Best Time to Fertilize Lawn Before or After Rain

| Updated On: June 3, 2021
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Taking care of the lawn is very important to enjoy its evergreen beauty. If you are new in the field, then you might be striving for optimal conditions. Or if you are old in this field and didn’t know before about fertilizing strategies, then my friend, it’s never too late. This article will help you learn a lot about the best time to fertilize your lawn.

There can be two decisive timings; before rain or after rain. Both of them can have their pros and cons. So, let’s discuss them to compare and find out the best time.

What is the purpose of a fertilizer?

Before jumping into the discussion, let’s get some concepts cleared!

Fertilizer may be a natural or an artificially made compound that has certain constituents inside it that help in boosting up the plant production rate.

Just like we eat to have nutrition, fertilizer contains multiple components inside that act as nutrients for plants and grass.

But those components can also have adverse effects on the environment at the same time. So, the proper usage of them is important. 

Because they may contaminate groundwater as well as the environment.

Fertilizing the Lawn Before Rain

Fertilizing your lawn before rain means that maybe you know the time when it is going to rain, and you fertilize your lawn thinking that it might turn out well. Or you can mistakenly fertilize it, and the rain comes in. So, let’s have a look at the pros and cons.


  • Fertilizing before rain helps in increasing fertilization efficiency. This is due to the participation of nature in the process.
  • The essential nitrogen for the betterment of plants gets added properly, and being a natural supplement can boost up the process like a catalyst.


  • The heavy rain can cause the fertilizer to get removed from the targeted area, and thus, the purpose may get hindered.
  • The fertilizers, if they get washed away, can go-to sewer and cause contamination. The affected zones can be groundwater, reservoirs, and the environment.

Fertilizing the Lawn After Rain

Fertilizing the lawn after the rain may also have its pros and cons. It might happen to you that you saw the rain stopped, and now you are thinking that fertilizing will boost up the process. Let’s find out in pros and cons more clearly, whether your lawn needs fertilizer after rain or not.


  • The rainwater or the dampness caused by the rain may work as an activator for the fertilizer. That means you apply the fertilizer after the rain, and the strength of that fertilizer gets multiplied to enhance the efficiency of the fertilizer.
  • To top it off, the fertilizer has no negative effect on the environment if you apply it after rain because it does not get washed away into the important water storage or environment to cause contamination.

But remember to let the blades of the grass get completely dry before fertilizing for better results.


  • The natural fertilizing mechanism gets lost in this case, and the fertilizer remains alone to work in the job. The natural nitrogen supply due to rainfall is not there now.
  • Due to the rain effects, it might not be possible for you to fertilize the lawn properly owing to the limitations. So, you have to bear this limitation.


The proper fertilizing lies in spreading a uniform sprinkling all over your lawn so that your lawn’s soil absorbs the fertilizer properly.

The Best Time to Fertilize Your Lawn

Now that we have seen the pros and cons related to both the options. It is totally up to our priority to choose the time.

But, keeping in mind environmental safety, I would say that your utmost priority should be the environment. Because if there is no proper environment for you, a good lawn is of no purpose.

Keeping that in mind, the best time is to fertilize your lawn after the rain because it will keep the fertilizer from washing away and causing contamination as well. You should use best quality spreader to fertilize. 

But, if you have seen the weather forecast and the chances are of drizzling or mild rain, you can also fertilize before raining to achieve those advantages. Because a light rain will cause no washing away and it will also help in boosting the process with the help of natural nitrogen supply.

Read Also: Best Fertilizer Spreader: The Top 8 Reviews in 2021

Some General Tips for Your Lawn

Now that I have told you about the best timings, let’s have a look at some relevant and general tips for the health of your lawn:

  • Forget about the rain; if you want to fertilize your lawn regularly, then you should know the proper timings for that. Let’s not discuss the rain conditions here. The best time to apply fertilizer to your lawn is early morning. This is because air temperature will not rise to cause the nitrogen to burn your grass. Moreover, the late evening is also a good time to fertilize your lawn.
  • Make sure that when you apply the fertilizer, the soil properly absorbs the fertilizer to have all those nutrients. This process should be completed before the sun is there.
  • Always remember to avoid fertilizing on hot days because that will not do any good to your lawn. Rather, that may damage it.
  • Do not forget the right time of fertilizing because that may lead to damaging your entire lawn, and you may end up regretting your decision.

How to Water in Fertilizer

There are alternatives as well to achieve good fertilization. Especially in those scenarios, the effects on the environment can be prevented. The alternative that I am going to mention here is the catch-can test. So, let’s discuss that test and learn about it:

Catch-can Test

This test helps us know that how long we need to turn on the irrigation for the effective watering of fertilizer. Simply, it means that how much water your lawn is receiving.

  • For this, take several empty tuna cans and place them around the lawn.
  • When you start watering, note down that how long does it take to fill ¼ inch of the can.
  • Keep in mind that this much water is sufficient for the lawn to absorb all the nutrients. So, you have to water this much. 
  • Keep in mind that watering below this level will be insufficient, while above this level may turn out to be over the limit. 

So, this is an effective strategy first to fertilize your lawn and then water the lawn to make sure that lawn soil is absorbing all the necessary nutrients or not.


So, from understanding fertilizer to knowing the efficient ways to fertilize, I have mentioned all the necessary details that will help you improve your lawn’s beauty. 

Remember the purpose of the fertilizer, the effect of fertilizer on the environment if not properly used, and the efficient ways of applying it.

In this way, the soil will actively absorb the nutrients, and the grass will grow very well to give you the green color that you dreamt of.

So, hard work pays off in the end. If you put in the effort, you will achieve great results. Have a wonderful day!

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