The Cost of Lawn Fertilisation

All you need to know about hiring a gardener to fertilise your lawn including costs of materials, labour and time frames.

The Cost of Lawn Fertilisation

What the job entails

There are a number of very good reasons why you should treat your lawn with fertiliser products. First of all, your lawn is the only garden plant that gets "pruned" twenty times or more every year. The grass grows using photosynthesis and by extracting nutrients from the soil. Sunlight for photosynthesis is hopefully available every year, but the supply of nutrients will run out and needs eventually to be replaced otherwise the grass will become thin and weak which will allow weeds and moss to dominate the lawn. In addition, you don't walk on other plants in the garden but your lawn is regularly walked like a carpet. Very few plants can tolerate this but grass can take a lot of abuse as long as you give it plenty of help to recover and repair in the form of nitrogen and nutrient products. Lawn fertiliser will help the grass stay healthy and be able to handle frequent mowing and being used for walking and playing on! Luckily, lawn fertiliser treatments are not that expensive if you hire a professional on a contract basis to treat your lawn regularly. A 12-month contract can cost less than £100 per year for a small garden and keep your lawn looking fabulous. There are also some companies who provide other garden maintenance services which may have similar contracts to include other maintenance tasks too.

Lawn fertilisers contain the basic chemical elements required by plants to make food. These are basically the mineral nutrients that may be in short supply in the soil. The primary nutrients needed by plants include Nitrogen, Phosphorous or Phosphate and Potassium. There are also secondary nutrients which are far less in demand but still essential including Calcium, Magnesium, Sulphur and trace elements like iron, boron and zinc.

With most fertilisers, you're fine feeding the lawn once or twice every year. But if your lawn gets a lot of wear and tear, you might also want to add an additional feed, perhaps in the autumn to help rejuvenate the lawn during the quieter winter months. You should always fertilise after mowing rather than before mowing, otherwise, you'll disturb the fertiliser on the surface. Adding fertiliser just after it rains is a great time to do it as the moist ground will more readily absorb the fertiliser. New lawns, whether planted from seed or by laying new turf, in particular, need all the help they can get so a pre-seeding fertiliser should be applied to the soil before sowing or laying new turf.

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The Cost of Lawn Fertilisation

A full lawn care service will cost from around £30-£120 per month depending on the size of the lawn. This service includes mowing, trimming and edging, sowing, aerating and fertilizing. But if you just want the lawn to be treated with fertiliser, then there are companies which offer a quarterly service starting from as little as £13 every treatment (every 3 months) - this will likely work out cheaper than buying the necessary fertiliser products yourself.

Below are some estimated costs of lawn fertilisation.

Job Description Avg. Cost Duration
Full lawn care service £100 per month 2-3 hours
Lawn fertiliser treatment only £25 per quarter 1 hour
One-off fertiliser treatment £45 1 hour


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs of a lawn care service - Total Cost: £100 per month

50%

Materials
£50

50%

Tradesmen
£50

0%

Waste Removal
£0

FAQ's

Solid fertilisers usually come in a granular form, so are fairly easy to handle but it can be hard to spread them evenly. Liquid fertilisers can be applied using a special sprayer device or just a watering can. Liquid fertiliser usually gives a more even coverage but the results are not as long-lasting as solid fertilisers.
Usually, 2 to 3 days should be enough time for the products to work properly and to avoid your lawn mower picking up the fertiliser.
Yes - unused fertiliser can easily be stored and reused provided the bag is properly closed and the product is stored in a dry place. Just break up any clumps before using it the next year to ensure an even spread.
Controlled release fertilisers delay the nutrient release to spread it over a longer period which can last for up to 5 months. Whereas conventional release fertilisers only stimulate growth for a number of weeks.
This varies considerably depending on the lawn and the fertiliser, but 2 to 3 times per year is often the recommended frequency. With a controlled release fertiliser you could probably do less, but with a conventional fertiliser and a poor lawn which needs some TLC you should probably fertilise it a lot more often!
The numbers correspond to the concentration of the three main nutrients needed by your lawn. So, for example, 10-15-15 is read as 10% Nitrogen, 15% available Phosphate and 15% soluble Potash.
Conventional solid fertilisers are made from minerals that are mined from non-renewable sources around the world. Whereas organic-based fertilisers derive most or all of their nutrients from organic renewable sources such as green composts. Both are great for your lawn, so just choose according to your budget and your conscience.
There are a lawn treatment products available from garden centres and DIY stores over the counter, but they probably will not match the specialist products available to professionals. In addition, professional treatment can actually work out more cost effective and with better results than buying the products and doing it yourself.
You should carefully check the directions for use printed on the fertiliser bag, many modern, green products are not harmful to animals, but with some, you will have to wait until the lawn has been treated and is thoroughly dry after the first rain or watering.