There’s nothing like a lush, thick green lawn to make your property look fantastic.
A beautiful lawn improves the curb appeal of your home. It shows pride of ownership that increases the property value of you and your neighbor’s homes.
It will take some work to get that beautiful lawn looking thick and green. It may take time too, longer than just a single season to see the results from that extra work. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and start working on your lawn now.
Once you get that thick lawn grass though, the good news is that it’s easier to keep it. A healthy, thick lawn can help keep away weeds and prevent lawn diseases.
So how do you get your lawn to that point?
You can put in the planning and hard work, or you can contact a professional lawn care service like Green T.
Related: Northern Illinois lawn care schedule
Tips for thicker grass on your lawn
Aerate your lawn in the fall
Fall is generally considered the best time to aerate and overseed your lawn. You can choose to aerate in the spring if you didn’t do it in the autumn, though.
Fall is preferred though because the conditions aren’t as wet and there are fewer weeds emerging than in the spring. Spring aeration can potentially open up your lawn to diseases in the summer that would already have passed if you aerated in the fall.
Related: Why is it better to aerate and overseed in the fall?
Overseeding is the process of adding new seed to an already established lawn. Like aeration, fall is the ideal season for overseeding your lawn. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it in the spring though if you have to.
If you do overseed in the spring, earlier in the season is better because the hot temperatures and drier weather of the summer will make it harder for new grass to establish itself. Sprinkle grass seed of the same variety you already have across your lawn and water it thoroughly.
Keep watered every other day until it is established. This will help thicken your grass and fill in any patchy areas of your lawn, which will also help prevent weeds.
Related: Types of grass in northern Illinois
Thatch is a layer of dead and living grass stems and roots that naturally occurs in lawns. Thatch accumulates when your grass grows faster than the surface layer can decompose.
When thatch builds up to 1/2 an inch or more, it needs to be thinned. If your lawn turf feels very spongy, you should consider dethatching it as well.
Dethatching can be done by purchasing a specially designed thatch rake from your local hardware store.
Related: Dealing with thatch in your lawn
Apply fertilizer to you lawn
Apply fertilizer to your lawn in the fall and in the spring to provide your grass with the nutrients it needs. In northern Illinois, fertilizing in the fall is important because your grass will soak up all the nutrients while preparing to go dormant for the winter.
You will also want to apply a fertilizer in the spring to replenish the soil nutrients. A slow release fertilizer is good because it will provide food to your lawn for a longer period of time.
Make sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer you use so that you don’t over-fertilize, which is not just wasteful but also unhealthy for the environment.
Related: When is the best time to fertilize your lawn
Pull weeds as soon as they appear
If weeds become established and strong, they will begin to crowd out your grass. Some weeds, such as crabgrass, are allelopathic, meaning they actually produce chemicals that prevent other plants from growing directly around them. Many others, such as dandelions, will produce 50-100 seeds or more and continue to spread.
Related: Common northern Illinois weeds
Mow your lawn correctly
Never mow more than one-third the length of your grass blades at a time. Mowing more than 1/3 of your grass height can shock the grass and cause it to be more susceptible to lawn diseases or drought.
If your mower blades are set to leave two inches of grass, then mow your grass when it is three inches high. If for some reason you have allowed your grass to grow to high, adjust the blade height so it will only cut 1/3 of the blade. Then gradually adjust your mower blade height each time you mow until you get the blades back to your preferred height.
Related: Lawn mowing tips
Water your lawn
Proper watering for your lawn is important to get new grass established and keep existing grass healthy.
Water your lawn when the soil is dry to the touch 2 inches into the soil. During hot summer months, it may need to be watered two or three times a week. Water deeply with 1 to 2 inches of water so it reaches all the way to the grass roots.
Too much or too little water can cause thinness or patchiness.
Related: Tips for proper watering
We hope these tips help you get fuller, thicker grass this summer!