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How To Get A Dark Green Lawn FAST in 2023

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Written By: Mark Marino, a Massachusetts Core Applicator License holder
and owner/operator of Lawn Phix,

No AI pledge. Authored and reviewed by Mark, not robots. Learn more.

Updated on

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Prepare Your Grass For Domination

Whether you’re hosting a BBQ, a graduation party, or even a wedding event, you want your lawn to look its best. We lawn care nuts spend a lot of time in our lawns to make them as green, lush, and healthy as possible. And now it’s time to show off your hard work and really make your grass “pop” that dark green color for your guests.

The date is set, and the RSVPs are in. Let’s “wow” your guests with a dominating lawn. Follow these five simple steps to make your grass a deep dark green and show it off for your lawn party or holiday event. 

Note: This process starts two weeks before your event. Take before/after pictures of your dark green lawn to relish your success. 

Step 1: Mowing & lawn stripes

Two weeks out from your lawn party, set your stripes. If you don’t have a striping kit, there are some available on Amazon . But the best of them all come from Big League Lawns. They’re pricey but work amazingly.

Think about which pattern and directions you want to go and stick to it for at least the final three mowings before your big lawn event. The stripes need to be set and well-defined.

Also, begin to lower your height of cut (HOC). While a taller cut is ideal for hot weather (around 4″), you’ll want a shorter grass height for your lawn event. Bring down the mower deck gradually. You’ll want to aim for a 3″ cut, or even slightly lower, for your final mow. 

Finally, bag your clippings. The last thing you want is any visible debris in the lawn and on people’s shoes. So start the bagging process now as you lower that HOC.

Step 2: Edge your landscape and walkways

Two weeks out from your lawn party, define your edges if you have not yet done so. Depending on how much you need to edge, you may need an electric lawn edger to get you started. If it’s a smaller area, then saw tooth edging tool or a square blade will work.

If you have been edging, continue to use your string trimmer to keep those edges looking tight, and clean those clippings with your leaf blower.

Step 3: Fertilize your lawn

Ten days out from your lawn party, apply a lawn fertilizer with nitrogen and iron. I’d stay away from organics, particularly Milorganite, as the smell may linger. Also, organics are generally a slower release, so things won’t “pop” as quickly.

Consider using one of the following, but note: if your lawn party is in the middle of the summer, you should not apply these to a drought-stressed or diseased lawn. However, assuming your lawn is green, healthy, and irrigated, these will be a fine choice:

Keep with your normal watering schedule of one inch of water (more or less depending on the month/season). If you follow my lawn care guide, you will already be spraying Kelp4less Extreme Blend or Green Lawn & Turf. You can apply another dose here, too. The humic acid and sea kelp will only help here. 

Step 4: Apply Liquid Nitrogen + Iron 

Four-seven days out from your lawn party, apply a liquid iron (chelated iron). This is the most important step to obtain that dark green lawn that we all strive for. This is your secret weapon!

Apply this product with a backpack sprayer or other type of sprayer to ensure even coverage. Spray later in the evening to allow the iron to stay on the grass blades overnight. You can then run your irrigation cycle the following day after the iron has had plenty of time to penetrate the grass blades. 

The best options will be from the new Kelp4Less lawn care products line. You’ll deliver not just Nitrogen and Iron, but many other beneficial minerals and micronutrients for your turf.

For pre-mixed solutions, TurfGrassPro Blade Iron (15-0-0) is a great choice. You can apply up to 8 ounces per 1,000 sq. ft. of Blade iron (I use 6 oz. per 1,000), so this large container is a decent option for larger lawns.

If you have a smaller area and want to use the iron this one time only, then LawnStar makes a fine chelated iron that will cover up to 4,000 sq. ft. – as does Southern AG, which covers up to 2,000 sq. ft.

If the grass is iron deficient and your lawn is turning yellow, this is a surefire way to revive it.

Step 5: The final mow and cleanup

The day before your lawn party, do your final mowing, edging and cleanup. Your final cut should be 3″ or less. Bag those clippings and make sure your stripes are deep and on point. And walk around your property with the weed whacker/string trimmer and ensure your edges are clean and tight. 

Finally, take a picture with the best lighting and angles. Your lawn should be looking mint. Now enjoy the party and all of the compliments that will surely be coming your way!

How can I get a dark green lawn?

The best and fastest way to obtain a dark green lawn to show off to your guests and neighbors is to feed your lawn a fast-release nitrogen fertilizer, and apply a liquid iron product. The fertilizer should be applied a week prior (and watered in), and the liquid chelated iron should be used 3-5 days before your event.

How do I get stripes in my lawn?

Stripes on lawns are simply reflections and refractions of the sun/light. As you mow your lawn, grass blades will naturally fold over in the direction that you’re mowing. The stripes are even more pronounced when using a striping kit like a Big League Lawns Checkmate striping kit. With the sun behind you, grass blades folding away from you will give the light stripes appearance, whereas the grass blades folded and pointed towards you will appear dark.

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Author's Note: this piece has been updated for accuracy since its first publication on

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Author: Mark Marino
My name is Mark Marino, and I am the founder, owner, and operator of Lawn Phix. With a passion for lawn care and turf nutrition for over a decade, I've dedicated countless hours to correcting soil and perfecting lawns. Today, my expertise, backed by formal courses at UMass Extension Pesticide Education, allows me to offer top-tier lawn care services and advice. I am a fully licensed and insured lawn care applicator in Massachusetts, specializing in comprehensive turf nutrition, weed control, and lawn pest control. My license number is AL-0053865. Contact me at [email protected] or +1 (508) 500-8402.

2 thoughts on “How To Get A Dark Green Lawn FAST in 2023”

  1. Can you help me from start to finish, what kind of spreader, what do I buy to spray iron, I’m trying to maintain my house alone. I’ve used companies.thzt are horrible learning to do myself. Please help!

    Reply

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