Best Time To Fertilize Lawn Before or After Rain? - Lawnal (2023)

Plant fertilizers are comparable to human vitamins, as they supplement essential elements for healthy growth and development. However, applying fertilizer to your lawn doesn’t change anything except when done correctly.

Therefore, knowing the best time to fertilize a lawn is in your best interest and that of the plants. This way, you get the desired outcomes while the plants enjoy the best benefits and a comfortable growing environment.

The best time to apply fertilizers depends on several reasons. So, if you don’t do it right, you will end up spending more on fertilizer and wasting your time and energy. Therefore, should you fertilize before or after the rain?

We will get to that further in this article, but first, let’s discuss why you need to fertilize your lawn.

Table of Contents

Why Should You Fertilize Your Lawn?

All year round, it’s necessary that turfgrass have a sufficient amount of nutrients. Sunlight, water, and soil offer a portion of the nutrients the grass requires to stay healthy and green. However, fertilizer is an essential component needed by lawns because they;

Reduce Muddy Spots and Patches

A healthy grass root can quickly soak up more water than weak ones because fertilizer makes them stronger. They tighten the soil in your yard and reduce the possibility of water gathering to create an unappealing muddy mess, particularly after a slight rainfall.

Control Weeds

A healthy lawn can eliminate the need for weed-killing chemicals. Fertilizers ensure the healthy growth of your lawn, causing the impossibility of weeds to thrive due to the thickness and beauty of the healthy grass.

Add Essential Nutrients

Fertilizer is essential because they help complement the nutrients in the lawn. Nutrients from fertilizers stop weeds from suffocating and obstruct good grass growth. They contain three major elements which are of great importance to the lawn.


The primary factor contributing to the thickness and lushness of the turfgrass is Nitrogen. Nitrogen actively promotes the development of leaves. However, an excess of Nitrogen can impair grass, making it susceptible to diseases, insect infestations, and erosion.

Rainfall and mulched grass clippings are natural supplies of nitrogen for your lawn. Still, fertilizer with a regulated quantity of nitrogen gives your grass the nutrition it needs for healthy growth and an appealing effect.


This component is necessary for young lawns, whether seeded or turfed. Healthy roots can better absorb water and essential nutrients from the soil since phosphorus is required for a strong root system.

Soil deficient in phosphorus will make fragile grasses susceptible to wilt and color fade. However, phosphorus encourages root growth and aids in the germination of grass seeds to produce a lush and thriving lawn. Additionally, strong roots help lawns endure droughts resulting in weeds having less place to grow.


Potassium is a vital component for the general health of your grass. It immunizes your lawn and guarantees that moisture and other nutrients travel freely throughout it. Furthermore, this nutrient strengthens cell walls, allowing grass to withstand disease, drought, fungus, and harsh climatic conditions.

Although it may seem simple, picking the appropriate lawn fertilizer isn’t always straightforward. To guarantee your grass grows appropriately and is in good health, you’ll need to consider several criteria. These criteria help decide which fertilizer is ideal for your lawn and how frequently you should use it. They include:

  • The type of soil,
  • The condition of the grass,
  • Weather patterns and the climate, and
  • Season of the year

You must be confident that the fertilizer you choose is ideal for your lawn before making a decision. Proper soil testing, which doesn’t take very long, is necessary.

When is the best time to fertilize the lawn; before or after rain?

Using fertilizer properly is crucial because of its nutrients and how it affects grass. However, we’ve established that fertilizer application, even with the ideal balance of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, is ineffective if done incorrectly. Which is better for fertilizer application, before or after rain?

Best Time To Fertilize Lawn Before or After Rain? - Lawnal (1)

As fertilizer is sometimes washed away by rain, the ideal time to fertilize the grass is shortly after it has rained. Whether it’s a heavy rainstorm or a slight drizzle, it’s best to wait till it ends before you start applying your fertilizer. The process is perfect for lawns because it:

Eliminate Chemical Runoff

Chemical runoff happens when fertilizer washes away and contaminates nearby waterways. This problem typically arises when a gardener fertilizes a lawn, and it rains, washing the fertilizer off the lawn.

However, fertilizer application following rain reduces runoff because it enables nutrients to penetrate the soil and perform more efficiently progressively. Additionally, it assists in avoiding overfertilization, which can harm grass, as you can easily tell when the fertilizer is enough and when the grass isn’t overly damp.

Enhances Performance of the Fertilizer

When you fertilize your lawn a few days after the rain, the nutrients from the fertilizers have enough time to dissolve in the residual rainwater in the soil.

This dissolution causes the root to absorb the fertilizer’s nutrients easily. Using fertilizers after the rain boosts their efficiency and enables them to start working on enhancing your soil instantly.

Prevents Burning and Spots

Brown patches and burns are seen frequently in a lawn or garden. However, improper fertilizer application can make them worse. Water aids in fertilizer activation and facilitates the movement of the nutrient, where they begin to decompose for the root to absorb them.

In an effort for fertilizers to penetrate the soil and be utilized by the roots, they must first disintegrate in water. However, spreading fertilizers on dry ground extends their stay in the soil, causing the grass to become brown or burn.

Why You Shouldn’t Fertilize Before Rain?

Lawn owners might wish to fertilize their lawns before the rain to ensure the fertilizer is well-soaked into the soil. A significant amount of moisture would guarantee that the lawn receives the nitrogen it needs to thrive.

Although a heavy downpour will undoubtedly accomplish this task, it can also have unfavorable long-term impacts and significant repercussions. Also, gardeners must know how their actions affect the ecosystem.

There are several reasons why this choice is not ideal for grass health. These reasons are;

Causes Water Pollution

Nitrogen can flow off from lawns and into waterways following fertilizer application during heavy rain. This nitrogen in the water serves as food for algae and aquatic vegetation. The two main nitrogen sources discharged into water bodies are ammonia and nitrogen fertilizers.

Widespread blooms may result from this abrupt inflow of nutrients, which reduces the amount of oxygen in these bodies of water. Fish and other aquatic life perish due to an inadequate supply of oxygen.

Reduces Absorption

Water and fertilizer nutrients have a more difficult time penetrating dry soil and getting to the roots of the lawn. Therefore, using fertilizer on dry soil does not positively impact your lawns.

Furthermore, it also tends to be slightly difficult to water as you might end up over-watering or under-watering, which can be bad for your lawn.


You may fertilize your grass whenever you want. However, It’s best to create a lawn maintenance schedule that enables you to fertilize the grass after a rain to get the most incredible benefits.

As a result of this process, you can see how fertilizers benefit lawns by causing them to thrive comfortably and become as appealing as possible.

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