The health and color of your lawn grass can make all the difference between an attractive landscape and an unsightly one. Although the depth of color and the shades of green vary with different species of lawn grasses, all types of grass look their healthiest without patches of yellow and brown. Discolored grasses in lawns signify potential problems due to harmful conditions or neglect. Increase the health of your grass to enhance your yard and landscape.
Plant your grass seed or sod in the correct location. Many types of grass, such as buffalo grass, require sunny, bright areas of lawn. Grow sun-loving grasses in areas with a majority of daytime sunlight. Grass that requires large amounts of direct sunlight often fades in areas with negligible amounts of light. Grow shade-tolerant varieties, such as tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass, in areas that receive partial sunlight. Consider your climate when selecting grass varieties. Choose specimens that thrive in your area of the country.
Fertilize your lawn to supply nutrients necessary for lush, green growth. Apply a nitrogen fertilizer to actively growing grass during the summer or early fall. A nitrogen fertilizer containing a small amount of phosphorus replenishes missing nutrients in the soil around grass roots. Mix the fertilizer according to the package directions and apply to your lawn on a calm, dry day.
Maintain the proper length of your grass during the growing season. Old, dry tips create the appearance of a discolored, unhealthy lawn. Cut no more than one-third of the length of your grass during a single cutting. Keep warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda and Zoysia, on the short side, between ½ inch and 1 inch high. Allow cool-season grasses to reach an average height of 3 inches. Cool-season grasses include tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. Leave the cuttings on the lawn after mowing. This natural, organic mulch provides nitrogen and helps the underlying soil retain moisture.
Check the soil near the roots of your grass plants. Keep the soil in this area slightly moist to supply adequate water for green grass. Do not soak the grass or allow water to stand on the surface of the grass, especially in shaded areas. Allow the surface soil to dry between watering. Check for moisture near the roots by inserting a finger into the soil to the depth of mature roots. Apply water when soil near these roots begins to feel slightly dry. Many types of grasses in areas with average soils require between 2 and 3 inches of water per week. Water your grass more frequently during times of drought and less frequently during rainy periods.