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Lawn Care 101

How to get grass to grow

4 min read

Your lawn is the first thing that people will see when passing by or coming for a visit to your home. If your lawn is dry, brown or bald in areas, this can have a serious impact on the value of your property. Additionally, you may feel embarrassed about the way that your lawn looks simply because you haven’t fully learned how to grow your grass. By following some simple tips for how to grow your grass long; you'll have a lush, green, perfect landscape in just a few weeks.

Eliminate old sod

Sod is the dirt underneath your current grass that can become full of roots and weeds. New grass typically won't do well if it is planted into old sod. The root systems of different grasses will fight with one another, creating an incohesive growth pattern. Removing old grass and sod requires either the use of hand tools, larger machinery, or both. For smaller patches of grass, simple hand tools will do the truck. The goal is to get rid of as much of the old grass as possible so that you have fresh, plain dirt underneath. If you want to redo the entire lawn, you'll need larger machinery such as a tiller. Many homeowners have had great success with grass killing herbicides, which eliminate the root systems of old grasses so that they can be removed more easily.

Once the old sod has been removed, you'll then need to loosen the soil. This allows the small grass seeds that will be placed plenty of aeration for roots. Keep in mind that the root systems of fresh grass seeds are delicate, and a dense, highly-packed soil will interfere with how they're able to germinate. While working on sod removal, you may want to use this time to even out your lawn and eliminate any bumps or uneven patches. This will reduce the likelihood that you'll scrape these areas and dislodge grass when mowing the lawn.

Grass seeds

Time and test the soil

Vegetation of all kinds needs to be planted in the ideal temperatures. If you lay your grass seeds too early in the season, they won't germinate and you'll be left with a bald, patchy lawn. Each grass has its own planting guide, and it's crucial that you follow this guide before laying out the seed. For cooler-ground grasses, you can plant these either in early spring or late fall. Warm-season grasses do best when planted in the late spring or early summer.

In order for seeds to germinate properly, you need to test the pH of your soil. Every property will have a different type of soil, and this will determine how well the grass does once it's been planted. Ideally, grass should be put into soil that has a pH of about 6.2 to 7. The soil should be slightly acidic, since this is where grass does its best. You can use a soil pH tester to check how acidic the grass is in your area. These testers are relatively cheap and will also measure the moisture and nutrients in the soil. Good soil should have plenty of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash to keep roots nourished and healthy.

Select the right grass seed

There are dozens of different grass options that you can choose for your lawn. The grass should be specific to your area so that it does its best. For warmer climates, you'll find that Bermuda, Centipede, and Buffalo grass does the best. For cooler climates that have harsher winters, you'll want to use Bentgrass, Kentuky Bluegrass, or Ryegrass. Some grasses come in a mix so that you have a nice blend of different colors and textures. The grass may come with a mix of fertilizer, which will help it establish within the earth. Understanding how to grow grass long and how to grow grass quickly will make a big difference in how your lawn looks over time. There are a myriad of different brands to choose from, so it's important to read reviews and labels carefully to see which grass seed brand is right for you.

Lawn seed spreader

Plant and fertilize

If you've been asking yourself, "how do I get my grass to grow?", it's all about the process of planting and fertilizing. For smaller areas, you can use your hands to carefully and evenly spread the grass seed. For larger areas, you should use a grass seed spreader. These spreaders are very easy to use and allow you to pour in whole bags of seeds at a time to evenly spread over the dirt. You should follow all instructions on the label prior to spreading the seed, but you usually can’t go wrong with 15-25 seeds per inch of lawn. You should make two passes over the dirt to get an even, consistent covering. Don't over-seed the lawn, as this can cause it to look patchy in sections.

Once the seeds have been placed over the grass, you'll want to lightly mix the seeds with the dirt by running them over with a rake. Fresh grass seed should be watered as soon as possible, since this helps it to germinate fully and begin the growth cycle. Prior to using any type of fertilizer, be aware of state regulations in your area. Certain states have restricted the use of fertilizers containing phosphorus, as they have been shown to cause algae growth in pond and lake systems when used nearby these areas. Always read the label of the fertilizer that you're using to ensure it's being applied properly.

It all depends upon the level of damage or obstruction that a lawn is facing. For instance, if you are only aerating your lawn as a part of your regular maintenance routine, then you may not need anything other than the basic aeration equipment. However, if you are dealing with massive damage such as dead grass or thatch, then those obstructions need to be removed before the aeration process can be executed.

You will want to check the lawn for moisture each day and continue to water as necessary. Grass seeds typically need a lot of water to start growing. Most varieties will begin to sprout in roughly two to four weeks. We recommend trimming and maintaining your lawn regularly to keep it looking its best. If you've always wanted to know, "how to start and get my grass to grow", the process is easy, quick and can provide you with a lush lawn that you'll have from one season to the next.

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