The 10 Best Things You Can Do for Your Lawn

A great-looking lawn doesn’t just happen. It takes hard work and lots of care to keep your grass healthy and green. Luckily, the secrets to fabulous, lush grass are available to anyone who wants to learn how to master their own backyard. Put this simple advice into practice all year long, and you could have your best lawn yet.

  1. Mulch Your Grass Clippings

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    Leave Grass Clippings On Lawn

    Skip bagging your grass clippings. Instead, mulch them into your lawn, where they'll decompose, adding nutrients into the soil. Word to the wise: If your lawn is full of weeds, then your clippings will most likely be full of weed seeds. If you don't want to sprout new weeds, stick to bagging your clippings until you get your weed problem under control. 

    Related: 10 Times You Can Get Nature to Do Your Yard Work for You

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  2. Aerate

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    Aerate Lawn DIY

    Of course, grass needs sun and water to thrive. But it also needs air. That’s why it’s important to aerate your lawn if you notice that the soil has become compacted. Aerating your lawn, either with a push aerator or a gas-powered aerator (you can rent one from a big-box store), will allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate to the roots of your turfgrass, helping it to flourish.

    Related: 10 Low-Cost Solutions for an Ugly Lawn

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  3. Cut It High

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    Grass Height

    It may seem like a good idea to give your lawn a crew cut so you can mow less frequently, but doing so can actually harm your grass. Never cut more than one-third of the length of the grass blade at any one time, or you can cause stress to your turf, leaving it more vulnerable to blight and disease. Additionally, extra height during the hottest and sunniest months of the year can help protect your grass from scorching.

    Related: 9 Mowing Mistakes Everyone Makes

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  4. Water Deeply and Less Often

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    How Often To Water Lawn

    Avoid watering your grass daily, unless it's a particularly dry summer. Frequent, shallow watering encourages shallow roots and ultimately weakens turfgrass. The best thing to do is to water your grass deeply and less frequently. Occasional watering prompts the roots to grow deeper, giving your grass the strength it needs to weather hot conditions.

    Related: 10 Sprinklers to Quench Your Garden's Thirst

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  5. Dethatch

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    Dethatch Lawn With Rake

    Thatch is dead plant material that builds up between the grass blades and roots. A little is OK, even healthy. But too much thatch is a bad thing. If your lawn has a layer of thatch that's more than three-quarters of an inch thick, it’s time to dethatch. This can be done with a thatch rake (for smaller lawns) or a power rake (for larger expanses). Removing that layer of thatch will let water and air penetrate the soil, improving the health of your lawn.

    Related: 7 Lawn-Care Myths Debunked

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  6. Test Your Soil

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    Importance Of Soil PH

    Testing your soil every year will arm you with information about its pH level. For a lawn to grow healthy, it usually needs a pH level of between 5 and 7. If your soil is too alkaline—if it has a pH level greater than 7—add sulfate to make it more acidic; if it’s too acidic, add lime to reduce the acidity and bring it into balance.

    Related: The Best Things You Can Do for Your Garden Soil

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  7. Fertilize

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    Fertilize Lawn

    Usually, your soil is not able to provide all the nutrients your turfgrass needs throughout the entire growing season. That’s why it’s important to fertilize when needed. When you should fertilize and the type of fertilizer you should use are determined by the type of grass you are growing. Warm-season grasses should be fertilized as they come out of dormancy in the spring. Cool-season grasses should be fertilized heavily in the fall and lightly in early spring.

    Related: 10 Secret Ingredients to Make Your Garden Grow

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  8. Mix Up Your Mowing

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    Alternate Mowing Direction

    Don’t mow your grass the same way every time. Mix up the direction you mow to help reduce soil compaction, encourage upright growth of grass blades, and help you get a more uniform cut.

    Related: 11 Ways You're Accidentally Ruining Your Lawn

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  9. Keep Your Mower Blades Sharp

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    Keep Lawn Mower Blades Sharp

    Be sure to keep your mower blades sharp. A dull blade will rip the top of the grass instead of cutting it, making its healing process longer and more difficult, and leaving your lawn looking ragged in the process.

    Related: 7 Remedies to Rescue a Dying Lawn

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  10. Seed at the Right Time

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    Best Time To Seed Lawn

    Every lawn needs occasional reseeding, whether to fill in bare patches or thicken an existing lawn. For most varieties, seeding is more successful in early spring, though growth may be slow if the weather is cold. Fall is also an excellent time to seed. Autumn seeding gives young turfgrass plants an opportunity to establish themselves before winter dormancy, so they’ll have a head start when spring arrives.

    Related: 7 Things Your Lawn May Be Trying to Tell You

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  11. Love Your Lawn

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    Love Your Lawn

    Put these tips to practice for a lush lawn!

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  12. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!