Getting your grass to look green and flourish is the ultimate goal for anyone seriously involved in gardening. If you are a novice gardener or a homeowner looking to build an in-depth knowledge of how to take care of your grass. Then glad you see you’re here.
First I will explain the basics of fertilization, and what elements contribute to producing green lawns. Then I will also talk about how to apply the treatments so you can do this at home yourself.
Finally, I will provide you with a number of methods to grow a natural lawn so it grows thick, luscious, and healthy all year round.
- Fertilizing for Greener Lawn
- Lawn Iron Supplement
- General Lawn Fertilization
- How to Make Grass Greener
- Select the Right Type of Grass for Your Zone
- Final Thoughts on Greener Grass
Fertilizing for Greener Lawn
Grass fertilizers are chemical substances that you apply to the soil to supplement plant nutrition and allow the plant or grass to absorb and utilize the minerals available in the soil
The fertilizers contain vital macronutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Fertilizers can either be organic or inorganic.
When it comes to producing a green lawn you need a combination of all three elements but with a bias toward nitrogen. You can tell the nutrient ratio of fertilizer by reading the label. You will see the notation of the fertilizer N-P-K ratio.
In very simple terms think of each nutrient playing a specific role in the growth of green grass.
Nitrogen (N) is essential for the healthy growth of foliage, or blades of grass
Phosphors (P) help grass process and distribute the nutrients available to it
Potassium (K) supports healthy root growth
In practice, it is more complex as all of the macronutrients have a cross-over in the roles they play and the processes they support. But when reading fertilizer labels this is a nice easy way of viewing things.
So a label with an N-P-K of 16-1-5 is a good option to boost nitrogen and improve the foliar condition of your lawn. 0-2-6 is a good option for boosting root development and improving drought resistance.
Testing The Soil
Before applying fertilizer to your lawn, it is helpful to conduct a soil test to assess which nutrients may be lacking. After that, you can supplement it with fertilizer rich in one or more of these vital components: nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium.
So, when is the right time to fertilize your lawn? It is advisable to do it when the soil is sufficiently warm for the effective penetration of the fertilizer. You can apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer if you have it.
Lawn Iron Supplement
Have you ever wondered why you find backyards with dark green lawns? The answer could be using an iron. Use iron supplements to attain a lush, deep, blue-green color.
Iron is precisely adequate with Fescue and Bluegrass, allowing your grass to remain deep green during the raised growth caused by nitrogen fertilizers. Iron also helps regulate moss and is a vital ingredient in products such as moss out.
Chelated Iron Spray
When going through the labels on fertilizer packages, you may have encountered a product called “chelated iron” and wondered what its use is.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and micronutrients such as iron and magnesium are critical when it comes to producing viable lawns.
Iron deficiency appears as dark veins with lighter pale yellow between the veins. So, is chelated iron spray different from regular iron supplements? The simple answer is yes.
The chelated iron spray is processed from the regular iron and functions differently. It is processed using a chelator, a binding agent, to preserve the form of iron that plants can absorb.
It can be incorporated into the current fertilizer and other nutrients necessary for your grass. Its crucial function is to treat iron deficiency, especially chlorosis, inhibiting the absorption of nutrients from the ground.
Ironite granules are a mineral supplement and have soluble iron, making your grass greener faster. Ironite granules are the best products for a perfect lawn, and they are also crucial for growing grass in clay soil.
It is usually used together with granular fertilizer before application for exceptional outcomes. If you apply iron granules to your lawn, you should wait for about two to three months to exhibit efficiency.
General Lawn Fertilization
What type of fertilizer you use on your lawn, and how it is applied will determine any additional action you need to take to allow the formula to activate and get to work creating the green lawn you are looking for. So let’s briefly run down a few of the options.
Fertilizers that slow down the release of urea have numerous perks. Slow-release nitrogen fertilizer is secure for a lawn compared to quick-release blends, and it releases nitrogen moderately for a short duration.
Apart from enhancing grass viability and keeping it greener for longer, it also minimizes the risk of burning grass with an overdose of fertilizer that’s too strong. Not to mention it’s also a convenient and cost-effective lawn treatment.
Hose End Spray Contrate
The hose end spray is a ready-to-use contrate that attaches to the end of your hose pipe. As you switch the water on, it mixes with fertilizer concentrate within the hose end attachment and sprays as diluted fertilizer across your lawn. This is a great way of feeding your lawn and watering it with a single action.
Weed and Feed vs Separate Treatments
Weed and feed is the consolidation of weed control and fertilizer. Although they are both lawn care services, they are not usually used concurrently.
In fact, it is imperative to take precautions as you are buying products labeled weed and feed since, depending on the type of grass in your yard, it may not work with both weed control and lawn fertilizer at one time. Therefore, applying weed control and fertilizers separately is essential for a healthy lawn.
How to Make Grass Greener
You can make your grass greener, healthier and voluminous by simply following some basic maintenance tips. Dethatching your lawn, along with aerating will help create a good environment for light penetration and prevent the risk of fungal disease. Add to that periodic deep watering, with the goal of getting moisture down to approximately the top 2-inches of soil. This is particularly important as part of your granular feeding program, I would always recommend that you water after fertilizing.
Dethatch Your Lawn
Is your grass slowly losing its volume? Do you notice constant dry spots and fungal diseases attacking your grass, or is your lawn more sensitive to temperature extremes? Are the grass blades weak? Well, your grass could be in dire need of thorough dethatching.
Thatch is an inherent buildup of primarily dead grass on the soil surface. It consists of undecayed stems, stolons, rhizomes, and roots. If the thatch layer exceeds about a half-inch thick, it can compromise your grass viability.
Therefore, it is imperative to carry out dethatching. Dethatching is a crucial way of getting rid of the excess layer of debris, dead grass, and other organic matter that accumulates on the grass blades and the soil’s surface.
Dethatching is an exceptional remedy for lawns as it helps to:
- Allow grassroots to get nutrients, water, and air
- Boost soil health and nutrient density
- Uncover the lower grass shoots to ensure they get maximum sunlight
- Enhance grass health, thus promoting the appearance of your curb
- Minimize diseases vulnerability, fungus, and pests
- Boost the effectiveness of fertilizer
- Minimize the potential risk of mower scalping
- Regulate weeds growth
- Minimize stormwater run-off
Unlike aeration which is done annually, dethatching is a remedy to a problem. Therefore, you are only required to do it if thatch becomes a significant challenge. If you maintain proper lawn care and invest in grass seed that is not vulnerable to thatch, you may only need to dethatch your grass after every few years.
However, you should not dethatch when your lawn is inactive or stressed. Also, do not dethatch when the temperatures are scorching, for instance, during summer or when there is a drought, as this can cause detrimental effects to your lawn.
Aerate Your Lawn
Your lawn is one of the most active areas of your landscaping, especially if you have children or pets. As the grass keeps being stepped on, the soil beneath can eventually become very compacted. Also, regular mowing of your lawn can contribute to the soil beneath being compacted.
When the soil beneath your grass press tightly and solidly together, it contributes to air circulation, water drainage, and nutrient absorption problems. Also, compacted soil inhibits the growth of beneficial organisms such as earthworms.
Therefore, if you want to create a picturesque and greener lawn, aerate your lawn regularly. Basically, lawn aeration is the process of puncturing the soil with small holes approximately three inches deep.
Lawn aeration is an essential process during the growth of grass as it aids water and air penetration. It also helps roots penetrate much deeper, which leads to a more robust and healthier lawn.
Additionally, beneficial organisms such as earthworms will thrive in the soil and assist in decomposing any thatch that accumulates.
One significant mistake committed by gardeners is making the sprinkler run for just a few minutes and a few times a week. Doing such will prevent your turf from becoming healthier and more beautiful.
To curb this, water your grass deeply and infrequently. If you water your lawn deeply a few times per week, the roots of your grass will begin to penetrate deeper into the soil. Deep penetration of the roots helps the grass reach moisture within the lower levels of the soil during drought and remain green even under the scorching sun or through dry periods.
If you want to know whether you are watering your lawn appropriately, you can purchase an electronic soil tester as it helps to determine the soil moisture. Alternatively, you can use a trowel or a screwdriver to dig deeper in the soil and feel its moisture with your finger.
If you want to water again, check the soil and assess the nature of the first three or four inches. If they are dry to the touch, you need to water the grass again.
Removing Weeds and Crabgrass
Weeds grow randomly throughout the lawn. Therefore, it is essential to carry out proper weed regulation. This helps prevent the weeds from spreading and developing into more robust and extensive, thus making removal a daunting task.
It is vital to take early preventive measures since incorrect use of herbicides may be dangerous to your pets or even other plants around according to the Institute for Functional Medicine.
If you are a serious gardener, you need to contemplate the timing, application technique, and the other plants in your yard in order to choose the best herbicide for your lawn.
For instance, the best time to monitor your lawn for weeds is in early spring. At this point, you can apply a pre-emergent herbicide to inhibit the growth of the weed.
At this time of the year, it becomes highly convenient to get rid of weeds when they begin to pop out. Apart from using herbicides, you can choose to pluck out weeds using your hands as they sprout, as this helps to regulate them before they germinate.
On the other hand, you need to remove crabgrass if you aim to grow thick, lush, and green lawns. Although crabgrass falls in the category of grasses, it only thrives in tough conditions and becomes a weed when it pops out when your lawn is growing.
As you try to eliminate crabgrass, it is imperative to know that crabgrass thrives in warm and cool weather conditions. Therefore, the best way to destroy active growing crabgrass in your lawn is to use selective post-emergent crabgrass with Quinclorac. This will eliminate the weed without being detrimental to lawn grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia, Fescue, and others.
However, although you may apply a combination of various herbicides, you may not permanently deal with crabgrass. This is because there is no difference between other grasses on your lawn and crabgrass. Therefore, applying different combinations of herbicides may not be a long-term remedy.
There is a considerable difference between regulating perennial grass weeds and annual grasses. While annual and bi-annual grass weeds don’t thrive all through, crabgrass flourishes all year round. That is why it is considered a perennial weed.
So, what are some methods of killing crabgrass on a lawn? Well, you can pull it out using your hands or a tool, use crabgrass killer herbicide, sponge with roundup, apply baking soda to kill crabgrass inherently, apply corn gluten or apply vinegar to kill it organically.
Check Soil pH
Assessing your soil pH is fundamental to cultivating a viable lawn and garden in an environmentally sustainable way. The most vital thing is the appropriate pH range-the acidic level.
Before planting your grass, it is crucial to conduct in-depth research in order to know the right pH level of the plant they want to grow. After examining the pH of the soil, alter it to the recommended range of the particular type of grass that you will be planting.
Once you understand the proper pH levels, it is imperative to assess the soil’s acidity using a meter usually available at hardware and garden stores. After knowing the soil’s acidity, you can use it later with lime or Sulfur. Sulfur helps to raise the soil’s acidity while lime changes acidic soil closer to neutral.
For your grass to be voluminous, green, and vigorous, your soil pH should range between 6.3 to 7. If the pH goes below that, weeds tend to be more active and vigorous than the grass plants. Eventually, the grass will find it hard to survive.
Fertilizing Your Lawn
If you want your lawn to thrive and flourish, it is imperative to feed it with crucial nutrients. This is because as time progresses, soil partially exhausts its intrinsic nutrients that are paramount for growth. To enrich your soil, you need to supplement it with fertilizer.
Adding fertilizer to your soil helps restore nutrients, thus making the grass grow deeper while rooting itself in a viable way. It also extends the lifespan of your lawn. Eventually, your lawn begins to become greener, denser and lusher.
However, it is essential to use organic and natural lawn fertilizers instead of synthetic fertilizers. This is because organic fertilizer is proven to be more productive, and sustainable, and edifies grass better.
Appropriate fertilizing of your lawn surges its chance of crowding weeds out and reduces the lawn’s vulnerability to pest invasions.
Mow Grass 2 Inches Tall
Understanding the appropriate grass height is essential as it gives you insights into how to cut it. If you want your grass to grow healthy and strong, ensure you cut it appropriately and to the recommended cutting height.
When cutting, avoid setting your lawnmower too high or too low as this might damage your grass. Various grass species have different requirements when it comes to cutting height.
As a rule of thumb, the height of your lawn should never exceed the top third of the grass blade. Cutting your grass more than two inches can cause unnecessary pressure on the plant and lead to unsightly yellowing or browning.
The reason for this mowing tip is that the essential nutrients in the grass clippings can be beneficial to the lawns, left-right where they lie after cutting, as long as you don’t cut it shorter than two inches or get rid of more than one-third of the leaf surface any time you are mowing.
Select the Right Type of Grass for Your Zone
An overwhelming majority of homeowners and gardeners plant grass for the sake of doing it. However, it is crucial to understand there are about a dozen different types of grasses.
Unfortunately, the type of grass in your backyard might not be compatible with your zone’s climate. Below is a list of the best grasses for various environments.
Cool Season Grasses
These grasses thrive in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees, and optimum growth usually happens around spring and fall. Cool-season grasses include:
- Creeping Red Fescue
- Tall Fescue
- Ryegrass (Perennial)
- Ryegrass (Annual)
Warm Season Grasses
These grasses thrive in midsummer temperatures of up to 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit. If subjected to below 55 degrees, this type of grass will eventually turn brown. Warm-season grasses include:
Drought Tolerant Grass
Tall Fescue is a drought-tolerant grass you can use if you live in an arid climate or can’t water your lawn regularly.
Winter Hardy Grass
Winter hardy grass is exactly what it sounds like: grass that can survive cold temperatures. Some examples include:
Final Thoughts on Greener Grass
All processes of making the grass greener should be considered fundamental components to the growth and health of your lawn. Also, understanding the best way of undertaking everything needed to make the grass greener will help you achieve the most favorable outcomes.
Additionally, having the right tools to undertake the processes safely and adequately execute is essential for gardeners, homeowners, and landscapers to understand.