How Does Rain Impact My Lawn After Fertilization?
There are all sorts of environmental conditions that can impact the effectiveness of your lawn fertilization treatment – including rain. However, the amount of rain you get and the timing can lead to different outcomes. The two most common ways that rain can impact your lawn after fertilization include:
- Light showers a couple of days after the treatment: If your grass has a couple of days to soak up most of the fertilizer, light rain probably won’t have a significant impact. In fact, gentle showers afterward might even assist your lawn in absorbing the nutrients better, especially if you’re using a water-soluble granulated formula.
- Heavy rain immediately after the treatment: Heavy rain can wash away the fertilizer, which prevents your grass from taking in the nutrients. In some cases, the fertilizer may also spread unevenly across your lawn, leading to uneven growth or burning and scorching. For that reason, we recommend postponing fertilizer if you anticipate an upcoming storm.
Can I Water My Lawn After Applying Fertilizer?
It’s a good idea to wait at least 24 hours after applying a fertilizer treatment before watering your lawn. Watering too soon might wash away the nutrients before your grass can soak them in. On the flip side, delaying watering for too long can be risky, especially in the hot summer months. Some fertilizer treatments also require a bit of water to reach the grass roots, like granular options that break down into the soil through rain or irrigation.
If you aren’t sure how long you should wait to water your lawn after applying fertilizer, read through the manufacturer’s packaging. Most contain instructions regarding aftercare. Or, you can speak with a lawn care professional for personalized recommendations.
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How Can I Tell If Rain Washed Away My Fertilizer?
It’s not easy to tell if your fertilizer treatment has been washed away by rain, especially if you used a liquid treatment that isn’t visible on the grass blades. Here are some signs to look for that may indicate your treatment was washed away:
- Soil erosion: If the rainstorm was heavy enough to cause soil erosion, it likely displaced a lot of the fertilizer. Things like exposed roots, gullies, and streaks in the dirt are all telltale signs.
- Uneven growth: Patches of thriving grass alongside areas that look lackluster or scorched could be a sign that the rain washed away your fertilizer and spread it unevenly across your lawn.
- Scorched patches: If the rain carries fertilizer across your yard, it may create patches of highly concentrated nutrients. This can lead to yellowing or burnt-looking grass.
Should I Apply More Fertilizer After Heavy Rain?
Weather here in Florida can be pretty unpredictable. Even with careful planning, you might encounter an unexpected storm after applying fertilizer to your lawn. While your initial instinct may be to reapply the treatment in case it got washed away, we recommend waiting for a few days at the very least.
Reapplying right away increases the risk of scorching certain areas of your lawn, especially if some spots received a heavier dose of the fertilizer during the storm. Instead, consider seeking advice from a lawn care professional in this situation. An experienced technician can safely reapply the treatment for the best results without endangering your turf.