Did you know that the idea of having a green, vibrant lawn started in Europe in the 16th Century? But why? French and English aristocrats wanted the land surrounding their castles to be free from shrubs and trees so they could easily see invading enemies. This trend was eventually picked up in the States by the upper classes. Now, a green, luscious lawn is the objective for conscientious gardeners and lawn-care enthusiasts — it’s a symbol of pride. It’s not an easy process.
Caring for a lawn takes time and effort, but there are some simple things you can do to help you get there faster. Here, we’ll look at three easy tips for getting a green lawn.
What Makes a Lawn Greener?
One of the most essential nutrients your lawn needs is nitrogen. Nitrogen is a crucial component of chlorophyll, produced by photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is an essential food for plants and gives them their vibrant green color. When your grass lacks nitrogen, it can look yellow, short, and seem brittle. It’s more susceptible to stress and disease when it’s in this state.
To understand what is causing a dull-looking lawn, we recommend investing in a home soil pH test kit. This will determine which macronutrients or micronutrients your soil is lacking. Macronutrients are nutrients your grass needs in the largest amounts, whereas micronutrients are nutrients required in smaller amounts. There are a total of 3 macronutrients; nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. They are the 3 numbers commonly seen on fertilizer bags and are often abbreviated as "NPK". Nitrogen is a macronutrient, but if you find your soil is lacking in particular micronutrients, we recommend NutriSolve. This will correct any micronutrient deficiencies in your soil.
Now, let’s look at the three main tips you need to take care of your lawn and ensure a deep green color.
Caring for Your Lawn: Watering
Yes, your lawn needs water — but this doesn’t mean you need to over-water it. If you’ve recently had a lot of rain, your grass doesn’t need additional watering. Warm-season grasses like Bermuda only need 1” to 1.5” of water per week during the summer months to stay healthy. If the soil is too saturated or soggy, excess water can suffocate your grass and promote conditions that allow lawn diseases to take hold. Similarly, if you’re suffering from a drought or there isn’t much rain, you’ll probably need to run your irrigation system. Water might be your most considerable expense. Mitigate this by using efficient irrigation, which we explain in the video below:
Mowing Maketh… Lawn?
Not all mowers are built the same. You might be attached to your trusty friend, the traditional rotary lawn mower — but it’s often not the best option for your lawn’s green color. Traditional mowers use a hacking motion to tear the grass instead of a clean cut. They are more prone to scalping as you lower your height of cut or mow uneven areas of your lawn. Scalping increases damage to your grass and causes a brown, patchy lawn vs. the deep green we all desire.
A sharp rotary mower works well on grasses like St. Augustine, Rye and Fescues where the ideal mowing height is 3" or taller.
The ideal mowing height for grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia and Kentucky Bluegrass, is 0.5”-1.25” with a reel lawn mower (also known as a cylinder mower). It cuts the grass by trapping it between the reel edge and the bed knife, cutting turf like a pair of scissors. A clean cut minimizes turf damage and injury helping it to stay green between mowings..
Mowing frequency is another big part of caring for your lawn. We recommend removing no more than ⅓ of grass length and mowing it at least two times a week. As long as you don’t cut it too short, the general rule is that the more you mow — the better your grass looks. In the summer months (June-September), try mowing your lawn every other day to get the maximum results.
Sometimes, your lawn needs a little extra help. Depending on the results of your home soil pH test kit, your turf could be in dire need of supplementary nutrients. The solution? Lawn fertilizer. There are two main types of fertilizer: granular and liquid. Granular fertilizers typically produce results within 5 - 7 days. You can expect to see results from liquid fertilizer after just 2 days.
The best granular fertilizer on the market is Lebanon Turf’s Humic Max 16-0-8. It works on all grass types and works to produce a deep green color — due to its 35% MESA slow-release nitrogen content. MESA is an additive that feeds lawns without promoting excessive growth. Your ideal liquid fertilizer option is Release 901C by Mirimichi Green. A liquid biostimulant and fertilizer all in one, it contains carbon that the grass needs to absorb and release. It improves water retention in the soil and nutrient uptake, enhancing the performance of many pesticides and other turf maintenance products.
Want to get rid of weeds in your lawn? We’ve got a helpful blog on it. Prevent weeds in the first place by using a lawn fertilizer weed and feed product like Prodiamine .38% in early Spring and Fall. It'll fertilize your lawn and eliminate weeds like Chickweed and Crabgrass. A two-in-one winner.
How to Get a Green Lawn
We’ve covered the three main things you must remember to get on track to a golf course lawn. However, there are other factors like topdressing, leveling, and pest control that you should consider too. Getting a healthy, green, vibrant lawn isn’t a walk in the park — but through consistency, diligence, and time, you can achieve anything. Good luck!