Silly Question About Grass!!!

Updated on December 30, 2011
N.T. asks from Macomb, MI
15 answers

I'm outside with my kids today and noticed that are grass looks awful!!! Especially compared to everyone elses beautiful lawns. My husband says this is his job, but today I think he should be fired :) Anyone have any suggestions. We try to use natural stuff as much as possible, but this is getting embarassing!


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answers from Chicago on

My yard looked horrendous last year and this year I plan to fix it. I started wokring on it last year. My husband always overwatered. "It's hot out so it needs lots of water". NOT. Most people overwater, a waste of water and death to the grass. It took an article in the paper to convince him. Unless you have a really dry spell, the grass only needs an inch to 2 inches of water a weeka dn most of the time the rain takes care of that. We are going to add some topsoil this year and put down new grass seed. I plan to buy the new one from Pennigton that has some fertilizer and mulch added already. So far, for the beginning of the season, out grass looks a bit better than this time last year. Hopefully by summer, it will look fantastic.

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answers from Detroit on

My yard must be your yard's twin. We have the same thing. Our yard is sandy sun on one side and shady clay on the other. I think the solution (messy, expensive, and probably not feasible with an almost-5 yo and a 3 1/2 yo) is buy a big load of compost top-dress the whole yard. Soil improvement. It would work for anyone, because compost can't do anything but help. :) Good luck!



answers from Saginaw on

I`m not sure what you are talking about on it look awful?? Is he cutting the grass? or having it get too long?? If he IS cutting it-you may have a grub problem. Or ants--IF it looks bad. We had that last year and we put stuff down for grubs and it looks GREAT now! If he IS cutting it-good for him, if ours gets too long and my husband has been too busy, I go out and cut it-I love to.

Also-we can`t use fertilizer because we have a pool and it turns it green...Found that out the hard way!


answers from Detroit on

This is one of the questions that gets asked a lot and not everyone knows what to do in the situation, there are a lot of useful comments below so I will just and then aerating your lawn once a year is the second most important thing to do (regular watering is the first) what aerating does is it opens up the soil so more and more oxygen can penetrate deeper and develop healthy grass for you. I you don't own a aerator you can rent one from one of your closest construction equipment rental companies



answers from Detroit on

Hi N.,

We live in Westland, so we are local to you. My hubby and I cut our grass and water occasionally. We have a beautiful lawn and no weeds. However, neither one of us will fertilize it because we just don't trust ourselves to do a good enough job. So, we use Diamond Lawn Service in Troy. Mike has been coming out for the past four years and he takes care of our lawn spring through fall. He always calls us the day before he comes out to let us know. They are reasonable too--around $150 per year. They are awesome and every time Mike comes out, he leaves instructions on how to care for the grass. I highly recommend Diamond Lawn Service.




answers from Detroit on

HI N.,
Please look for a reputable organic lawn service- chemicals are not safe no matter what they tell you. I thought that I was having a heart attack when I had Tru Green doing my lawn a few years ago- it was an asthmatic type reaction. Also, you can use Shaklee's Basic H in a hose end sprayer- it is an organic cleaner concentrate, but it is really just a surfactant- it breaks the water tension and is a soil conditioner, too. Your grass will green up nicely! Lawn chemicals are showing up in our drinking water and our bodies- I think picking a few weeds is better than having breast cancer, or your children developing cancer or asthma just to have a pretty lawn. A good book to read is Lawn Wars, by a lovely local lady from your area. There are many natural ways to have a beautiful lawn. Let me know if you need a number for organic lawn service- I know a guy in Grand Blanc and I met one on Sunday at the VegFest in Ferndale- I could find then for you.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi, N.,
Mine's the best lawn in the neighborhood (I live in the Bay Area, so the lawns aren't HUGE like in places like Atlanta.) A good lawn doesn't need much work, but it needs to be done regularly.

+I water twice a week, 10 minutes on each sprinkler line.(If you don't get regular rain, a sprinkler system with a timer really makes it a whole lot easier to regulate.)
+I cut it long (mine's fescue -- bluegrass would be shorter.) This helps the lawn keep the moisture in the ground.
+I fertilize twice a year - spring and summer. Don't over-fertilize! You'll burn the lawn.
+Weeds can be taken care of individually, WeednFeed fertilizer, or specialty products (I need a specialty product for my awful crabgrass encroachments called Monterey.)
+If you have a dog, there's a great product out there called GrassSaver that changes the pooch's urine ph balance, No more burn holes!

Easy Peasy. An hour a week should do it for a normal sized lawn.



answers from Detroit on

DON'T GIVE IN TO THE JONESES!!! Be part of the organic, less maintenance craze!!! Here, in the NYT:
Learn more about organic lawn care: Paul Tukey and his book Organic Lawn Care.
Watch the movie "A Chemical Reaction" - how Much of Canada is banning all residential pesticide use because IT IS NOT SAFE!
Firebelly Lawn care has a do-it-yourself system that is SAFE.

Most of all BE PROUD you have a safe, glorious, biodiverse lawn, not one that is green and sterile and polluting our air and water! You are not alone, and you and your husband are doing the right thing keeping your children safe, and not overconsuming and polluting!

And I'm not just some "crazy hippy" I have a Bachelors of Science in Ecology, a Masters in Public Health, concentration in Environmental Health --- AND my husband is a Family Practice Doctor!

Stay organic for your health and your children's future!



answers from Los Angeles on

LOL we have the same problem, maybe I should fire my husband too :)



answers from Santa Barbara on

A little weed and feed and some fertilizer will go a long way.



answers from Detroit on

My husband is obsessed with our grass and everyone tells him that it looks like a golf course, lol .. Gives him a big head, lol..
Anyway... for the last few years we use a lawn service for fertilizing. The service fertilizes the grass, and puts down treatments that control grubbs, crab grass, weeds, etc.. This year we're using TruGreen (last year it was Grow It Green). They do a certain # of treatments throughout the season. TruGreen says they use everything organic and safe for kids and pets now ... I think its only $230 for the whole season will all the treatments.
The other things that HE does to help.. He cuts the grass very often, never letting it get too long and he does not bag the grass, he uses the mulching option on the mower. Mulching it instead of bagging it is much better for the environment and most importantly ...the GRASS...It redelivers nutrients, etc. Then....just fill in the areas that might be dead and bare with some grass seed (i think the services would do that for you though) and make sure to water the grass every night in the summer on hot days when it hasn't rained. And waaala, beautiful grass :)



answers from Detroit on

We have a beautiful lawn in SE Michigan and here are a few of our tips:
1. Use the Scott's fertilizer system. It gives your grass what it needs during the different seasons: weed control, pest control, and food exactly when your lawn needs it. A lawn service should accomplish this, too.
2. Don't cut the grass too short during hot weather. Leave it longer. This keeps the roots from getting baked and leaves longer stalks to gather the sunlight for extra nutrition. A LOT of people make a mistake here.
3. Mulching is great for your lawn but don't do it more than a couple of times a month. Bag the clippings the rest of the time. If you mulch too often (leaving the clippings on your lawn), the clippings build up and create a barrier to prevent water and air from reaching the roots as efficiently. By mulching less often the clippings have a chance to break down and fertilize the lawn as intended without keeping the other good stuff out.
4. Take a look at your lawn now. Is it really matted down between the good stalks of grass? If so, you probably need to aerate your entire lawn and overseed it. You can rent an aerator from Home Depot, run it over your lawn to create little holes from which your new lawn will get more air and water, and lay another layer of grass seed over your entire lawn. (Be careful using weed preventers if you do this as it could affect the new seed from sprouting.)
Good luck with building your new beautiful lawn!



answers from Chicago on

I do our grass.

I use WOW organic fertilizer and weed preventer. I used a service for a few years, but my lawn looks so much better now that I'm doing it myself.



answers from Indianapolis on

We've always had a nice yard, but it became too hard to manage when i was going through chemo + 2 kids 2 and younger in the house and no family nearby.

Last year, we threw-up our hands and called a service. They service the yard 6 times/year, and we're spending about the same as we were with the Scott's 4 Step plan from Costco.

A lot depends on the kind of grass as Skip mentioned as well as the conditions around your house. Our grass has sun almost all day, and it bakes in the summer.

One of our neighbors is a greenskeeper for a local gold course, and in addition to regular mowing and fertilizing, water based upon your local climate.

For us, in the summer, it's an almost daily occurrence.


answers from Dallas on

My hubby works/prepares our yard year round.

He uses weed and feed and fertilizer. The best way to get rid of weeds it to physically pull them out.

We have a large yard with St Augustine and he really has to nurture the yard but it looks beautiful. He just put our 6 cubic yards of topsoil by himself and he is getting a pallet of sod this weekend to touch up any areas needing assistance.

Go talk to Home Depot or Lowe's, they can also help.

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