Nitro Phos vs Scotts – which is better for your Lawn?

Nitro Phos and Scotts are two of the most popular lawn fertilizers on the market.


Nitrophos has been around for years, but many people are only recently becoming aware of it.

Nitro Phos was the first innovation in lawn care within the last 20 years or so, and while Scotts may have come out with a better product more recently, Nitro Phos still holds its own.  

Both offer a wide variety of products that can be used to treat just about any lawn problem or concern that you may have, but which one is right for you?

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the differences between these two very similar products in order to determine which one could be best for you.

Nitro Phos Products

Nitro Phos provides a seven-step program for all-natural lawn care. The seven steps include:

1). Food Plot – Adds nitrogen to boost grass growth when applied during early spring and late fall.

2). Pre-Emerge – Prevents weed problems by controlling crabgrass, dandelions, ragweed, and other broadleaf weeds when applied in early summer before they emerge.

3). Spot Feed – Boosts grass growth with nitrogen for lush, green lawns. Enhances turf color even during periods of drought stress when applied at any time of the growing season.

4). Pro Complete – Controls broadleaf weeds for up to 90 days plus feeds your lawn with slow-release Nitro Phos for greener healthier grass that requires less water and fertilizer over time when applied twice a year (spring & fall).

5). Turf Builder – Fertilizes lawns with slow-release Nitro Phos over a period of up to 8-12 weeks when applied twice a year (spring & fall). Contains iron for greener, healthier grass.

6). Slow Release Iron – Adds slow release iron to lawns that are grown in heavy clay soils.

7). Turf Revive – Kills weeds and feeds your lawn with slow-release Nitro Phos for greener healthier turf plus kills many broadleaf weeds on contact when applied during summer months. Make sure to use the appropriate amount of Scotts or other fertilizer as directed by the manufacturer’s label before applying any fertilizers.

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Scotts Products

Their Five-Step Program for Stunningly Green Lawns Scotts offers an easy 5 step program for keeping your lawn looking its best.

1.) Step 1 – Food for New Grass Seed (First 3 to 4 weeks after seeding)

2.) Step 2 – Weed and Feed (Early Spring-Fall)

3.) Step 3 – Feed & Protect (Spring & Summer)

4.) Step 4 – Oxygenate Your Lawn This Winter (Late fall̴ winter)

5.) Complete The Season With Scotts Turf Builder, Scotts All-In-One or Scotts Halts Crabgrass Preventer Plus Fertilizer in the Early Spring to Maintain Your Lawns Appearance. 

There are many similarities between these two products, but also some pretty significant differences as well. For the sake of being thorough, let’s first take a look at some ingredients and their effects on your lawn.

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When to Use Nitro-Phos

If it says “Nitro Phos” on the label, there is a good chance it contains nitrogen. This product will promote deeper greening of your lawn and help create a nice, dark color in the grass. The only downside is this product may stunt new growth so do not fertilize newly seeded areas or seedlings with this fertilizer.        

How to Apply Nitro-Phos

Always water it after application even if it says “non-water soluble”. Watering in will prevent burning your lawn.       

When to Use Scotts

If it says “Scotts” on the label, there is a good chance it contains phosphorus. This product will promote root growth and keep plants green throughout the hotter months of summer when plants are at their most stressed. Depending on the concentration of phosphate in the fertilizer, this is an excellent choice for new seedlings or recently planted grass.   

Which fertilizer should you use? 

Deciding between Scotts and Nitro-Phos can be difficult. Let’s look at the differences between these two products.     

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How to Apply Scotts

Always water it after application even if it says “non-water soluble”. Watering in will prevent burning your lawn.


When it comes down to appearance and packaging both have an appealing look about them.  Their logos are quite nice, and the packaging has a way of catching your eye.  Both are easy to use, though Nitro Phos does not require you to follow any specific instructions on how much water is needed to be added before applying it.  

Nitro Phos is colored black so it tends to stand out more against other fertilizers currently being used on lawns.

Scotts comes in two different colors for their Scotts Lawn Builder packs.  One is green, while the other is brown.  They both have a logo that instantly catches your eye as well as an appealing look about them.


The price of either of these products will depend on which store you buy them from, but they are both in the same price range.  It is also important to note in which area you live when it comes to buying fertilizers, because in some areas they are free-to-use in your lawn, while others will require permits for usage.

Nitro Phos costs around $15 per 20lbs bag of fertilizer mix.  Of course, there are different brands out there that offer their own types of Nitrophos mixes at fluctuating costs, but for this comparison, we shall use the price of Blackjack’s brand Nitrophos mix to give a fair comparison between both products.   

At Home Depot Scotts Lawn Builder can be bought for about $14.99 for a 40lb bag or $23.99 for a 70lb bag.  At Lowes, Scotts Lawn Builder can be bought for about $19.99 for a 40lb bag or $29.99 for a 70lb bag.

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Quality of Product    

When it comes down to the quality of both products they are similar in that they are both well-known trusted brands, but there are some differences between them as well.  Both fertilizers have their uses and will work on different types of grass depending on location etc.  

Nitrophos is specifically designed to be used with St Augustine grass, while Scotts Lawn builder is good for all sorts of lawns including St Augustine Grass.


Availability really varies from store to store so you may not find any fertilizers at your local hardware store.  However, if you live in an area where fertilizers can legally be used on your lawns both products are available to use and will come with instructions on how to use them properly for the best results.  

Nitro Phos is available at your local Home Depot, as well as online through Amazon, but it hasn’t been seen at Lowes as of yet.    Scotts Lawn Builder can be found both in stores such as Home Depot and Lowes, though lately more often than not its availability is limited or completely absent at Lowes locations.

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Environmental Concerns

While neither product is exactly environmentally friendly they are still less damaging to the environment when compared to other lawn care products currently being sold out there. 

Nitro Phos is made with ammonium phosphate which is not only good for your lawn but also for flowers and other kinds of plants so it can be used on gardens to fertilize them as well.

Scotts Lawn Builder helps enhance the color of your grass, helps it grow thicker, and protects against soil damage due to cold weather or insects. When applying either product you should use protective gear such as goggles, nitrile gloves, and a dust mask.

Pets & Children 

Both products are safe around children and pets when they are applied to the right areas of the yard after being watered according to further directions from their respective packages.  It’s still best to keep them from those areas until the product is fully watered in, and to make sure they don’t eat it or touch it with their bare skin.  

Both fertilizers are color-coded so depending on the product you’re using you will need to use either red/orange gloves for Scotts Lawn Builder, or black gloves for Nitrophos.

Nitro Phos also has a 60-day burn-off guarantee which means if you have a problem within 2 months of purchasing it you can return it Anytime, so long as the sticker on the bag hasn’t been removed, for a 100% refund of your money. 

In order to be eligible for this refund policy, you must have applied Nitro Phos according to the directions from its package.    

You do not get any money back for unused bags once the product has been opened/used.    

Scotts Lawn Builder does not offer any type of 60 days or longer policy, instead, their money-back guarantee is to simply replace your purchase if it’s defective, which you can do at any time within 30 days after purchasing it.  

If upon testing your fertilized lawn you find that it doesn’t work properly then they will replace your original bag with a fresh one if you take it back into the store that sold it to you at any time during those 30 days.

Of course, this comparison is just between Nitro Phos and Scotts Lawn Builder, but there are other brands out there as well such as Miracle-Gro, Bayer Advanced All in One Rose & Shrub Care, and many others available.  

Also, keep in mind that Scotts Lawn Builder is not just for St Augustine grass, it can be used on other types of grasses as well such as fescue, Bermuda, etc.  

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While Nitro Phos also works on other varieties of grass fertilizer it’s specifically manufactured to work with St. Augustine.


In this comprehensive comparison between Nitro-Phos and Scotts fertilizers, gardeners gain insights into the best option for their plants. Delving into the nuances of ingredients, application methods, and effectiveness, the article offers a clear understanding of each product’s pros and cons. Whether aiming for lush lawns or thriving gardens, readers discover valuable guidance to make informed decisions for their landscaping needs. With detailed analysis and practical recommendations, this blog serves as a go-to resource for enhancing plant health and maximizing growth potential.

Nitrophos vs Scotts – Conclusion

With Nitrophos being made in America and Scotts Lawn Builder being made in Brazil it’s no surprise that the former is a bit more expensive, but when you consider that Nitro Phos can be returned within 60 days for a full refund if unsatisfied that might make up for the difference.    

Also keep in mind that both of these fertilizers are specifically manufactured to work with St Augustine grass, so using either on any other type of lawn would simply not produce the desired results.  Nitrophos has never been known to harm anyone making their product safe to apply even when children and pets are around.  

Scotts Lawn Builder helps enhance the color of your grass, helps it grow thicker, and protects against soil damage due to cold weather or insects. When applying either product you should use protective gear such as goggles, nitrile gloves, and a dust mask.

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