Like humans, your grass lawn needs nutrients to grow strong and healthy. Using fertilizer provides the essential nutrients—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—to promote excellent root growth and keep your grass blades green and vibrant.
But while you want a lush landscape, it is only second to keeping your family healthy and safe. The good news is, with proper lawn care guidelines, fertilizing your lawn doesn't have to be at the expense of your safety.
After a fertilizer treatment, there is a period when you should stay off the grass. This is particularly for kids and pets who might always want to run around the grass.
How Long to Stay Off Grass After Fertilizer
While fertilizers are generally safe, it's better to practice precaution. We generally recommend staying off the lawn for at least 24-72 hours after applying fertilizer to keep your kids and pets safe from exposure to chemicals and allow your lawn to absorb the nutrients without any disturbance at the same time.
However, the time window can vary depending on factors such as the type of fertilizer used, the application method, and whether or not you used herbicides or weed control treatments along with the fertilizer.
Waiting time depends on the type of lawn fertilizer used
You can use at least two types of fertilizer for your grass: liquid and granules. Liquid fertilizers get absorbed by the soil and dry quickly, and once the soil is completely dry, it should be safe for your kids and pets to enjoy your yard again. It usually takes anywhere between 2-4 hours for liquid fertilizers to dry.
With granular fertilizers, you'll have to wait longer to use your yard again—give it a good watering session first to activate the product and get the nutrients into the soil. It can take at least 24 hours for the granules to dissolve, and adding up the time it takes for your lawn to dry, that's how long you'll likely have to wait before letting everyone into the fertilized lawn again.
Wait a few weeks to a month after grass plugging
Alternatively, you can also use slow-release fertilizer pods to provide a gradual and controlled supply of nutrients to the soil. Our NutriPod® is a pre-measured grass plug nutrition that contains a slow-release formula, gradually supplying nutrients to the soil for up to 45 days. It fosters healthier and more resilient growth while eliminating the risk of over-fertilizing your soil. Simply drop it into the planting hole before transplanting your grass plug.
Instead of sitting on the lawn, fertilizer pods are buried in the soil. Thus, it significantly reduces the risk of direct contact with pets and kids. Much of the downtime for your lawn after fertilizing is to allow the newly planted plugs to establish and take root. While walking lightly on the lawn is acceptable, avoid heavy foot traffic for a few weeks to a month to avoid any disturbance that could hinder their growth.
Apply fertilizer at the right time of day to minimize downtime
You can minimize downtime for your yard after fertilizing by choosing the right time of day for application. Optimal times for fertilizer treatments are generally early morning or late evening when the temperatures are cooler. These are also the times when most kids and pets stay off the lawn.
Avoid using fertilizer in direct, strong sunlight, as this can dry out your fertilizer before your soil even gets the chance to absorb the nutrients. Learn more about the best time to apply fertilizer to grass.
When to water your lawn after fertilizing
When you should water your grass also depends on the type of lawn fertilizer used. With liquid fertilizer, wait for about 2-4 hours or until it dries before watering.
With granular fertilizer, water your lawn immediately after application to break down the granules and release nutrients into the soil. One exception is if you also used weed control treatments—wait for the weed killer to dry before watering to prevent washing it off before it can work.
While timing is important, remember to water your lawn moderately. Overwatering immediately after fertilizing can wash off the nutrients away from the soil. This is particularly true with liquid fertilizer. Always follow the specific instructions from your lawn care company, as different types of fertilizers may have slightly different recommendations for watering schedules.
Can You Walk On Grass After Fertilizing?
Yes, there’s no reason you should only be admiring your lawn from afar. Using the right fertilizer is key to enjoying a greener lawn. But there are some precautions to ensure your health and safety.
Wear footwear: After fertilizing, avoid walking with bare feet on the newly treated lawn. Wear shoes to minimize direct skin contact with the potentially harmful substances in the fertilizer and reduce the risks of skin irritations.
Secure storage: Store any unused bags of fertilizer in a secure location, out of reach of children and pets. It will help prevent accidental ingestion or direct contact with the fertilizer.
After fertilizing and minimal downtime, you should be able to enjoy your green lawn again.
Ready for your next landscaping project? Choose Bethel Farms for all your lawn needs—SodPods grass plugs for patching up sparse areas and NutriPod® fertilizer pods to guarantee the success of your newly established lawn.