One thing every gardener wants from their lawn is to have grass that is nice and thick, has no weeds, and will feel amazing when you are walking over it.
If your lawn is lush and green, your property will look amazing because of it, and will show just how proud you are of the land. It is also an amazing feeling coming back to your house after a long day out and having a beautiful garden to greet you.
However, not everyone knows how to have beautiful grass like this, so in this article we will be going over all the simple advice you can follow to make your grass as perfect as possible.
When following this guide, it is important to keep in mind that there is no way to guarantee that all steps will work, since no two gardens are the same.
For example, some lawns are stuck in the shade, while others are regularly exposed to the sun.
There are also some lawns which have clay soil, while others have sandy soil. There is not one method which will work, so that is why we go over a variety of different things you can change so you can get the best results with your lawn.
This guide will cover plenty of different angles to consider, whether this is preventing weeds, or when to use fertilizer, we have made sure our bases are covered!
These steps will work for anyone, whether you are an experienced gardener, or a complete beginner, proper lawn care is actually quite accessible.
While there is of course work which needs to be put into making sure that your lawn is as presentable as possible, the maintenance is not that bad.
So, if you are looking for the most simple way to make your grass as full and thick as possible, and want to make your property look amazing, this guide will give you the steps needed to get to this point, as well as how to maintain is once you have reached your dream lawn!
Preparing Your Soil
When it comes to getting the best lawn possible, one of the first considerations you will need to make is the state of your soil, if you want a healthy lawn, it will need to be on healthy soil!
This is an aspect of maintaining your lawn that can often be overlooked, and a lot of people think all you will need to do is use a chemical fertilizer to prepare the soil.
However, if you rely on this type of fertilizer too often, you can actually end up with turf that is a lot less healthy.
You do not want your grass to become accustomed to relying on a quick release fertilizer, as the soil will become less healthy a lot more quickly!
This is why, the best way to prepare your soil is to instead use a fertilizer that is instead slow release, as well as organic. This will help improve the health of your soil so it is perfect for your lawn.
We also recommend that you screen compost your lawn once every 2 or 3 falls. This is one of the best times of year for you to use this kind of compost.
This is not us saying that you should not use a synthetic fertilizer at all, however, if this is the only type of fertilizer you are using, the cost will rack up quickly and the health of your soil will just suffer in the long run!
Test Your Soil
One of the best things you can do to start off the process of improving your soil is to do a soil test.
If you have never heard of this, this is where you send a sample of your soil to a lab, they will then report exactly what is in the soil, and what you can do to help this soil thrive as much as possible.
While you may think that using a soil test will just be a waste of money, it can actually end up saving you quite a lot of money in the long run!
This is because, instead of focusing on changing your soil to make it reach a certain standard, it instead tells you what you need to do with the soil you already have.
For example, a lot of people just assume that adding nitrogen to their soil will improve results, however, depending on the state of your soil, it might not need any.
While you can get a specialist service to do a soil test, you can even find them on shopping sites like Amazon, for example, this one, is cheap enough that you can justify using it semi-regulalry to keep up to date on your soil and adjust your gardening habit with it.
All you have to do is dig some soil in different parts of your lawn, then mix it all together, and then finally mail it in to the lab. You can then get the results online in just a couple of days.
There are even DIY sets that are available at some garden centers, however, these tend to have slightly less reliable results, because of this, maybe try a more official one first!
Some of the key information that you will get from a soil test is what the pH level of your soil is and how to garden with this, however, some more expensive kits can give you a much more detailed report on nutritional information of the soil.
If you have the budget, this is definitely something that will pay itself off. The amount of money saved when you know exactly what the state of your lawn is, makes your life a lot more simple.
The expensive kits will even give you advice on how to make your grass thicker which is tailored specifically to your lawn!
The pH level of the lawn will let you know if your yard is either alkaline, acidic, or neutral. Generally speaking, a lawn in the US will be slightly acidic.
If you want to lower the pH level of the yard, you can sow lime, and this will make it more appropriate for certain types of grass. Ideally, you want your lawn to have an pH between 5.5 and 6.5, this means it is just slightly acidic.
If you want to try applying the lime to your garden, then make sure to start small with under applying it, and then add more if it is needed, but if you start big, it is hard to reverse this!
If you have enough information on the nutrients that are in your lawn, you can then get even more specific advice on what the best fertilizer to use will be, as well as what the best amount of fertilizer to use will be as well.
If you have the nutritional information of your lawn, you can then tailor your fertilizer to give your lawn all of the nutrients that it is lacking.
With this, there are 3 main nutrients that your lawn will usually need. You can find information on these nutrients on the NPK rating of a standard fertilizer. NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
So, if for example, your soil is low in nitrogen, you will want to opt for a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen content, however, if you do not need the nitrogen, this could just be a waste of money.
But, if you instead need phosphorus, then you can look out for a fertilizer that will give you what you are missing in phosphorus content.
If you add this high in phosphorus fertilizer, this will ensure that your lawn grows more thick as it focuses on adding nutrients to the root system of your grass.
By following a soil test, you will be able to find the best product for you, this will end up saving a lot of time, and will ensure you get the best nutrients possible for your specific lawn!
When it comes to the best time for using your fertilizer, we recommend early in the season, around the time when your grass will be out of the winter dormant period.
The date for this will vary depending on where you live, so we recommend researching this specific time for your area! Our favorite way to do this is to apply your application of a good slow release fertilizer once every 5 or so weeks.
A tip to get even better color on your lawn is to add some iron for a deeper shade of green.
The specific nutrient that will usually be responsible for making your yard as lush and green as possible is nitrogen. The reason for this is that the nitrogen is what aids a plant in growing leaves, and the leaves are what you are getting with your grass!
The nitrogen content will usually be the biggest number when you are looking at an NPK ratio on a fertilizer, however, our tip is to use a fertilizer at the start of the year that actually has a slightly higher phosphorus content, this will ensure that the roots of your garden are strong, and this gives your beautiful lawn a good foundation!
However, because of the environmental impact of products that contain phosphorus, make sure to check the restrictions in your area before dedicating yourself to a specific fertilizer.
Different Types Of Fertilizer
When it comes to actually choosing fertilizers, there are two main types that you will need to be aware of, these are, synthetic fertilizers, and organic fertilizers.
Knowing the difference between these two is important for knowing which is best to use when, since both have their uses!
A synthetic fertilizer is much more likely to be stronger, and this is because it has been manufactured. It also tends to have quite a high NPK rating as well.
This means that the nutrients in these fertilizer will make themselves available to the grass quite quickly after they have been applied, meaning that they act quite fast.
This means that the synthetic fertilizer is doing a lot of the work for your grass, however, this can end up shifting the natural balance of your lawn, which is something you will generally want to avoid.
You want your lawn to be able to fend for itself, and this is not possible if you are adding too much synthetic fertilizer!
When you are using an organic fertilizer, you will notice that it will take a little longer to see the results you are looking for.
However, they are also a much safer option, and they are better at being sustainable as an option to have great long term results.
Using a natural organic fertilizer is much more environmentally friendly as well, so you do not have to worry about the impact on the area too much.
They tend to get great results, but you will want to know what the best organic fertilizer for you will be to get the best results!
We recommend using organic fertilizer more often, however, occasionally using synthetic fertilizers can work, you do not want your lawn to rely on them though.
On top of the advice we have already given, there are some further steps you can take to ensure that the quality of your lawn is as good as possible.
There are some specific projects you can try that can greatly improve the quality of your soil and will contribute to noticeably greener and thicker grass.
These projects are simple and do not take that long to do, so make sure to consider trying each of these! The best time of year to try this is in the earlier weeks of fall, however, you can also try them in spring as well!
Aerating Your Soil
If your soil is too compacted, this means that your grass will not be able to get enough air, as well as enough water into their roots. Having this is essential for the grass to be healthy, and for it to be able to absorb enough nutrients.
If you did not know, clay soil is pretty notorious for being incredibly compact and dense. This is more likely if your lawn has a higher than average foot traffic, whether this is from kids or pets.
If this is the case, you will want to aerate your lawn, and this can be done by renting a machine to do it over the course of a day, or if you want, you can hire a professional to do this for you as well!
Dethatching Your Soil
If you have not heard of the term, the thatch is the layer of some organic matter that is now dead, in lawns this is usually leaves, or grass clippings, and these will sit in between the soil and the blades of grass.
They are well known for actually blocking your lawn from getting all of the nutrients that it needs.
This is why you will want to dethatch your lawn, this will get rid of the buildup of thatch that is available, and will then make it easier for fertilizer and water to penetrate the turf and then help your lawn.
The process of doing this is quite similar to the steps you need to take to aerate your lawn, you can either hire a tool for dethatching that is not too difficult to learn how to use, or you can hire a professional to save some effort.
Overseeding Your Soil
You may have not heard of overseeding before, but this is when you will sow grass seed into a lawn that already has grass.
As you can imagine, this will make your grass grow even thicker, but without the effort of having to dig up the grass which is already there.
This is a common strategy for people who are looking to make their grass more thick, and if they overseed their lawn throughout the spring or the fall, you can get amazing results over time.
The best general time to overseed is soon after you have dethatched and aerated, this will mean that the new grass seeds that you are adding will get a good amount of contact with your turf and this will increase the germination rate.
Before doing this, you will want to find out from a local source what types of grass are the most common in your area, and will grow easiest in your climate.
This is because you want to choose a grass which is well-suited to the area so it can grow easily and you will not need to create any artificial conditions to make it grow.
Summary – How To Maintain Your Lawn
One of the most important things to do if you want to ensure that your lawn stays looking good, is that you ensure it is watered regularly. This is especially important if you have just planted new grass.
This new grass will need watering that is frequent and regular for at least 2 weeks if you have overseeded. You do not need to keep this up, and after the first 2 weeks, just once a week after this.
If you do this properly, your grass will grow its roots to be as strong as possible, and this will draw in water to ensure your lawn does not dry out as quickly afterward.
The best time of day to water your lawn is in the morning hours of the day!