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What Happens if You Don’t Water After Fertilizing? (Tips)

Fertilizing is one of the essential steps in lawn care, as it provides grasses with the nutrients they need to grow. How to water after fertilizing is equally important, but we tend to skip this step or not focus on it. So the question is, What happens if you don’t water after fertilizing? Here is what you need to know to have the garden that you’ve always dreamed of!

What Happens If You Don’t Water After Fertilizing?

If the chemical fertilizers sit too long on top of the soil surface without being watered, this can burn the grass and make it unable to absorb the nutrients. We tend to assume that fertilization would keep the grass green and thriving. This is partly true, but many people underestimate the significance of watering quantity and method.

In reality, excessive fertilizing can harm lawn grasses and may even cause fertilizer burn. Water is a saviour in this case, as it helps to dilute and drain the mineral salts away from the lawn’s roots. Not watering the lawn also makes it difficult for the soil to absorb the nutrients present in fertilizers, hindering the growth process of the grass.

When Should You Irrigate Your Healthy Lawn After Fertilizing?

It depends on the type of fertilizer you use. If you want to apply liquid fertilizer to the grass, remember to wait until it dries before the watering session. The waiting process for liquid fertilizer will take around 2 to 4 hours. On the other hand, you can irrigate your garden right afterward if you use granular fertilizer, as its grain-like form is hard to penetrate. Granular fertilizer releases nutrients slowly. This means that it must be soaked into the soil before it can be absorbed by the roots of your turf grass.

Exception: If you want to use weed treatments along with fertilizer, wait for them to dry after application before watering. This prevents them from being washed away before they can penetrate the soil.

A note while using the weed-and-feed products: It would be best to spray the greensward before letting the products stick to the grass. Then, turn off the irrigation for 1–2 days to not wash them off after applying the product.

You should irrigate the greens in the early morning since it is cooler and the winds are also calmer. This condition allows water to penetrate the soil, allowing grasses to absorb it before it evaporates. Avoid watering during the middle of the day, when evaporation is highest. Also, if you do so at this time of day, the grass blades won’t have enough time to dry before midnight, leading to diseases such as fungicides.

The ideal frequency to irrigate the lawn after fertilizing is 1-2 times per week, rather than daily watering. It will help the fertilizer achieve its best effect, resulting in the roots growing deeper and stronger. During the peak of summer, you need to keep the garden hydrated by increasing the frequency to 3-4 times a week. Drought stress can be hazardous to a lawn as it leads to grass thinning and losing colour.

How Much Should You Water Your Healthy Lawn After Fertilizing?

Ideally, the lawn should receive about 1–1.5 inches of water per week. You need to observe and determine whether the soil moisture is satisfactory. The exact amount of water depends on the sprinkler system and the size of your garden.

Also, be aware of sudden rain situations. Although rain can shower the entire greensward for you, it can overwater the garden.

If the rainfall has partially moistened the lawn and there is no rain in the forecast for the next few days, apply the remaining amount of water the grass needs. Having a rain gauge is the best way to determine how much water the soil absorbs during rainfall.

An automatic timer for the sprinkler system is a useful tool that can help control the watering frequency. Keep in mind to turn this system off if there is expected rain.

Too little water may also cause your grass to dry up, turning it yellow and parched. The point is to give your garden approximately its required spray every week—even in the winter.

Fertilizing And Watering Tips


  • Water the lawn deeply for 1 to 2 days before applying fertilizer. Only apply fertilizer once the grass has dried. Then, irrigate the lawn one more time. This second watering is critical because it flushes fertilizer off the grass blades and into the soil.
  • Track the weather daily. Avoid heavy, intense rain since it may wash the fertilizer away and into the storm sewer system. It also causes a plethora of problems related to environmental pollution, including groundwater contamination.


  • Irrigate the greensward at night. High humidity, a lack of sunlight, and low temperatures create favorable conditions for the emergence of toxic fungi. It can spread uncontrollably, leaving a blighted lawn and leading to several fungal diseases that can decimate turfgrass.
  • Overwatering the lawn after fertilizing. Necessary nutrients may be washed away, wasting most of the fertilizer with no significant efficiency. Plus, carried-away fertilizer contaminates groundwater and pollutes surrounding streams.


It is critical to arm yourself with the knowledge required to properly care for your garden. Understanding what happens if you don’t water after fertilizing helps you not mistreat the grass.

Keep in mind that lawn care always requires a huge amount of time and effort. Hence, be patient, follow our guide above, and you will soon achieve your desired results.

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Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence is the CEO of Swipe Garden. Over 10 years in the writing and passion for gardening, she brings a wealth of expertise and creativity to the world of gardening. Kelly Lawrence has cultivated a community of plant lovers, making gardening accessible and enjoyable for all.