Gardeners have been trying to raise the perfect lawn since the 17th century, according to Florida's Space Coast Audubon Society. There are now dozens of grass species available for the homeowner to grow. Though specific care requirements vary slightly by species, several general-care principles can help you take care of your grass and ensure a dense, lush lawn surface.
Water your grass whenever it shows signs of dehydration and drought stress, including curling of the grass blades and a blue-gray color. When watering, use enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. For the best results, Colorado State University recommends watering in the early morning (8 a.m.) or late evening (10 p.m.).
Mow your lawn once a week or as needed to keep the grass at the height recommended for its specific species (see Resources). For example, buffalo grass is typically mowed to a height of 1 inch, while zoysia grass can be trimmed as low as 1/2 inch.
Leave the cut grass on the surface of the lawn. Over time it will disintegrate and return nutrients to the lawn soil.
Fertilize the grass with any complete fertilizer labeled for use on lawns. Generally lawns should be fertilized in early spring, at the start and end of summer and in mid-fall. Clemson University recommends complete fertilizers with a listed nutrient ratio of 6-6-6, 10-10-10, 16-4-8 or 12-4-8.
Eradicate weeds. In the early spring, apply a pre-emergent herbicide to kill all the annual weed seeds before they sprout. In the middle or end of summer, spray the lawn with a targeted broadleaf weed herbicide, which kills weed species without harming your grass. When using such targeted products, verify that your specific grass species is listed as safe on the herbicide's label.