Fertilizing Lawn – Before or After Heavy Rain? - Fairybush Landscaping

Should I be?

We use fertilizer in order to keep our lawns or gardens growth and to be healthier. Figuring out how and when to use fertilizer is straightforward. However, we are asked what is the best way to use it in specif situations. Rain, as we know, is one of the best ways to let plants grow naturally and we have plenty of that in Ireland! But how should we go about fertilising when a pour down is expected?  Over-fertilizing plants is as bad for anyone as is over-watering, so it’s important to know how to coordinate fertilization with the weather.

Why Fertilize?

Getting a healthy green lawn or garden requires a combination of the right elements. You also need:

  • an appropriate amount of water
  • sunlight
  • both carbon dioxide and oxygen
  • and lastly, the roots also need the right kind of nutrients.

To ensure we get all the nutrients we need, we take vitamins and/or supplements, the same theory goes for lawns. This is why you should incorporate fertilizers into your gardening routine. Fertilizers hold the proper nutrients in the right amounts for general lawn requirements.

What are the Pros and Cons of Fertilizing Before a Downpour?

One of the biggest reasons you might might want to fertilize the lawn before a downpour is so the fertilizer is well spread and watered into the ground.  Your lawn needs nitrogen in order to grow healthily, and a heavy rain session would ensure that the lawn gets that necessary amount of nitrogen.

However, while a downpour will certainly get the job done. It can also cause that fertilizer to be washed into stormwater systems. This has the possibility of affecting the water quality in your immediate community. Log term this can have drastic implications and we need to be conscious of our actions.

What are the Pros and Cons of Fertilizing After A Downpour?

Gardeners may choose to fertilize after heavy rainfall because it will help increase the effectiveness of the fertilizer in the lawn or garden. It will also help reduce the chances of the fertilizer running off into water systems and polluting it.

On the other hand, choosing to water after heavy rainfall could mean that gardeners won’t be taking advantage of the natural way to get the fertilizer into the lawn. It’s difficult to get the appropriate amount of land coverage just from sprinklers or watering by yourself. However, rain could get the job of watering-in fertilizer done better than any other methods.

When Is The Best Time to Fertilize?

The best option is to fertilise after, at least from an environmental and conscious standpoint. Even though heavy rainfall may be great for fertilizing your own lawn or garden, it’s not ideal for the environment. This is because fertilizing before heavy rainfall will be contributing to water pollution to some degree.

Fertilizer that runs off after a heavy rainfall will eventually make its way into local rivers, lakes, springs and bays. Because nitrogen is the key ingredient that lawns take from fertilizers, this can form nitrate, which can severely impact the water quality as well as plants and animals living around these bodies of water.

How to Water-in Fertilizer

If you want to use the downpour to your advantage, there are options that will not only benefit your lawn but are low impact environmental risks. one such options is the catch-can test, this test tells you how long you’ll need to turn on your irrigation to effectively water-in fertilizer. You will need several empty tuna cans or cans of similar depth and place them around your lawn. Then begin your watering, and time how long it takes for the cans to be filled 6.35mm or 1/4 inches.

Take note of this time as it’s how much water is considered enough for the lawn to absorb the nutrients at a root-level, which is what you are looking for. Any less wouldn’t be sufficient, and any more can drown the lawn altogether.

At Fairybush Landscaping, we offer a variety of plans and treatments to maintain a healthy lawn all year round. Contact us today to get a quote and or learn more.

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