How Do I Get a Beautiful Lawn

November 15, 2022
Pride In Turf

How do I get a beautiful lawn? We get asked this a lot at Pride-In-Turf, and everyone wants a beautiful lawn that is green and thick. This is not an easy task and takes a lot of work. The types of grass, nutrients, and the right conditions to thrive are all important aspects of achieving this goal. Where you live is a factor, as different climates dictate the care needed. The types of grass that will work best, the fertilization your lawn will need, mowing at the right height, aeration, and water are all important for your beautiful, green, and thick lawn.  

Identify Your Grass

Make sure you know the turfgrass types that make up your lawn, especially if you inherited a lawn without knowing what type of grass you have. Different grass types require different care, so this is important to know how to support your grass for a beautiful, thick lawn. Georgia has a warm climate, and you will typically see Bermudagrass, St. Augustine grass, Centipede grass, or Zoysia grass. More and more recently, St. Augustine and Centipede are being used. These types of grasses require different care. If you are unsure which type you have in your lawn, you can contact a local UGA Extension agent.

Care for your Lawn

There are many steps to a beautiful green lawn. The following list gives you most of the steps you need to take, depending on the type of grass and the climate where you live. They are all important, but not necessarily in the order, they need to be done.

  • Start with improving your soil. You may need to test your soil (or have it tested) to find out the pH of your soil. Apply lime if the soil is too acidic or rich compost or sphagnum peat moss if it is too alkaline. You will want a pH of 5.5 – 6.5. You will need to fertilize every 4 – 6 weeks during the growing season.
  • Aerate your lawn at the appropriate time. Areas, such as Georgia, have clay soils. This type of soil needs aeration every year, as it is quick to get very compacted. Aeration helps loosen the soil letting in food, water, air, and nutrients that nourish your grass. It also provides better conditions for grass to develop a strong, healthy root system.
  • De-Thatch your lawn. Dethatching removes dead, organic matter that creates a thick, spongy layer. This allows water and nutrients to reach the soil and Improve airflow. This helps promote thick growth.
  • Fertilize your lawn. After aerating and dethatching (if needed), fertilize your lawn. This should be done right after you have completed aeration (and dethatching if needed) so that fertilizer can get down into the soil.
  • Overseed your lawn (or seed if you are starting a new lawn). This is when the seed can make good soil contact and achieve the highest germination rate.
  • Water your Lawn. If you are seeding your lawn, it is important to keep the soil moist for the best germination results. Watering daily, or more than once daily if needed) is important at this time. After about two weeks, when germination has taken place, you can cut back to once or twice per week.
  • Mow your lawn. Keeping your lawn mowed at the proper level for the type of grass you have is important. If you have seeded or overseeded, you should wait 2 – 3 weeks before mowing. Do not cut the grass more than 1/3 of the grass height to avoid stressing or weakening the grass.
  • Protect your lawn against pests. Balancing the moisture and thickness of your grass while avoiding over-watering will help in this area. Ensure proper drainage in your lawn so you do not have standing water. Treat with insecticides or fertilizer with insecticides in it as needed.
  • Manage weeds. If you do all of the above, this will discourage a weed invasion on your lawn. Some weeds thrive in certain types of soil (heavy in clay, highly acidic, or highly alkaline).  

If you are unsure of any of these steps, you can contact your local extension agent for advice. You may want to contact a professional landscaper who can guarantee you a beautiful lawn, such as Pride-In-Turf.

Timing is Important

Proper timing of lawn maintenance is key to establishing and maintaining a beautiful lawn. The table below gives you the best or optimal time to perform maintenance tasks for the best results: 

Type of GrassAerationFertilizationDethatchOverseedingWeed ControlMowing HeightWater
CentipedeB – May – July P – April
Use core aerator during the active growing season
B -May and July P – June and AugustP – May - JulyNot recommended
Spring pre-emergence:   B – Feb-March;  P-  April.
Broadleaf post-emergence: OK any time.
Grassy weed postemergence: B - May-August P – September
Winter pre-emergence: B – September P - October 
1 – 2 inches; Raise ½ inch higher in hot weather1 inch per week if no rainfall.
30 days of watering allowed for newly planted sod or seed.
Sod laid in the Fall or Winter months should be kept moist
St. AugustineB – May – July P – April or August
Use a core aerator during the active growing season
B – May-AugustP – May-AugustNoneCannot be established from seedSpring pre-emergence: B – Feb. – March; P – April
Broadleaf pre-emergence: Any time but March/April
Grassy weed postemergence: N/A
Winter pre-emergence: B – September; P - October
2 – 3 inches.Raise ½ inch higher when hot
Remove no more than 1/3 of total height at one time
1 inch per week if no rainfall.30 days watering for newly planted sod or seed.
Sod laid in Fall or Winter should be kept moist
BermudaB – May-August P – April or September
Use a core aerator during the active growing season
B – May-August P – April or SeptemberB – June/ July P – May / AugustB – May-August P – April or AugustSpring pre-emergence: B – Feb/March; P – April
Broadleaf preemergence: Spot spray any time of year
Grassy weed preemergence: B – May-August; P – September
Winter pre-emergence: B – September P - October
1 – 2 inches
Higher in hot weather
Remove no more than 1/3 of total height at one time
1 inch per week if no rainfall
30 days of watering allowed for newly planted sod or seed
Sod laid in the Fall or Winter months should be kept moist
ZoysiaB – May August P – April or September
Use a core aerator during the active growing season
B – May-August P – April or SeptemberB – June / July P – May or AugustNot recommended
Spring pre-emergence: B – Feb / MarchP – April
Broadleaf postemergence: Spray any time
Grassy weed postemergence: B – May-August P – September
Winter pre-emergence: B – September P - October
1 inch per week if no rainfall.
30 days of watering allowed for newly planted sod or seed.
Sod laid in Fall or Winter should be kept moist
1 – 2 inches
Mow ½ inch higher in hot weather.
Remove no more than 1/3 of total height at one time

Note:  This information pertains to Georgia, though it may apply to other areas with similar climates. It includes the Best (B) times/months as well as Possible (P) times/months.

Conclusion

This is a lot of information and may be somewhat overwhelming. Keeping a beautiful lawn is a large task. It is very rewarding for those who have the time and enjoys working outside on their lawn The type of grass and the climate are very important for the care needed to achieve the results you want You can always contact your local extension agent for advice or soil samples To save time and have the assurance of excellent results, contact Pride-In-Turf They can get you the results you want and save you time and money.

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