While certain fertilizers can be safely applied to wet grass, some do not work unless the grass is dry. Whether one can apply fertilizer to wet grass is a question every lawn and turf keeper has asked themselves at one point in their gardening career.

Dish Soap Can Kill Grass

Through this guide, we strive to give you a simple answer to this complicated question. Read ahead to learn about fertilizing and lawn care.

Can You Apply Fertilizer to Wet Grass?

⚡️ Yes, you can apply fertilizer to wet grass, but only if it is of a certain type. Granular and liquid fertilizers and those containing post-emergent herbicides must only be applied to wet grass. In contrast, foliar fertilizers and those that contain pre-emergent herbicides should not be applied to wet grass.


– Know When to Fertilize Your Grass First

Before applying the fertilizer on wet grass, you must know when is the right time to do so. Grass must be fertilized right before its germination time for a start. This, in turn, depends on the grass you are trying to grow and the climate you find yourself in.

Warm-season grasses such as Bermuda germinate in early spring. This is when you first need to fertilize the grass. Fertilize these grass varieties again in late summer.

Fertilizer on Grass

If you feel like your grass is not growing properly or is turning yellow from lack of nutrients, you can fertilize it at other times. Just note that they could be turning yellow for other reasons.

Cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and Tall fescue germinate in late fall. This is the right time to apply suitable lawn fertilizers. The second best time for this grass variety is early summer.

– Applying Liquid Fertilizers on Wet Grass

Liquid fertilizers that are chemical must always be diluted before use – they often cause chemical burns to the blades and turn them yellow.

It is best to water the grass evenly a day before feeding it with diluted liquid fertilizer. This makes it easier for the roots to absorb nutrients and provides extra protection against burns.

Some fertilizers come in packaging that is already attached to a water hose. All you have to do is to turn it on to mix the two.

Making Liquid Fertilizers for Wet Grass

For others, you can place the fertilizer and the water in a bucket according to the quantity specified in the instructions. Mix thoroughly while closely following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Using sprinklers is the closest you can get to evenly dampening your real grass. You can also use a hose if that is your only option.

Put the diluted fertilizer in a spray bottle and spray as evenly as possible all over the damp grass. Some sprinkler systems allow you to spray the diluted feed over the lawn, making fertilizer application that much easier.

– Applying Granular Fertilizer to Wet Grass

Lawn care with granular slow-release fertilizer is a bit more exhaustive. We suggest you go for more eco-friendly options available in the market. Before purchasing granular feed, it is best to thoroughly measure your lawn so that you buy the exact amount of granules that will be needed.

We also advise lawn owners to conduct soil testing to know what nutrients their grass type needs.

Applying Granular Fertilizer to Wet Grass

Use a sprinkler to water the lawn evenly a day or a few hours before you apply the fertilizer. You can also allow rain to dampen the grass for you. Obviously, the much better option!

Granular-type fertilizers are much more tolerant toward liquid or standing water over the lawn. However, it is still preferable if the grass is ust damp. Make sure to spread the granules equally all over the lawn. The slow-release formula jmight take a while, but you will soon begin to see a major difference in your lawn.

– Apply Lawn Fertilizer in the Rain

What better way of applying fertilizer via watering than utilizing rainwater? Rainwater’s major advantage is that it provides equal coverage to the entire lawn. You cannot get such perfect coverage by using a hose or sprinkler.

Keep in mind, however, that we are talking only about light rain of about a quarter of an inch here. Heavy rain with winds or hail will wash away the fertilizer.

Spraying Lawn Fertilizer in Lawn

The grass will barely get access to any nutrients; instead, all the chemicals will flow off and contaminate nearby water sources.

Keep a close eye on your local rain forecast, and then schedule your next grass feeding according to it. If you ask us, the best time to fertilize the lawn before or after rain, we will say either just before or immediately following it. This way, you can observe your grass and see if it has been fed properly.


– Fertilizer With Post-Emergent Herbidice Needs Wet Grass

Weed control is a prerequisite for keeping a healthy lawn. Fertilizers that contain post-emergent weed killers need a lawn that has been moderately watered before its application. 

Turn on your lawn sprinklers until the grass blades become completely wet. It is best to use a broadcast spreader for harsh chemicals. Carefully follow the instructions on the correct application rate. Attach the spreader with the bottle of fertilizer.

Pushing the spreader in front of you, walk in straight and parallel lines all over the lawn. Keep an eye out for the sections that have been sprayed so that you do not end up spraying one part more than once while neglecting the other. 

Please do not walk on the lawn for the next two days, nor should you water it again. The fertilizer and the herbicide require a reasonable amount of time to exert their effects fully. 

– Do Not Apply Foliar Sprays on Wet Grass

This is the only fertilizer that needs dry grass to be effective. If the grass is even slightly moist, it will lose its effectiveness. Not water the grass for at least two days before a foliar spray is best.

Foliar Spray is Harmful for Wet Grass

Foliar feeding is a technique in which a liquid fertilizer is applied directly to the leaves and blades of the grass. It is useful to provide instant nutrients to the grass by bypassing the soil.

– Some Disadvantages of Fertilizing Wet Lawns

Naturally, there are some cons to fertilizing grass when it is wet. Number one is the inevitable washing away of nutrients.

This is most probable in the case of rain and wind, which might disperse a lot of nutrients. Your grass gets a much lower amount of nutrients as compared to grass that is fertilized when dry.

Because your lawn will not be equally wet everywhere, the fertilizer will not be equally applied everywhere.

Difficult to Using Fertilizer on Wet Grass

Where the grass is wet, the fertilizer will get more diluted, and fewer nutrients will be provided to that part. Consequently, the growth of the grass will also turn out unevenly all over the lawn.

One major concern environmentalists have regarding fertilizing the wet lawn, especially during rainfall, is the potential contamination of water bodies.

The flowing water might absorb the chemicals in the fertilizer and carry it to nearby streams or ponds. Naturally, the water is at risk of getting polluted over time. The aquatic life in said water bodies is at risk as well.


Can You Apply Fertilizer in the Rain?

No, you cannot put fertilizer on the grass while it is actively raining. The rainwater will cause splashing that will disperse a lot of the fertilizer anyway. The rest of it will be washed away by the rain to the nearby source of water collection.

Not only will this waste your fertilizer and effort, but it will also risk polluting the water bodies in your neighborhood. Similarly, we strongly urge you not to feed your grass on hot or windy days.

How soon after rain can I apply fertilizer on grass?

It is recommended to wait until the grass dries after rain before applying fertilizer for optimal absorption.

Should I fertilize my grass again after a downpour?

No, fertilizing after a downpour may lead to runoff and nutrient loss. Wait for the soil to dry before reapplying.


You are now pretty knowledgeable about fertilizing grass while it is still wet.

Here are some useful points that need to be repeated.

  • It is indeed possible to fertilize a grass variety when wet unless it contains post-emergent herbicide.
  • Most people do not recommend lawn fertilizing on wet grass, however, because it dilutes nutrients and may pollute water sources nearby.
  • You should evenly water the whole lawn before application of any fertilizer.
  • Using sprinklers is the closest you can get to evenly dampening your real grass.

That is all the information you need to have when it comes to giving fertilizer to grass that is still wet. We suggest using clean water and ensuring that all grass parts get evenly watered and fertilized.

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