If you’ve been searching “how to make my lawn green,” you’re probably struggling with either brown, dry, brittle, burnt, spongy or thinning grass. The good news is, most of these symptoms can be traced back to an issue with nutrients not reaching the lawn because of pests, weeds, or other absorption issues.
We’ll teach you how to get to the bottom of things, and how to make your lawn green and healthy again. Here are 7 tips for how to make your grass green and thicker than ever before:
1. Mow regularly, but don’t cut grass too short.
Mowing properly is something that many homeowners don’t do. Many homeowners cut grass too short, which can prevent the grass from building resilience. It can also sometimes prevent nutrients from reaching the grass roots, because your soil is too exposed to hot weather, and sometimes because dry brown clippings (thatch) can build up and shield the soil surface from absorbing water. Mow no more than ⅓ of the grass blade length at a time, and cut at a mowing height of 3.5 or 4 inches long in the hottest summer months for most grass types. Make sure your mower blades are sharpened regularly (at least once a season for most mowers). A sharp blade will help your mower cut more efficiently with less damage to the remaining grass blade.
2. How to green up your lawn: water properly.
Most homeowners water too frequently, not deeply enough, or not at all. Check out our recent article for more information about proper watering techniques. Watch your lawn's beautiful green color and nutrient levels increase once you've adopted an appropriate watering technique.
3. Aerate and reseed for a thicker lawn.
Lawns should be aerated at least once per year, and some more frequently. Lawn aeration helps your grass roots absorb as many nutrients from the air, water and soil as possible, and allows grass to grow more abundantly as a result. It’s also important to aerate before you reseed in order to let grass seed get deep into the soil to encourage root development.
4. Choose the right grass seed for your yard.
Sometimes issues with unhealthy or dying grasses can be traced back to choosing the wrong grass type for your lawn. Check grass seed labeling for information about the amount of sun or shade the seed requires, as well as whether the seed is appropriate for your New Jersey lawn. We recommend Kentucky blue grass for full sun yards, and fine fescue blends for shaded lawns in the Northeast. More on choosing the right grass seed here.
5. How to make your grass green: manage pests to heal brown patches.
Sometimes, those dry or brown patches in your lawn are due to pests lurking beneath the surface. If your healthy lawn suddenly becomes patchy, lumpy, or pulls easily away from the soil, you might have a grub problem. Grubs and other pests can eat away at your grass roots, killing them at the root. Make sure you treat your lawn for grubs annually if you’re susceptible to them. If you’re not sure, jump to tip number 7.
Healthy turf can also become susceptible to weed seeds snuggling in and taking essential nutrients away from your grass. Turf grass depends on you to handle common weeds because grasses need the same nutrients from the air, soil and water as nutrients for weeds. Nutrient availability is limited for all species, so whether your grass gets the nutrients or the weeds do, depends on your weed treatment program.
6. Use a high quality fertilizer.
Many lawns need a little extra nutrient kick once or twice per year, in the form of fertilizer or an organic compost dressing. These products enrich your soil with nutrients that grass needs to grow, and can be especially helpful right before winter or during spring when new growth is appearing. Make sure you choose a low-toxicity fertilizer that meets your standards for health and safety. Or, take advantage of our rich, organic compost dressing as part of a lawn revival service package.
7. Check your soil health.
Not sure what’s going on with your lawn? If you’ve worked through the first 6 tips and still can’t figure out what’s keeping you from the thick green lawn of your dreams, check in with your soil health. Your local lawn care expert can test the soil for nutrient and pH imbalances, and guide you through repair steps. When taking a soil sample, lawn care professionals are also likely to notice if you have a pest problem, a turf disease, or if you’re over or underwatering. When all else fails, order a soil health test!
If your lawn has sustained damage from heavy traffic that has created visible dirt and patchiness, you’ll need to aerate and reseed again to regrow grass. If spring or fall are approaching, these are the best times of year to aerate and reseed. In the meantime, you can level lumps in the ground with a strong rake, and clear up any thatch or non-organic items that may have been left behind.
If your lawn has sustained damage from pet waste you can treat the area with a spot repair product. First, you’ll need to dethatch, aerate, reseed and water the area. Continue watering regularly thereafter.
Want somebody else to deliver your thicker, greener lawn?
Don’t feel like spending the rest of your summer repairing your lawn? We can help.
Fall is the best time to jump start your lawn’s spring growth. Fall services also help prepare your grass for the long, cold winter months, so you retain the more resilient, healthy areas of grass. Check out our different fall lawn care packages or get in touch with us today to get your free estimate.