11 Steps to Get a Lush Green Lawn
A green and lush lawn is the reason of pride for many American families. A well-ordered lawn will be the best place for the most different activities, starting with picnics and barbecues and up to Frisbee games. Despite long hours of blazing sun and foot traffic, your lawn can look great if you take proper care. It is always pleasant to see a growing and improving lawn, but you may get a bit confused if the grass turns brown, patchy or bare. At this point, you need to start detective work, finding the reason for the problem. Excessive fertilizer, poor soil, drought, diseases, and compaction can decrease the health of your lawn.
Therefore, striving to have the best lawn in the neighborhood, you need to mind certain points and important maintenance tips. It is also vital to remember that the lawn requires care even during winter. Each season presupposes various measures, so you need to schedule seeding, fertilizing, raking, aerating, weeding and other processes required for proper grass growth. Besides, knowing the type of grass you use is inevitable. Maintenance requirements may differ greatly, depending on the grass you seed. It will also help you know the optimal mowing height, watering frequency, aeration need and other manipulations.
Following other instructions and general recommendations is the best way to get a green lawn without treatment and emergency help. So, plan your lawn maintenance, make sure you act in accordance with the directions and enjoy your perfect looking grass.
- Start by testing your soil. Soil pH, or acidity level, is ultimately important when seeding the lawn. The single fact that the soil looks black and rich does not mean it has a proper pH level for grass. A soil test is what will help you determine the pH level in the yard. If this level is ultimately high or low, your grass will not grow properly. However, you can easily fix the problem by adding iron to lower pH rate or lime to increase it. Generally, the vast majority of grass types will prefer the acidity level between 6.0 and 7.2. Mind that you can test the soil all by yourself using DIY pH testers, but extension services will provide better results and more accurate data.
- Get the sod on. If you plan to start your lawn from scratch, you need to think about sod beforehand. April is the best month to lay it down since the weather is a bit cooler and the grass can use the time to take roots. Choose the grass that suits the yard conditions, including shade, sun, and other factors. Watch the sod to be fresh when laid.
- Fertilize. Proper feeding is the primary thing required to get lush green grass that will look deep green and healthy. Slow-release, organic fertilizer is what you need to apply to the outer sides of the lawn, covering the middle and overlapping every pass by a few inches. More frequent mowing may be required afterward, as you add nutrients during the time of rapid growth. Pay due attention to shady areas of your lawn. The greatest mistake of inexperienced homeowners is overapplication of fertilizer to shady areas. What happens to grass is fast death. The grass placed in shade required less watering and fertilization, as it evaporates less. Generally, to achieve the desired result and enjoy a lush lawn, you need to fertilize it four times a year. However, you can reduce your effort and do it only in fall. Apply a quality fertilizer around three weeks before the last mowing of the season, since it will enrich the grass with necessary nutrients and energy to survive in cooler weather.
- Pull up weeds. Weed is what destroys your grass the most, excluding pests. They pop up ultimately fast after the rain, so it is the best time to pull them. The soil is still moist and weeds come out easily by hand – this is the perfect time to eliminate their further spreading.
- Let your grass grow a bit. If you are looking for tips how to make lawn green and thick, you should never forget about mowing. Timely care is important, as both too high and too low grass are no good. Set mower blades to two-three inches, since it will allow your grass to develop resistance to drought and deep roots. Let your grass grow a bit and strengthen, shading weed seeds and soil decreasing evaporation in summer. When fall comes, you can cut little shorter, as the grass is not influenced by any risk factors.
- Mow right. Sharp mower blades are inevitable for quality mowing. Dull blades will tear off grass, leaving ragged tips, which invite various problems and diseases. During the growing season, your blades should be sharpened after each mower usage.
- Aerate soil. It is another important factor that contributes greatly to proper grass growth. Correct oxygen level works creating a preferable condition for grass growth. Stick a screwdriver or purchase a special aerator to create a hold in the soil, enriching it with oxygen, advancing microbial communities and breaking up compaction necessary for proper grass development.
- Water properly. Watering, as well as many other factors, is individual and will depend on numerous factors, with the grass type being one of them. Additionally, you need to consider the climate, weather, soil and other features of the lawn. Generally, 6 inches is a sufficient depth water should penetrate in order to stimulate grass growth. This will launch formation of deep roots and better grass resistance to pests, diseases, and weeds.
- Track calcium intake. Another tip on how to get a nice green lawn is the count calcium concentration. Over 90% of lawn weeds are related to the lack of calcium in the soil. A perfect calcium-to-magnesium level required for proper grass growth is 7-1. High-calcium lime is what you need to use to advance the grass ability to synthesize proteins and absorb nitrogen.
- Overseed the grass to fill in bare spots. If you notice bare spots on the lawn, it is not a reason for concern. They can be easily eliminated by timely overseeding. Just add extra grass seeds over the existing lawn. Timing is also vital, so you should do it either in late summer or early fall. As a result, you will get a healthier, thicker and greener lawn without spots.
- Treat the lawn. From time to time, you need to apply quality tonics and other treatments to help the grass recover from challenging factors. You can either get the best remedy in the local store or make it on your own. Water the grass after applying the treatment. Your lawn will look lusher and healthier afterward.
Additionally, you can use other lawn care methods, including applying preemergent herbicides, using weed preventers, adding organic matters, leaving grass clipping for the lawn to get fertilized naturally and others. The need for maintenance will still depend greatly on the grass type you have. Choose the best techniques and use the tips at the right time to get a perfect lawn you can be proud of.