter fertilizer is best used when you have fully read its instructions manual to maximize its effects. You can also use other products from Pennington that will make your lawn weed-free and full-blown, the best lawn in your neighborhood. You can apply this product with a spreader according to the package directions.

If you’re looking for a starter fertilizer that will aid you in your plants’ fast and healthy growth, this product is far from disappointing you. Its manufacturer even offers a 100% money-back guarantee if, for some reason, you are not satisfied with its results.

Has a proven and tested great performance that is best utilized with a proper reading of its package instructionsWorks best with other Pennington products for lawn care, which can be pricey but can be a good investment in the long run
Makes your lawn have a lush, deeper green colorHas a chance to flop when not applied as per instructions, or if you missed some notes from its manual
Builds deeper and thicker roots for your plants
Induce fast and healthy growth of plants
Has a 100% money-back guarantee

#2. Scotts Lawn Food for New Grass – Best Premium

Scotts Lawn Food for New Grass

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  • NPK: 24-25-4
  • Area cover: 5000sq.ft.
  • Content weight: 15lbs
  • Thicker grass up to 70%
  • Quicker grass-growth up to 35%

This starter fertilizer is proven to be safe for any grass type, whether you plan to plant new grass seedlings, start your first lawn, or reseed an existing one. It improves seed growth drastically than unfed ones, which is also great for sod and grass plugs.

Faster root and blade development are induced by providing your plants the nutrients they need, which this starter fertilizer is engineered for. Scotts’ manufacturers claim this product to give your plants a 35% faster growth rate than unfed ones. It also thickens the growth of your grass up to 70% relative to unfed plants.

People who have purchased this product keep getting great results every year, making Scotts one of the most well-known brands for keeping lawns and other plants healthy and growing well. Applying liberal amounts of this fertilizer would make your lawn grow crazy with regular watering. You will have to mow your lawn every two weeks due to its fast and generous growth, making your lawn looking great.

You won’t have a tough time trying to bring your lawn back to life from the winter or keeping it lush during the drought season. If you’re looking for a starter fertilizer that can help your plants grow healthy through any weather, this is for you.

One of the most well-known starter fertilizer brands in the marketRequires some more effort and time in maintaining your lawn
Helps plants start growing through any weather conditionMight need some maintenance for weed overgrowth
Keeps your plants looking healthy and fresh
Gives a thicker growth than unfed plants

#3. EarthPods Best Root Starter Fertilizer – Best Value

EarthPods Best Root Starter Fertilizer

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  • 100% organic and toxic-free
  • A tube = 100 concentrated earth pods
  • Content weight: 3.52oz
  • 6-year supply for a single plant

EarthPods sacrifices profit margin to provide a wiser choice for consumers who want to provide nutrients for their plants, encouraging eco-friendly practices. The production of their products minimizes environmental impacts and promote organic alternatives. They put in additive supplements to effectively replenish tired soil with trace minerals, nutrients, and soil humates.

These starter fertilizer pods conveniently offer no mess, no measuring needed, and no smell. You can store keep pods in a cold and dry room for longer storage life as they can last in stock for as long as six years when you use them for a single plant. You can easily push an earth pod near the center of the plant you want to feed, and it will break down when you water it and seep deep into the plant to help it grow deep and healthy roots.

Many who purchased these pods were surprised when they used it on their already wilting existing plants. After a few days, their plants are healthier than ever and even began growing new leaves. You can trust these earth pods to nourish the soil you plan to nurture your plant in.

If you’re looking for an effective starter fertilizer to nourish your soil for new or existing environmentally friendly plants simultaneously, this product would be a smart choice.

No toxic chemicals in the mix, which makes it safe upon exposure to people and animalsSome might prefer granules which can be spread evenly on wider areas
Effective in nourishing the soil for healthy plant growth and strong roots
Convenient and easy-to-use
Environmentally friendly
Has a long storage life

#4. Jobe’s Organics Fast Start Granular Fertilizer

Jobe’s Organics Fast Start Granular Fertilizer

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  • NPK: 4-4-4
  • Area cover: 100sq.ft.
  • Content weight: 4lb
  • Organic ingredients

Jobe’s organic granular fertilizer acts immediately to enhance the root growth of seeds and new plants. This product is listed for organic gardening by the USDA. It uses non-synthetic chemicals that may be harmful to the environment and other living organisms exposed to it.

Biozome technology is included in their product. It is a proprietary microorganism archaeon that naturally breaks down material for faster plant root absorption that will give nourishment instantly. Jobe’s Biome will greatly improve soil conditions, resist diseases, pests, and tough weather during the growing seasons.

You won’t have any hassle in using its easy-to-pour bag. You should apply this starter fertilizer before planting. This product induces microorganism activity. Due to its eco-friendly nature, you can be guaranteed for it to be child and pet friendly as well. However, be careful and store it somewhere out of reach from children and animals as it can still be dangerous for long exposures and accidental consumption.

If you are looking for an effective granulated and organic starter fertilizer, this is worth trying out. It has garnered good reviews on Amazon and is labeled as Amazon’s Choice for “soil planting” for seeds.

Effective strengthening of roots and healthy plant growthSome people find some inaccuracy to the measurements for the product’s application instructions for different plant sizes
Made of organic environmentally friendly materialsSmell attracts animals and can be dangerous for them
Easy to apply granules from the bag

#5. The Andersons Starter Turf Fertilizer

The Andersons Starter Turf Fertilizer

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  • NPK: 18-24-12
  • Area cover: 12,500sq.ft.
  • Content weight: 50lb
  • Contains 9.39% ammoniacal nitrogen, 8.61% urea nitrogen

The Andersons are known to be the leaders of the turf industry. They have formulated this fertilizer, designed as a seed starter that promotes vigorous seedling development and root establishment. It corrects phosphorous deficiencies and enhances spring green-up.

This starter fertilizer also contains slowly available and quick release nitrogen, controlled to give your plants and seedlings the right amount of nutrition. It can feed up your lawn for as long as six to eight weeks upon your initial application.

Ensure that you have read all the instructions carefully for the best results. You should allow rain or water them down after application to let them seep into the soil. You should also avoid exposure to children and animals and wait until the applied fertilizer has been watered down.

If you’re looking for an effective granular starter fertilizer from a well-known manufacturer with a large area coverage, this is for you.

Made by well-known manufacturers that are widely recognized in the turf industryMay be harmful upon fresh exposure to animals and humans
Effectively aids the healthy growth of newly planted seedsContains toxic chemicals
Strengthens the roots of your plants
Has a large area coverage

#6. Voluntary Purchasing Group Fertilome

Voluntary Purchasing Group Fertilome

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  • NPK: 3-6-3
  • Area cover: 3000sq.ft.
  • Content weight: 36lbs
  • Organic

Espoma promotes their organic lawn starter as all-natural that promotes the thick growth of your new grass. They promote their product as safe for pets, kids, and the environment. Many have claimed to have experienced thickening of their lawns and getting a deeper green color for their grass.

You can use this product for starting your lawn with new seedlings, or you can also use it for overseeding with existing grass lawns already. This product maintains a relatively lower nitrogen content than chemically processed fertilizers, avoiding the flush growth of existing grass before the new seedlings germinated for growth.

Many good reviews from purchasers praised this starter fertilizer product for boosting the growth of their seedlings at a reasonable price. It also comes in a granulated form that can cover large areas. This organic product breaks down easily to provide a safe and long-lasting food reservoir for your plants throughout the growing season. Expect a non-burning lawn with this all-natural and long-lasting fertilizer.

If you are looking for an organic and granulated starter fertilizer that effectively thickens and makes your lawns greener throughout the season, this product is worth trying.

Effectively thickens and makes your plants greenerContents come off the spreader with thick smoke, which may irritate airways
Can be used for starting or overseeding your lawnHigh phosphate content will be harmful for runoff into waterways
Offered at a reasonable price
Covers a large area

#7. Voluntary Purchasing Group Fertilome

Voluntary Purchasing Group Fertilome

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  • NPK: 9-13-7
  • Area cover: 1000sq.ft.
  • Content weight: 4lbs

This fertilizer is designed to aid new lawns in producing healthy growth of plants. It allows sod or the turf from your lawn to be established and be equipped with the essential nutrients for effective plant growth.

You won’t have to think and worry about applying this fertilizer concerning your grass seed planting schedule as it can be work in tandem with your seeds while planting. It is more convenient and can be a one-time work.

Many purchasers have seen fast results and are comparing it to other well-known brands. They’ve seen significant changes in their seed growth overnight and found this product a good value for their money.

If you are looking for a starter fertilizer for your small lawn at a good price, this product will do the job.

Aids healthy growth of your plants for new lawnsDoesn’t contain weed killing properties
Can be applied with grass seedHas a relatively small area coverage
Gives fast visible results

#8. Jonathan Green Lawn Fertilizer

Jonathan Green Lawn Fertilizer

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  • NPK: 29-0-3
  • Area cover: 5000sq.ft.
  • Content weight: 15.6lbs
  • Contains 3% Fe and 1% Sulfur

Jonathan Green has manufactured a starter fertilizer that aims to achieve an ideal balance to their mix. It gives a lush dark green color to your lawn, which can be noticed by your neighborhood. It has advanced technologies and some additives that will give balanced and well-maintained nutrition for your plants.

Those who have tried this product have seen results within 3-4 days. Less than a week from seeding, sprouts can already be seen dominating your empty lawn. It features a green-meter technology that continually feeds the turf for 10-12 weeks. It also contains Humates that facilitate root development.

The fertilizer’s 40% slow-release nitrogen technology gives enough nutrients to last the seeds for a long time. Its nitrogen release is also designed to be unaffected by excessive rainfall, giving a fast yet controlled growth of your grass. This feature reduces your grass clipping sessions that will save a lot of time and effort.

Additional iron and sulfur are contained in this fertilizer’s mix to help with your plants’ rich coloring. It also makes your soil and plants more resistant to drought and diseases. However, take extra care in handling it and prevent long exposures to the fertilizer as these chemicals may be harmful to the body.

If you are looking for a starter fertilizer that is effective for fast and healthy plant growth with some additives that will make your plants resistant to tough conditions and nourish your lawn for a long time, this is for you.

Makes your lawn look lush and develop a darker green colorNot ideal in the fall for the winter season due to low potash and no phosphorus additives
Drought and disease resistantMight require some time to understand product instructions to see a significant change
Induces fast growth for seedsHas some toxic chemical additives
Has a large area coverage
Long feeding capacity

Top Pick – Best Starter Fertilizer

The Pennington UltraGreen Starter Lawn Fertilizer is selected as the best choice if you’re looking for great starter fertilizer. It’s considered one of the bestselling starter fertilizers in the market today. It has even been labeled as Amazon’s choice for its wide choice of starter fertilizer products. Many have given it good reviews and are switching from one well-known brand to Pennington. It only shows how effective and consistent it is in giving great results.

Verified purchasers have testified to get fast-growing and lush green lawns. It not only gives surface proof of healthy plants, but it also seeps deep into the roots to nourish it for deeper and thicker growth. Overall, this starter fertilizer is proven to get great results for the whole wellness of your plants. You are not far from having the best lawn in the neighborhood with Pennington’s starter fertilizer.

Basic Things You Should Know When Selecting the Best Starter Fertilizer for You

Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium (NPK)

Good starter fertilizers mainly consider balanced proportions of these elements, which are essential for healthy plant growth.


This element is essential for a plant’s satisfactory growth and pigmentation. People who use starter fertilizers for overseeding their lawns claim to have deeper green lawns thanks to this element.


This element plays also works in tandem with nitrogen to facilitate the fast growth of your plants. It is important for root nourishment, helping your plant’s roots to grow deeper and thicker.


This element ensures your plant’s toughness. It makes your plant more resistant to drought and increases tolerance to tough weather conditions like winter hardness in turfgrass. It also prevents your plant’s susceptibility to diseases.

Common proportions for starter fertilizers include 10-10-10, 20-10-10 and 16-8-8. Other proportions such as 15-10-10 or 10-6-4 are also proven to promote fast growth and development of grass. Other proportions are being played by different manufacturers to get the right balance for their mix and get the best results for their products.

Application Method

Different methods can be used for evenly applying your starter fertilizers to target areas. The most common application type is through a spreader, used according to package directions of your product. These types of products mostly appear in the form of granules. Some manufacturers design their product bags as easy-to-spread containers that won’t need additional tools to spread evenly.

There are also starter fertilizers that come in pod forms. These types are usually for small areas or potted plants. Pods are simply inserted near your plants’ center and naturally break down and disperses when you water your plant.


If you are looking for starter fertilizers that would cover large areas, you may prefer large quantities of volume content for your chosen product. However, if you plan to maintain potted plants or a small area for your greeneries, it would be more practical to go for small-packaged products or ones with easy and longer life storage.

Area Coverage

For every quantity of your quantity, a certain amount is estimated to cover a sizeable area in square feet. Some products may contain relatively small quantities per bag but could cover a large area. Some fertilizers are capable of seeping and covering far distances. However, some starter fertilizers are designed to treat spots or small areas, even with their large volume content.


Most purchasers would put their trust in well-known brands due to their proven and trusted products. However, some emerging manufacturers also considered improving and innovating new solutions to give more effective fertilizers with less harmful chemicals but useful additives for ingredients that will induce faster and thicker growth. Other purchasers also prefer cheaper brands that have proven to perform well, like the expensive branded starter fertilizers.

Additional Chemicals

Some manufacturers put in additional chemicals that will aid NPK elements in faster and healthier plant growth. Chemicals like iron and sulfur are common additives mixed in fertilizers to give effective pigmentation and resistance to tough weather conditions and diseases. These chemicals act as catalysts for NPK and simultaneously improves your plant’s toughness and resistance.


All factors mentioned above influence the product’s cost, so it is important that you know which of the products in the market will best suit your needs to get what your money has paid for. Some brands overprice their products due to their trusted and proven name in the market. However, some purchasers that are more meticulous with the fertilizer’s features might not consider band names. Some would prefer buying cheaper options with considerably great features that compete or even fare better than branded expensive ones.


Whether your planning on starting your lawn or want to start caring for potted plants, a good starter fertilizer would go a long way. It makes your soil well-equipped for growing seedlings for fast and healthy growth for shoots and its roots. Many manufacturers are emerging due to the increasing demand for these products. Luckily, a list has been made to gather the best starter fertilizers in the market today.

Pennington UltraGreen Starter Lawn Fertilizer was ranked the best choice based on its trusted brand name, together with its proven results with a lot of good reviews from verified purchasers. Many testimonials vouch for its hype of being the bestselling starter fertilizer on Amazon. It gives fast and healthy growth for your plants and can cover large areas as well.

Other products are laid out on the list that offers different uses and features to meet your specific needs. Ensure that you have the knowledge and the background of some things you should know and look for in a starter fertilizer to guarantee that you get what you pay for.

Branded starter fertilizers may be expensive, but it maximizes effectivity and performance. However, if you are caught in a tight budget situation, many alternatives can be considered and are conveniently laid out on the list so you can easily weigh out their pros and cons to find the best-suited product for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know the best NPK proportions for my soil?

You can get a soil sample from your lawn and submit it to a test lab. Ensure that the soil sample you collected is not frozen. Wait for the lab to return a report for NPK recommendations. As a standard, starter fertilizers should be applied at 0.5 to 1 lb. nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. If you applied too much nitrogen to your soil, it could burn your lawn, resulting in your seedlings’ poor establishment.

When are starter fertilizers best applied?

It is best to apply stater fertilizers before seeding or laying your turf or sod. Applying it directly to newly planted sod can cause burning. After applying your first set of starter fertilizer, it is best to wait for at least six to eight weeks before feeding your turf with another batch of fertilizers. Your soil composition and your starter fertilizer content will give you an idea of scheduling when to apply your starter fertilizer again.

Can starter fertilizers be used for already established grass?

Some starter fertilizers claim to be effective for overseeding lawns. However, starter fertilizers are best used for starting your lawn from scratch or maybe reseeding your lawn. Established grass lawn already contains a different soil composition compared to unplanted soil. Usually, applying starter fertilizers to established lawns cause burning and ruin the already established grass. Other fertilizers designed for already planted soils are also offered in the market and can be used instead.

Are the starter fertilizers harmful to children and pets?

Even though most fertilizers label their products as organic, it still contains huge amounts of elements that can make your pets sick with long exposure to it. However, you may let your pets run around your lawn once the fertilizer has already settled in the ground after watering it, letting it seep down the soil, and drying up. You can read further instructions in your starter fertilizer’s package for you and your pet’s safety. Generally, manufacturers require you to wear body protection when applying fertilizer. You should always be aware of its whereabouts and store them out of reach from children and pets because they can be hazardous when induced or exposed for a long time.


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