Having a green and healthy lawn is one of the great pleasures in life.
A lawn is often the first thing someone will notice about your home. If it is dry, brown, and patchy, they will assume the rest of your home will be in a similar state.
This could be totally wrong, but you know how people love to judge?
If, however, your lawn is looking all lush and healthy, with a deep green color running through it, nobody will question your ability to maintain a tight ship.
Even from a personal pride standpoint, there is nothing quite like watching your kids play on a soft and manicured lawn, knowing you created it.
With the nifty tips and clever advice littered through this article, your lawn will be thanking its lucky stars.
Whether you need to completely start again or you believe that your tired lawn is salvageable, you will have something useful to implement soon.
How To Make Your Grass Green
There is nothing quite like sitting back on your porch while you take the time to admire your preened and perfect lawn.
Even better if your neighbor walks past, green with envy.
These tips and tricks are tried and tested methods for good lawn health.
Ditch the lengthy online videos and lawn-centric encyclopedias – this is your official how-to on turning your lawn’s frown upside down! For good.
1. Test Your Soil
Grass is a living plant that requires the right set of conditions and nutrients to do well in life – just the same as your other garden plants.
Although grass does collect nutrients from the sun and rain, a lot of its life source comes from the soil beneath it.
So, therefore, a healthy lawn starts with good soil management.
Sometimes people will treat their lawn solely on face value and wonder why nothing is changing for the better.
If your lawn isn’t looking its best then it is officially time to test your soil.
This is how you do it:
- Take a sample and test the pH and nutrient levels of your soil
- Healthy soil is about finding a balanced pH between acidic and alkaline
- If your soil nutrient profile is too acidic apply a lime fertilizer
- If your soil nutrient profile is too alkaline then you will want to offer your soil a sphagnum peat moss or rich compost
- The perfect soil pH to give your grass a good and fighting chance to grow is between 5.5-6.5
- The best idea is to give it healthy fertilization early in the spring and then a top-up slow-release system every 4-6 weeks through the summer
2. Iron Applications
Iron supplements are some of the most powerful tools for turning your lawn green.
If you have been watering and fertilizing your soil and grass like there is no tomorrow and it is still not looking its best, an iron supplement is your next best bet.
Iron supplements do a mighty fine job on most grass species, but they do particularly well on the species of Bluegrass and Fescue.
In fact, many homeowners who take their lawn and garden seriously will seek out Bluegrass and Fescue for this exact reason – it works that well.
Iron is also super handy to have in the garden shed to give the rest of your garden plant life a pep in its step.
Whether it be the veggie patch, the rose bush, or the lemon tree, all of these plants will benefit from extra iron in their diet.
3. Aerate Your Lawn
Aerating is another essential for good lawn health.
This is especially the case if your kids spend hours of no end outside playing on the lawn (as they should).
If you notice your lawn is being compacted by the heavy footfall of the kids and dogs, aeration will breathe life back into it.
You will find a compact lawn over soil that is more clay-like. But, with enough playtime, it can happen over fertile soils too.
Aerating the lawn will help the soil to loosen, and let the right amount of water, food, and air in as required.
What aeration is doing is providing a healthy framework for your lawn to grow a strong and sophisticated root system that would not have been possible when compacted.
To aerate your lawn you have two options. The first is to rent a machine and do it yourself.
The second is to dust your hands of the responsibility by letting a team of professionals come in and do the dirty work (it’s not that dirty).
4. Dethatch Your Lawn
Dethatching a lawn involves removing all of the dead organic matter that has formed a spongey layer just under your lawn.
This sediment of the garden will, over time, start to fester and encourage moss to grow which is terrible news for grass.
Dethatching a lawn is quite a drastic solution but sometimes drastic action is necessary to get the job done.
Why is dethatching considered “drastic,” you ask? Because it involves damaging your grass first before it can get better.
If done properly. It will allow water and nutrients to reach the soil beneath your lawn.
It will also improve the airflow of your soil and encourage a thick and healthy lawn to grow.
Dethatching a lawn can convincingly be done by anyone with a little know-how.
All you have to do it hire the appropriate lawn-dethatching machine from your local garden shop and set it to work across your lawn.
Dethatching can be done as a one-off project, but we would recommend integrating it into your yearly lawn maintenance.
This is especially the case if you have thick foliage in your garden.
5. Fertilize Your Lawn
After you have stripped your lawn of its dead and decaying undergrowth, it will need a little helping hand to recover.
Lawn fertilizer is a great way to introduce an abundance of nutrients quickly and to great effect.
The best method when fertilizing a freshly thatched lawn is to give it a good and proper soaking there soon after, and then decrease the dosage as you go.
After the initial dosage, it is advised to reign it back to a half-strength fertilizer of slow-release.
One tip when fertilizing a lawn is to ensure you are upping its water intake at the same time.
It is a hard task to ask lawns to take on fertilizer without water.
Also, a decent soaking of water will do wonders for getting the fertilizer down to where it is needed the most – the roots.
6. Overseed Your Lawn
Overseeding is a process that involves sowing grass seeds over your lawn.
It is a clever idea to overseed after you have aerated and dethatched your lawn.
This is because the seeds will be able to get down into the soil easier, and have a higher germination rate as a result.
There are a million and one step-by-step guides on how to overseed a lawn, and most of them probably gain good results.
However, we think keeping it simple is often the best policy.
Having found good results with the method below, we thought it would be worthwhile sharing it.
How to overseed your lawn: (the easy way)
- Mowing your grass short is a key ingredient in ensuring that the grass seeds find their final resting place (your soil). If at all possible, it is preferable to mow your lawn below two inches for the best results.
- The next step is to generously spread lawn starter fertilizer across your entire lawn. This will help you to create a desirably nutrient-rich growing environment for the seeds. In turn, they should develop strong roots in rapid time.
- You will then need to sow the grass seeds. Again, make sure you do this with generous portioning. This is because you have to account for not all of the seeds germinating.
- The next step will require you to locate your garden rake and flip it around. Using the back of your rake, gently press the seeds into the grass. This action will help them to reach the soil in an assured fashion.
- A topdressing of premium compost will do wonders for a freshly overseeded lawn. You don’t have to get carried away with this step, just a light amount will do. Once you have spread it near and far across your lawn, you will need to flip your rake back around and rake the compost through your lawn.
- The final step is an easy one – let the grass grow. Resist the urge to mow it unto it is at least three inches. This will give the seeds time to find their groove and excel in life as a result. Mowing your lawn too early will lead to the seed losing its legs and you may kill off a portion of them as a result.
7. Mow Your Lawn
Mowing is part and parcel of maintaining a healthy lawn.
However, there are some rules that must be applied to ensure you don’t do any unwanted damage.
The first is to allow a good two to three weeks after overseeding before you give your lawn its first haircut (mow).
The second is to never mow more than what you believe to be ⅓ of your lawn’s height.
You don’t have to get the ruler out for precision, but just keep in mind that mowing your lawn too short will stress it out and make it weaker.
Make sure your lawnmower’s blades are sharpened at the start of every summer.
This will help it to deliver a clean cut and eliminate the chance of jaggedy cut grass that has the potential to turn brown.
Also, endeavor to mow your lawn when it is not too wet and not too dry.
If it is dry, then a gentle watering an hour or so before you get the mower out will work wonders for its health.
8. Water With Thought
A good watering regime is a key part of maintaining a healthy lawn.
All life needs water, and your lawn is no exception.
In fact, grass blades even have tiny little holes that are commonly referred to as “pores” for the sole purpose of soaking up water.
The fact that their roots also soak in water from the soil, shows you just how thirsty grass can be.
It is hard to give an exact timeframe when it comes to watering a lawn.
The best answer is “a lot”. If you live in a place where the soil is sandy, you will need to water your lawn more because a lot of water will be lost through the sand.
On the flip side, if you live somewhere where the water table is naturally high and the soil is prone to dampness, you may only need to water your lawn occasionally, if at all.
Learning the climate and natural forces of where you live is super important for understanding how much watering your lawn and plant life require.
As a general rule of thumb; If your lawn is green it is getting enough water; If it has turned a shade of yellow or brown, it is advised to up your watering schedule.
9. Protect Against Pests
Pests are another big reason for an unhealthy lawn.
If your lawn is looking a little worse for wear and you are worried about a pest infestation, the first step is to get down at ground level and have a dig around.
Take a sample of a few different pest-like insects and place them in a jar.
Take them back into your home, put your science hat on, and try to figure out which species they are.
A book on garden pests is never a silly Christmas/ birthday present idea.
The thing to remember here is not all insects that like to call your lawn home are going to damage it.
Quite the contrary, some aphid and beetle species will actually be there to eat the pests that you are trying to remove in the first place.
The most common lawn-damaging pests include webworms, grubs, cutworms, armyworms, billbugs, chinch bugs, and most ant species.
Under the right set of climatic circumstances, insects like ticks, mites, and even mosquitoes may be frequenting your lawn and, subsequently, doing it harm.
The trick to treating a pest infestation on, in, and around your lawn is good moisture management.
Most of the pests listed above thrive in a wet environment.
Ensuring your garden has a good drainage system in place as well as avoiding the desire to overwater are two good places to start.
Another common problem is one side of the lawn is lower than the other.
Raising your lawn up to an even height will help reduce excess water gathering down one side of it.
Obviously, this is easier said than done in some instances. But, to have your lawn in good health with a deep green sheen, nothing should be ruled out.
So there you have it. With this list of ideas by your side, we are convinced you can turn your brown lawn around in no time.
A green lawn is a sign of good health, and there is no better feeling than knowing your lawn is doing well from the roots up.
The green color is just the lovely cherry on top.