The Dark Green Lawn
Bermuda grass - commonly grown on golf courses probably produces the most dark green lawn of all the turfgrasses. There are many types of bermuda and all of them can produce a dark green lawn. However, we can't limit ourselves to a single dark green lawn grass, and I have seen fescue grass lawns that looked purple they were so green. So here we go with the dark green lawn formula.
Step one : For a dark green lawn is to make sure that your soil ph is in the optimum range for the darkest green lawn possible. Centipede grass grows best at 4.5 to 5.5 and if you have any other grass type you need to shoot between a 6 and 7ph. This is how you take a soil sample to test. Dig down 4 to 6 inches in 8 different locations under your lawn ( front,back and side yards) and get about a quarter cup from each spot.
Try not to take up roots and rocks because they can affect the ph measurement. Mix the soil together in a plastic sandwich bag and add 2 cups of disstilled water ( available at the grocery store). Handheld ph meters are cheap and accurate enough for this test. You can also take your sample to your local county extension office and have them test it for around $10. If your ph reading is below 6 then add dolimite lime stone and if the ph reading is above 7 then add sulfer, both are available at home improvement store garden centers.
Step two : To a dark green lawn is to walk on the the lawn with spiked aeration sandels, use a lawn aeration tool, or have a lawn service core aerate the lawn for you. The process of lawn aerating is as important as any other task performed in lawn maintenence.
Step three : In the dark green lawn process after you aerate is to apply a slow release granular fertilizer. You want to get a product that will release nutrients slowly to your lawn for 3 to 4 months. It usuallly says on the front of the bag. You really can't go wrong here, especially if you use Scotts or Sta-green fertilizers. The next thing to get is a bag of epsom salt and mix 5 Ibs in the spreader with the fertilizer. Epsom salts contain the nutrient magnesium that will encourage deep dark green lawn. Mix in the Epsom salt twice a year with your fertilizer.
In Step four : you want to get a good quality hose end sprayer. Put in one cup of common household ammonia and fill the remaining space with cheap (non-antibacterial) liquid dish soap. Ammonia is an immediatly available form of nitrogen which is the number one nutrient that gives you that dark green lawn. The dish soap relieves soil surface tension which allows water to penetrate easier and cleans the grass blades allowing the ammonia to be readily absorbed into the grass plant.
In Step five : the dark green lawn will be yours when you apply the slow release fertilizer 4 times in 12 months with epsom salt mixed in with two of those treatments. You can apply Ironite(dry granules) with spreader or Iron chelate(liquid) in your hose end sprayer as needed for some dark green lawn maintenence. Both of these are at home improvement garden centers.
Mowing properly is the last key to a dark green lawn. If you cut your lawn high,which is a
good thing (deep roots) than mow your lawn on the highest mower setting, 4 inches when the grass grows to 5- 5 1/2 inches. If you want to keep your grass cut shorter at 2 1/2 to 3inches than mow it at 4 to 4 1/2 inches. Mowing this way will keep your lawn from going into shock, which in turn will sacrifice it's color. This may mean mowing twice in 7 days during the rainy season but it's all worth that dark green lawn.