Although some lawn care specialists and fertilizer companies would have you believe that a green lawn is the result of expensive treatments and fertilizer, in reality a green lawn is simply a healthy lawn. Weed and other lawn problems occur from poor cultural practices that weaken a lawn and cause it to grow poorly. You can green up your lawn without losing the green in your wallet by simply practicing such practices.
Fertilize your lawn with homemade compost. One of the least expensive ways to make compost is to mow your fall leaves into tiny shreds. Then pile them into a bin made of chicken wire bent into a circle and crimped at the edges. By spring the leaves will be reduced into leaf mold, a nutrient-rich compost. Spread this compost over your lawn in a 1-inch thick layer. Work the compost into the soil by combing your grass blades with a leaf rake.
Set the decking of your lawnmower to your grass's highest healthy length. For most lawn grasses, this is between 2 and 3 inches tall. Mow each time the grass grows another inch. Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass's total length in a mowing session. Doing so will stress and weaken the lawn. Leaving your lawn longer will shade the roots and prevent the germination of weed seed such as crabgrass.
Allow the cut grass blades to remain on the lawn. Rake furrows of grass across the lawn to distribute them evenly. The mown grass will compost directly on the lawn and return nitrogen back to the grass plants.
Water your lawn with 1 inch of water per 1 inch of lawn every 10 days. Use a rain gauge to measure how much water you have used. Watering your lawn helps to prevent stress due to drought conditions and keep it strong and green in summer.