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Mowing After Fertilizing, this is the best way to do it

Fertilizing your lawn is important for the healthy growth of it, as fertilizers supply Nitrogen and nutrients to the grass, which helps it remain green. Lawn fertilization also helps the grass to grow thick and healthy. A lawn with thick and healthy growth of grass creates a natural resistance against weeds. Fertilizers enrich the soil with the necessary nutrients that it lacks and make the grass grow faster, healthy and strong.

Mowing After Fertilizing, this is the best way to do it:

Usually, fertilizers are applied in springs, early summers, and fall. The two types of fitlizers need a different mowing strategy. If you use a liquid fertilizer, you only need to wait for around four hours or until when the grass is dry before you can start mowing. If you use a Granular fertilizer, you should wait 24 to 48 hours. Always water in the fertilizer and let the grass dry completely before mowing the lawn. Don’t wait longer than a week after fertilizing, and use a sharp blade. Do not use a grass catcher. It may pick up the fertilizer.

Different types of fertilizers work at different rates. So, it is important to consider the right time to mow the grass once you have fertilized it so that you don’t affect the process of provision of nutrients to the soil by the fertilizer. This article will provide you the knowledge about the right time to mow your grass after you have fertilized it. Moreover, the article will also give you information about the right time to mow your lawn on the basis of the type of fertilizer you apply across your lawn.

Benefits of fertilizing

First of all, let’s have a look at the various benefits that fertilizers provide. Like any plant, grass needs nutrition to thrive, turn thick and green, and withstand the traffic that we put on it throughout the season. A healthy, smooth, weed-free, and lush green lawn is very attractive and satisfying for everyone. But achieving that lush and healthy lawn requires a lot more than just cutting the grass or watering it properly.

Pest control and fertilization are equally important for a lawn as regular mowing and watering is. Fertilizers help your lawn to stay healthy and resist weed invasion. It is always hard for weeds to establish and spread in a healthy and thick yard. Fertilizing not only helps crowd out weeds, but it also helps the lawn withstand insect pressure.

Fertilizers also strengthen the grass’s root system, which helps it absorb water quickly during heavy rains. This helps to reduce the flooding and muddy spots on the lawn. Fertilizing the lawn also helps the grass to grow faster. Growing a lawn without fertilizer consumes a lot of time. The nutrients in the grass help the grass to grow strong at a faster rate.

Fertilizing is also a cost-effective way of maintaining your lawn. Investing in fertilizer is the only cost, and you can save big on potential repair or landscaping that may need to be done if your lawn loses its health. 

It is often said that grass needs sunshine and water to grow. Meanwhile, don’t forget to feed it. Your lawn also needs nutrients to thrive and survive. Over the period, soil naturally loses many of the important nutrients it needs to survive. Rich soil requires three key elements, which are phosphorus, nitrate, and potassium. If your soil lacks any of them, your lawn will look brown. Fertilizers provide these key elements to the soil, which help the grass to grow healthy and strong.

It is also important to know how often you should fertilize your lawn and when you should do it. If you want a nice quality lawn, you have to fertilize it twice a year. You need to fertilize your lawn once in the spring and once in fall. If you want a lush and high-quality lawn or a lot of traffic on it like kids and pets often playing on it, you have to fertilize it four times a year. Twice in the spring and twice in the fall.

If you live in the northern areas of The U.S, the most important time to fertilize your lawn are spring and fall. However, if you live in southern areas of the U.S and have Zoysia or St. Augustine grass or other warm-season grasses, the best time for fertilization is from late spring through mid-summer. During this time, the grass grows at a faster rate and needs fertilizer the most.

Importance of mowing

Before discussing the right time to mow after fertilizing, let’s briefly see the benefits that regular mowing provides. Mowing is also one of the most important lawn care jobs. Regular mowing helps you to keep your lawn robust and healthy. Mowing regularly also adds to the beauty of your lawn. If you don’t mow your grass for a long time, you will notice that your grass will grow at different heights, and your lawn will look rough.

On the other hand, if you cut your grass too short, your lawn becomes more susceptible to weed invasion, heat damage, and drought. Mowing helps you to keep the grass nourished and strong. It helps the grass to grow at an even rate and height. Mowing regularly also helps to combat pests in the lawn. But, to realize the benefits of regularly mowed lawn, you have to be aware of when to mow and how to mow. In the next section, we are going to discuss the right time to mow the grass after you have fertilized it.

Liquid and Granular Fertilizers

If you have applied the fertilizer to your lawn and start mowing right after that, this could be risky. Mowing time also depends on the type of fertilizer that you have applied. There are two basic types of fertilizers, liquid fertilizers, and granular fertilizers.

Liquid fertilizers are best used in large areas like golf courses. Once these fertilizers are applied, the lawn must be watered to prevent the Nitrogen from damaging the grass. Liquid fertilizers should never be applied to the grass during its growing season. The advantage of liquid fertilizers is that they are easy to apply across the lawn.

There is also an ease of blending these fertilizers with other herbicides. Moreover, they can be applied uniformly and consistently as compared to granular fertilizers. Other crop protection products can be easily blended with liquid fertilizers. The grass has faster access to nutrients as liquid penetrates the soil immediately. Liquid fertilizers are also better at balancing the pH of the soil based on chemicals in the fertilizer.

For example, Nitrogen is very helpful for the soil, but it may kill plants if it is over-applied. Similarly, potassium-based fertilizers can be helpful too but to the right amount. So, liquid fertilizers are a better option that maintains a uniform quantity of the chemicals applied across the lawn.

Granular fertilizers are usually common and also a suitable choice for most standard lawns. These fertilizers are spread over the lawn by spreader or by hand. The granular fertilizers are absorbed in the soil at a slower rate, so their effects last longer as compared to liquid fertilizers. Moreover, using slow-release organic granular fertilizers greatly decreases the risk of damaging the lawns. After application, the lawn is watered so that the fertilizer is pushed to the soil and it doesn’t stick to the grass blades. Granular fertilizers are cheaper in bulk and easier to store. They don’t settle out over time or salt out in cold weather. They are more efficient as far as the heavy pre-plant application is concerned. Granular fertilizers must be watered in ordered to begin to absorb into the roots of the grass.

If granular fertilizers are not watered in, the fertilizer granule will sit on the top of the soil and slowly dissolve into it, and this may not be enough to boost the growth of the grass in your lawn. After fertilization, watering helps to dissolve and activate Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other trace elements that promote healthy lawn growth.

If not watered, you risk fertilizer burn from the nutrients sitting on the soil surface and grass blades and infusing the wrong areas with nutrients. The temperature and moistness of the soil determine the amount of water required in the lawn after fertilization. It would be best if you watered to make the soil and fertilizer moist but not so the water washes away the nutrients. So, water after fertilization but carefully.

When should you mow your grass after fertilizing?

Once fertilized, the question is when it is time to mow. If you use a liquid or spray-on fertilizer, you must wait for two to four hours or until the grass is dry. Mowing wet grass damages both the grass and the soil. Your mower may pick up fertilizer in some areas of your lawn if your lawn is wet. So always avoid mowing wet grass.

Although the liquid fertilizers are fast and work more efficiently than granular fertilizers, you still have to wait for the soil to absorb the nutrients supplied by the fertilizer. If you use granular fertilizer, it is best practice to wait for 24 to 48 hours before mowing the fertilized lawn. You must let the nutrients soak entirely into the soil by watering it. Otherwise, all your fertilization will go in vain. Once the grass is dry, and the grains are dissolved in the soil, you can mow the grass.

If your mower is equipped with a grass catcher, it might cause a problem. A grass catcher acts like a vacuum and may suck up the fertilizer before it dissolves into the soil. This may leave some areas in the lawn full of fertilizers and others with nothing of it. Moreover, avoid bagging the clippings while mowing after you have applied the fertilizer. This causes the fertilizer to stay on the lawn even if it was picked up during the cutting of the grass.

If an herbicide is also sprayed along with fertilizer, it takes some time for the leaves to absorb the herbicide and move it throughout the grass plant. Lawn fertilizers are usually applied to dry grass unless the fertilizer also contains an herbicide. Herbicide and fertilizer mixtures are applied after a light watering so the herbicide can stick to plant leaves. Water after application, so the nutrients soak into the soil. If you are using plain fertilizer, then mow a few days later when the grass is dry.

Helpful tips for mowing after fertilizing

  • Don’t wait too long: Do not let the grass grow out of control by waiting longer than a week after fertilizing. The added nutrients boost the grass’s growing potential as most lawn grasses do not acclimate well when you cut more than one-third of the blade’s length in a single mowing session.
  • Avoid wet grass: Avoid mowing the lawn when the grass is wet. Mowing a muddy or wet lawn will damage the grass.
  • Watering: Always water in the fertilizer and let the grass dry completely before mowing the lawn.
  • Regular mowing: Don’t wait too long to mow your lawn. Mow regularly so that you are cutting only one-third of the blade each time you mow.
  • Clippings: If you mow regularly, there is no need to bag the clippings as short clippings are a great natural lawn fertilizer.
  • Short grass: Avoid cutting the grass too short. Short grass has shallower roots which makes it hard to withstand drastic weather conditions.
  • Dry conditions: During drought summer conditions, reduce the stress on your lawn by raising your blade to the upper cutting range.
  • Change the mowing pattern: Change your lawn mowing pattern every time you mow your lawn.
  • Sharp blade: Use a sharp blade while mowing the lawn.

Final Word

Mowing before fertilizing is the preferred way, as it removes excessive growth and debris like fallen leaves from the grass. This helps the fertilizer to reach the soil more quickly. Mowing after fertilizing is not something that is harmful to your lawn in the short term. It may cause problems in the long term as your fertilizer may not perform its functions as you desire.

Mowing too soon after fertilization can diminish the effectiveness of the fertilizer. It is advisable to wait for a couple of days before mowing your fertilized lawn. The best practice is to fertilize your lawn and perform watering after fertilization so that nutrients easily get dissolved in the soil. Once it is dry, you can mow the lawn as you normally do.