How to Get a Thicker Lawn and Keep It!

How to Get a Thicker Lawn

Thicker, lusher, healthier and more beautiful. If those words describe your lawn goals, success may be much closer than you think. Transforming thin, lackluster grass into a thicker, healthier lawn isn't difficult to achieve. With three simple steps, you can put thin grass behind you and enjoy a lawn that pleases your eye and feels great under your feet. By adding three best practices, you can help keep your thicker lawn healthy and lush for years to come.

Get a Thicker Lawn:

  1. Improve Your Soil
  2. Overseed
  3. Fertilize

Keep a Thicker Lawn:

  1. Irrigate
  2. Mow Properly
  3. Control Weeds

Three Steps to Get a Thicker Lawn

1. Improve Your Soil

To get the most out of every step to a thicker lawn, take a tip from the pros and test your soil. Soil testing is a simple process that yields big returns in thick, healthy grass growth. With a test, you get an accurate starting point for your lawn's unique needs, plus recommendations on how to fix underlying problems. If you're new to testing, contact your local extension office. They can help with simple kits and information to get you started.

Testing reveals your soil's pH and other soil conditions that can inhibit thick, healthy growth. By following test recommendations, you can improve your soil without guesswork and unnecessary additions. If soil pH is too low, for example, your grass can't take up nutrients it needs, even from fertilizers you add. Testing lets you know if your lawn needs lime or other amendments to restore pH balance and nutrient availability so grass can grow thick and lush.

2. Overseed

Overseeding is simply sowing grass seed into existing grass to make thin lawns thick — or keep them from ever getting thin. The new grass fills in between what's already there, creating a thicker, lusher feel and look. Routine overseeding is the pro secret to a great lawn. Fall and spring are the best times for overseeding cool-season northern lawns, while thin warm-season southern lawns are best seeded in late spring.

Overseeding gives you an opportunity to improve your lawn's quality as well as its thickness. With premium grass seed such as Pennington Smart Seed, you can enjoy a thicker lawn along with superior performance from grass varieties developed through industry-leading research. Always choose a grass that's appropriate for your region and climate and the conditions of your lawn. For example, if you're growing grass in shade, shade-tolerant grasses help deliver the thick grass you're working toward.

Fertilizers feed your lawn the nutrients it needs to grow thick and lush.

3. Fertilize

Lawn grasses need food, just like other plants, but nutrients in soil often leach away with rainfall and irrigation. Regular fertilization throughout the growing season helps provide the nutrients your grass needs for thicker, healthier growth.

When overseeding your lawn, a starter fertilizer such as Pennington UltraGreen Starter Fertilizer 12-22-8 helps promote vigorous root growth for fast establishment of new grasses. For established lawns, Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 34-0-4 provides the nitrogen your lawn needs for thick, green grass.

Half the nitrogen in these special formulations releases slowly to keep feeding your thickening lawn for up to three months. The other half is stabilized to limit leaching. This means less fertilizer is lost to the environment and your thick lawn gets more of the nutrients in the fertilizer you apply.

Three Best Practices to Keep a Thicker Lawn

1. Irrigate

Once your thicker lawn is on track, it needs adequate water to stay thick and strong. Germinating grass seed needs constant moisture until seedlings emerge and fill in between existing grass. Once lawns get established, they generally need water equal to about 1 inch of rainfall each week, whether that comes from nature or your irrigation system. Deep, thorough irrigation encourages the deep, healthy root growth thicker lawns need.

With water-conserving Pennington Smart Seed grasses, your lawn can withstand heat, drought and stresses that cause ordinary grasses to struggle and grow thin. Smart Seed varieties need up to 30 percent less water year after year compared to ordinary grass seed. These superior, drought-tolerant grasses will stay green for up to three weeks without water, so you have less maintenance and your lawn stays looking great.

Maintaining your grass at the best height promotes healthy, balanced growth.

Using best practices for mowing helps your grass grow thick and stay that way. Rather than mowing your grass based solely on the calendar, mow according to grass needs. Mow often enough to maintain your grass type at its recommended mowing height without removing more than one-third of the height in a single mowing. This helps avoid many of the stresses that cause thin, unattractive lawns.

Be sure to keep your mower maintained well, so that mower blades cut cleanly instead of tearing at grass. Ragged, torn grass is more susceptible to lawn disease and insect pests, which keep your lawn from lush, thick growth. Switching your mowing pattern regularly also helps keep grass straight and thick.

Lawn weeds steal water and nutrients from grass.

Weeds compete with grass for sunlight, water and nutrients. The more weeds you have, the less fertilizer and other resources your grass receives. Controlling weeds eliminates the competition so grass can stay thick and well nourished. Early fall is an excellent time to eliminate established, actively growing weeds.

For established lawns, a pre-emergent herbicide applied before weeds appear in spring can help put your lawn on a fast track to thicker, lusher growth. Pennington Ultragreen Crabgrass Preventer Plus Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4 feeds your lawn and controls crabgrass and broadleaf weeds before they can interfere with thick, healthy grass growth. Never use pre-emergent weed products when overseeding your lawn. Pre-emergents keep all seeds, including grass, from germinating and emerging properly.

Whether you work these three steps and three best practices into weekly maintenance or quick weekend revamps, you can achieve a thick, lush lawn and keep it that way. Combined with occasional tasks such as aeration and patching and repair, these steps put you on track to enjoy a thicker, healthier lawn for years to come.

As an industry leader for more than three generations, Pennington has won the trust of homeowners and lawn professionals alike. Pennington is committed to bringing you the finest grass seed, lawn care products and expert advice to help you grow the thickest, lushest lawn possible.

Pennington and Smart Seed are trademarks of Pennington Seed, Inc.

Ultragreen is a registered trademark of Central Garden & Pet Company.

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