Should I Water After Applying Fertilizer?

Fertilizing plants or lawn is an essential part of gardening. Without proper nutrients, you can’t expect the garden to thrive.

There are two ways with which you can enrich the garden soil. One is granular fertilizer and other being liquid fertilizer.

We shall discuss which is better later in this article, before that many gardeners have this question in their mind, should I water after applying fertilizer?

If you’re using liquid fertilizer to enrich your soil, then you should allow the liquid nutrients to dry out for about 2-4 hours. Watering right after applying liquid fertilizer will wash away the nutrients.

When you apply granular fertilizer, then you can water right after fertilizing.

If it is about to rain, then you don’t have to water the garden.

What Happens When You Water After Applying Fertilizer?

In case of granular fertilizers, quick watering will help to wash away the fertilizer off the plant leaves and nutrients will be settled into the soil.

Granular fertilizers can’t be absorbed by plant soil in solid form. Only when watered, fertilizer will release nutrients into the soil.

But, if you applied liquid fertilizer then you should wait for few hours (2-4 hours), so that solvent will be absorbed by the plant soil.

If watered quickly, liquid fertilizer will be washed away with water and chemical elements in it can pollute your surroundings.

How Much Water will be enough After Fertilizing?

Water is good for gardening plants. But, watering more than enough can wash off the nutrients and minerals residing in the soil.

So, after fertilizing your plants you must water ¼ to ½ inch of water saturation. This will help nutrients to settle in the soil.

Also Read: Can You Mix Epsom Salt With Fertilizer?

How Long Should I Water After Applying Fertilizer?

If you’re fertilizing your garden with granular fertilizers, then you must water quickly. This will push the solid balls of fertilizer to ground level; else they may strengthen on grass blades or plant leaves burning them.

In case of solvent fertilizer, as mentioned above you must wait for couple of hours.

In both cases you must prefer deep watering. Shallow watering results in shallow roots. If you want strong root system then deep watering will ensure roots grow deeper.

Once you deep water your garden, you can forget about moisturizing it for a week. However, you must consider climatic conditions in your region.

Watering garden till ½ inch of the soil will not wash away fertilizers.

In simple words, you should water your lawn for 15-30 minutes. In case of plants, consider moisturizing the soil up-to ¼ inch of the soil.

You can also use sprinkler system to water garden. Allow the soaker or sprinkler system to water the lawn for 30 minutes.

Don’t water your garden until you notice soil is dry up-to 1 inch.

Also Read: Should You Fertilize Houseplants in the Winter?

Which is Best – Liquid Fertilizer or Granular Fertilizer?

For plants, there is no difference between liquid or granular fertilizers. Both supply essential nutrients to the garden soil.

Granular fertilizers are ground applied and liquid fertilizers are foliar and ground applied.

Every drop of liquid fertilizer has uniform nutrients. But, nutritional elements in each granule are different.

Salt content in liquid fertilizer is less when compared to granular. Granule attached to plant stem can burn it.

Liquid fertilizers are instant way to provide nutrients for your plant during growing season.

But, granulars take 24 hours or dissolve. Only after that it will be readily available for the roots to absorb.

University of Michigan State says both have their share of pros when applied on garden. Depending on the gardener or farmer needs, they can use any one way to provide supplement nutrients to plants.

Check this out: Is Bone Meal Good for Hostas?

How Much Fertilizer Should I Apply?

Before fertilizing, you must soil test to determine nutritional deficiency.

Also, consider plant needs and follow instructions labeled on the fertilizers.

Over fertilization must be avoided as it can lead to discolored leaves and burn them.

For instance, you can mix liquid fertilizer with one gallon of water. Use it as foliar spray to enrich your plant with essential nutrients.

In case of granular fertilizer, you must apply it at ground 2 inches away from the stem.

When Should I fertilize My Plants?

Growing season is the best time to fertilize your plants.

Use liquid fertilizer twice or thrice in a month during growing season. This will help the plant to grow rapidly and give bountiful of yield.

Along with liquid fertilizer you can use organic material to enrich your growing soil.

But, ensure to provide balanced nutrients to the plant. Else, plant can experience over fertilization and high levels of salt can damage the plant growth.

Also Read: Do ZZ Plants Like Coffee Grounds?

Watered After Applying Fertilizer – What Should I Do Now?

Now that you watered your garden after fertilizing, you should allow the nutrients to be absorbed by plant roots.

It may take couple of days to uproot essential nutrients and minerals. So, you don’t have to water your plant for at-least these 2 days.

  • After couple of days, when you notice the soil is dry by 1 inch, you should deep water your garden.
  • Infrequent deep watering will make your roots grow deeper and strengthen them.
  • On other side, shallow watering results in shallow root system.

Best time to Water your Plants

Water your plant and garden early in the morning. So, plant roots will have enough time to absorb water along with nutrients.

Also, extra moisture can be evaporated into the atmosphere.

Similarly, fertilize your garden in early morning so plants can make use of nutrients along with adequate amount of water and sunlight.


Conduct soil test before applying fertilizers.

During growing season you’re advised to use liquid fertilizers, as the nutrients are readily available for the plants to absorb.

Wait for 2-4 hours of applying liquid fertilizer before watering.

Allow the liquid fertilizers to be absorbed by leaves or garden soil.

Then you should deep water your plant. This will ensure roots uptake water along with nutrients.

In case of granular fertilizers, they aren’t readily available for plants. They must be soaked in water to be absorbed by plant, so water right after applying granular fertilizer. Dissolved granules release nutrients that can be absorbed by plant roots along with water.