How Does Rain Impact My Lawn After Fertilization?
Rainfall after fertilization can significantly impact the effectiveness of your fertilization treatment. However, the extent of the effects largely depends on how much rain you get and when it starts. The two most common situations include:
- Heavy rainfall immediately after fertilization: This can wash away the fertilizer, which prevents the grass from absorbing nutrients. If your lawn is prone to puddles, the fertilizer treatment may concentrate in a few small areas, causing burning or scorching. That’s why it’s best to hold off on applying a fertilizer treatment if you know a storm is coming soon.
- Light showers a day or two after fertilization: If your grass has a couple of days to absorb most of the fertilizer treatment, the rain likely won’t make much of a difference. In fact, light showers afterward could help your lawn better absorb the nutrients – especially if you’re using a granulated formula that is water-soluble.
Can I Water My Lawn After Applying Fertilizer?
We recommend waiting at least 24 hours after applying a fertilizer treatment before watering your lawn. Watering too early could just wash away the nutrients before your turf has a chance to absorb them. However, going too long without watering your lawn puts it at risk of dying – especially during the warmer summer months. Many fertilizer treatments also need a little bit of water to penetrate the soil and reach the grass roots, such as granular options that break down into the soil during rain or watering.
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How Can I Tell If Rain Washed Away My Fertilizer?
Especially if you used a liquid fertilizer formula, it can be really difficult to tell if the rain washed away your fertilizer treatment. Try looking for these signs that your fertilizer treatment was washed away:
- Uneven growth: If some areas of your grass are thriving while others look discolored or scorched, the rain likely washed your fertilizer away and deposited it unevenly across your lawn.
- Signs of erosion: Erosion is a big indication that the rainfall was heavy enough to wash away the fertilizer treatment. Look for streaks in the soil, exposed roots, and gullies.
- Scattered fertilizer granules: If you used a slow-release granulated formula, some of the granules will likely still be intact. Look to see if they were carried away from your lawn.
- Scorched patches of grass: As the rain carries fertilizer across your landscape, it may create highly concentrated patches – especially where puddles usually form. This can lead to burnt or yellow-looking grass.
Should I Reapply Fertilizer After Heavy Rain?
Weather predictions aren’t always accurate, especially here in Broken Arrow OK. Even with the right planning, you may run into the problem of a surprise storm after applying fertilizer to your lawn. While your initial thought may be to reapply the treatment in case it was washed away, we recommend holding off for a few days at least.
Reapplying immediately puts you at a higher risk of scorching patches of your lawn, especially if some areas of your landscape got a higher concentration of the fertilizer during the storm. Instead, consult a lawn care professional for advice on how to care for your turf in this situation. An experienced technician will be able to safely reapply the treatment for optimal results without risking damage to your turf.