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How to Make Grass Greener: Tips for Ashburn, Aldie, & Leesburg, VA

Posted On: April 14,2020 By: Todd Thomasson

Healthy green grass in Virginia lawnNothing quite signifies a healthy and thriving lawn than when it has a bright and vibrant green color. When you’re able to achieve those lush results, you want everyone to see them. It’s the highlight of your property.

But whether you’re performing DIY lawn care or you’re working with a pro, when the lawn is not green, it’s easy to get frustrated—and frankly, maybe a little embarrassed, too. 

After all, when your lawn is dull, yellow, or even worse, brown, it might stick out like a sore thumb from the rest of the properties in your area. And it can be even more frustrating when you have no idea why it’s struggling. 

If you’re struggling with ways you can make your grass greener, we want to help. We’ve rounded up a variety of potential culprits that could be behind your lawn problems as well as tips on how to produce better color.

Why is my Lawn Not Green?

Although a lot of people oversimplify lawn care, it’s actually a pretty complex process. There are important, science-based decisions that need to be made in order to achieve the best results. 

Of course, that’s not how all companies operate. There are plenty of lawn care “pros” that just dump product with no real rhyme or reason to what they’re doing. This could certainly be a reason that you’re using a professional but still not seeing the bright green lawn that you desire. 

When companies fail to use a lawn soil test to make precise and educated decisions about the products they apply (and when they apply them), then they really are just shooting the dark. After all, how can they possibly know what problems your lawn is experiencing and how they should best correct them?

A lawn’s lack of color or discoloration could be due to many reasons such as the following.

  • A soil pH problem
  • Lack of water
  • Too much water
  • Lack of nutrients
  • Extreme weed pressure 
  • Grassy weeds in various shades of green
  • A lawn disease
  • A lawn insect infestation

And honestly, that’s just some of the potential problems that your lawn could be facing. It demonstrates the importance of your lawn care company utilizing a soil test to help diagnose what’s going on. It’s an essential tool in the lawn care pro’s toolbox, along with many years of professional experience and knowledge.

While we cannot diagnose your exact problem without being on your property and utilizing some of those tools, we can still give you some common ways that you can make your grass greener

Ways to Make Grass Greener

Now that you have a sense of some of the potential culprits for your grass problems, let’s look at some ways you can make grass greener. 

Proper Watering

Water is essentially the “life blood” of your lawn. It absolutely needs ample water in order to perform its best. Water needs to be able to penetrate down to the turf’s roots where it will help your lawn to grow a robust root system that will ultimately lead to greener grass.

lawn irrigation head watering grass

On the flip side, while plenty of water is important, too much water can also be a bad thing. Surprising to some homeowners, when a lawn receives too much water, it can also begin to yellow. 

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for homeowners and even some lawn care “pros” to witness a yellow lawn, assume it’s drought-stressed, and water it more. This sets off a vicious cycle where the lawn only continues to deteriorate. When a lawn is overwatered and won’t drain properly, it drowns the plants’ roots. 

Proper Mowing

Another way to make grass greener is to make sure that it’s mowed properly. A lot of people don’t realize just how much stress mowing puts on a lawn when not done correctly . 

One way that people mow improperly is by using poorly-maintained equipment. This includes an unlevel mowing deck and dull mower blades that make jagged cuts. Dull blades actually tear the grass blades instead of making a clean cut. This can give an overall brown tint to the top of the lawn.

patio worker mowing 3

Another way that people put excess stress on their lawn is by mowing infrequently. Grass gets greenest from the top down, where it is receiving ample sunlight. If you cut off too much grass at once, you’ll notice it is lighter or even yellowish below. Mowing more frequently can help eliminate this factor.

Cut height is also important. In Ashburn, Aldie, and Leesburg, VA, we aim to cut around 3 ½ to 4 inches. When mowing and edging, you should also be careful not to scalp the edges which can become areas where weeds grow. 

Fertilization Throughout the Year

If your grass is struggling with its color, it could also be a fertilization problem. Fertilizing your lawn with much-needed nutrients is really important when it comes to assisting it in “greening up.” But it’s more than just that initial “wake-up” fertilizer. You need to continue to feed it throughout the growing season in order to help it maintain that beautiful color, even through the harsh heat that comes with summer. 

lawn care technician fertilizing lawn

Scrimping or skipping fertilization visits is only going to set you up for problems. At Rock Water Farm, our typical lawn care treatment program includes 8 visits per year to apply product as the lawn needs it (different products at different times of the year). A total of 5 of those visits include fertilization—because it’s that important. 

Even so, you’ll see plenty of marketing gimmicks that try to oversimplify the process with one- or two-time products. These simply cannot be effective as the lawn needs different rates of fertilization at different times of the year. And it definitely needs more than a once or twice application.

Choosing a lawn fertilizer service in Ashburn, Aldie, or Leesburg, VA that understands the value of this type of service is essential when it comes to ensuring your lawn is as green as it can be.

Aeration and Topdressing

Another vital service when it comes to helping your lawn get greener is aeration followed by topdressing. Aeration helps your lawn to breathe. The process of aeration involves pulling small cores throughout your lawn to reduce soil compaction and allow more fertilizer, oxygen, and water to penetrate down to the root system where they’re needed. 

lawn aeration service on health green grass

Aeration will also help to break up thatch, which could be yet another culprit of your yellow lawn. Thatch is that naturally-occuring layer of dead organic material that sometimes builds up on the top of the soil. 

While aeration by itself would definitely help your lawn perform better, we can take it even further and also add a topdressing. Topdressing is a lawn care secret that many don’t even know about. But it has long been standard practice amongst the golf course industry where green grass is everything.


With topdressing, we add a layer of compost after the lawn has been aerated, allowing it to fall into the holes that were made. As the compost mixes with the clay, it helps to create a better layer of topsoil by improving the soil structure and the microbial life. This will go tremendously far in producing the lush green results that you’re after.

Seeding with a New Grass Type

Sometimes a lack of color can actually be traced to the grass seed that is used or a prevalent species in your lawn. Certain grass types are not as green as others and this may really bother some homeowners. Perennial Ryegrass, for instance, is not known to be as deep green. 

Turf-type tall fescue is the best-adapted turfgrass for Virginia lawns and also has that beautiful green color that homeowners look for. Seeding with this grass type (as Rock Water Farm does) will go a long way in helping to produce a greener lawn.

Soil Testing for Other Problems

As we mentioned, a soil test can also provide some fantastic insight into what the lawn needs (specifically, what it is missing). A lawn soil test is going to look at pH and nutrient makeup (phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients) and will tell you where your lawn is lacking and what can be done.

RWF Soil Test ResultsWhen we get results back from a lawn soil test, we can make exact corrections as they are recommended. For example, one of the key ways in which we correct soil pH problems in Northern Virginia is to apply limestone in the late fall or winter. But exactly how much limestone needs to be applied will depend on your exact pH. This makes the soil test an invaluable guide in making science-based decisions.

Get Ready to Go Green

If you’ve been frustrated by the color of your lawn (or lack of it), you are likely ready to make some new decisions and get your lawn into better shape. Whether that means ceasing your DIY approach or switching lawn care companies, you likely know that something needs to change. You shouldn’t have to carry on with the same poor results.

All you want is a green lawn that you can be proud of.

healthy green grass in lawn in northern Virginia

With the right choice in lawn care companies, you can achieve that goal. Depending upon the current state of your lawn, it could take some time, but you can get there. Armed with the scientific knowledge of what your lawn needs to perform optimally (thanks to the power of a lawn soil test), Rock Water Farm can do what it takes to get your lawn to “go green.” 

Plus, with a true professional taking over your lawn care services, instead of having to worry about your lawn all of the time, now all you have to do is enjoy it! 

If you are ready to make your grass greener at your Ashburn, Aldie, or Leesburg, VA home, talk to an expert, choose a solution that rocks, and then enjoy your yard and relax!

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Lawn care tips for Ashburn, Aldie, and Leesburg, VA

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Todd Thomasson

Written by Todd Thomasson

Todd Thomasson, founded Rock Water Farm Landscapes & Hardscapes in 2005. Having grown up with hard working parent role models and a strong work ethic, Todd put his Landscape & Turf Management degree from Virginia Tech into action as the lead stone mason and landscape designer for the new company. Over the years, the responsibility and opportunity of running this company has been shared with other members of the Rock Water Farm team, launching one of the leading property maintenance companies in Loudoun County. Todd is still rooted in his passion for design/build projects and continues to run the company, working with clients to design, build and maintain perfect outdoor spaces with his team.