Lawns increase home values, reduce soil erosion and provide a great place for kids to play. Lawns in Denver suffer few disease and insect problems because of the dry, hot climate. However, drought, drying winds and poor soils do pose challenges. Properly amend and prepare soil before planting or laying sod in your Denver yard. Choose a grass seed appropriate for the area and consider xeriscaping some portions of your yard to conserve water.
Cut weeds in your Denver yard with a string trimmer before they flower, spreading seed throughout your yard. Apply a weed-n-feed product in late March or early April before weeds emerge, according to package directions. Pull perennial weeds by hand if you prefer not to use chemicals. Mowing weeds with your lawn mower will slow their growth and keep them from flowering.
Aerate your lawn with an aerator every spring to reduce compaction and thatch, common in Denver lawns. Rent an aerator at a hardware store or hire someone. Leave the dirt plugs on the soil and they'll decompose within a few weeks or rake them up and dispose of them.
Water your lawn at night or early morning. In Denver's dry climate, watering at night doesn't promote disease and actually conserves water by minimizing evaporation due to hot, windy weather. Water two to three times per week, depending on conditions. Water sandy soils more frequently, but less deeply (30 minutes). Clay soils need less frequent, deeper waterings (45 minutes to 1 hour).
Fertilize your Denver lawn by applying a granular nitrogen lawn fertilizer once in early spring, midsummer and early fall. Apply at a rate of 1/2 to 1 lb. of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn, depending on lawn type. Don't apply fertilizer to sandy soils after September. The fertilizer can leach into groundwater during winter months.
Mow your lawn when the grass is 2 1/2 to 3 inches high. Mow the lawn when it reaches 4 inches in height, never taking off more than 1/3 of the lawn at a time. Plan to mow every four to six days in spring. Mow once a week after growth slows in the summer. Sharpen your lawn mower blade after every fourth mowing and leave clippings on the lawn where they decompose and provide nitrogen. Grass clippings don't cause thatch buildup as often thought.