Aerate the lawn if the soil becomes compacted, especially in lawns with clay soil or those that receive heavy foot and machinery traffic. Rent an aerator to improve the movement of air and nutrients to the roots of the grass, which will strengthen the grass.
Irrigate the lawn uniformly so all areas of the grass receive water. Avoid frequent shallow irrigation in favor of less frequent watering that reaches deeper into the soil to encourage deeper root growth for stronger grass. Water your grass until the moisture reaches about 6 inches deep. Wait to irrigate again until the top 1 or 2 inches is dry.
Remove thatch, which is a buildup of organic debris like pieces of grass blades and roots, when the layer is 1/2 inch thick or more. Check the thatch layer once a year to see if removal is necessary. Use a special thatching blade on the mower or a thatching rake to remove the debris.
Mow your lawn by cutting off one-third of the blade length so you leave enough of the leaf for it to recover quickly and continue growing well. Regular mowing can also prevent weeds from developing seeds and flowers.
A weed-free lawn creates a welcoming mat of green around your home, but suppressing the unwanted growth sometimes feels like a never-ending task. Proper lawn care keeps weeds to a minimum by strengthening the grass so it smothers weeds, preventing them from growing. Additional measures to kill or remove existing weeds are sometimes necessary to restore the lawn to a dense cover of grass. Using a combination of weed-control methods in your lawn care routine can get your yard back on track.
Fertilize the lawn with a slow-release fertilizer containing a maximum of 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Apply the fertilizer according to the recommendations on the package to avoid under- or over-fertilizing. Too much fertilizer can encourage the growth of weeds. Fertilize the lawn two times if you live in an area with a shorter growing season and three or four times in warmer climates with a long growing season.
Dig up or pull weeds as soon as you see them. Check your lawn frequently for weeds to remove them early, before they produce seeds. Dispose of the weeds so they are out of the lawn completely and so they do not spread seeds in the lawn.
Anytime in early spring or fall
Start by cutting grass with a sharp mower blade that cuts grass cleanly, without tearing or shredding. Proper mowing height depends on grass type. Vary your mowing pattern to avoid creating ruts in the lawn. Avoid mowing when soil is wet, or you risk tearing up grass and soil.
Compacted soils don’t allow air and water to reach grass roots, which results in unhealthy grass.