What Happens If You Apply Fertilizer to Wet Grass?

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I’M SURE that question bothers you, especially if you are new to planting grass. Even if you are familiar with planting grass, growing a thick, full, and green lawn entails more than just knowing the type of fertilizer and the time to apply it. So, what happens if you apply fertilizer to wet grass? I am here to give you an in-depth and satisfying answer.

But before I give you the direct answer to that question, let me give you the answer to this related question:

Can I Apply Fertilizer to Wet Fertilizer?

What Happens If You Apply Fertilizer to Wet Grass

Yes, it is generally safe to apply fertilizer to wet grass. Your grass may benefit more if, when applying fertilizer, the grass is moist. However, I wouldn’t advise you to apply fertilizer on wet grass, especially if the ground is waterlogged. 

Applying whatever type of fertilizer on overly wet ground or when it is raining will take the fertilizer down the drain. You would wait until the downpour subsides to apply your fertilizer.

While you can apply other types of fertilizer when it drizzles, putting liquid fertilizer on the grass during this time would be a waste of resources. With that nice intro, we can now answer the day’s main question.

What Happens If You Apply Fertilizer to Wet Grass?

While some fertilizers go well with slightly moist grass, applying fertilizer to wet grass is not advisable because it will fail to take in the nutrients from the fertilizer. When applying granular or liquid fertilizer, it would be best to wait until the grass is dry. 

Besides, applying foliar fertilizer to wet grass is likely to lead to the burning of nutrients.

Why You Should Avoid Fertilizing Wet Grass

As we’ve seen, applying fertilizer to wet grass isn’t a good idea. In this section, I delve into the four reasons you shouldn’t apply fertilizer (granular or liquid) to wet grass. 

1. Loss of Nutrients

Fertilizers, whether granular or liquid, are mobile. That means they stay at different places after application. Moving water from rain, intense moisture, or even wind can move fertilizer from one place to another. Losing a great deal of fertilizer when applying to wet grass is inevitable.

2. Polluting the Environment/Water Bodies

One of the worst things you would do is knowingly allow fertilizer from your wet grass downstream. This is especially possible if you live along the coast. But even if you do not live along a river, the fertilizer that has been washed away from your wet grass may go to your swimming pool or the air. 

Whichever way, you wouldn’t want to pollute the environment because of applying fertilizer to wet grass. Worse still, you wouldn’t want to be responsible for the death of aquatic life. 

Related: Can You Hydroseed Over an Existing Lawn?

3. Uneven Distribution of Fertilizers

Because of surface runoff, your grass will end up with patches of fertilizers, with other parts not having any. On the other hand, if you apply fertilizer to dry or moist grass as recommended, you will achieve an even distribution of fertilizer. 

You will likely have uneven fertilizer distribution if your yard is not flat. Thankfully, you can avoid fertilizer runoff by preparing and flattening your ground. 

4. Overfeeding Your Grass

You are likely to overfeed your grass when you realize that your last application was washed away. True, a lot of fertilizer would have been carried away by wind or water, but a little remained. 

When you reapply, let’s say a few days after the initial application; chances are you are adding more fertilizer recommended. Overfeeding your lawn with fertilizer often leads to the burning of grass. 

But you can avoid this mess by applying fertilizer when the grass is dry.

What is the Best Time to Fertilize Lawn: Before or After Rain?

Many think the best time to fertilize a lawn is before or after rain. However, the right time to fertilize your lawn is immediately before light-moderate rains. With such kind of rain, the ground will be moist (not so wet or so dry), which is the ideal state of the soil to absorb nutrients from the fertilizer.

And, of course, the timing of fertilizer application should be during the lawn’s active growing season. As for the best time of the day to fertilize your lawn, the right time is late afternoon – late evening when there is still light. 

So, what have you learnt in this blog?

We have answered what happens if you apply fertilizer to wet grass. The answer to that question is: applying fertilizer to wet grass is not advisable because water will wash away the nutrients from the grass. 

We’ve also seen that applying fertilizer to wet grass is generally safe as long as the ground is not waterlogged. Proper timing when applying fertilizer on grass is also key.

Applying fertilizer in the late afternoon-early evening during the lawn’s active growing period will result in a lifelong lush lawn. 

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