With a huge choice of fertilizer products available to the domestic gardener, narrowing down your selection can seem overwhelming. So our experts have picked the best high nitrogen fertilizers for every situation.
Whether you looking for the convenience of a leading brand or looking for a more organic natural fertilizer, we’ve done the homework to turn your garden, lawn, or allotment into a green, and bountiful paradise.
What Is Considered High Nitrogen Fertilizer
High nitrogen fertilizer put simply is a nutrient source used by gardeners and growers to feed their plants, vegetable, or lawn.
The active ingredient of the fertilizer, in this case, nitrogen, plays a specific role in vegetative growth, and development. When we read the label on a fertilizer product it will display what called an NPK value. This value presented as three numbers E.g. 10-2-3 represents the ratio of active ingredient contained within the product formula.
The active ingredients or macro-nutrient are Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P), and Potassium (K) which correspond to the number on the compound list. So in our example 10 parts nitrogen, 2 parts potassium, and 3 parts phosphate (10-10-10).
Each of these macro-nutrient delivers specific effects to the plant. In the same way Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fat provide specific needs within the human diet.
Nitrogen is primarily responsible for supporting vegetation growth. Often also referred to as the green growth of the plant material. So nitrogen helps plants in the earlier stages of your shoot growth right the way through to the expansive growth of stems and new leaves. It provides that beautiful healthy green appearance of the vegetation.
Phosphate or phosphorus’s main role is to support healthy and abundant flower production leading to higher yields of fruit and seeds. It also contributes to healthy root growth as a secondary role.
Potassium or potash is responsible for the healthy development of the plant’s roots and stems. It will also have a minor secondary role in supporting flower and fruit production.
Different Types of Nitrogen Fertilizers
Fertilizers high in nitrogen can play various roles for us as gardeners and depending on your purpose you may want the high nitrogen food source to be delivered in a specific way.
For example, you may want a granular feed for easy application across a large lawn area. Or perhaps you need a quick injection of liquid feed for your tomato plant’s vegetative growth. But we will cover this in more detail later.
Before we do get into the detail of the different types and forms of high nitrogen fertilizer, we need to explore what form the nitrogen is derived from.
Typically the macro-nutrients formula will be something like NPK 20-1-5, meaning high Nitrogen (N) for vegetative growth of a luscious green lawn, and moderate Potassium (K) for healthy root development. What set specific Lawn product apart is the use of additional ingredients in the blend. Usually, you will see additional levels of chelated iron, sometimes weed prevention ingredients, or even grass seed for thickening existing lawns.
General Plant Fertilizer
General-purpose plant food will have a slightly different macro-nutrient make up with a higher Phosphate (P) ratio, where the N-P-K is something like 15-5-8.
Given the manufactured nature of this type of fertilizer, you can find just about any blend of nutrients you desire whether you’re feeding a lawn, growing roses, or looking to develop record-size root vegetables.
With general fertilizer, you can have the option of applying it in the form of fertilizer sticks, granules, powders or liquid fertilizer concentrates. Solid forms tend to be slow or continual release, whereas liquids offer fast delivery of nutrients when diluted in water.
Manufactured Nitrogen Fertilizer
There are many inorganic commercially manufactured nitrogen fertilizers on the market, made with specific control of the N-P-K based on their intended use. The nitrogen compound is produced by processing hydrogen and nitrogen to produce ammonia. Which is then refined further to produce the fertilizer.
These products are convenient and very effective in terms of purpose and application. For example, you can buy a specific fertilizer with the macro-nutrients design for outstanding performance for treating lawns or perhaps a general-purpose plant food.
Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer
Natural high nitrogen fertilizers are exactly that, meaning the nitrogen content is created through natural processes. You can buy commercial products over the counter whereby natural materials are processed into a convenient form and readily available. Or you can try to obtain the material in its natural raw form, which often is not ideal for use in all scenarios.
Organic Sources Of Nitrogen For Plants
A few examples of the N-P-K of natural high nitrogen fertilizer materials:
- Blood Meal 12-0-0
- Feather Meal 12-0-0
- Worm Castings 1-0-0
- Poultry Manure 3-2-0
- Rabbit Manure 7-2-0
- Tea Leaves 4-1-1
- Silkworm Cocoons 9-1-0
- Bat Guano 7-3-1
Typically when purchasing a bag of natural high nitrogen fertilizer, you will be purchasing a blended product, best suited to its intended application.
If you have an abundant supply of one or more of these materials at home and can process it for use, it could be a great organic option. But in practice, it isn’t really convenient given the quantity required and the processing required to allow you to distribute it evenly across your lawn.
As an example, for use on lawns, you will need to powder it or produce a liquid ‘tea’ form of fertilizer for each application. So understandably most people will prefer to buy a bag of the blended finished product.
5 Best High Nitrogen Fertilizers
We have searched far and wide to find the best high nitrogen fertilizers available for the general consumers’ use. Our priority was the quality of the nitrogen fertilizer nutrient balance, overall performance, and ease of application.
As well as my own testing and that of colleagues’ previous experience of using these products, we also take into account customer reviews across the major online retailers and growing forums showing the level of customer satisfaction these specific products have delivered.
Best Nitrogen Fertilizer For Plants
When it comes to commercially manufactured high nitrogen fertilizers there are not many products that can match Miracle-Gro’s product range and proven track record. Based on performance alone, many people will argue it’s the best nitrogen fertilizer on the market.
Of course, the beauty of this product is the convenience factor. Use this with Miracle Gro’s Watering Hose Garden Feeder Kit, allowing you to water it into very large areas in no time at all. Or just pour the stated amount of product into your watering can or spray and apply to lawn, plants, or vegetables. Check the latest price on Amazon.com
This general-purpose high nitrogen fertilizer is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. 1.5lb covers 600 sq feet of garden. NPK 24-8-16. Recommended use every 1-2 weeks.
How To Use: this 8oz packet of Miracle-Gro is a water soluble granular feed. There are no hard and fast rules, the manufacturer recommends using every 7-14 days, however I would suggest you can use it once a month through the growing season, then less throughout the plant’s dormant period.
Simply mix one spoon of fertilizer in your watering can for every gallon of water.
- Proven track record of delivering results
- Easy to use and fast-acting
- No scorch guarantee
- Premium price for a premium brand
Best Nitrogen Fertilizer For Houseplants
If I only had one choice for my house plant fertilizer, then it would be Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes for Houseplant. They are by far the easiest approach to maintaining beautiful healthy houseplants. If you have as many houseplants as we do in our home them refilling the watering can and reapplying liquid fertilizer is just a bit too much of a chore. That’s where spikes come into their own.
How To Use: Simply push between 1-3 spikes into the planter soil and that’s it. Spikes will last most of the growing season, in some cases you may repeat the application one more time. But it is an super efficient approach to houseplant care.
Miracle-Gro also have a houseplant fertilizer spike but it has a nutrient ratio of 6-12-6, so if you’re after green foliage then Jobe’s is the best high nitrogen fertilizer spike on the market in my experience.
- High nitrogen fertilizer spike perfect for ‘feed-and-forget’ approach to houseplant care
- Almont impossible to get the fertilizer dose wrong
Best Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer For Vegetables
Bloodmeal is a traditional organic high nitrogen fertilizer. It provides a readily available source of nitrogen in powder form for use as a top dressing or base dressing. This is the perfect nitrogen fertilizer for vegetables beds. Great for heavy feeders such as corn, broccoli and leafy greens NPK 12-0-0.
If organic traditional gardening is your priority then there’s no need to look any further than blood meal. The one downside of using animal-based products is that they ironically attract interest…from animals. But this is true of blood meal, bone meal, fish meal. It’s advisable to take extra precautions to protect your crop if you have a risk of deer or other large animals in the surrounding area. You can check the latest price here on Amazon.com
How To Use: For vegetable gardens, prepare 3lbs per 100 square feet and apply as a top dressing to be worked into the soil and water in for best results. For container plants use 1-2 tables spoons per gallon of soil.
- 100% organic
- Easy to apply, just sprinkle or broadcast
- Present no risk to animals or waterways
- May attract the interest of wildlife
- Relatively expensive to use in large areas
Dr. Earth Natural Blood Meal is a premium quality organic fertilizer for use with plants and vegetables. The nutrient ratio of 13-0-0 is one of the highest you will find in a 100% natural product. The name of this product gives a clue as to where the nitrogen comes from, but Dr. Earth supplements this with plenty of really useful ingredients. Their TruBiotic formula is a biological soil inoculant, now what that really means is it contains beneficial microbes and fungi to bring life to the soil by supporting micro organism development.
How To Use: For new plantings use blood meal as a part of your soil amendment and mix to a depth of 4-8 inches within the planting hole. Use 3 tablespoons per shrub. For established plants in borders apply at a rate of 12 cups per 10 sq ft and mix into the soil well.
- An excellent 100% organic high nitrogen fertilizer
- Perfect for use on plants and vegetable beds
- Dr. Earth TruBiotic assist microorganism development within your soil
- Your dog will love this stuff, so be sure to consider how and where you use it
Best Water Soluble Lawn Fertilizer
Yes, it’s Miracle-Gro again! When compared to the many other products we have tried over many years of treating lawn, Miracle-Gro just delivers predictable and reliable results. I guess that’s why it’s the biggest brand on the market.
This purpose made lawn feed is formulated for turfgrass with high nitrogen and chelated iron; it feeds through both the roots and grass blades.
This general-purpose high nitrogen fertilizer is specifically designed for use on the lawn. 1.25lb covers up to 7,00 sq feet of lawn. NPK 30-0-6. Recommended use every 2-3 weeks throughout the growing season for the best results. Go to Miracle-Gro Lawn Food on Amazon
How To Use: Apply using Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder Spray and cover 1000 sq ft in 12 minutes. Or simply use 1 tablespoon for every gallon of water and mix and apply with a watering can.
- Stripe free, deep green grass with visible results in one week
- Water-soluble for use with spray kit or watering can
- Suitable for all grass types
- Premium price for a premium brand
Best Nitrogen Fertilizer For Lawns: Granular
If your looking for a slow release granular feed then GreeenView Fall Lawn Food may be right for you.
A granular feed has different qualities than a liquid spray feed. You will need to apply the granules in the fall and leave it sitting over winter. This will give your lawn a head start in spring by up to 2 weeks and offer 8 weeks feeding period to allow the grass to really establish a strong root system. Being granular it can be broadcast with a spreader for quick application.
We recommend applying a fall feed and follow it up through the growing season with a liquid fertilizer spray every 2-4 weeks for the best results.
16lb of product will cover 5,000 square feet of lawn. NPK 20-0-10. Check the latest price on Amazon.com
How To Use: Apply at a rate 3.2lb per 1,000 sq ft. using a drop spreader or broadcaster. For cooler climates apply 2 treatments per year, for warmer climate apply 4 applications per year. Only apply to actively growing lawns for best results.
- Great for strong spring growth
- Slow release, feeds for 8 weeks
- Low cost for large coverage
- Can use in a broadcaster or drop spreader
- Needs to be applied in fall/autumn
- May still need a liquid feed throughout the growing season
Best Organic High Nitrogen Fertilizer For Lawns
Espoma Organic Fall Fertilizer works in much the same as GreenView Lawn Fall Food. Apply in the fall and you will get an early boost on your lawn, with an extended feeding period from the slow release formula resting in the soil. The only real difference being Espoma’s Organic ingredients, making it pet safe and child safe.
Made with feather meal, poultry manure and potash its an easy product to apply as a top dressing without the risk of scorching or burning your lawn. 30lb covers 5,000 square feet. NPK 8-0-6.
How To Use: Apply between late summer through to November. Apply to dry lawn that has recently been mowed, fill your drop spreader or broadcaster with 6lb of fertilizer per 1,000 sq ft. If no rain is forecast, it is best to water in the fertilizer to activate it.
- 100% Organic
- Can use in a broadcast spreader
- Added potash to support healthy root development
- Organic nature makes it more expensive than other product
How To Use High Nitrogen Fertilizer
There are lots of different ways to apply high nitrogen fertilizer, based on the intended use and the form of the product (granule, powder, liquid). Always check the manufacturer labels for specific instructions on commercially purchased products.
Topdressing is a method used for powders and granules. It is best to apply top dressing in spring, just ahead of the main stages of vegetative growth of your plants, vegetables, or lawn.
Broadcast the material across grass using a drop spreader or place it around the base of plants, avoiding direct contact with leaves or flowers, to avoid scorching. Topdressing will provide a slow release of the fertilizer as it dissolved and seeps into the soil.
The base dressing is where you incorporate the fertilizer into the soil or growing medium. Basically, apply a top dressing and dig in, or mix directly with potting composts or soil during the planting or potting-on process.
Watering in fertilizer is applicable to liquid feeds. Generally, you will be required to mix the concentrate with water (ideally rainwater) and spray or pour it into the soil around the plants. This will provide faster absorption and can be a great way of providing a ‘recovery’ shot of macro-nutrients to plants showing signs of slow growth or to boost root development.
A foliar spray is simply a diluted concentrate sprayed directly on the vegetative growth to correct nutrient deficiencies. The most tender parts of the plant will provide better absorption of the nutrients. Take care to avoid foliage spray in bright strong sunlight (can cause scorching) or just before the rain (to avoid washing off). Foliage spray tends to be reserved for highly diluted natural products, as chemical fertilizers can burn leaves and young plants.
When To Use High Nitrogen Fertilizer
There are two main uses for nitrogen fertilizer, one for use on the grass to create a healthy lush green lawn, or for use on plants and vegetables to help develop strong healthy foliage and structure. Let’s look at them separately and clarify when you should consider using high nitrogen in each case. But the same principle applies that nitrogen uptake is at its highest level through the growth stage of vegetation, so it’s important not to lose sight of that basic principle.
Nitrogen For Grass
The application of nitrogen fertilizer on grass is intended to provide a healthy-looking lawn throughout the growing season, so typically March through to November. The time to apply it will depend on what the product you are using is designed for. For example, Espoma Organic Fall Fertilizer was developed for application in fall and sit over winter to provide an early boost of nutrients right from the get-go in spring.
Nitrogen For Plants
With the majority of plants growing throughout the summer season spring tends to be the preferred time for nitrogen fertilizer use. It is important to restrict high nitrogen use leading up to and during the flowing season as not to force too much foliage growth at the expense of blooming flowers or fruit.
Houseplants are no different from plants that grow in your backyards or garden, they need a boost during the most active growth stage, so use it sparingly once or maybe twice early to mid season on mature houseplants. For tender young plants, just rely on good quality compost to do the job for you.
How Often To Use Nitrogen Fertilizer
Slow release fertilizers will last for months, sometimes all growing season. So check the manufacturer’s instructions. Never over-fertilize with a high nitrogen product, they are potent and can cause plant or lawns damage. If in doubt stay conservative.
Final Thoughts On Nitrogen Fertilizer
That concludes our review of the best nitrogen fertilizers for general use and for lawns and plants. No matter what your needs we’ve shared top-rated and tested products on our shortlist.
Consider what you intend to use your nitrogen fertilizer for and whether you need a powder, granule, or spray. Then your own priorities will decide the rest; organic, low cost, or a brand with a proven track record of delivering time and time again.