Fertilizer On Snow

Chris Wagner

LawnSite Senior Member
Heard a few "average" people talking about putting fertilizer on top of one of the last snows when Spring is right around the corner.

Has anyone heard of this practice? Is it beneficial? I can't imagine it's anything more than a feed. I can't see a herbicide doing any good sitting on snow.

Obviously, the idea is that when the snow melts, the fertilizer melts into the soil.


LawnSite Silver Member
S.E. Michigan
No, No, No. What good is going to come from doing this? Most fertilizers contain a percentage of water soluble nutrients. The fertilizer will dissolve and run off before the grass has a chance to take it up. These kind of practices are exactly the reasons that the govt. is cracking down on LCO's.
The idea of fertilizer on top of snow is something that can be done - however in a very controlled environment.
I would hesitate to recommend to a homeowner this practice as all sorts of problems can occur, some of which the previous poster has pointed out.
BTW, fertilizer does not melt into the soil, it is absorbed via infiltration rates into the soil profile. From there, existent soil chemistry, structure, moisture, fertilizer formulation, turf type, height of turf, amount of turf before an impermeable surface or drain, all combine to form a significant relationship for this practice to be successful.
As I stated, I typically will not advocate this practice to untrained homeowners.


LawnSite Member
I believe that fertilizer over snow is a waste of a custmoers money. Even if it was slow release fertilizer it still would wash away and those particals that are left would only give your lawn very little nutrients. So I would call your local company at the end of the next year "if it snows" and tell then you would like them to add that app on to next years program..I am sure they would be happy to do so.


LawnSite Silver Member
I have heard a variation on this topic....I have one snow customer who throws urea on ice and snow as an ice melter....and it works well...and much cheaper than the better quality ice melters..not exactly a good thing for the Cheapeake Bay however...


LawnSite Bronze Member
SE Pennsylvania
Never hear of fertilizer being applied this way, but have heard of grass seed being applied this way. With the freeze/thaw cycles over the winter, the seed that doesn't get eaten will sow itself.
Chris Wagner

Chris Wagner

LawnSite Senior Member
Doesn't the seed rot out?

Needless to say, the pain of going over snow with a spreader is something I don't think I'd ever bother to try.