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What Does Grass Need to Grow?

By Jacquelyn Jeanty
What Does Grass Need to Grow?
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Grass is one of the hardiest plants in its species. It's able to grow in variable climate zones and requires little upkeep once it gets a feel for the land. Growing grass can be a pretty easy, straightforward process when you understand how grass interacts with its environment.


If left to grow on its own terms, grass will create its own natural ecosystem. However, years and years of unfavorable conditions brought on by construction projects, and relocated soil deposits can disrupt any natural balance that existed. Consider whatever condition you find your grass in to be a starting point. Overly dry or overly wet terrains just need to be reconditioned to allow for a healthy ecosystem to take root.


Sunlight is first on the list when it comes to getting your grass to grow. A process called photosynthesis plays a big part in converting the water and minerals in the air and soil into nutrients for the grass. Its green color is a direct result of the sun's solar energy being converted into carbohydrates, which is food for the grass.

Quality soil and the right amount of moisture are the other ingredients needed for healthy growth. Soil that's too wet, or too dry, prevents the grass from absorbing needed nutrients. A good soil mixture will have equal amounts of sand, clay and silt, allowing for proper drainage while maintaining the needed level of moisture.


Monitoring the pH level of your soil on a regular basis will help to maintain optimal conditions for growth. PH levels have to do with the acid and alkaline levels within the soil. High acid conditions occur when the soil is too wet, whereas high alkaline conditions occur when the soil is too dry.

Ph levels run from 1.0 to 14.0, with 1.0 being a high acid level, and 14.0 being a high alkaline level. Grass grows best when readings range around 6.5 to 7.0. You can pick up a pH kit at any lawn and garden shop.


If your pH levels are off, there are a couple steps you can take to restore a balanced soil quality. Treat high alkaline levels with sulfur applications. Follow the directions on the bag to determine how much you'll need to apply. High acid levels can be treated with lime powder, or granules.

If pH imbalances persist after trying lime, or sulfur treatments, ensure that your soil is an even mix of sand, silt and clay. Too much clay causes soil to hold more moisture than the grass needs. Too much sand makes the soil dry out. Continued high acid levels means too much clay is in the soil; likewise with sand if high alkaline levels persist.


There are hundreds of fertilizer applications on the market, all claiming to make your grass grow. However, grass thrives best within a natural ecosystem environment. Fungi and bacteria formations are vital elements within this environment. Adding fertilizers may possibly kill off needed fungi and bacteria, as the synthetic chemicals in the fertilizer may not be compatible with your soil's natural system. The same goes for any type of pesticides.

A natural alternative to synthetic fertilizers is a rich compost mix that can be made from everyday disposable materials. Just mix your organic garbage--coffee grounds, vegetable skins, seeds or anything that's biodegradable--with yard waste materials, newspaper and sawdust, and you'll have a healthy compost mix. Be sure to rotate it on a regular basis to allow for proper circulation. This mixture will nourish and fertilize your soil without disrupting its natural ecosystem.


About the Author


Jacquelyn Jeanty has worked as a freelance writer since 2008. Her work appears at various websites. Her specialty areas include health, home and garden, Christianity and personal development. Jeanty holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Purdue University.