How Long Should You Stay off Your Grass After Fertilizing It?

How Long Should You Stay Off Your Grass After Fertilizing It?

It has been urged that you wait at least 48 hours before stepping back into your lawn. The concern isn’t a result of paranoid sentiment. There are many reasons underpinning this; they are very important as well as potentially mortal.

Your backyard lawn is not only a vital part of your home, but it is also where most homeowners spend their time when they are not in the house. The importance of maintaining its grass, fertilizing it, and keeping it green and pleasantly conspicuous cannot be overstated.

However, the fertilization process involves the use of chemicals, and for this reason, one that requires a lot of protective and cautionary measures to be taken before and after spreading.

It has recommended been that homeowners desist from entering back into the area that has treated with fertilizer for at least 24 hours after spreading. The ideal time period is 48 hours, and there is a lot to figure when it comes to the why of the matter.

Most fertilizer products are different, and there are different things that can influence your decision on how long to keep the yard empty after fertilizer has been applied.

Here are a few pointers that should determine how long you ought to stay off, as well as a few pointers for future reference.

Time After Spread

For absolute certainty that the yard lawn is completely empty of all remnant residue of fertilizer, the recommended time to wait is stated as 48 hours. In the event that the time after fertilization is inordinately sunny, then you can easily tell even visually that the fertilizer solvent will have evaporated; here, the grains, granules would already be deep inside the soil. Likewise, when it is rainy, ensure that the spread moves even deeper and farther inside the soil. In this scenario, though, you may be required to make multiple applications just to make sure that there is enough drying time.

Weather & Climate

Fertilizers that are in grain form and which are delivered by hand or through a permit you to witness the precise location on which you are fertilizing. Even though most brands of liquid fertilizer urge that you mix the spread with water to allow for its absorption by soil, your fertilizer might still remain on the blades of grass even right after applying them. If you employ the use of fertilizers that are in liquid form, it is important to mow your lawn when it has dried completely. This, of course, depends entirely on the climate of your climate. It could take one hour to try or a whole day.

Type of Fertilizer—Whether Liquid or Granular

If your preferred type of fertilizer is liquid fertilizer, you are on the right track for when applied on a yard; liquid fertilizer has the very important advantage of making the soil proficient at absorbing the required nutrients quicker. This is, of course, compared to granular fertilizers. That being said, finding the right level of grass safety post application can be tough. With the application of liquid fertilizers, there is no option of you being able to witness first hand your fertilizer being absorbed completely.

Safety Considerations

If you apply more fertilizer spread than is instructed of you by the vendor, you may terminally injure the quality of your lawn as well as your toddler or pets, and this is regardless of whether or not you waited the entire 48 hours. It is imperative that you deliver the fertilizer spread just as the vendor instructs, lest your lawn grass continue to hold on residue for a longer time than you would expect. Consider the prospect of your pet or toddler inadvertently picking up fertilizer residue by their little hands or paws and the ingesting them quickly, you know, as care-free toddlers and pets do. Think of the calcium sulfate clogging their heart valves and killing their respiratory muscles. Scary, isn’t it? You must ensure that you either consult a professional landscaper to find you the best instructions on how to fertilize your yard, that is if you remain uncertain as to how much fertilizer you should put.

Other Things to Think About:

Toddler & Pet Friendliness

We feel like the issue of time, how long the freshly-fertilized grass should be left unattended after spreading, and toddlers are of such immense importance that it ought to be emphasized. Fertilizer spreads that are organic, kid-friendly, and pet-friendly usually require little to no waiting time after you’ve applied them. When spring sets in, there is usually an understandable eagerness in the toddlers and parents to go outside and begin their play and rest. However, while yards and lawns are awesome places for kids to learn and play, they are also places that are full of dangers. We are talking about pesticides, sharp tools, chemical fertilizers, even power equipment.

Sometimes you will find a fertilizer that is safe for dogs, but not children; as odd as it might sound. Always be sure to fully read the labels of any lawn care products BEFORE spreading.

If your kids like spending lots of time playing in the yard, they are obviously going to contact some soil and become exposed to existing chemicals. The general rule should not only be that children are disallowed from being anywhere in the vicinity while fertilizer is being applied, given the prevalence of nitrogen in most brands of fertilizers, they are also to be the last group of people to step into the yard. Parents, guardians, and farmers should be the first, after checking that all fertilizer has seeped through.

More importantly, fertilizers can scorch your skin, so if there is any suspicion even after 48 hours that the fertilizer might have left some trace residue, everyone should don the right protective gloves as well as the right pants.


All in all, it is quite obvious that, given the chemical nature of both fertilizers and the fertilization process, it is untenable to expect that your lawn will be ready for occupation just minutes after fertilizer application.

Varying slightly with fertilizer brand and type, a solid 48 hour waiting period should be sufficient before getting your feet back into the grass. But, as we’ve said, confirm with the fertilizer brand itself. Good luck!



About Seth 58 Articles
Hey, Seth here! As a homesteader and self sufficient farmer, my main interests are in gardening, tree care and lawn care. There is nothing I appreciate more than having a beautiful and healthy home garden. I spend most of my days gardening, caring for my small orchard and a few animals that I keep. I thoroughly enjoy working on my garden as well as sharing tips and experiences with people who have the same passion. My education in environmental science and technology has also led me to explore agriculture from a different perspective and exchange information with people from around the world.


  1. Thank you for the heads up about fertilizer and how you can actually use more than suggested, thus harming your lawn. I’d love to do everything I can to make my front lawn grow luscious and green, but reading this made me double-think about doing this myself since I don’t have much knowledge about what kind of grass my lawn has. I’ll hire a lawn-care professional and have them stop by so they can help me out with this and prevent any mistakes.

  2. Thank you for explaining about the type of fertilizer to use. I’ve been wondering if we should be fertilizing our lawn or how we should take better care of it. I’ll have to mention this to our landscaper to see if he can recommend a good way to do this.

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