Last Updated on March 23, 2021 by Grow with Bovees
Do you find yourself looking over to your neighbor’s thick, green and healthy lawn with envy? If your turf is looking yellow, weak and full of weeds, you’ll need to fix some things in your lawn care to get it back to perfectly green.
Luckily, it’s not too hard to get your lawn back to a dark green color. Follow our easy steps on how to make grass dark green and you’ll soon notice it thriving.
These are some of the things we’ll cover in this article.
- How to make grass green: 3 simple steps.
- Greener grass step 1: Apply iron.
- How to apply iron to your lawn.
- Lush grass step 2: Water wisely.
- Greener grass step 3: Fertilize using the best fertilizers.
- Is organic better?
Contents of This Page
How To Make Your Grass Green: 3 Simple Steps to Get Your Lawn Healthy Again
If your grass is not as thick and dark green as it should be, it can be a sign of several things, from nutritional imbalances to weeds and dull mower blades, to applying weed and feed at the right time. Don’t worry, it’s easy to correct with the right lawn maintenance practices.
These are the basic steps to making your lawn get that beautiful and healthy dark color.
Greener Grass Step 1: Apply Iron
Iron is a key ingredient for making your lawn thick and green without giving you more work. While many people use nitrogen on their lawn, it not only makes your grass greener but also makes it grow faster. Iron helps you get your grass strong, but without the growth nitrogen adds. Both are necessary for a healthy lawn.
It’s ideal to apply iron on your grass in the spring and fall, when the temperatures are still cool. This applies to all types of grass.
However, cool-season grass like Kentucky bluegrass and fescue grass are especially receptive to iron. You’ll see cool-season grass thriving with iron during the summer months when it doesn’t actively grow. It’ll get back to growth in the fall season, and in the early spring.
How To Apply Iron To Your Lawn
Before you get started on applying iron to the grass, you have to pick the type of nutrients that work for you and your lawn. You can find iron in liquid, powder or granular form, of which we recommend granular for its easy application. You can also pick between organic and synthetic iron supplements for your grass.
These are some of the basics for applying iron to your lawn.
- Water your lawn between 24 and 48 hours before the application of the fertilizer. The soil should be moist when fertilizing, but the grass dry.
- Wait until the sun drops. It’s never a good idea to use fertilizers on your lawn in the midday heat, because they may burn the grass.
- Apply your chosen iron-rich fertilizer onto your lawn, aiming to do it as evenly as possible. A spreader is a good idea to ensure even application for granules on the grass, but with liquid iron, you’ll need a sprayer.
- Regular iron applications on your lawn are much more effective than applying too much, so don’t go overboard.
- Go over the lawn starting at the edges and then moving in orderly rows. They can overlap a little, but too much iron can harm your lawn, so be careful.
- If you use a liquid iron supplement, note that it’s easier to go overboard and to stain, so you’ll have to be extra careful.
- When you finish, check that you haven’t spilled granules or iron on any pathways or driveways. They will likely get those rusty, orange stains when watered unless you clean them up.
- If you use granules or powder, give the lawn a light watering, just enough to get the lawn fertilizer to the ground instead of the blades of grass. Don’t do heavy watering on your lawn for at least 48 hours to let the iron absorb into the soil.
What I Use
I generally keep my lawn healthy with an organic fertilizer like Milorganite. This natural fertilizer includes nitrogen, but it also has 4 percent of iron, nearly the same amount as nitrogen. This helps it grow faster, stronger, and keep a nice color.
If my lawn has been really suffering and just needs a quick boost of iron without making it grow, I apply Ironite. It’s designed for minimal staining, and the manufacturer promises you can use it year-round without the risk of burning your lawn. Still, I don’t recommend it in high heat.
I also recommend you keep your grass a little longer, to generate a bigger surface area. When mowing, don’t remove more than about one-third of the length of the grass. This helps the grass perform photosynthesis better and makes it stronger.
Leaving grass clippings on the ground after mowing also helps you get those nutrients back into the soil. Mulching lawn mower blades will cut the grass into smaller clippings that break up more easily and improve growth.
Another tip is to check your lawn for weeds and buy the right type of grass seed if needed. Sometimes yellowish weeds can take over a patch, and you’ll have to replant the correct grass seed to get it back.
Green Grass Step 2: Water Wisely
When and how to water your lawn is a key component of making the plants strong and green. When you water grass wisely, it also helps save water in the parts of the country that suffer droughts and extreme heat, such as California and Arizona.
A healthy soil that absorbs and retains water is what your lawn needs to remain healthy. What’s key for when you water grass is understanding the porosity of your soil and how it affects your schedule. You don’t necessarily have to use more water for a certain type of soil, just water more often.
Here are some tips for watering, depending on the type of soil you have.
Watering Lawns With Clay Soil
A clay soil usually needs water less frequently than other types of soil. Clay particles are smaller than sand particles, and they easily cake up when you apply water often. This will eventually keep the water locked in the top layers of the soil and won’t let the roots grow freely and deep into the ground.
This is why it’s ideal to saturate the soil well with water so it reaches the lower layers, and then let it be for about a week. The water will reach the lower levels of the soil and, even when the top dries out, your lawn will be able to draw moisture from those deep levels.
Watering your yard no more than once a week also helps the grass create longer, thicker roots to keep the plants green and healthy.
Note that when you water clay soil, you’ll have to do it slowly so that the yard has a chance to absorb the water.
Watering Grass in Sandy Soil
Sand particles are bigger than clay particles, so the water easily filters past the level where the root is. This means that if you try the same technique as with clay and try to saturate the soil, you’ll end up wasting water and money.
With growing grass in sandy soil, we recommend you use a slightly more frequent watering schedule.
Water until you reach the root level, and repeat as often as needed.
The frequency depends on your location, your grass and how hot and dry the weather is. In dry and extremely hot weather, you may have to water your yard every other day. In less heat, once a week may be enough.
Watering Grass in a Garden With Loam Soil
Loam soil is a mixture of sand and clay, and it has the best parts of both. It allows the water to penetrate the deeper layers of the soil much easier than on clay. It also holds moisture well compared to sandy soil, so you don’t have to water it constantly.
You’ll need to determine the right schedule for watering your lawn depending on the exact proportions of sand and clay in your loam soil. The closer to clay and the tighter-packed it is, the less frequent your watering should be. More sand in the soil composition, and it’ll retain less water and need more frequent waterings.
Greener Grass Step 3: Fertilizing Using the Best Fertilizers
If you truly want the best results from your lawn, we do recommend investing in a quality fertilizer, such as Milorganite. You should also be sure which type of lawn you have, as this will affect how often you need to fertilize your lawn. This will ensure the fertilizers include a balanced amount of nutrients, and in the quantities they state on the package. There are also some products available to deal with weeds simultaneously, to find the best weed and feed available, see our post here.
With the best fertilizers, you also run a lower risk of doing harm to your lawn and staining your sidewalk.
Is Organic Better?
Organic fertilizers tend to work better as a long-term solution, and it’s more environmentally friendly. They’re the slow-release type, but they usually have more complete nutrients for your lawn.
They build up your lawn in a natural way, without the risks of staining your lawn or sidewalk. They do also contain nitrogen, so they’re not ideal if you don’t want your grass to grow so fast.
Synthetic high-iron fertilizers are fast-releasing and affordable. If you’re not careful with the amounts of synthetic fertilizer you apply on the grass, though, it may turn your lawn a grayish hue and your concrete driveway orange.
If your grass looks withered, applying an iron-rich synthetic fertilizer will help restore the color faster. Synthetic iron-rich products also don’t include as much nitrogen, so you won’t be making it grow too fast.
The Bottom Line
Getting a thick, green lawn your neighbors will envy is not impossible. Just apply some iron to correct the nutritional balance, find the right watering schedule, and ensure you use the best organic fertilizers.
When mowing, do it less frequently, leave the clippings and change the blades for mulching ones for the best growth. Keep weeds under control to keep the right plants growing.
Whether you pick an organic fertilizer or a synthetic one is up to you. While in the long run, an organic product might be the more complete pick, synthetic iron can give your lawn a quick boost in color.