How To Make Your Grass Green Fast: 9 Ways To Beautify Your Lawn
Ready to take your yard to the next level this summer but unsure where to start? Before building a deck or installing a swimming pool, consider the stuff under your feet: your grass!
While lawn care may seem tedious, learning how to make your grass green can be the ticket to a picture-perfect backyard - and being proactive about lawn care can help you prevent dry, yellowed grass in the warmer months. Plus, a healthy lawn is the perfect canvas for endless outdoor projects to come.
Read on to discover 9 ways to get greener grass.
9 Ways To Get Green Grass
1. Test And Improve Your Soil
Beauty starts within – or in the homeowner’s case, below the ground. Start by testing the health of your soil to determine any specific needs. Afterall, a physician wouldn’t prescribe a treatment plan without first understanding a patient’s symptoms, right?
A DIY soil test kit, found at your local home improvement or gardening store, is easy to use and can provide insight into pH levels, lime, calcium and other minerals present in your soil. If you’d rather let the pros handle it, University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a mail-in soil testing service.
Regardless of how it’s done, a soil test is essential for those looking to make their grass green.
2. Choose The Right Grass And Overseed
Choosing the right grass for your lawn isn’t a one-size-fits-all matter. Instead of going with the first grass seed option you see at the store, consider your surroundings’ climate. A lawn that withstands subzero temperatures in the winter will surely have different needs than one in a dry desert environment. Northeastern states will have luck with Kentucky bluegrass, while Southeastern states may opt for Bermudagrass.
Feeling overwhelmed by your options? No worries! Pennington, a yard supply retail brand, takes out the guesswork by outlining regional considerations for every grass seed buyer. Once you’ve tested your lawn’s soil and selected the perfect grass seed, it’s time to get planting. Make sure to plan ahead, as the best time to plant your grass seed may depend on your region.
There are two key approaches to laying grass seed: seeding a new lawn and overseeding. Let’s first dive into Lowes' recommendations for seeding a new lawn:
- Prepare your ground: Till the lawn to a three inch depth, make sure to leave behind a smooth surface with drainage contours as needed.
- Add nutrients: Got compost? Add it here, along with topsoil and fertilizer. Work them evenly into the soil.
- Plant your grass seed: Distribute the seed according to the instructions on the seed packaging, being careful to get an even coverage.
- Protect the seed: Once your seeds are laid down, rake the lawn again to cover the seeds with a light dusting of soil. You may opt to use an erosion control blanket to prevent the seed from blowing away.
- Water your seeds: Water your seeds generously to keep them moist, but avoid saturating them. Once grass is around one inch in height, reduce watering to once per day.
And here are Lowes’ recommendations for overseeding (adding additional grass seeds on top of existing grass) an existing lawn:
- Prepare the existing grass: Mow the grass to shorter than usual and rake to thin out its turf.
- Prepare the soil: Aerate to reduce risk of soil compaction (more on this below!), then add fertilizer.
- Plant the grass seed: Follow the instructions on the seed packaging to distribute and rake in the seeds.
- Protect the grass seed: Add mulch, compost or peat moss overtop.
3. Use Natural Lawn Fertilizers
It’s no secret that fertilizer can help your lawn stay healthy and green, but not all fertilizers are the same.
When selecting the right fertilizer for your lawn, try keeping environmental impact top-of-mind. Organic fertilizers are shown to reduce chemical exposure to humans and animals and are generally gentler on your grass than synthetic alternatives.
One of the most budget and eco-friendly options for fertilizer is composting. You can create a compost pile in your own backyard by adding organic materials – like eggshells, produce scraps and coffee grounds – to soil that’s sectioned off by chicken wire or other fencing. Once fully decomposed (usually within four to twelve months, depending on a variety of factors), you’ve got natural, affordable fertilizer ready to use.
If you’re brand new to composting or are on a tighter deadline, there are readily available environmentally conscious fertilizers for sale, too.
4. Get Rid Of Bugs And Weeds
Bugs and weeds aren’t just unsightly pests, they also tend to steal valuable nutrients and resources from your grass – which can lead to a dying lawn!
Not all grubs and bugs are terrible for your grass (some worms actually help soil) but there are a few species that may cause concern. Your lawn may need pest control if you start noticing large amounts of pests or unwanted brown spots. There are varieties of pesticides that you can buy at your local garden store, or you can contact a lawn care expert to learn more about home control options.
If hand-pulling weeds isn’t your thing, try targeting them with a lawn-specific weed control product (also known as an herbicide). When used as directed, these products will kill weeds without damaging your lawn. If you’re looking for a more preventative approach to preventing weeds and pests, Scotts.com suggests feeding your lawn regularly (every six to eight weeks during the growing season), mowing higher to allow fewer weed seeds to sprout and watering deeply
5. Water Your Lawn Deeply And Methodically
We all know lawns need water to survive, but it’s important to have a watering plan to achieve the best results for your lawn. There are many variables to consider when it comes to your lawn’s water needs – your climate, time of day to water, how much water to use – and it may take some trial and error to determine what works best.
Here’s a few tips that Scotts.com suggests:
- Water in the morning: Watering your lawn before 10:00 a.m. is ideal. Since air is typically cool and calm in the mornings, your lawn will have plenty of time to absorb water into its roots.
- Provide around 1 - 1.5 inches of water per week: Whether via rain or by manual watering, although when in doubt, less is more.
- Know your lawn’s needs: If you can’t easily stick a screwdriver six inches deep into the soil, your lawn is thirsty.
- Consider a sprinkler system: While a more expensive option, sprinkler systems equipped with sensors can take the guesswork out of lawn watering by being a "set it and forget it" option.
6. Aerate Your Lawn
Grass soil is often prone to compacting as a result of high lawn traffic (caused by kids running around or vehicles driving on a lawn, for example), which makes it more difficult for grass roots to access nutrients.
A simple solution to this? Aeration – the process of creating holes in grass soil to allow air and water to reach the roots. Experts recommend aerating northern climate lawns in early fall or early spring and southern lawns in late spring – no matter the climate, though aeration is easiest when the lawn is damp. Homeowners may opt to purchase manual aerator tools, but those lacking in free time may prefer to hire a pro to take care of the task.
7. Apply Iron To Your Grass
Is your lawn’s color lacking despite a well-calculated measuring schedule? If so, there’s a chance it’s lacking a key nutrient: iron.
Chlorophyll (the stuff that makes plants green) can’t do its job without iron. Try adding an iron supplement to your lawn care routine according to the instructions on its package – it just may be your ticket to the bright green grass of your dreams.
8. Mow Your Lawn Regularly And Wisely
Lawn mowing does more than just trim down long grass – when the proper lawn technique is used, it can also make for a better, healthier lawn. Here’s what Lowes.com suggests:
- Only mow 1/3 of the grass blade: any more can risk long-term damage to the lawn.
- Mow when your grass is dry.
- Maintain your blades: the typical lawn mower blade has a 100–200-hour lifetime. Replace them often!
- Alternate your mowing pattern: switch between different mowing directions each time you mow your lawn to promote upright growth.
9. Reuse Your Grass Clippings
Good news! Leaving lawn clippings on your lawn (rather than disposing of them) is actually good for your grass. Next time you mow your lawn, allow the clippings to discharge from the mower in the direction of the area you’ve just cut. Doing so returns nitrogen and other nutrients to the lawn – just make sure to evenly disperse them across the grass to avoid suffocation.
Landscaping Projects To Highlight Your Green Grass
We said it before and we’ll say it again: Beautiful green grass is a blank canvas to explore!
Plant A Garden
One way to inject your personality into your lawn is by landscaping and adding a garden. Home gardens are endlessly customizable to your tastes, interests and climate. Add a splash of color to your lawn by planting your favorite flowers, turn your backyard into the produce aisle by planting your favorite veggies or grow fresh herbs in the pursuit of the perfect at-home mint mojito.
Put In A Walkway
No well-landscaped yard is complete without a walkway. Plus, you’ll be able to boost your yard’s aesthetic while reducing foot traffic on the grass. Options are endless and can be tailored to your home’s style. Whether you choose brick pavers or handprint-embossed stepping stones, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs and looks great, too.
Looking to add an elegant touch to your lawn? Consider incorporating a fountain! Choose a standalone waterfall fountain, a wall fountain or a pond fountain and get ready to enjoy ambient water sounds from your own backyard. No landscaping project is too big.
If you’re ready to create a backyard oasis but your wallet isn’t quite there, consider a personal loan to fund your next project. Head over to Rocket Loans, apply and see your offers in seconds.
Final Thoughts: Green Grass Is Happy Grass
As it turns out, the grass may very well be greener on the other side. As you begin planning your next backyard renovation, consider starting with small changes – like composting, swapping out your lawn mower blades and developing a watering schedule - to give your lawn the TLC it deserves.
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