How to Get My Grass Green

Overview

Fertilizer is an essential ingredient to getting the greenest grass possible. So are water and proper mowing practices. Using all three in combination will ensure a beautiful, vibrant lawn. Over time, soil loses some of its nutrients. Grass can become sparse and brittle. Like any other plant, it responds to attention.

Step 1

Water your grass when it starts to wilt. You can tell because footprints remain visible. Give the lawn 1 inch of water during each deep watering.

Step 2

Choose a fertilizer with more nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen encourages the growth of green foliage. Look for a ratio such as 4:1:2 or 3:1:2.

Step 3

Use a fast-release nitrogen product containing ammonium sulfate or urea for green grass fast. Products with nitrogen in controlled-release or water insoluble form will promote uniform growth, but it will take some time.

Step 4

Apply 3 lbs. of nitrogen per 1,000 square foot of lawn every year. Divide this up into three applications for best results--1 lb. per 1,000 square foot, three times during the growing season.

Step 5

Feed shaded grass with half as much nitrogen as you disperse in sunny spots. The more nitrogen the product contains, the less fertilizer you need to use.

Step 6

Give cool-season grasses, such as bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass, one to two light feedings. Apply them in the beginning of fall for good root growth. Get thicker foliage and top growth by feeding grass in mid spring. Another application in the fall will help your lawn survive winter and come back green the following spring.

Step 7

Fertilize warm-season grasses such as zoysia and Bermuda grass in the summer. A time-release formula will mean less work for you. It also won't burn the lawn.

Step 8

Spread the fertilizer with a broadcast spreader. Set it according to the instructions on the fertilizer bag.

Step 9

Water your lawn well to help the fertilizer get deep into the roots. It's best to water grass in the earlier part of the day, before it gets too hot. Watering in the evening can invite fungus.

Step 10

Mow grass to a height of 2 1/2 inches. Mowing is not good for grass because you're cutting it off. Don't want to cut it too short or remove more than one-third of the height at one time.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid feeding cool-season grasses in the late spring or summer. Too much fertilizer is not better; it will kill the grass.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Spreader
  • Lawn mower

References

  • Seedland: Fertilizers
  • "Star Tribune": Fertilize for 'Green' Green Grass
  • University of Illinois: Choosing Fertilizers for Home Lawns
  • University of Illinois: Fertilizing Schedule for Home Lawns
  • Plant-Care.com: Lawn Care Tips
Keywords: get green grass, make grass green, fertilize grass

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.