Best Time to Fertilize Lawn: Before or After Rain?

There are plenty of things that you should keep up with if you want your lawn to stay in top shape. For instance, taking the time to weed and feed your lawn or keep it watered from a rain barrel.

However, you have to make sure you properly use your fertilizer to get the right results. Whether you’re using organic lawn fertilizer or regular, it’s important to use it correctly.

Using fertilizer incorrectly is an easy way to damage your lawn rather than give it a strong foundation. As such, it’s important to do your research before getting started.

One consideration to keep in mind is when to fertilize your lawn in relation to precipitation. It comes down to one question: should you fertilize your lawn before or after it rains?

Why Rainfall Matters

There are a few different reasons that you should pay attention to rainfall when you want to fertilize your lawn.

For one, you don’t want to fertilize your lawn right before a heavy rain. This is because heavy rainfall is more likely to cause your fertilizer to run off.

This can also cause the fertilizer to pool in certain places on your lawn. In this case, you lose the even coverage you worked to achieve.

You also don’t want to fertilize your lawn when you’re in a drought. During these times, your lawn is more stressed and dry, making fertilizing fairly ineffective.

This is important for more than just an ineffective result. It also drains your resources by ineffectively using up the fertilizer you invested in.

Should You Fertilize Your Lawn Before or After It Rains?

The big question here doesn’t exactly have a definitive answer. Is it better to apply fertilizer to your lawn before or after it rains?

Well, with the proper technique, you can choose either option. Yet, each one has distinct advantages and disadvantages with one option clearly coming out on top.

To break this down, we’ll take a look at each method individually. In the end, we’ll compare the two options to see what’s best.

Fertilizing Your Lawn Before It Rains

Once again, you shouldn’t fertilize your lawn if there isn’t any rain occurring around then. Droughts aren’t helpful when it comes to fertilizing your lawn.

Fertilizers in lawn

On the other hand, you shouldn’t use fertilizer right before a heavy rainfall. This will cause fertilizer runoff.

This also has some negative effects on the environment. This is especially true if you’re using fertilizers that use a lot of heavy chemicals over an organic option.

If you are going to fertilize before rainfall, you should do so before a light rain. This is because it will water your lawn without washing the fertilizer away.

Since you have to water your lawn after you add many fertilizers, this can take care of a step. Once again, though, a heavy rain instead of a light rain can cause more harm than good.

Of course, the weather can be pretty fickle, making this hard to guarantee. This is another reason why fertilizing before it rains can backfire.

Fertilizing Your Lawn After It Rains

There are a lot of benefits to waiting until after it rains to fertilize your lawn. For instance, it’s better for the environment and you won’t have to try and work with the weather.

However, you shouldn’t start adding fertilizer to your yard, you shouldn’t lay it down as soon as it stops raining. Especially after a heavy rain, you won’t want to just dump fertilizer into puddles.

It’s better to wait a day or two after it rains. This way, the ground is still moist but your grass won’t be soaking wet.

It might go without saying but you should check the weather as well. You won’t want to put down fertilizer between spells of rain.

You’ll also want to make sure the sun will be out for a while. This will promote photosynthesis and growth, creating the ideal space for plants to utilize fertilizer.

Other Considerations for Fertilizing Your Lawn

You should also choose a low traffic time to fertilize your lawn. In other words, don’t fertilize your lawn right before having a barbeque!

It’s also worth taking into account whether your fertilizer is safe for use around kids and pets. If it isn’t, make sure to use it when they’re inside or away from the house.

How Often Should You Fertilize Your Lawn?

Once you fertilize your lawn once, how long should you wait until you fertilize it again? You actually shouldn’t just wait for the next time it rains.

Lush lawn

Generally speaking, you want to wait until the fertilizer you put down last runs it’s course. This can vary a bit depending on the fertilizer you use, so make sure to check the box or bag.

If you aren’t sure how long your fertilizer lasts, there is a general guideline you can rely on. The average fertilizer will last about three months before you need to replenish your lawn’s supply.

Again, this can vary depending on the fertilizer you use. Not only does the specific brand formula affect it but the type (i.e. liquid or granule) effects it too.

Final Thoughts

So, when it comes down to whether to fertilize your lawn before or after it rains, what’s the best answer? You have options but, overall, it’s better to wait until after it rains.

This is mostly because your fertilizer will stay in place better if it isn’t about to rain. On top of that, this reduces the risk of runoff which can be damaging to the environment.

The exact type of fertilizer you use will come with a few variables. To get the most out of it, though, it’s best to opt to fertilize your lawn a few days after it rains.

By following this advice, you’ll have a properly fertilized lawn. This will help it grow to be healthy and lush over time, giving you the perfect green lawn of your dreams!