The effectiveness of controlling nitrogen (N) to manage eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems remains debated. To understand the mechanisms behind phytoplankton growth in shallow lakes (resource and grazing effects) under contrasting N loading scenarios, we conducted a 70-days mesocosm experiment in summer. The mesocosms contain natural plankton communities deriving from a 10-cm layer of lake sediment and 450 L of lake water. We also added two juvenile crucian carp (Carassius carassius) in each mesocosm to simulate presence of the prevailing omni-benthivorous fish in subtropical lakes. Our results showed that N addition increased not only water N levels but also total phosphorus (TP) concentrations, which together elevated the phytoplankton biomass and caused strong dominance of cyanobacteria. Addition of N significantly lowered the herbivorous zooplankton to phytoplankton biomass ratio and promoted the phytoplankton yield per nutrient (Chl-a: TP or Chl-a: TN ratio), indicating that summer N addition likely also favored phytoplankton growth through reduced grazing by zooplankton. Accordingly, our study indicates that summer N loading may boost eutrophication via both changes in resource and grazing control in shallow lakes. Thus, alleviation of eutrophication in shallow eutrophic lakes requires a strategic approach to control both nutrients (N and P) appropriately.