So you have an ugly lawn, and you want to fix it. Well, you’ve come to the right place! This article is meant to give you the basics so you can start now, but if you want to take it to the next level you’ll want to subscribe to my channel and use my lawn care planner.
- Mow your lawn tall – Starting today, every time you mow raise it up one notch until you get to the highest setting or the grass blades start to flop over. If it flops over, then keep it at that height until it’s thick enough to stand. Tall grass helps prevent weeds and protects the grass in the heat of the summer.
- Water your lawn deep and infrequent – The next time you water place tuna cans across your lawn, and water until they are completely full. This is a full inch. From now on whenever you water, water for that length of time. You may need to water different parts of the lawn on different days to be able to do this and rotate. But the key is to water a full inch, and wait until the grass really needs it. Your goal should be to water once a week, but if it gets in the 80s or 90s you may have to go to every 5 days or every 3 days. But if you start watering deep the roots will go deep too.
- Fertilize your lawn – Most ugly lawns are missing key nutrients. Fertilizing is critical for any plant to grow, including your lawn. If you are new to fertilizing your lawn a basic organic fertilizer like Milorganite is a great option. It works great, and you can’t burn your lawn with it because of the organic nature of it. Microbes in the soil have to break it down into Nitrogen which takes time so it will feed your lawn slowly instead of a jolt of growth like synthetics.
- Prevent and kill weeds – It’s very important at this stage to use a crabgrass preventer. Most ugly lawns get overtaken by crabgrass and other weeds because they forgot the pre-emergent step. You’ll also want to kill weeds. I have a whole article on how to kill weeds in your lawn. The thing here is to remember you need to both prevent and kill them to end the cycle of an ugly lawn.
- Overseed your lawn – Most likely if your lawn is looking ugly, you’ll need to plant some grass seed. The best time for cool season lawns is to seed in the fall. Weed pressure is much lower, temperatures are starting to drop, and so it’s easier to establish from seed. Until you are happy with your lawn I would suggest overseeding every fall. Over time it’ll become thicker and thicker.
OK so those are the basic steps on how to fix an ugly lawn. Now this will get you to where most people want to have their lawns. If you want to take it to the next level there is plenty to do. Just remember this is a long term thing. You should see progress each year, but you won’t have a perfect lawn in a few months.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and setting realistic expectations. I’ve been looking for one source to follow as I try to get my lawn healthy. I think I’ve found that one source with your site. Right now I’m battling nutsedge and broad leaf weeds, while faced with figuring out the best pre-emergent to use on my lawn. I’ve decided to try Milorganite to fertilize this fall, but I’m still lost on pre-emergent and weed killer. I’m hoping to find some answers here.