How Long Should I Wait to Fertilize After Mowing?

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By Ashley Hanson

Updated: Mar 29, 2024

8 min read

Mowing After Fertilizing
Photo: @girlzlawn

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    Homeowners should wait 24 to 48 hours after fertilizing before mowing their lawn to allow the grass to absorb nutrients fully. Mowing too soon can hinder this process and remove applied fertilizer. Following fertilizer instructions and considering mowing before fertilizing or leaving cut grass as nutrients can optimize lawn health.

    Maintaining Healthy Lawn

    Many individuals often trim their lawns too low. Cutting the grass too short can remove the greenest sections, resulting in a yellowish hue until it regains color in the following week. Additionally, it's crucial to ensure the mower blade is sharp and the deck is level. If feasible, employ a mulching blade to return grass clippings to the lawn as natural compost.

    Mowing Wet Lawns and Post-Fertilization Care

    Cutting the grass on a wet lawn can result in clumpy cuttings, potentially causing discoloration or patches of dead grass if overdone. Mowing in wet conditions can create tire tracks and uneven areas, so it's better to avoid it. However, mowing after fertilizing shouldn't be an issue since the mower won't disrupt the fertilizer granules much. The granular fertilizer will settle into the soil and won't be picked up or disrupted by the mower, contrary to a common misconception.

    Consequences of Mowing Immediately After Fertilising

    Start by checking the fertilizer's instructions for absorption time. Once it's absorbed by the grass or soil, it's safe to mow without removing it. If unsure, follow general waiting times, which vary based on the fertilizer type.

    Suppose you overlook the guidelines, rush, and mistakenly mow right after fertilizing. The likely outcome is that you will unintentionally remove most of the fertilizer, depriving the grass of essential nutrients. Consequently, the grass won't thrive, appearing unhealthy and patchy. Additionally, you will waste time, money, and effort.

    Optimal Lawn Care: Mowing and Fertilising Tips for a Lush Green Yard

    Mowing and Fertilising Tips for a Lush Green Yard
    Photo: @oxfordinstashade

    Mowing Before Fertilization

    Mowing just before applying fertilizer is ideal as it ensures your lawn is at the perfect height, reducing the need for another mow soon after. Allowing your lawn to remain uncut for a while helps the soil absorb nutrients effectively before the grass grows too long. Additionally, leaving grass clippings after mowing provides a natural nutrient boost as they decompose, enriching the soil without extra cost.

    Correct Lawn Fertilisation 

    The correct method of lawn fertilization ensures robust growth and density. 

    Choosing a cloudy day or evening for lawn fertilization yields optimal results. Instead of hand-scattering, using a spreader ensures an even distribution of fertilizer. For smaller or irregularly shaped lawns, handheld or shoulder spreaders are convenient, while larger areas benefit from push-along spreaders. Liquid fertilizers are suitable for spot treatment, applied via spray. Ensure uniform distribution of lawn food by hand or with an appropriate spreader, followed by thorough watering.

    Maintaining Lawn After Fertilising

    Watering the lawn post-fertilization is a common recommendation from lawn care. This practice aids in the optimal absorption of fertilizer and prevents potential damage to individual grass blades from chemical scorching. Whether by using a hose or timing fertilization before rainfall, ensuring adequate hydration is essential.

    After a couple of weeks following fertilization, it is important to inspect the lawn for any weeds that may have emerged. Prompt removal of weeds and the application of fast-growing grass seeds can effectively address any patches that require attention.

    Recording this information in a diary helps in scheduling the next fertilization cycle accordingly.

    Mowing Post Application of Fertilizers

    Fertilizers serve to initiate optimal growth for a new lawn or areas undergoing repair. It's typically recommended to conduct soil tests beforehand to identify any nutrient deficiencies in the soil prior to seeding, plugging, or laying sod. These tests also inform the selection of the most suitable blend of starter fertilizer tailored to your soil's specific needs. By providing seeds, and plugs with the supplemental nutrients found in starter fertilizers, you have grass growth characterized by root development, growth rates, and vibrant greenery.

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    Ensure the mower blades are sharp to cleanly cut the grass rather than tearing it. It is preferable to mow dry grass as wet conditions can cause ruts in the yard and result in less refined cuts, leading to clumping. Delaying mowing after fertilizing by one or two days is fine to grow a lush green lawn.


    How Long After Fertilizing Can I Mow?

    The safest recommended option is to wait at least 48 hours after fertilizing your lawn. As your lawn needs time to absorb all the nutrients, if you mow it any time before the recommended one, fertilizing the lawn would be in vain.

    Can I Mow and Fertilize on the Same Day?

    No, you can’t mow and fertilize your lawn on the same day, wait for 48 hours at the very least.

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