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What Happens If You Apply Fertilizer to Wet Grass?

Discover why applying fertilizer to wet grass is harmful and get tips for proper lawn fertilization techniques.

Fertilizers are tricky and require a subtle or major spreading depending on the type of fertilizer and the lawn. This farming instrument has provided the crops and grass with the desired nutrients and energy.

But can it be applied to wet grass? This question is often confusing but important to consider. Some people believe you can fertilize during the rainy season, while some don’t, and some even do so when the grass is wet.

In this article, we shall study fertilizers, their benefits, and whether they can be applied to wet grass.

Person holding a yellow watering can preparing to apply fertilizer on wet grass

What is a Lawn Fertilizer?

Lawn fertilizers are formulated to provide the desired nutrients, which are important to keep the grass healthy and green. They come in different forms, such as liquids, pellets, tablets, and granules. 

Fertilizers consist of chemicals such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, boron, molybdenum, chlorine, sodium, etc. 

They are generally of two types:

Hands in gloves holding soil with a small basil plant demonstrating What is a Lawn Fertilizer

Can You Apply Fertilizer to Wet Grass?

The effort and time you had invested in looking after your yard would become worthless if you applied fertilizer to wet grass. This is because wet grass is already saturated and won’t absorb the nutrients your fertilizers are trying to provide.

Consequences of Applying Fertilizer to Wet Grass

Following are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t apply fertilizer to wet grass:

Unwanted Nutrient Boost

If the grass is already wet, it will be saturated beforehand. Therefore, when you apply fertilizer to wet grass, it won’t absorb the nutrients, which will cause nutrient runoff into the water, causing water pollution.

You should understand the soil’s needs and consider that excess nutrients are not good for soil health; they can damage your lawn and cause environmental pollution.

Insufficient Absorption

When the grass is wet, the fertilizer won’t reach the desired place where the roots are present in the soil. This is because the saturated grass has the power to stop the fertilizer from entering the soil and can easily drift from the right place.

Due to the insufficient absorption, not only will your soil get insufficient nutrients, but you will also waste your time and money on doing the fertilization.

Risk of Burning

Certain fertilizers, such as water-soluble ones, can completely burn your grass if applied on wet grass.

Therefore, it is generally recommended that the fertilization should be done while the grass is dry. This would protect your lawn and benefit your grass properly rather than damaging it.

Harm to Environment

Applying fertilizer to wet grass would be dangerous for the environment as well. Due to the saturated grass, the fertilizer you applied to them will move further away from the grass and get washed away with water. 

This will affect the aquatic environment, causing further damage to the water and, ultimately, the atmosphere. Due to your carelessness, you will disrupt the natural environment and cause problems for it.

Risk to Foliar Fertilizer

Foliar fertilizers are those which are applied directly to the leaves. If you are using foliar fertilizer to fertilize your lawn, it will be a complete disaster for the environment. The fertilizer will become too concentrated, damaging the leaf color and causing wilting.

Therefore, keeping these points in mind, never apply fertilizer to wet grass. Let’s study further about the right time to fertilize the lawn.

Hands holding soil with a sprout surrounded by icons depicting risks to foliar fertilizer application

When to Fertilize Lawn?

So far, we have studied how applying fertilizer to wet grass can not only damage it but also be unsafe for the environment. So when should we fertilize the lawn? 

Fertilizing your lawn is completely dependent on the type of grass you have and the area you are living. Some general guidelines for these are given below:

Winter Grasses

Winter grasses are those which are active during the winter season which is either during spring or fall. These should be fertilized properly and heavily during fall and very lightly in spring, during the winter season when the temperature is around 12 degree celsius. 

Examples of winter grass are Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, etc.

Summer Grasses

Summer grasses are those which are active during the summer season which is during late spring or early fall. They are prone to handle the heat stress of summer which is maximum to 32 degree celsius. 

Examples of summer grass are Bermudagrass, zoysia grass, etc.

Now, let’s have a look at some of the best practices for fertilizing the lawn.

Best Practices for Fertilizing Lawn

Fertilizing the lawn at the right time and with the right practice is very crucial for its betterment. Let’s have a look at some of the best practices for fertilizing lawns:

Before Fertilizing

Before you fertilize your lawn, make sure to keep in mind the following points.

  • Check the soil: Have an in depth checking of your soil in order to know about its deficiencies. You should be aware about what is lacking in your soil and how you can provide the desired nutrients to it.

Overall, this would save you time and money, which you will be investing in buying fertilizers that your grass doesn’t require.

  • Select the right fertilizer: Choose the right fertilizer for your lawn after checking the soil tests. Fertilizers are made up of three main nutrients, these are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. 

In their ratio, nitrogen remains the most important because of lawn requirements.

During Fertilizing

While fertilizing your lawn, follow the given things:

  • Measure the lawn area: While fertilizing your lawn, make sure to measure its area. This will give you an idea of how much total fertilizer you need to cover the entire place. This will reduce the amount of fertilizer wastage and won’t spread anywhere.
  • Water properly: Thoroughly water your lawn a day or two before fertilizer is applied. It should be done when the grass is dry, and little water should be added to the lawn in order to move fertilizer into the soil.
  • Buckle up your spreader: A spreader which is set up properly, makes sure to distribute fertilizer in the right way and prevents us from applying too much fertilizer.

Person watering lush greenery with a watering can illustrating during fertilizing

Your fertilizer will reach every corner of your lawn where you want it to go without much effort and time. Just be patient.

Let’s have a look at some of the crucial tips and considerations that we should keep in mind when fertilizing. 

Tips and Considerations to Follow

The following are some tips and considerations to be followed while fertilizing.

Timing of Fertilization

The time you fertilize your lawn plays a major role. Lawns are best fertilized during cool seasons such as spring and fall. Also, remember that rainy seasons are the worst for fertilization and should be strictly avoided.

Read the Instructions Carefully

We have often heard the phrase, “Excess of everything is bad.” This is also true in regard to fertilization. Every fertilizer has specific instructions behind it, and we should always pay attention to them before we proceed with the process.

Study About Fertilizers

Fertilizers have different application methods. For example, a granule fertilizer requires a spreader to help it reach every corner of the lawn, whereas a liquid fertilizer needs water to get diluted properly. You should be aware of such basic things.

Say No to Windy Days

Windy days are not for fertilization. During this time, wind can blow the fertilizer and affect the places you apply it. Your time and efforts would be worthless if you weren’t careful.

Clean the Unwanted

Despite trying, few particles or extra fertilizer remain in the lawn and aren’t spread throughout the area. Such unwanted granules can get washed away in drains, causing water pollution. 

Choose Organic Fertilizer

Soil health is important for growing plants and crops. Organic fertilizers can fulfill this approach. Manure or composted manure is a natural way to maintain soil and perform the process accurately.

Figure Out Spots

Certain areas of the lawn require extra nutrients and energy. You can examine those areas using soil testing or other methods and apply fertilizer to give it an energy boost. Such spots are mostly present in every area. 

Protect Yourself

Fertilizer is important for the lawn, as are safety measures and equipment. Remember to take necessary precautions before you go into the field to fertilize. 

Always remember to wear gloves, masks, and eye protection equipment to safeguard yourself from infections and reactions.

After all, your health is important in a similar manner to soil and environmental health. So, avoid being careless while performing such tasks.


To conclude, applying fertilizer to wet grass is unsafe and should be strictly avoided. It can waste your efforts and money and pollute the environment. 

Your priority should be applying the right fertilizers at the right time, and your duty should be protecting the environment.

After all, if we protect the environment, it will protect us.

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