Photo by Carson Masterson
It’s the ultimate goal for any homeowner: a perfectly green, lush lawn boosting curb appeal.
But figuring out how to make your lawn green isn’t always as easy as it seems.
Weeds, thin grass blades, and dry, brown patches can quickly make your lawn look bad.
Keeping your lawn healthy and nourished can help you get that green lawn you want. Strong, healthy grass is better able to keep weeds at bay and withstand other treats.
Use these tips to help your lawn stay green and lush.
Irrigate When Necessary
Without enough water, your lawn can’t maintain a lush, green appearance. If you don’t get adequate rainfall on a regular basis or you’re experiencing a period of drought, you may need to supplement with irrigation.
How you irrigate your grass is just as important as the fact that you do it. For the best results, you want to water the grass deeply on a less frequent basis.
Less frequent, deeper watering encourages the roots to grow deep to reach the moisture and nutrients. Deeper roots make your lawn stronger and healthier.
Avoid watering the lawn every day. Instead, irrigate roughly every 4 to 8 days for a longer period. An easy way to decide when to irrigate is to step on the grass. If it doesn’t pop back up after you step on it, it’s a good time to water.
Your goal is to saturate the water to 4 to 6 inches deep when you water. The type of soil you have affects how much water that’ll take.
If you have clay soil, you’ll probably need about 1 inch of water on the lawn to reach the recommended depth. If your soil is on the sandy side, you may only need 1/2 inch of water to do the trick.
When you’re first figuring out your watering system, let the sprinkler run for 20 to 30 minutes. Dig down in a hidden spot using a spade to see how deep the water went. Turn the sprinkler on again if it’s not deep enough.
Track the total time you let the water run to get an idea of how long it needs to run each time you irrigate.
If you mow your grass too low, it can affect how strong and healthy it is. The ideal height can vary by grass species, so it’s helpful to know what type of grass you have.
But if you have no idea, a general recommendation is to cut grass between 3 and 3.5 inches high each time you mow. If it’s been a long time since your last mowing, set the mower a little higher. It’s recommended to cut no more than one-third of the height each time you mow.
When you keep your grass a little longer, the blades provide shade to the roots. That helps protect them. It can also help hold onto moisture.
It can help to leave the clippings on your lawn instead of bagging them. The cut grass serves a mulch that’s full of nutrients. It can help cut down on how much you have to water since it helps retain the moisture.
Sharp blades are your mower are also important. They create clean cuts on the grass blades to improve overall health.
Your lawn needs the proper nutrients to grow well. Nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are the main nutrients your lawn needs to grow thick and strong. That stronger grass is better able to block out weeds before they develop.
Every lawn benefits from fertilizer. If you notice bare patches, thinning grass, lots of weeds, or other growth issues, your lawn may be overdue for fertilizing.
Fertilizer is a good thing, but too much or the wrong type can cause damage instead of improving your lawn. If you don’t know when, how, or what type of fertilizer to apply, consider a lawn fertilizer service from a professional lawn care company.
Get Rid of Weeds
Fertilizing can help prevent weeds. But if your lawn already has weeds in it, take time to treat them. Choose a herbicide product designed for the type of weeds you have. Follow the herbicide package instructions exactly to prevent problems.
It’s best to apply the herbicide when there’s no rain in the forecast. The rain can remove the herbicide before it has a chance to work.
You also want to use herbicides while the weeds are actively growing or they won’t absorb it.
Thatch naturally happens in a lawn. It’s the layer of stems, roots, and other lawn debris in your grass.
A little thatch is perfectly fine. Anything less than 1/2 inch allows for a beneficial growing environment.
But if it gets too thick, it can affect healthy grass growth. When the thatch grows to an inch or thicker, the grass suffers because the water, fertilizer, and air can’t get to the roots.
Dethatching is the process of removing the layer to make your lawn healthier. You can do it manually with a short-tined rake or with a power rake designed for dethatching.
Only dethatch your lawn when it needs it as the process can be difficult on the grass.
Aerate Your Lawn
Aeration helps relieve compacted soil that naturally happens when you use your lawn regularly.
When the soil gets compacted, it makes it tough for the soil to support water drainage and air circulation. It also interrupts the nutrient absorption. Those things make it more difficult for grass to grow well.
A lawn aerator punches holes in the soil about 3 inches deep. It helps loosen the soil and improve growing conditions for your grass.
Reseed Your Lawn
Putting down more grass seed in your lawn can help cover up bare patches and create a thicker grass cover. The best time to reseed is in the late summer or early fall.
Summer is often too hot and dry to reseed your lawn successfully. The new grass often has difficulty thriving in those conditions.
Later in the year, the temperatures start to drop and it tends to be naturally damper. That creates ideal growing conditions for the new grass blades.
How to Make Your Lawn Green
Learning how to make your lawn green isn’t difficult, but it does take time and attention to give your grass what it needs. Once you get into a routine or hire the right lawn care professionals, you can sit back and enjoy your lush lawn. While you sit outside admiring your lawn, check out our archives for more useful information.