A thriving grass is resistant to vegetation, plants, parasites, and illnesses. Consider a grass makeover if your landscape isn’t living up to your standards.
Maintain the necessary growth circumstances for robust, thriving turfgrasses.
Lawns evolve over time. Following the application of lawn seed or the installation of sod, a combination of preferred turfgrasses and deciduous weeds, green weeds, and lichen will emerge.
Soil permeability, nutrients, sunshine, water stress, and how a grass is cared for and used all have an impact on how it appears over time.
Set reasonable goals. Match the grass standards you want to keep with the appropriate care plan.
Consider a no-till lawn renovation
If vegetation, plants, insects, or illnesses are taking over your grass, consider a complete lawn makeover.
Late summer is the ideal season for a grass makeover.
Photo at top shows two renovation techniques:
- Herbicide dethatch and reseeding complete the restoration (left).
- Partial renovation (right): Dethatch and reseed.
In the picture, both treatment regions are set for planting.
See Practical Lawn Establishment and Renovation (link is external) .
Grow a healthy lawn
A thriving grass is resistant to vegetation, plants, parasites, and illnesses.
- Plant grass species best suited for your area.
- Plant disease-resistant cultivars or mixtures.
- Lawn plants require direct sunlight to flourish. Lawns cultivated in shaded regions will need more attention to keep good standards. Or put up with lichen, which will most likely develop in shaded places.
- Use fertilizer and water to develop a grass that meets the garden standards you want to keep.
Mow your lawn on a daily basis. A cutting height of 2-3 inches is suggested for most fields.
- Keep your lawnmower blades sharp.
- Mow weekly during most of the growing season.
- During the mid- to late-spring growth season, mow the lawn twice per week.
- Cut only one-third of grass height at each mowing.
- Make at least two trips across your yard. To prevent ruts and debris from the mower, make your first run at a 45- or 90-degree inclination.
- To cut up detritus into tiny bits, use a mulching mower (which has a unique blade and a covered platform) or a rotary mower.
- Mulch-mowing recycles nutrients to the lawn.
- Rake up any extra grass cuttings that haven’t been precisely minced.
- Bag and eliminate grass cuttings if you do not use a mulching machine.
Mow more aggressively during stressful times, such as arid or humid conditions. The lengthier the foliage, the more root development there is to take water from the earth.
Apply grass seed in spring or fall
Lawn plants organically dry out over time. Apply grass fertilizer on a frequent basis to keep your lawn growth dense and strong.
In the spring and late summer/early autumn, apply grass seed or yard repair to sparse regions. Grass can be used to cover up barren dirt.
Apply grass seed to your complete yard every two years or so, before it thins out.
Fertilize, but not too much
Lawns that have not been watered are sparse and pale green or dark in color. They frequently have lichen and plants mingled in with the grasses.
Both underfertilized and overfertilized fields are vulnerable to bugs and illness.
Lawns develop rapidly when sufficient fertilizers, particularly nitrogen, are accessible.
Apply fertilizer once in the autumn for low-maintenance grass to encourage strong development the following spring. For higher-maintenance fields, apply fertilizer in late spring and summer as well.
Mulch-mowing gives your grass some nitrogen. It is less time consuming than cutting and collecting the trimmings.
Check soil pH and amend as needed
Lawns grow best with soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5.
We suggest that dirt samples be sent to labs for examination. Professional dirt studies are more precise than do-it-yourself alternatives. Request that your soil testing facility analyze the findings and make suggestions for soil pH correction.
For more information about soil pH testing, see:
- A Guide to Soil Sample Collection for Farms and Gardens (link is external) .
- Analytical Laboratories Serving Oregon (link is external) .
- How do I test my garden soil?.
Lawn watering decision-making
Without watering, lawns can weather the summer by remaining inactive and turning dark. Moss and plants are frequently combined with vegetation in watered fields. They are not resistant to abrasion.
Watering is necessary if you want your grass to remain verdant throughout the summer. Watering should be planned from mid-May to early September. Some areas or arid years may necessitate irrigation before or after these times.
To water high-maintenance fields, an underground irrigation system with pop-up nozzles and a schedule is the best option. For the greatest outcomes, learn how to use your watering device.
Lawn watering tips
To determine how much water you spread, position several range meters or empty, narrow food cans (such as tuna) on your grass.
- Apply no more than a half-inch of water at a time.
- Water at least three or four times per week. Each irrigation should be between a quarter and a half inch deep.
- Throughout the season, adjust the quantity of water you provide each week. Establish a benchmark. When the temperature is sweltering and arid, add more. When it is colder, use less water.
To determine whether you are soaking enough or too much, use a knife as a soil wetness measure. Insert the tool into the grass.
- Watering should be reduced if it readily enters the handle.
- Water more if the earth is firm and inserting the screwdriver is challenging.
Perform routine maintenance on sprinkler heads.
Water in the morning, so grass can dry quickly.
Provide good soil drainage.
If your lawn’s dirt is compressed or water does not infiltrate well, aerate it. Aeration aids in the penetration of air into the earth. Aerated dirt promotes the growth of healthy yard plants.
Power aerating devices can be rented from yard equipment leasing shops. Hand tools are accessible, but they are not as powerful as electric tools.
Thatch is biological substance that has accumulated at the roots of grass plants. When it accumulates, plants fade back, and bushes, bug and disease invaders may emerge.
Remove thatch if it exceeds one-half inch deep.
After aerating and/or dethatching your yard, apply grass seed.
A power dethatching equipment is shown in the picture to the right. They are responsible for removing thatch from the lawn’s surface. This debris must be gathered up and gone.
Power dethatching devices are available for hire at yard equipment leasing shops. Hand tools are accessible, but they are not as powerful as electric tools.
Consider an artificial lawn
If all of this lawn-care work seems daunting, consider putting fake grass. It appears nice all year and needs little maintenance.
Artificial grass may add to environmental microplastic contamination.
What should I put on my lawn in the fall?
A high-nitrogen fertilizer, such as Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4, aids in the establishment of strong roots, the rise of energy stores, and the survival of fields during the winter. Thin fields should be reseeded. The fall season is perfect for growing cool-season grass seed. Thick, robust spring vegetation results from overseeding narrow fields.
What are the steps to a healthy lawn?
Six steps for a perfect lawn
- The first step is to rake. Raking your yard eliminates deceased grass, winter leaves, and other detritus, enabling you to manage thatch and identify barren or weathered areas that require attention.
- Step two: Test your soil. …
- Step three: Aerate. …
- Step four: Seed. …
- Step five: Control weeds. …
- Step six: Tune up your lawnmower.
How can I make my lawn look good again?
- Understand the Issue. Looks can be deceiving. …
- Get Your Lawn Ready. Early spring and late autumn are perfect seasons to bring “dead” fields back to life.
- Apply Lawn Booster to the lawn. All-in-one yard Booster includes everything your “dead” yard needs to come back to life, including quality seed, fertilizer, and soil booster.
- Water Consistently. …
- Follow Through.
When should I fertilize my lawn?
When your grass begins to perk up and aggressively develop in the early spring, apply an early spring lawn fertilizer once between February and April. (around the time your lawn first needs to be mowed).