Prepare Your Grass For A Lawn Party
Whether you’re hosting a BBQ, a graduation party or even 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” for your guests.
The date is set and the RSVP’s are in. Let’s “wow” your guests with a dominating lawn. Follow these 5 simple steps to make your grass a deep dark green and show it off for your lawn party.
Note: This process starts two weeks from your event. Take before/after pictures to relish in 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 amazing.
Think about which pattern and directions you want to go and stick to it for at least the final 3 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 peoples 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
One week out from your lawn party, apply a 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 stressed lawn. However, assuming your lawn is healthy and irrigated, these will be a fine choice:
- Scott’s Green Max (27-0-2)
- Jonathan Green Green Up (29-0-3)
- Lesco Turf Fertilizer (24-0-11)
- CarbonX (24-0-4)
- Kelp4less Lawn Mix (21-0-8)
Step 4: Apply chelated iron
Four 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.
Altough not chelated (ferrous sulfate) I highly recommend Ferromec AC (15-0-0). For a true chelated iron product, Iron Max AC 6-0-0 is a great option. You can apply up to 8 ounces per 1,000 sq. ft. of Ferromec AC (I use 6 oz. per 1,000) so this large container is great for larger lawns. If you have a smaller area and want to use iron this one time only, then LawnStar makes a fine chelate iron that will cover up to 4,000 sq. ft. – as does Southern AG which covers up to 2,000 sq. ft.
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!
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 applied 3-5 days prior to your event.
Stripes on lawns is simply reflection and refraction 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, where as the grass blades folded and pointed towards you will appear dark.