3 Easy Steps to Improve the Health of Your Lawn

Almost every homeowner would love to have the best-looking lawn on the block. But, making your neighbors green with envy may be easier than you think.  Having a lush and healthy green lawn does not have to take every hour of your weekend. There are three easy steps that you can do today that will help to take your lawn to the next level. 

Water the Lawn

Most seasonal grasses need anywhere between one and two inches of water per week.  Warm-season lawns, mainly consisting of Centipede, St. Augustine, Bahia, and Zoysia grasses, require one to one and a quarter inches of water per week.  The lawn will need to be watered if the turf does not receive adequate rainfall. Most grass will begin to turn darker hues of green within hours of receiving water. Properly watering a lawn will not only temporarily turn the grass green, but it is a crucial part of growing a healthy lawn.  Grass that is not adequately watered can become diseased or stressed.  Turf that is grown in drought conditions is more susceptible to insect attack and disease. Proper irrigation is one of the easiest ways to strengthen and fortify grass.

Fertilize the Lawn

If a lawn lacks a beautiful green color or is infested with weeds, fertilizer may be needed to fix the problem.  Lawns need proper nutrients to survive, and the more nutrients that they receive, the greener and healthier they will be.  Different lawns need different types of nutrients to thrive.  Not all fertilizers are created equal.  Most fertilizers contain a blend of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. The variety of turf in a lawn will determine what levels of nutrients are needed. 

Most fertilizers on the market come in either a granular form or in a liquid application. Granular products can be applied using a hand-held or a walk-behind spreader.  It is always important to follow the application rates and instructions that the manufacturer publishes. Larger lawns may require an ATV-mounted sprayer for more sizeable applications.  Liquid fertilizer products are more suited for smaller, more manageable areas.  Liquid fertilizers are typically applied using a hand pump spray bottle, a backpack sprayer, or a garden hose-end sprayer. 

Lawns will begin to green up between three to six days after a fertilizer application.  Proper fertilization will lead to healthier and thicker grass growth.  The thicker that the turf grows, the less opportunity there is for future weed growth.

Fertilized grass also tends to have a deeper root system, meaning heartier drought resistance and nutrient adsorption. It is worth noting that overfertilization can stress, damage, or even kill a lawn.  More is not always better when it comes to applying fertilizer.  Many grass varieties will tolerate multiple, smaller applications throughout the year. Homeowners should use water grass liberally after fertilization to ensure that the turf can absorb the nutrients.

Apply an Iron Supplement

Iron is a crucial part of photosynthesis, the process in which chlorophyll is created.  Chlorophyll is what gives grass its green color.  Increasing iron availability to the turf will lead to more chlorophyll being created, and thus a greener lawn.  Lawns that do not suffer from a pH deficiency will not need large amounts of iron to encourage greening.   Homeowners can apply iron in pellets or in a liquid formula.  Turf should see increased greening in two to five days after application.  It is important to note that the greening effect is temporary.  As the iron is consumed from the soil, more muted colors may return to the lawn.  Most varieties of grass can absorb three or four iron applications per year. 

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