Thicker, lusher, healthier and more beautiful. If those words describe your lawn goals, success may be closer than you think. Transforming thin, lackluster grass into a thicker, healthier lawn isn't difficult to achieve. With three easy steps—or one simple, three-in-one lawn boost—you can get a thicker lawn and put thin grass behind you. Then add three best practices to keep a thicker lawn, and you'll enjoy a lawn that looks and feels great for years to come.
How to Get a Thicker Lawn:
How to Keep a Thicker Lawn:
Four Steps To Get A Thicker Lawn
To get the most out of every step to a thicker lawn, take a tip from lawn pros and test your soil. Soil testing is a simple process that yields big returns in thick, healthy grass growth. A soil test gives you an accurate starting point for your lawn's unique needs, as well as recommendations to fix any 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. If soil pH is too low, for example, your grass can't take up nutrients it needs. Testing lets you know if your lawn needs lime or other soil amendments to restore pH balance and nutrient availability so grass can grow thick and lush.
Overseeding is simply sowing grass seed into existing grass to make thin lawns thick—or keep them from getting thin. 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 provides an opportunity to improve your lawn's quality and make it thicker. With premium grass seed such as Pennington Smart Seed, you'll add superior performance from grass varieties developed through industry-leading grass seed research. Always choose a grass that's appropriate for your grass growing 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.
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 the 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.
For the fast track to a thicker lawn, you can take the all-in-one route and combine the previous three steps in one convenient, do-it-yourself lawn boost. Pennington Lawn Booster, available in Sun & Shade or Tall Fescue versions, combines seed, fertilizer and soil enhancer all in one simple product.
With Lawn Booster, you get lime-enhanced, drought-tolerant Smart Seed and a professional-grade fertilizer to improve seed germination and the overall texture and color of your lawn. The nitrogen-stabilized fertilizer feeds your grass immediately and for up to eight weeks after planting. Plus, soil-enhancing gypsum in this product improves your soil's health and condition without affecting soil pH, so your grass can take root and flourish.
With Lawn Booster, boosting your lawn entails three simple steps: Prepare your site, apply the all-in-one product, and water according to label instructions. Your lawn will grow quicker, thicker and greener than ordinary grass seed in just one application—guaranteed.
Four Steps To Get A Thicker Lawn
Once your thicker lawn is on track, follow good lawn watering practices to give it adequate water and keep it 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 about 1 inch of water per week, whether that comes from nature or your irrigation system. Deep, thorough irrigation encourages the deep 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 compared to ordinary grass seed needs up to 30 percent less water, year after year for the life of your lawn. These superior, drought-tolerant grasses will stay green for up to three weeks without water, so you have less maintenance and your lawn continues looking great.
2. Mow Properly
Using best practices for mowing helps your grass grow thick and stay that way. Rather than mowing based on your weekly 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 its blades cut cleanly instead of tearing at grass. Ragged, torn grass is more susceptible to common lawn diseases and insect pests, which keep your lawn from lush, thick growth. Switching your mowing pattern regularly also helps keep grass straight and thick.
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 kill common lawn weeds.
For established lawns, a pre-emergent herbicide applied before weeds appear in spring helps put your lawn on 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 steps and best practices into weekly lawn maintenance or quick weekend lawn revamps, you can achieve a thick, lush lawn and keep it that way. Combined with occasional tasks such as lawn aeration and lawn patching and repair, these steps put you on the path to enjoying a thicker, healthier lawn for years to come.
As an industry leader for more than three generations, Pennington has earned 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.