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Did You Over-Fertilize Your Lawn? How To Know and What to Do


You want a lawn so green, Kermit the Frog will be jealous. A lawn so green, leprechauns will move in.

So you dump on the fertilizer. Then dump on some more. What the heck, the more fertilizer, the more green, right?

Wait a minute. Can you over-fertilize your lawn?

Absolutely. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

What Happens if You Over-fertilize Your Lawn?

Well, it’s not good. The same nutrients that make your lawn green and healthy -- nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium -- can hurt your lawn if you apply too much.

Over Fertilized-Burnt Lawn Too much fertilizer adds too much nitrogen and salt to the soil. It’s called fertilizer “burn,” and can actually kill your lawn. Imagine the yellow or brown dog urine spots you see in lawns. It looks like that. Dead.

Liquid fertilizer is more likely to burn your lawn if you use too much than granular fertilizer, because the liquid stuff is designed to work right away, while granular releases slowly, over time.

Signs You Over-fertilized Your Lawn

You might not notice the problem right away. Everything seems fine. But days or even weeks later, you’ll notice the yellowing dead patches or stripes in the areas that got too much fertilizer.

You might notice more subtle changes sooner. Maybe you’re not seeing new growth. Or maybe just the tips of your grass blades are yellow or brown.

lawn team applies fertilizer to grassIf this happens to you, don’t feel bad. It's a pretty common DIY mistake. When pros apply fertilizer, they’re using perfectly calibrated equipment. Chances are, that old spreader you dragged out of the garage hasn’t been calibrated in, well, maybe never.

The fertilizer instructions can be tricky, too. Maybe you’re not sure of the exact size of your yard. Maybe you bought the wrong kind. This whole thing can be kind of a pain.

Read Our Guide to Lawn Care in Minnesota & Wisconsin

What to Do if You Over-fertilized Your Lawn

Water, water, water. Extra water will help wash the extra fertilizer out of your lawn and dilute the excess nitrogen and salt.

The sooner you catch this, the better. Maybe you did the math, bought your fertilizer, and figured it’s enough for both your front and back yards.

sprinkler heads water grassBut suddenly, you’re out of fertilizer, and you’ve only applied it on your front lawn.


Get that water going to flush the excess out.

The good news? In time, your over-fertilized Eau Claire Wi or Minneapolis lawn should bounce back and green up again. If it doesn’t, you might need to re-seed.

Need More Lawn Fertilizer Tips? Ask RainMaster

If you’ve hung around here with us much at all, you know we take lawn fertilizer really seriously.

That’s why you’ll see that organic-based, granular fertilizer tops the list of all three of our lawn care programs.

We’re also serious about all the elements that bring out the best in fertilizer, from soil conditioner to proper pH levels.

Don’t waste your Saturday being frazzled in the fertilizer aisle trying to figure out what kind of fertilizer to buy, and how much to apply. Let us make it easy.

Ready to treat your Eau Claire WI or Minneapolis lawn to the best lawn fertilizer service, with no worries about the complicated parts? Request a quote today! We’ll review your lawn care options together so you can make a great choice. Then, you can finally enjoy your lawn and stop worrying about it.

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Topics: Lawn Care

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