Can I Use Scotts Fall Fertilizer in Spring?

Scotts offers an entire range of lawn care products that can keep your grass green and healthy all year long. At different times of the year, your turf needs fertilizer applications, control for broadleaf weeds and other unwanted plants, and general conditioning for a healthy lawn. Depending on your grass type, to get a well-fed lawn, you’ll need a turf builder all year round. 

One of the top-rated fertilizer manufacturers, Scotts, offers early spring, spring, summer, and fall chemical lawn fertilizers.  This line of lawn food gives your plants the nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium content it needs, as well as stops existing and future weeds from harming your lawn. Can the bags of fertilizer for the different seasons be interchanged, or would that negatively affect grass growth? 

How Are Scotts Spring and Fall Fertilizers Different?

Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food - Fall Fertilizer for Strong Grass Roots, 5,000 sq. ft., 12.5 lbs. (2-Pack)

According to lawn experts, the two most important times to fertilize are before late spring and early fall. Spring fertilizer is rich in nitrogen which gives grass the ability to grow exponentially. Autumn fertilizer has a high potassium content which promotes strong root growth and helps for quicker “green-up” growth in the spring.

Scotts Turf Builders also come ready to fight broadleaf weeds and other invasive grasses trying to grow in our yards. While the weed-fighting capabilities are the same between spring and winter fertilizers, the actual weeds they target and how they kill them vary. 

Scotts Fall Turf Builder

Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Weed & Feed3 – Weed Killer Plus Fall Fertilizer, 15,000 sq. ft. (2-Pack)
  • Up to 2X more powerful dandelion and clover control vs. previous formula
  • Clears out dandelions and other listed weeds—satisfaction guaranteed
  • WeedGrip Technology grips the weeds you see—and the ones you don’t
  • Feeds for a better lawn next spring

Fall is the time to get winter fertilizers ready. As the heat of the summer dies down, grass will start to go dormant, and new weeds will start to sprout. The “turf-builder” fertilizer formulation gives grass what it needs for deep root growth. There will be much less active growth over the next few months, so slow-release fertilizers are ideal. 

NitrogenRapid growth and fuller grass growth
PotassiumStrong root growth and steady growth through the winter
2,4dSuppresses weed growth and selected weed killer
Mecoprop pA mix of potassium salt and weed killer 


Scotts Fall Turf Builder and Winterguard Fall Lawn Food both contain a balance of potassium and nitrogen for strong grass growth and enhancement of the natural growth cycle. The slow-release nitrogen fertilizer in fall turf builder helps with quicker “green-up” growth in the spring. Polymer-coated slow-release fertilizers break down over the winter, and nutrients in fertilizers sink deep into the roots of your turf.


A broadcast spreader can toss a combination of fertilizer and herbicide to help prepare your lawn for winter. The more weeds that go to seed, the more weeds you will have to stop next year. Applying a heavy dose of post-emergent in the early fall can kill weeds before they drop seeds. Applying herbicide will stunt the weed’s growth effort and allow your turf to naturally overpower them with strong growth aided by a heavy dose of lawn fertilizer.

Scotts Early Spring/Spring Turf Builder 

On Sale
Scotts Turf Builder Halts Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food, Pre-Emergent Weed Killer, Fertilizer, 15,000 sq. ft., 40.05 lb.
  • Scotts Turf Builder Halts Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food stops crabgrass before it invades and…
  • Prevents listed weeds including crabgrass, barnyard grass, foxtail, Poa annua, chickweed, and oxalis
  • Apply pre-emergent weed killer plus fertilizer to a dry lawn in early spring (prior to 3rd or 4th…
  • Do not apply this lawn care product to Dichondra and Bentgrass
Ingredient Use
NitrogenRapid growth and fuller grass growth
PotassiumStrong root growth and steady growth through the winter
PendimethalinA pre-emergence and post-emergence herbicide for annual and broadleaf weeds
2,4dSuppresses weed growth and selected weed killer
Mecoprop pA mix of potassium salt and weed killer


Early-season fertilizers are a great way to get your lawn growing and green. When the temperature heats up, you need to start mowing more often, and you want your lawn to have the food it needs to perk up early. Spring fertilizers are usually quick-release and start feeding your grasses roots immediately.


Weed threats in the spring are two-fold and can really slow down the regrowth of your turf if left unchecked. Some weeds will have survived the winter and will be crowding out any areas of weak grass growth. The post-emergence formula in early spring turf builder takes care of that. It also has a pre-emergence component that will keep new weed seeds from germinating as the spring rolls on. 

Can Scotts Fall Fertilizer be Used in Spring?

Both Scotts Fall and Spring Turf Builder Fertilizers have the ingredients and nutrients to support strong grass growth. The exact nutrients and weed killers mixed into each formula is specific to the time of year they should be applied. Fall fertilizer applied in spring will not be as effective as the Scotts Spring Turf Builder. 

Spring lawn food needs high nitrogen in a quick-release granule to provide vital nutrients to your turf immediately. Spring brings new weeds and pest problems, but the herbicide and fertilizers in Scotts Spring Turf Builder gives your lawn the best chance to out-compete all competition. Less potassium is required in spring lawn food since blade growth, not root growth, is the priority for the next several months. 

Fall is a time of root growth as the grass blades go dormant. Adding a lot of nitrogen at once could go to waste, so the slow-release formula in fall lawn food allows the nutrients to be accessible early in the year when your grass needs them most. All of Scotts Turf Builder products should be applied to a wet lawn to improve the absorption of nutrients into the soil, and when used during the correct season, will keep your grass lush and green all year long.

Last update on 2024-07-16 / Affiliate links / Somes Images and Data from Amazon Product Advertising API