A lush, green lawn is every homeowners dream, as it enhances curb appeal. Although many strive to rid their lawns of competing weeds and uneven, bare or brown spots that give it an unkempt look, achieving a thick carpet of grass is a time consuming process. The first step towards achieving a homeowner’s ultimate dream is an understanding of the pH level of the soil. Planting grass on soil with unbalanced pH levels make it more susceptible to fungal diseases and even death.
Place a sample of your soil in a zipper bag and send it to your local nursery for a pH test. You can also test it yourself with a soil testing kit or a pH meter. The ideal pH level is between 6.5 and 6.8, but it varies according to grass types.
Lower pH levels by adding sulfur granules or raise pH levels by adding lime pellets to the soil in the winter. Try to add these before rain, or follow with heavy watering to ensure they are evenly distributed in the soil and go deep down. Follow label directions for the amount of sulfur or lime needed according to the size of your lawn.
Install a sprinkler system to ensure your lawn grass gets the right amount of water at the appropriate time. Automatic sprinklers that ensure timely watering are available in home departments and garden supply centers. If using a garden hose, water infrequently but deeply, at least once a week for 45 minutes to an hour, early in the morning. Avoid daily watering that makes grass susceptible to weeds.
Follow label directions to apply a nitrogen-based fertilizer in early spring. Follow with another application in mid spring and once again towards the end of summer. Heavy dozes of nitrogen cause grass to burn, so avoid fertilizing in early to mid summer, when the sun is at its strongest. Choose a slow-release fertilizer with low nitrogen content.
Mow the grass frequently to prevent competing weeds from growing there. Trim lawn grass down to 2 or 3 inches. Weeds have a sensitive growing point near the top that frequent mowing kills.
Treat pests that ruin your grass appropriately. Set traps to catch or kill moles that kill grass or apply insecticide to remove harmful insects.
Keep heavy objects off your lawn, as they block sunlight and air reaching the grass, thus compressing it and causing it to die. Keep children’s play equipment off the ground and restrict your lawn chairs to a particular corner where you can sit and enjoy your emerald-green grass.