When we talk about lawn care, there are many things that go into getting a healthy lawn. However, when people ask how to get a green lawn fast, they are often missing some of the other aspects of a lawn that make it healthy. It's color is, of course one of them, but other factors include the abscence of weeds, the length of the lawn, whether there are brown spots caused by insects or diseases, plus more.
This article however, will focus on one thing that can get you what you want, a green lawn and do it super fast, probably quicker than you think.
Getting a green lawn fast requires only 3 things:
- Grass Fertilizer
- Moist Soil / Water
- Frequent Mowings
How Fast Can Your Lawn Go From Brownish Yellow To Green?
What is meant by fast? What do you think? Overnight? A week? A month?
Many homeowners we've seen struggle to improve their lawn's appearance for an entire season and still don't get the results they are after. Why is that? Well, they just don't know how so they will go to their local big box store's garden center, look over the miriad of products on the shelves for grass, ask employees that may or may not know the answers to their questions, and then take a stab at the problem.
They might read the bag labels, which will give them some information, but is it enough?
If you really must do this, go to your local garden center where the employees are usually more knowlegable. However, now, because you're reading this article, you don't even need to do that.
Follow our advice and you'll get that green lawn fast.
In two words...water and fertilizer. If your lawn is brown, it's probably gone dormant for lack of water. The first thing you must do it water it! Every day! Thirty minutes every single day! Water it until it turns green! This is the #1 thing you can if your lawn is brown and want to get a green lawn fast.
If it doesn't turn green after watering it for a week or two, it's probably dead and that's a whole other problem. However, it's rare for lawns to die because of lack of water. They just go dormant.
Now that your lawn is green and growing, fertilizer will turn it even greener. Yes, that deep lush green is the result of using fertilizer. However, there's a little more to it than that.
The one thing that will accomplish this is fertilizer specifically designed for grass. When you visit the store, you will also see garden fertilizer, make for gardens. Make sure you know the difference.
Grass fertilizer is specifically designed for grass because it has high nitrogen content. It will be easy to spot because the bags are labeled as such, so make sure you read the labels.
We've been turning our client's lawns from yellow or brown to green for years and the product we have used consistently over the years is Scott's Turf Builder. We use Turf Builder Halts fertilizer with pre-emergent crab grass preventer in the spring, and regular Turf Builder straight fertilizer the rest of the year.
Scotts makes other fertilizers that are specific to different times of the year or different areas. We've never needed to use any of those. They might be good and appropriate for you but because we've never used them, cannot give them a recommendation.
Check out this posting on HOW TO APPLY LAWN FERTILIZER to see examples of the exact fertilizer we've used for decades with great results.
Watering Your Lawn
As we previously mentioned, water is essential if you're not getting enough rain. But how much water does grass need?
How Much Water Is Enough?
Almost all of our clients that want a green lawn and water it regularly don't give it enough. They THINK they are watering enough, but they are not. Fact: Taking the hose and sprinkling the lawn, back and forth across the lawn for 10 minutes is not enough, especially if the grass is very dry to start.
Here's a test. Water your grass, then take a small weeding tool, dig a hole in an inconspicuous place, stick you fingur down the hole and feel if the soil under the grass and a few inches down is moist. If not, you've not watered enough. Another fact. It takes a lot of water to soak the ground 3-4 inches down. Once the soil is wet, it takes much less to keep it moist.
Art and I are consistently amazed at how much water it takes to keep plants, including grass, growing. Even after a heavy downpour, we'll plant something in our garden and discover the soil is bone dry! Dust!
How To Water Grass?
The best way to water your grass is to use a sprinkler and even better, use a sprinkler with a simple watering timer that will turn it on and off at set intervals.
By doing this, it will be very easy for you. No muss, no fuss, and, when paired with fertilizer, you'll have a green lawn fast.
1 Station Watering Timer
If one sprinkler will cover your entire lawn.
CLICK HERE for more information.
2 Station Watering Timer
If your lawn is too big for one sprinkler, you may need a 2-station timer.
CLICK HERE for more information.
The next question is how much and how often? The rule of thumb is simple. Your goal: keep the soil moist. It doesn't have to be saturated, but moist.
Accomplishing this, you'll need to consider your lawn's location and the weather.
If your lawn is on a hill where water runs off a lot, it will take more to penetrate the soil. If your lawn is flat, not so much.
If the weather is in the 90's your grass will dry out faster, so you'll need to water it more frequently - once a day or once every 2 days is not too much.
If your lawn is currently dry and yellow and you want to turn it around, you'll need to water a lot to moisten the soil to 2-3 inches deep - 30 minutes to one hour is not unhead of.
If your lawn is growing, been getting frequent water, and the weather is mild, either through rain or a sprinkler, watering less is OK - 10-15 minutes every few days
A lot of "if's" I know. That's how gardening is though, and we love it.
The best thing you can do is to get comfortable knowing how much water your lawn and plants need based on the weather in your region. You'll be pleased to know though, that even the experts are baffled from time to time.
Watering the grass is something you'll need to figure out on your own by experimenting and then learning what is working and what is not.
How Often Should You Mow?
We've seen it before. Perhaps you do it too.
Mowing the grass takes time out of your busy schedule, which is already packed full. However, if you put off mowing until the grass gets long, then cut it short on purpose so it will be a longer time frame between mowings, the fact is, this is bad for the grass!
First, long grass blocks sunlight getting to the actual grass blades and roots, which makes the underlying grass turn brown. Then, when you cut it, you expose that undergrowth. Not only that, but cutting it short stresses the grass and also causes browning. Stressed grass is yellow grass!
Cutting more often also promotes growth, which in turn promotes healthy grass.
The rule is you should not cut off any more than 1/3 of the grass blades.
The bottom line is...more frequent mowings are good for the grass. If it's healthy and growing well, here in my region we typically mow once every 7-10 days. Defintely not less.
Remember, you have two choices:
- Healthy grass will grow fast and need frequent mowings
- Unhealthy grass will grow slower and need fewing mowings
The choice is yours
The bottom line. If you want to know how to get a green lawn fast, follow these 3 steps:
- Make sure your lawn is growing steadily and not dried out.
Following these steps, you lawn should turn that lush green about 1 -2 weeks after applying the fertilizer.