Growing Green Grass: How to Have a Perfect Lawn
Green grass is a vibrant sign of a lawn’s good health. Unfortunately, many homeowners find themselves stuck with patchy, brown, and dry grass that doesn’t add any curb appeal to their properties. If your lawn is plagued by unsightly grass, there are solutions you can take to fix it and develop a lush, healthy yard.
Know Your Grass Variety
The first step to getting green grass is understanding exactly what’s growing in your lawn. Most people can’t tell you what variety of grass is growing on their properties, but this is a crucial piece of knowledge to have when trying to improve the grass’ health. Different plant types require different methods of care. While there are many types of grass plants, there are two main varieties to know: Cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses.
Cool-season grasses typically grow in areas with cold winters and warm to hot summers. Because they experience a cold season, these grasses can remain dormant for long periods of drought. Some cool-season grasses include Kentucky Bluegrass, Bentgrass, and Annual Ryegrass.
Warm-season grasses can be trickier to grow than cool-season ones. For example, warm-season grasses tend to thrive when they’re started as sod or plugs rather than seeds. Good soil is critical for maintaining warm-season grasses. They also tend to brown during the winter months, but by maintaining healthy soil, they regain their green vibrancy when warm weather returns. Some warm-season grasses include Bahia, Bermuda Grass, and Buffalograss.
Some grass varieties can exist in a place called the Transition Zone. This is an area where both varieties of grasses can grow successfully. Because both varieties can exist in these areas, it can be difficult to determine the type of grass in your yard. Trial and error may be necessary to determine what grasses in the Transition Zone need to be successful.
Determine if Your Lawn Is Getting Enough Nutrients
A lot of people dismissively think of their grass as a single lawn, but they don’t consider the fact that grass is made of millions and millions of small, individual plants. Like any other plants growing in a garden or flower box, grass also requires plenty of nutrients to thrive and maintain a bright green color.
Spreading fertilizers is an excellent way to help grow greener grass, but it may not make an instant, noticeable change. As grass continues to take in nutrients, its root systems will expand, moving into previously patchy or bare spots.
This also doubles as bad news for weeds. As grass grows healthier and fills in bare spots, weeds suffer. A healthy lawn full of nutrient-rich grass crowds out weeds and naturally steals their nutrients. Rather than focusing on spraying weed killers or tirelessly plucking individual weeds from the grass, homeowners can focus directly on the health of the grass and kill weeds at the same time.
Ensure that you are selecting the right kind of fertilizer for your grass variety and type. Randomly selecting a fertilizer is a gamble: If the one you choose isn’t suited for your grass, you could potentially damage your lawn. On top of that, ineffective fertilizer will be a waste of money. Research fertilizer brands to make an informed, budget-conscious choice.
Put Your Lawn on a Regular Fertilizing Schedule
All living things need to eat — grass included! Grass requires a regular supply of nutrients to maintain its best and healthiest-looking green color.
Incorporating a fertilizing schedule into your regular rotation of lawn maintenance chores is a must. The exact timeline of fertilizer application depends on a variety of factors, such as grass variety and type, location, weather patterns, and more. Make sure to research your lawn’s specific needs before deciding when to apply fertilizers.
All lawns can benefit from the final stage of a fertilizing schedule: Winterizing. Winterizing involves applying a final dose of fertilizers to lawns in the autumn, but these fertilizers are different. Winterizing fertilizers are notoriously called NPK, which stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This final dose of protective fertilization ensures that lawns get a final dose of rich nutrients before going dormant in colder weather.
Adjust Your Mower’s Blades to a Proper Height
It’s tempting to mow grass very short — after all, shorter grass will take longer to grow tall again, putting some extra time between one mowing session and the next.
While it’s nice to take a longer break from the chore of mowing the lawn, cutting the grass too short can lead to a damaged, dry-looking lawn. When grass is cut too close to the ground, the plants have to work harder to regrow the stalks of grass. This takes the focus, energy, and nutrients away from developing a stronger root system.
To encourage healthy growth, a mower’s blades should be set to only trim the top third of the grass’ height. This allows the majority of the plants’ energy to funnel into growing stronger roots rather than regrowing damaged stalks.