When you finally decide to sell your home, you probably want to sell it fast. There is nothing more aggravating than waiting weeks, months or (heaven forbid) years to move on with your life on a new property, and that means you need to make any necessary repairs and updates to your home as fast as possible. Unfortunately, some fixes take time — landscaping, for instance, can require months to grow back healthily, improving your home’s curb appeal and attracting the right buyers.
Luckily, there are a few shortcuts when it comes to landscaping, especially if you are specifically looking to reinvigorate your lawn. Here are the best tips and tricks for bringing more life and lushness to a lackluster lawn.
Without a doubt, the fastest and most certain way to revive your lawn is with professional help. Lawn care experts know how to diagnose lawn problems and treat them effectively and with haste, ensuring a lush, green lawn in no time.
Because it’s most likely that your lawn is suffering from some kind of neglect — often improper fertilizing but potentially poor watering, mowing or something else — it probably won’t be terribly expensive to rely on professionals to resolve your lawn-related woes. If your lawn does have a more serious problem, like an insect infestation or a fungal infection, you’ll need experts anyway. The sooner you call in the pros, the sooner they can start fixing your lawn — and in the end, it’s worth the cost to know for sure that your lawn will look beautiful again.
Aerate the Soil
If you are mowing and watering perfectly and your lawn isn’t suffering from disease or pests, you could try one more solution: aeration. Over time, the soil around your lawn’s roots will become compacted, meaning the dirt hardens. Compaction occurs at a faster rate amongst lawns that see high amounts of traffic — like people walking across the grass or vehicles parking or driving over top of it — as well as lawns that see heavy winter snows. Compaction is bad because it makes it much more difficult for your grass’s roots to reach the nutrients they need, like water and air, and it can even thwart root development and growth.
Aeration is the only solution to compaction problems. Using an aerating tool — ideally a coring aerator, which removes plugs of soil — you create holes in your lawn, which relieves the pressure of compaction and gives your grass more space to expand. You can leave the soil plugs behind on your lawn; in a matter of days, they’ll disintegrate, and you’ll see your lawn liven up in a month or so, depending on the amount of damage it sustained.
Over- or Reseed
Thin or patchy grass occurs when your lawn isn’t in its peak health. The healthiest lawns naturally grow thick and green, but if you don’t have time to reverse the long-term damage of sub-optimal care, you can encourage growth in bare patches as well as thicken up sparse grass by adding more seed.
Overseeing is the process of throwing additional seed onto an existing lawn. The best seasons for overseeding tend to be spring and fall for cool-season grasses and early summer for warm-season grasses. These are the peak-growth periods, meaning seeds planted at this time have the best chance of sprouting and growing quickly, filling in the empty spaces around your lawn.
Reseeeding, on the other hand, is planting grass seed where there is no grass currently growing. If your lawn is too damaged, experts might encourage you to rip it out and start fresh with a totally new lawn. This might be worth your money, especially if you want your grass to look great, stat.
Fertilize With Care
Some homeowners desperate for gorgeous grass immediately jump to fertilizing — but this can be a dangerous tactic. Fertilizer is not a cure-all; it has a very specific application, and that is reintroducing lost nutrients to the lawn’s soil. By fertilizing wantonly, you can actually damage your lawn further, burning it with excess nutrients and preventing any plants, let alone grass, from growing there in the future.
Generally, you should only fertilize once or twice per year, in the spring or the spring and fall. Additionally, you should be careful what type of fertilizer you administer. In the spring, high-nitrogen blends will encourage the grass to grow thick and green; in the fall, high-phosphorus blends are ideal for bolstering root stability during winter. No matter what, you should use a drop spreader to apply the fertilizer, so you can ensure an even spread across your lawn.
For much of the year, grass grows fast, which means it shouldn’t take long to fix your lawn’s problems. No matter what, you should seek professional help, if nothing else to avoid making serious mistakes that further drive away interested homebuyers.