Key Principles That Are Important To Lawn Health:
Fertilise Most lawn fertilisers contain a balance of nutrients ideal for grass health. One of these nutrients is potassium. Potassium functions within the cell of the grass and provides strength to the whole plant. It helps with the internal processes, including photosynthesis, respiration and protein production creating thicker cell walls.
Water When your lawn runs out of water and ability to draw moisture from the soil, it reaches its permanent wilting point . This is where your lawn will start to suffer, and wilt and growth will slow to an almost complete stop.
Dethatching Excessive thatch in the turf profile makes it difficult for your lawn to take in nutrients, creates moisture loss and causes a barrier that makes it difficult for the living matter to thicken and spread.
Eliminating all weeds and invading turf species It goes without saying really, but if theres space in your lawn for more grass to grow, its likely there is space for weeds to appear as well. Hand weed what you can, spray with herbicides when required and allow your grass to spread into these areas instead.
Limit wear and unnecessary stress Less stress will also ensure grass is in top health which will also improve density.
When Do St Augustine Grass Roots Grow Fast
Like most warm-season grasses, St. Augustine grass shoots start to grow slower as the days start to become shorter in late summer. This is because the grass starts to accumulate food reserves in preparation for the dormancy period.
In late spring and early summer, the roots of St. Augustine grass grow fast and this is where their development occurs the most. You can speed up the spread of warm season grass and make them grow thick during this time by applying fertilizer that stimulates root growth.
How To Thicken Your Lawn
Gro-Sure has a wide range of lawn seed for all your lawns needs, including shady conditions, hard-wearing, fine lawns, or fast-establishing. Plus, our seeds have a bird deterrent coating to maximise your success. For best results sow in the spring from March to May, or in early autumn from mid-September to mid-October depending on weather conditions.
Read our guide on how to thicken your lawn below, or watch the video.
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Follow These Steps And Your Grass Will Always Stay Green And Thick
Theres nothing better than a lush, green lawnespecially when youre equipped with the know-how for how to get it there.
Were happy to let you in on a few secrets for how to make your grass green. It starts with knowing your grass, but continues with using fertilizer and addressing any damage as it comes.
We spoke to our landscaping pros who have combined over 50 years of keeping grass looking green and healthy and they boiled everything down to 4 essential points that we unpack in this article.
Use Natural Lawn Fertilizers
Why use natural fertilizers instead of synthetic lawn fertilizers? Because they are better for your grass, the environment, and they are proven to work better than synthetics! A recent study by Austins Watershed Protection and Development Review Department, with the collaboration of Texas A& M, showed that organic and natural lawn fertilizers actually produce greener lawns than synthetics. Moreover, natural fertilizers are healthier for your family and for the environment! There are a number of natural lawn fertilizers to choose from. You can browse them here.
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Growing A Lawn From Sod
A Bit About The Other Side Of The Pay Wall
I have a substantial amount of information to say about each of these topics and getting it right on each topic will have an incremental effect on the health of your entire grass system, starting underground at the root level.
Remember, a lawn with shallow roots can still look good and grow green the problem with only watering, fertilizing, and cutting the lawn when it gets too tall is that you will constantly face problems throughout the year.
Problems like dry spots in the lawn, summer dormancy, fungal diseases, and thinning grass are common.
Weeds can more easily establish in a lawn with thin grass and roots. Grub damage can be more problematic in grass roots that do not have adequate mass. Even dog urine can burn grass that is not strong enough to take, hold, and use the excesses that come from our animals.
The simplest way to encourage root growth after you start a deep infrequent watering schedule is to regularly apply a Root Growth Stimulant product to the lawn throughout the growing season. RGS is a popular product used by DIY lawn care enthusiasts due to it being a one-stop shop for a few of the tricks up my sleeve. Its a product I sometimes use and one I recommend as well
but its only the tip of the iceberg.
You can price out RGS here and add it into your routine but I even more strongly recommend buying access to the rest of this course so that you can learn all of the ninja tips I have to offer on this topic.
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Next Steps You Can Take To Make Grass Thicker And Fuller
There are a few core lawn maintenance projects that you can complete to improve the condition of your lawn.
Anyone asking how to make grass thicker and fuller probably has a yard that would benefit from these three projects, and you can do all three at the same time in a single weekend.
Early in the fall is the best time to tackle these projects, though spring can work too.
Feed With A Nitrogen Fertilizer
Nitrogen is a crucial nutrient that helps regulate water and nutrient uptake. Lack of nitrogen not only leaves the lawn thin and poorly developed but also makes it lose its color.
- Apply 1 lb of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn to encourage the grass to grow thicker and greener.
- Use an organic slow-release fertilizer to constantly feed your grass over 8-10 weeks to help the lawn thicken and green up throughout the growing season.
Pro tip: While there are some fertilizers specifically great for bermudagrass, Id advice that you start with a soil test to determine the deficient nutrient. This will guide you choose the best fertilizer for your Bermuda grass lawn.
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When To Fertilize Your Lawn
In Massachusetts, its recommended that you either fertilize in May, or the fall before . Just be sure that the soil is warm enough for the fertilizer to penetrate and choose a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer if available.
What about seasonal fertilizer in summer?
Feeding your lawn in the early summer can help to better prepare it for the heat and drought conditions that may follow. Slow-release fertilizer is a good idea for most grass types.
However, avoid applying fertilizer in the middle of the summer because it can end up burning a lawn. Additionally, dont fall in the trap of applying too much fertilizer because that may do more harm than good.
How To Make Grass Grow Green And Healthy
This brings us to our next consideration: when and how often to water grass for optimal greenery?
The advice that were about to give you should be taken as just that, advice. One of the best things that you can do for your lawn is to get to know it.
Take some time observing how it looks each day, in the morning and in the evening. Try to become aware of all of the different elements that affect it and how these fluctuate throughout the day. The better understanding you have of your lawn and your specific microclimate, the better youll be able to take care of it.
Then, you can consider the following :
- Watering in the morning is the best because temperatures are cooler and winds are normally calmer. If possible, water before 10 a.m. so that all of the moisture can be absorbed before the heat of the day kicks in and evaporates all the water away.
- If you have no option but to water in the evening, try to do so before nightfall .
- When watering, you want the top six to eight inches of soil to be wetwhich equates to around one inch of water per week. This can be done as a single watering or two waterings this every week.
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Why Is Nitrogen Important For A Green Lawn
Grass cant grow without nitrogen. In fact, its the most important nutrient to support your lawn. Nitrogen works by encouraging new green growth above the soil line. For anyone who remembers middle school biology, this is where the photosynthesis takes place, which helps generate enough energy so that the roots grow healthy and the grass can ward off any pests or diseases.
Perhaps even more important for you and your lawn, nitrogen is also an essential component of chlorophyll, which is what the plants use to feed themselvesand also what gives them their beautiful green pigment. Without nitrogen and all of the things that it supports, you may notice grass blades that are shorter, brittle, dull in color, and more susceptible to stress and disease .
How To Get Grass Seed To Grow The Basics
Before we get to the helpful little trick, it goes without saying that to get grass seed to take, there are a few must-haves right from the start. Unfortunately, with or without a secret trick or tip, if you dont have the must-haves the grass isnt going to grow well under any circumstances.
The Must-Haves Of Getting Grass To Grow
First and foremost, starting with a high quality seed mix is a must. As is selecting a seed mix that is suitable to grow in your area.
It is hard to believe this entire section of lawn was torn up a little over 18 months back. But by using a good quality grass seed, and mixing in a little annual rye to help the seed get started, the lawn filled in thick and lush.
Lets face it, if you live in the middle of Florida, you cant sow a cool season grass that is best suited for growing in a northern state. Nor will a warm season grass grow well in a cooler climate. Not at least if you would like your grass seed to germinate and grow!
But in addition to selecting a good seed that is well-suited for your location, it is also vital to select a blend of grass seed versus a single type of seed. Case in point, Kentucky Blue Grass seed.
Why Grass Seed Blends Are The Best Choice How To Get Grass Seed To Grow
Many lawn aficionados consider Kentucky Blue grass to be the best when it comes to creating a beautiful lawn. But entirely on its own, Kentucky Blue is hard to grow and maintain. And without constant attention, it can fail quickly.
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Best Grasses For Different Climates
Turf grass generally falls into two distinct categories: grasses that do well in warm climates , as well as grasses that are better suited for areas of the country that experience winter and significant seasonal temperature fluctuations .
Here are a few types of those grasses :
Warm Season Grasses: These grow best in midsummer temperatures that reach 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit .
- Bahiagrass Pensacola
Single Variety Blend Or Grass Seed Mix
In addition to getting a high-quality grass seed that matches your climate, you also need to consider your lawns unique properties. Look over the area where you intend to seed.
- Is it in full sun or shady, or a mix? You can get a shade mix of seeds if your lawn has dense shade.
- How much moisture will it get?
- Is the area heavily trafficked?
- How much time and effort do you want to spend on maintaining the lawn?
Knowing your terrain will help you home in on the formulation of lawn seed you want. Seeds are sold as pure seed of one variety, blends and mixtures .
Each type of grass seed has its uses. The pure seed will give you a unified look. The blends will be a bit less uniform, but one variety may cover up for the weaknesses of another. Grass seed mixtures provide the most biologically diverse lawn: The grass plants wont look identical, but the diversity gives you the greatest chance of having your lawn survive diseases and droughts. Pennington, for example, has a Smart Seed brand that includes a mix of shade grass seed and full-sun seed.
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Plant And Fertilize Your Grass Seed
With your soil ready, its time to lay down the seeds.
For planting grass seed in small areas, hand-seeding is fine. For larger areas, youll want to use a seeder. They can be hand cranked, chest mounted or push-from-behind models. Another option is a drop seeder, which drops seeds directly below. They are a good choice for small areas and are more precise than the rotary models. There are more expensive commercial seeding options as well.
Follow the instructions on the seed bag, but you generally want 15-20 seeds per square inch. Make a couple of test runs, aiming for half of that number since you are going to make two passes with your seeder. If the seeders lowest setting is too generous with the seed, thin it out with sand or vermiculite.
Once you get the distribution setting right, make two passes across your lawn area. If you go north-south on the first pass, go east-west on the second. Broadcasting the seed from two angles gives seed the best chance to spread evenly.
We call it the seed-soil contact, said University of Illinois Extension office educator Richard Hentschel. You want good seed-soil contact. If the seed and soil are not in intimate contact, the little root radicle may die out before it hits the soil. The radicle is the first root to emerge from a seed.
Rake the seeded surface lightly to mix the grass seed and fertilizer in the top 1/8-inch of soil. If you have access to one, roll using an empty roller to improve the germination rate.
Compost Your Kitchen And Garden Waste For Greener Grass
Composting your grass clippings is a great way reduce waste and help your garden and lawn grow. Additionally, you can compost other waste from the garden and even from your kitchen. Adding compost to your soil is one of the best ways to green up your grass and all your garden plants. Compost has a number of other benefits, including:
- Compost improves water drainage in clay and sandy soils.
- Compost creates a slow release of plant nutrients and stimulates root growth.
- Compost helps reduce problems with soil-borne plant diseases and garden pests.
- Compost prevents erosion of precious topsoil.
- Compost recycles yard and kitchen wastes instead of sending it to the landfill.
- Compost balances the pH levels of most soils.
- Compost attracts beneficial insects, worms, and other organisms
Composting is easy and rewarding. Read more about composting at the Compost Instructions web site.
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Choose The Right Seed
Not all grass seed is created equal. We bet you already know this from looking at all the different types of grass seed out there. In most cases, when shopping for grass seed youll be choosing between two types of grasscool season or warm season grassdepending on where you live. Cool season grasses grow best where there are large temperature swings during the year, including in the Northwest, Midwest, and Northeast. Warm season grasses thrive in warm weather where theres less of a temperature difference, including the Southwest, Deep South, and Mid-South.
Once youve figured out which grass is recommended for your area, its time to choose your grass seed. The Scotts® Turf Builder® line of grass seeds offers premium grass seed for most popular lawn types. Each Scotts seed is wrapped in a unique coating that absorbs twice as much water as uncoated seed, fertilizes to jumpstart growth, and helps protect against disease. The result? Grass will grow thicker, greener, and more quickly.
To really speed up the results, apply Scotts® Turf Builder Rapid Grass Sun & Shade Mix®, following label directions. It packs both grass seed and lawn food into one handy formula designed to grow grass twice as fast as seed on its own. You can use it to put down a new lawn or to overseed a thin lawn. Just rake the soil, apply the product with your spreader, and water daily until the grass reaches mowing height.