How’s your lawn looking these days? Do you wish you had thicker and greener grass?
You’re not alone. Everyone covets those luxurious lawns that beg to be walked on with bare feet while sipping an iced cold drink.
Maybe you look over at your neighbor’s yard thinking the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence or property line. Well, worry no more. These pro lawn care strategies can amplify your lawn’s health and make the grass greener on both sides of the fence … maybe yours will even be a little greener.
7 Pro Strategies for Thicker, Greener Grass
For many Central and Southern Maryland homeowners, a green grass shows they care for and have pride in their properties.
In summer’s heat, it’s especially important to do all of the things all year long that contribute to a lawn’s health. Because, as the pros know, you can’t do just one thing to nurture a thick lawn. A mix of the right strategies is necessary when it comes to how to make grass greener.
1. Mow Your Lawn Correctly
Mowing is a seemingly simple task that you probably think you can’t get wrong. But your mowing habits can have a big impact on your lawn’s performance. Mowing properly can lead to thicker grass.
One of the largest mistakes people make is mowing their grass too short. Mowing too short can put unnecessary stress on your lawn. This can cause a dull green or yellow color, which you don’t want. It can also increase the likelihood for weeds -- additional headaches you don’t need.
The goal is to cut no more than one-third of your grass blades at any one time. Ideal mowing timing is weekly and ideal mowing height is in between 3.5 and 4 inches, depending on your lawn type. Your mower blades should be sharpened to ensure a clean cut.
2. Water Grass Properly
Plants need water, and your lawn is no different. Grass needs the right amount of water at the right times.
Watering at night can lead to excess humidity, which is a recipe for turf disease development. Watering when the sun is blaring during mid-day means that water may evaporate too quickly before reaching the roots. That leaves early morning just before sunrise or at sunrise as the best time. This gives the grass roots a chance to absorb the water, and as the sun comes out it’ll burn off the excess water resting on grass blades so disease doesn’t get a chance to develop overnight.
The goal is to water less frequently and long enough that your grass gets a good soaking versus shallow waterings more frequently. Watering one to two times weekly is a good idea, especially if Mother Nature isn’t already providing regular rainfall. And watering for 45 to 60 minutes is usually enough time for your lawn and a few inches of soil to get a good soaking. However, this is variable. The warmer and windier the conditions are, the sooner soil will dry out. The right watering plan can ensure greener and thicker grass.
3. Fertilize Grass Adequately
You might think lawns naturally have all the nutrients they need to grow well. But, over time, lawns actually leech nutrients, leaving them deficient. But for thicker, greener grass, a lawn needs the right nutrition.
Enter fertilization. Fertilization can seem overwhelming with all of the options out there, as well as the complex terminology. Fertilizer contains various mixes of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium: the three nutrients lawns need. Then there are liquid and granular fertilizers. On top of that, achieving thicker and greener grass requires proper timing and application of the right mix of nutrients. But how do you know what combination of nutrients in what form and at what time of year to deliver them?
Which leads us to our next tip: a soil test.
4. The Importance of a Lawn Soil Test
A soil test is a crucial step in finding out what nutrients your lawn is lacking and what fertilization and any other treatments can do to improve its density and color.
For instance, if your soil’s pH is off, then the fertilizer you’re feeding it might not be working at all on your quest for greener grass. Poor pH could limit nutrient uptake.
In Central and Southern Maryland, lawns tend to lean on the acidic side. Limestone applications can help to correct your soil’s pH and bring it back in balance.
Also, only some lawn care professionals like Natural Green Systems Lawn & Pest conduct free soil tests on their customers’ properties to ensure the custom program they develop for each lawn meets that lawn’s specific needs.
5. Control Lawn Weeds, Insects, & Diseases
All of the tips above help create the best lawn possible to ensure thicker, greener grass. This naturally reduces weeds, insects and diseases. However, these pesky lawn invaders are always lurking, waiting for the opportunity to infiltrate your lawn if it shows any signs of weakness.
Sometimes, certain conditions can lead to some weed breakthroughs or an excessively wet season can result in turf disease. Keeping an eye out for these challenges and managing them quickly can make simple problems disappear versus exacerbate into bigger, more visually unpleasing results.
A lawn care pro can offer solutions such as a combination of pre-emergent and post-emergent weed control tactics to keep all weeds at bay. Nothing blemishes thick, green grass faster than weeds, insects, and diseases.
6. 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 it’s 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 shouldn’t be forgotten on the journey to greener, thicker grass.
7. Deal With the Shady Spots in Your Lawn
Occasionally, conditions just aren’t ideal for lawn growth. Maybe the lawn was growing around young trees, but as those trees grew, they created more shade, limiting the sun’s access to the lawn. Sun, water and nutrients are necessary for thicker, greener grass. Take one away, and you won’t 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 isn’t 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.
We Can Help You on Your Quest to Thicker, Greener Grass
Want greener grass? Long for thicker grass? You need a strong lawn: one with adequate water and nutrients, proper mowing, and regular aeration and overseeding.
And it’s all within your grasp. All you have to do is create an environment your lawn loves and thrives in.
While a lot of these tips seem simple, they can all be daunting when merged together. We get it. You have other worries and priorities and your lawn may seem to consistently fall to the bottom of your to-do list. This might be especially true in the summer when you’re planning vacations or children are home from school and time seems like it’s speeding by each day.
Natural Green can help you by offering a complete, proactive lawn care program that includes proper fertilization, consistent advice on water and mowing, as well as both pre-emergent and post-emergent weed control treatments and aeration and overseeding. We also provide professional eyeballs on your lawn regularly so we can alert you to turf diseases or insect issues before they become bigger, more expensive problems.
Has thicker, greener grass next door got you longing for the same on your property? We’d love to help. Get started today with a free quote. Together, we’ll prepare a customized plan so you can have that lawn you long for.
Image source: lawn mower