1. Water Appropriately
We all know that water helps improve the quality of your grass, but it’s important to know when to stop watering your grass! Overwatering can detract any progress you’ve made towards a perfect, green lawn. So, water your lawn for 30 minutes then stop to dig a spade into the soil and check to see how far the water has penetrated into your yard. If the water level on the spade indicates that the water has gone 4-6 inches into the ground, then stop watering. If the water level is less than 4-6 inches, continue watering until it reaches that ideal level of water penetration. You don’t have to water your lawn frequently, but when you do, make sure you give it enough water or the grass roots will think they have no reason to grow deeper.
2. Spread Compost Around Your Lawn
In addition to reducing landfill waste, compost adds wonderful nutrients into your soil to aid in the creation of a perfectly green lawn. Compost helps to fertilize the grass, improve the aeration, neutralize the soil’s pH levels, prevents erosion, and deters garden pests from wreaking havoc on your lawn! Composting is free and easy to do; don’t wait to add this natural fertilizer to your lawn.
3. Don’t Cut The Grass Too Short
A common mistake mowers make is giving your grass a buzz cut, when it really needs to remain longer in order to keep it’s form and to ensure the blades of the grass produce sufficient amounts of nutrients to survive. The blades of the grass are the “food factory” for the plant and short blades of grass can’t produce as much nutrients as longer blades. Long blades of grass are also important in shading and cooling the soil beneath the grass which prevents weeds from sprouting and water from the soil won’t evaporate as quickly if the conditions remain cool.
4. Fertilize In The Fall
Most people think it’s important to fertilize their grass in the spring, just before the summer barbeque season – but that’s wrong! It’s much more important to fertilize your grass in the fall before the grass “goes to sleep” for the winter. You need to feed your grass well just like a bear stocks up on food before it goes into winter hibernation. Even though you can’t see what’s happening to the grass during the winter months (if you live in a snowy climate), the grass continues to soak up nutrients and store energy for the next growing season.
5. Maintain Proper pH Levels
Grass grows best when it’s in an ideal pH level. If the grass’s soil is too acidic or too alkaline, then the grass won’t grow. It’s that simple. To ensure your soil is at the correct pH level, gather a spoonful of soil a few inches underground in a few different areas of your lawn. Then test the pH levels. Check your local gardening center to see if they offer this pH testing service, or you may have to send your soil samples to a soil-testing lab. The ideal pH level is between 6 and 7.2.
6. Weed Slowly, One By One
Don’t go crazy with weed killers over your entire lawn or carelessly spraying weed killer over the general areas where you have weeds. This is ecologically unsound and will create further problems to the “good” areas of grass that you’ve already cultivated. Instead, go slowly when you’re weeding and either pull the weeds by hand or spray small areas at a time with a pump-up sprayer.
7. Re-Seed At The Right Time
It’s best to reseed your lawn late in the growing season when the weather is cooler and damper. This is typically during the later summer/early fall period. If you have to reseed your entire lawn or just a small area, the cooler, damper weather will give your baby seeds a better chance at surviving as compared to planting them in the heat of summer when it’s just too hot and dry to start to create roots.
8. Don’t Use A Clipping Bag
When you mow your lawn, you may think you’re saving yourself time by catching the clippings right after you cut them with the mower, but this is not the best practice for creating a beautiful green lawn! It’s extremely beneficial for your lawn to reabsorb the grass clippings as it allows the soil to create better conditions for growing. The grass clippings release nutrients into the soil and create a healthy mulch that retains moisture in the soil and helps the grass stay strong and vibrant.
9. Don’t Over-Fertilize
It’s tempting to go crazy with fertilizer, pouring it over your entire yard thinking that you’re helping it grow with all of the extra nutrients you’re giving it. But that’s just not how grass grows. You’ll waste your time and money by spreading an unnecessary amount of fertilizer over your whole yard. Let nature run it’s course and refrain from using too much chemical fertilizer.
10. Sharpen Your Blades
Don’t mow your lawn if your lawn mower blades are dull. Your lawn mower should have sharp blades in order to cut the grass cleanly. If your blades are dull, the grass will rip and cause stress to the plant which inhibits proper growth. It’s better to slice through the grass smoothly. It’s actually possible to tell which lawns have been cut with dull blades because the top of the lawn will look brown. Don’t let this happen to your lawn!