How To Make Your Grass Greener: 7 Ways To Improve Your Lawn
Do your neighbors have gorgeous lush lawns with wonderfully-designed backyards? You may look at your own yard which is browning and dying and wonder how they do it.
You both live in the same neighborhood so the soil and rainfall between your yards should be the same. So what are you doing wrong? Well, the good news is that achieving a greener yard doesnt have to be so hard.
With just a few easy steps, you can learn how to make your grass greener. Youll never have to be jealous of your neighbors and their perfect yards again!
Do you want to know more? Keep reading to discover 7 ways to make your yard greener.
Remove Any Weeds Dead Plants & Other Debris
Before beginning any lawn re-growth maintenance work, you need to make sure your area is clear of all weeds, dead or dying plants, and other debris that would get in the way.
When removing weeds by hand, make sure you pull out the entire root of the plant, or it will just grow back and spread. Using a weeding tool can help you get down to the robust and sturdy weed roots.
When removing weeds with a weed killer, make sure you carefully follow the instructions to prevent damage to any other plants.
Core Cultivation Or Aerating
This is more beneficial than power raking. It helps improve the root zone by relieving soil compaction while controlling thatch accumulation. Soil compaction, in fact, is one factor that contributes to thatch buildup.
Aeration removes plugs of thatch and soil 2 to 3 inches long and deposits them on the lawn. A single aeration using a machine with 1/2-inch diameter tines removes about 10 percent of the thatch if enough passes are made to achieve an average 2-inch spacing between holes.
Disposing of the cores is a matter of personal choice. From a cultural perspective, there may be an advantage to allowing the cores to disintegrate and filter back down into the lawn. Mingling soil and thatch may hasten the natural decomposition of the thatch. The little fluffs of thatch and turf that remain can be collected and composted.
Depending on soil type, core disintegration may take a few days to several weeks. Irrigation helps wash the soil from the cores. Dragging a piece of cyclone fence or an old metal door mat can speed the process. Running over the cores with a rotary mower can be effective but can dull the blade. Many commercial companies that perform core cultivation break up the cores with a power rake. If the cores are removed from the lawn, compost them before using them as a mulch or soil amendment.
Also Check: How To Fix Pet Spots On Lawn
Irrigate Intensely And Less Often
It is a widespread yet wrong practice of watering lawns frequently but lightly. Light watering is a very inefficient process of irrigation as it gets easily evaporated. Thus, it does not meet the very purpose of watering.
Studies suggest heavy and deep watering of lawn at a reduced frequency of application. What happens due to this is the water percolates deep into the soil thus making it available to roots. Because of this, the roots adapt to growing deeper which in turn results in healthier and greener turf.
Image via Jordan Opel
It also makes them resistant to dry weather conditions and removes patchy look from lawns.
There are a few scientific ways to determine the correct moisture need of your soil. It depends on various conditions like soil type, soil porosity, soil moisture content, temperature, geographic location, slope, rainfall, humidity, etc. You can manually check the moisture content by digging up to a certain depth or use a laboratory testing kit to analyse it.
This scientific watering technique will bring back your patchy lawn to life!
Spring Tasks To Foster A Great Lawn
The Spruce / David Karoki
When spring is in the air, you’ll see the first crocuses or daffodils return, marking the coming of the season. These signs should also signal to you that it’s time to get your lawn ready for the growing season. The exact timing of these lawn care tasks depends upon the climate of your region. If you get snow in your area, then start when you are pretty confident the snow season is over. Or time the start of your yard work with the point when the local forsythia plants stop blooming and the local lilac bushes begin to flower.
For homeowners in most regions, there are eight tasks you should complete in the spring to foster a healthy lawn.
You May Like: How To Patch Bald Spots In Lawn
Easy Ways To Improve Your Lawn
Most people think that to have a nice lawn, you need to apply lots of fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and water. But in most parts of the country, it’s actually not that difficult to grow a healthy carpet of grass. The problem is that most turf is growing on a thin layer of poor soil that contains little organic matter or beneficial soil life. To establish a healthy, low-maintenance lawn, you need to work from the soil up.
Maintain A Proper Fertilizing Cycle
Fertilizer cycles are vital to maintain and sustain a beautiful and healthy lawn. These are specific schedules of application of fertilizers according to geographic location, soil type, climate and variety of grass.
In a cold climate region, the sowing of seeds should be done in May along with watering and fertilizing. It should also have a one-time application of pre-emergent herbicide. This process should be repeated in June.
Image via Mikael Kristenson
For summers, take special care of menaces like bugs, ticks, droughts, etc. Special sprays are available to combat the hurdles of this season. Coming to harsh winters, use specialized fertilizers called winterized fertilizers. These help the grass to grow a system of long and deep roots making them cold resistant. Also ensure that in winters all three macro-nutrients- Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium are applied with higher abundance of Nitrogen.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Grubs In Lawn Naturally
Dont Cut Grass Too Short
If your grass is dry and brown, you may be tempted to remove as much as possible. After all, the less there is, the better, right? However, grassroots grow relative to the blade height.
This means if you mow your grass very short, the roots wont grow very long under the soil. Short roots make grass more susceptible to dying from heat or drought. When learning how to make your lawn greener, make sure you mow your lawn no shorter than 2-3 inches.
It may not look the best at first. But when the roots grow longer, your grass will have an easier time reaching water and nutrients needed to revive itself. Just a little patience can pay off big time.
Spend For Premium Seed
If you need to seed a bare patch or your grass is so thin that you need to overseed, invest in a top-quality mix. Check the bag’s label a premium blend will name individual cultivars, such as ‘Midnight’ Kentucky bluegrass, while common names, like tall fescue, indicate older, lower-quality seed types. The pros agree: Cheaper seed will never perform really well, no matter how much you fertilize.
You might also consider a custom mix. Online specialty seed retailers, such as SeedSuperStore.com, cherry-pick top-performing seed types and can create a blend optimally suited to your site, with no weed seeds. Or, if you’re looking for something special, like darker color or finer leaf texture, you can tailor a mix accordingly. Expect to pay more than double what home-center seed costs.
Don’t Miss: How Much To Get My Lawn Mowed
Fixing Large Thin & Patchy Sections Of Lawn
If your lawn is looking thin overall, you can try over-seeding or re-seeding instead to revitalize it. The principles are the same as fixing bald spots, but youre applying to your entire lawn.
First, youll have to rake your lawn thoroughly to remove any debris, such as leaves or dead grass. Then youll spread the seeds over your lawn and cover with a half-inch of compost or topsoil. Rake again, gently this time, to get the seeds in the grass. You want good seed-to-soil contact for the grass to grow. After that, water your lawn in the mornings and evenings until the grass starts to grow.
How Often To Topdress A Clay Lawn To See Results
Depending on the region you live in, you may need to topdress your grass once or twice a year.
You can topdress warm-season grass in the springtime after it has gotten a chance to green up, whereas it is best to apply the topdressing to cool-season grass in the fall before it goes dormant for winter.
Never topdress your grass during the hot summer days. It will stress the plants out, and they will not recover before the fall. Besides, make sure to check out lawn care basics for your grass type to keep it healthy, green, and beautiful.
Don’t Miss: How Much Is It To Get Lawn Mowed
How To Improve Lawn And Garden Soils
Doc walks you through the process of improving your lawn and garden soils. Our goal is to increase the soil microbial activity as well as add carbon and organic matter. Just fertilizing you lawn and garden is not enough. Lawns and gardens need healthy soil. The compost soil that Doc makes in this video is HIGHLY charged with microbial activity as well as nutrients.
GOOD soil is rich in soil organic matter dark spongy material formed from decomposed plant and animal tissue. Soil organic matter is critically important: It helps soils hold onto water and nutrients and supports soil microbes that recycle nutrients. Loss of soil organic matter has made many farms increasingly reliant on fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
Ways To Save On Lawn Care
Add compost. This will improve your soil and eliminate pests and diseases, which means less money spent on fertilizer and water. Apply a quarter-inch of top-dressing compost once or twice a year, including right after your lawn has greened up. Going over the lawn with an aerator first will help mix the organic matter into the soil.
Water wisely. An established lawn needs about 1 inch of water per week in the growing season. A light daily watering will encourage shallow root systems. Instead, water thoroughly once a week, using a 1-inch deep empty tuna can as a makeshift measuring device. Early morning is best, say before 8 a.m., when evaporation rates are low and more water is absorbed into the soil. Also, dont be afraid to let grass turn brown during dry spells. Most species can easily go a month without water. Its time to water again when the grass goes from tan-brown to straw-colored.
Mulch, dont bag. Your grass clippings are a free source of slow-release fertilizer, so let the mower discharge the clippings back onto your grass rather than bagging them. This can cut fertilizer costs by up to 30 percent. The only time to bag clippings is when your lawn is having a disease breakout, often signaled by irregular brown patches or rings in the lawn.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Smallest Zero Turn Lawn Mower Made
How To Fill In Bare Or Patchy Spots
Patching your lawn may seem like a big undertaking, especially if you remember what it was like setting up your lawn in the first place. But you can get it done in a few simple steps. First, choose whether you want to use seed or sod.
In either case, make sure to select a grass type that will thrive in your region and the specific conditions of your yard. If you have large trees that cast a lot of shade, you want to purchase a shade-resistant grass that doesnt need too much sunlight.
Deal With The Shady Spots In Your Lawn
Occasionally, conditions just arent ideal for lawn growth. Maybe the lawn was growing around young trees, but as those trees grew, they created more shade, limiting the suns access to the lawn. Sun, water and nutrients are necessary for thicker, greener grass. Take one away, and you wont accomplish your goal.
Raising or thinning the tree canopy can increase the sunlight to these lawn areas, boosting sun exposure.
But maybe thinning the tree canopy isnt enough. You could have an area where grass just may not grow well. An alternative solution, such as a shade-loving groundcover, mulch, decorative gravel, or a hardscape area might be a better option.
Don’t Miss: What Are The Best Lawn Mower Blades
Benefits Of Recycling Clippings To Your Lawn
- Regular mowing will considerably decrease the need to collect clippings. For this reason, do not cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time.
- Adding organic matter made of grass clippings will help you improve your heavy clay or sandy soil, especially if it is low in organic matter.
- Grass clippings are a valuable source of vitamins and minerals, and you will need less nitrogen fertilizer if you leave the clippings on the lawn.
Use Premium Grass Seed
Theres a saying, You get what you pay for, and that is certainly true when it comes to grass seed. When you use premium grass seed like Scotts® Turf Builder® grass seed, youll know that it will sprout fast, provide even coverage, and stay in place. Coated with WaterSmart® PLUS coating that absorbs 2X more water than uncoated seed, Turf Builder® grass seed feeds to jump-start growth and protects seedlings against disease. Lawn pros know that planting a lawn with premium grass seed allows you to start with a thicker lawn so its easier to keep it looking lush and full.
Recommended Reading: Do Battery Powered Lawn Mowers Work
Mowing Your Lawn For Winter
As the weather becomes cooler, continue to mow your lawn until it stops growing. For both cool- and warm-season lawns, you may be mowing into the late fall. When leaves fall from the trees during this time of year, feel-free to mow over them as they will decompose quickly and add organic matter to the soil. This will also stop them from forming a mat that smothers grass plants.
As youre getting ready for winter, cutting the grass shorter than usual is normal. However, reducing the height of your mower should not be something reserved for the last mowing. If the lawn has been kept at about 2.5-3.0 inches during the growing season, decrease that to two inches gradually two or three mowings prior to the very last cutting. Be careful to not cut your lawn too short because that can encourage weeds and diseases, causing bare patches.
Using The Right Spray
After the core aeration process the next step is spraying and the right spray you used which is better for a lawn.
You should stay off 2 hours until spray completely dry and try to be very careful that no pets and even no human or child go to the lawn while and after spray.
The spray also much reliable if you mixed some liquid weed control and spray through hand cane and try more spraying wheres more weeds exist.
Don’t Miss: Why Do I Have Moss In My Lawn
Aerate And Overseed Your Lawn When Needed
Water and nutrients need to reach lawn roots in order to lead to thicker and greener grass. Over time, lawns can become compact, whether its from traffic or harsh weather, limiting this easy access of water and nutrients.
The solution is annual aeration. This practice breaks up the soil and enables the lawn to breath. Also, those small holes aeration creates can provide the perfect access for overseeding in thin, bare areas. Aeration and overseeding are key elements that shouldnt be forgotten on the journey to greener, thicker grass.
Service The Lawn Mower
Spring also means it’s time to get out the lawn mower and give it a once over. Start it up stubborn start-ups are a sign that it might be due for a tune-up. Give your mower a tune-up once a year. In three easy steps, you can get your mower back in tip-top shape. If your lawnmower needs more than a tune-up, then consider getting a new one.
Among the key tune-up tasks is sharpening the mower blade. A regular sharpening will ensure the blade severs, rather than tears, the grass plants, leading to a nice green lawn rather than one with ragged brown tips.
Don’t Miss: How To Fix Puddles In Lawn
How To Improve Your Lawn To Look The Best On The Block
When you have a house in a residential neighborhood, its hard not to compare your lawn to the ones around you. And, yours can certainly stand out if it isnt as well maintained as the other lawns on your block. Using a combination of topsoil and mulch together, you can improve your lawn either by helping it to grow in the bare patches or by regrowing it from scratch. Soil and mulch calculators make attaining that beautiful green lawn even easier.
Use Corn Gluten Meal As A Natural Herbicide And Lawn Fertilizer
Corn gluten meal is used most frequently as a natural preemergent herbicide for turf grass and organic crops. However, it has the added benefit of fertilizing your soil. Corn Gluten Meal is a totally natural byproduct of the wet-milling process for corn . It will help control annual weeds in your lawn and will keep your grass fertilized. If you want to learn more about this great organic gardening product, please visit Dr. Nick Christians University of Iowa Corn Gluten research page.
8. Use Mycorrhizal Root Builder to improve your soil.
Mycorrhizal fungi are beneficial soil organisms that provide a sort of secondary root system for your garden plants and grass. They attach themselves to the roots and help plants and grass make better use of water and organic nutrients in the soil.
With a Mycorrhizal fungi root builder, you can get mycorrhizal fungi to work more efficiently. Mycor Root Builder is an excellent product that will work great on all the plants you grow, not just your turf grass. Like these eight easy steps? Dont forget to bookmark them or pin us on Pinterest!