1. Home
  2. /
  3. Articles
  4. /
  5. 5 Techniques for a Thicker, Greener Yard

5 Techniques for a Thicker, Greener Yard

Written by:
James Murphy
Petar Tonchev

Is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? Maybe you just need a few tips to help you step up your lawn-care game! On the surface, keeping the grass in your yard alive isn’t all that complicated. You give it water, it gets sun and oxygen all on its own, and voila – it stays alive year after year. However, it may not be living up to its full potential without a bit of fine-tuning to things like watering schedule, mowing techniques, and other important factors.

This is especially important for anyone who’s recently installed sod grass on their lawn. This process is pretty stressful on the grass, so you should give it the best chance possible of acclimating quickly. Companies like The Grass Store sell Houston grass sod that’s hardy, drought-resistant, and cut fresh from the farm – that’s what you want to go for if you live in an area that’s hot and dry. You may have to work a little harder to get that emerald-green lawn, but once you have it you’ll be glad you put in the effort!

Step #1: Mow properly

You know how some people have high-maintenance haircuts that require constant trips to their favorite stylist? That’s a bit how you should consider your lawn. Mowing best practices include:

     - Never removing more than a third of the total height of the grass. A lot of people only mow once per week, or just let their lawn grow out until they can’t stand it anymore. If you want a really great-looking lawn, you’ll have to be a bit more consistent than that. Infrequent mowing is a stressor to grass, and it could result in a thin appearance to your yard. Cut your grass regularly, on the other hand, and you’re more likely to have uniform, thick grass. Each grass variety has its own recommended mowing height, so use that for reference when deciding how often to mow. For instance, grass that’s supposed to be kept at 3 inches should be mowed when it reaches 4.5 inches.

     - Maintaining your mower, especially the blades. Dull blades will still do the job, but they’ll result in more jagged tears in the grass that leave it more susceptible to pests and disease. Once again, this stresses the grass out and hinders thick, healthy growth.

Step #2: Follow good watering practices

It isn’t enough to just water your grass regularly, although that will keep it alive. This article isn’t about keeping your lawn alive; it’s about making it even thicker and greener than before! With that in mind, here are a few things that your grass will love you for doing:

     - Most grass varieties in the southern US only need about an inch of water per week; that can come from natural rainfall, or from a sprinkler system. Both overwatering and underwatering are bad news for grass; you can’t do much about massive amounts of rainfall, but the rest of the time, your lawn’s fate is in your hands.

     - It can seem like gentler treatment to give lighter waterings throughout the week, but that’s actually not what warm-season grass varieties prefer. Since they’re naturally drought-resistant, it’s best to water them once weekly or so. This encourages them to grow deeper roots, making them hardier overall.

     - Watering only in the morning decreases the chances of your grass developing a disease. Why? Because a morning watering time is followed by warmer temperatures during the day. This causes excess moisture to evaporate, helping the grass stay healthy. An evening or nighttime watering schedule results in the grass staying wet for longer, making it more vulnerable to blight or other diseases.

Step #3: Fertilize your lawn

There are several ways for nutrients to be taken from soil, such as through rainfall (or watering), or growing the same plants on it year after year. That’s why your lawn would probably benefit from being fertilized at least once per year, if not more often. Nitrogen-based fertilizers work well with many warm-season grasses, and there are many different options to choose from. Make sure you check on the label’s instructions, such as the recommended concentration and frequency. Regardless of which one you choose, you should always apply fertilizer when the grass is actively growing. Dormant grass can’t utilize fertilizer, and by the time it’s woken up everything will have leached too deeply into the soil for it to access.

Step #4: Topdress with compost

Topdressing with compost doesn’t just provide your lawn with necessary nutrients; it also improves drainage and tilth. Plus, compost is full of microorganisms that make nutrients in the soil more absorbable for the grass. You should aim for 0.25 to 0.5 inches of compost spread evenly over the lawn. Start by making piles of compost all over the yard, then rake it into the grass, then briefly water it to help the compost work its way into the soil.

Step #5: Improve the soil

Each grass variety has a preferred type of soil; this includes things like pH balance, how loose the soil is, and so on. While you can’t exactly increase the amount of loam, gravel, or clay in your yard without digging the entire thing up, you can adjust the pH balance to make your grass happier. A simple pH test will reveal the acidity levels in the soil, and some quick online research will tell you what the pH balance should be for your grass variety. Depending on what the test results show, you may need to add lime or other amendments to your lawn. Fixing the soil’s pH balance will help with nutrient uptake, which in turn will boost growth for a healthier, thicker lawn.

The takeaway

The lush green lawn of your dreams may be a far cry from what your yard currently looks like, but don’t let that discourage you! Just think about it this way: your grass wants to grow. If you want to help it grow, you just have to provide the right conditions. Once those are met, you’ll be on your way to the type of lawn that the entire neighborhood will e

By Liliana Alvarez

Share on: