fertilize on dry or wet grass?

beckyinrichmondOctober 18, 2008

I'm going to put some more fertilizer down. It rained yesterday. Should I wait until the grass is good and dry (which may not be until tomorrow since it's supposed to be cloudy today) or is it okay to spread fertilizer on damp grass? Also, should I cut the grass before or after I do the fertilizer? I've cut it one time since planting it 24 days ago. The ground was soft because I've been watering to keep the seeds damp and the lawn mower made some ruts, which I tried to smooth out some afterwards by walking over the edges of the ruts. Pivoting the lawnmower was the hardest part of the mowing. Any suggestions? It's been 4 weeks since the first fertilizer was put down (before topsoil added and seed planted). The grass is coming in nicely, though some areas are still sort of sparse. I trust that it will fill in over time. There are a couple of clumps which are too thick. Would it help to thin those out? If so, would it be better to pull some sprigs out or use scissors?

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andy10917(NY 6a)


Please give us a clue about what you are doing. Renovation, new lawn, overseed? What kind of grass? Where do you live?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 10:35AM
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I have always fertilized on dry grass. I think it gets down to the ground more evenly. If done when wet you can't help making a mess with a walk behind spreader. I also spread the fert after I mow - why risk sucking up some fertilizer and/or spreading it in odd patterns.

I wouldn't start thinning anything until the grass is more established. The lawn will do some of that on its own.

As to mower ruts - just try to mow with a different pattern each time to spread the damage. When turning try to turn by pivoting on the non-driving wheels.

Capt Tom

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 10:40AM
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This is a complete renovation (I posted about it earlier)--killed off everything with Roundup, added topsoil, lime, fertilizer, seed. The soil test indicated a need for potash and I added some plain potash in addition to the starter fertilizer. I'm in Richmond VA. The grass is a mixture: mostly tall type fescue (Scorpion, Falcon), some bluegrass and ryegrass mixed in. The grass was planted on 9/24. I added more seeds to bare areas on 10/3. I've been watering every day. Cut the grass last Sunday for the first time. The grass is drying off this afternoon but I think I'll wait until tomorrow to cut it. Then I'll do the fertilizer. And then water. Good idea on doing a different pattern to deal with the ruts. I'll cut it perpendicular to what I did last week. It's a push mower so there are no driving wheels. I think this time I'm going to do the turns on the sidewalk and the neighbors' yards (which have already been cut).

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 3:37PM
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for normal fert, applying it on dry grass or in the rain will not matter. Why do you think they make spreader covers!

Now herbs etc are diff.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 10:35AM
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