The saying goes the grass is always greener on the other side.

This is of course because the “other side” knows the best time to use fertilizer: before or after it rains?

It matters that your lawn is well-cared for and not just because it helps your grass look nice in healthy: grass generates oxygen to improve the quality of the surrounding air and it can help reduce ground heat up to 20 or even 30 degrees.

Knowing the frequency and conditions that fertilizer should be best used is important for good lawn care.

Let’s talk about rain.

How much of a factor is it in using fertilizer? Does it really matter if you use it before or after a heavy rain? Yes, it matters, and no, you shouldn’t apply fertilizer before a heavy rain.

There are many factors that go into taking care of your property (landscape design, landscape maintenance, tree removal, and more). All of these lawn maintenance efforts are essential to good lawn care and fertilizer effectiveness, so check out the rest of this blog to learn more!

What Fertilizer Does

Fertilizers are like the vitamins of the plant world: they help supplement nutrients that allow plants to vibrantly grow and flourish.

Basically, fertilizers are minerals that break down and are absorbed by the roots of the plants to give them the chemical elements they need to grow well, particularly nitrogen and potassium.

There exists a stigma in some circles that fertilizer is toxic to the environment and shouldn’t be used just to make your grass appear pristine. While there is merit to these concern and some situations where this can be the case, not all fertilizer is bad.

Whether you prefer using organic or chemical fertilizers in your yard, there are healthy and environmentally-friendly products out there if you do a little research and know what to look for.

Keep your yard feeling and looking healthy by knowing the best time to fertilize your lawn.

Using Fertilizer Before Rain

It’s least effective to apply fertilizer to your yard just prior to a heavy rain.

Why? Because heavy rain waters lead to run-off and will more or less wash out your fertilizer before it has a chance to break down and be absorbed. Not only will the fertilizer be ineffective, but you will have wasted the money you put into it as well.

It’s fine to spread your fertilizer before it rains as long as it’s more mild or light conditions. Of course, water is important for plant growth and is similarly important to helping the fertilizer’s nutrients break down and get absorbed through the roots.

Contrarily, it’s not usually healthy to fertilize your lawn during a drought. Like we said before, moisture is important for the fertilization process, so using chemical fertilizer on overly dry grass is likely to burn out your grass rather than make it grow and flourish.

Using Fertilizer After Rain

If you’d rather not run the risk of having a heavy rain wash out your fertilizer, you can still use it on your lawn after it rains. In this case, wait until the blades of grass are completely dry before you start.

Check the weather forecast not only to check for information on upcoming precipitation; also check to see if there will be steady sunlight in the days following your fertilizer use.

We all know sunlight is a key component of photosynthesis, and having steady sunlight and ideal weather conditions while the fertilizer is in full effect will help enhance its effectiveness and better improve the quality of your lawn.

If you fertilize once a year, do it in September for cool-season, Northern grasses, and early June for warm-season, Southern grasses. Otherwise, make two to three applications in fall, one month apart, and one in spring for cool-season grasses; three applications are needed during the summer for warm-season grasses. –

Have any questions about the best time to fertilize a lawn, before or after it rains? Need a consultation?

Give us a call and Hambleton Lawn & Landscape. Our team at Hambleton is here to help with all your landscaping and lawn care needs!