Why is my neighbor's yard greener than mine?
Updated: Sep 7
Grass isn't always greener on the other side. But when you look at your neighbor's lawn, you can't help but stare at the lush lawn and exclaim, "Why is my neighbor's yard greener than mine?" Well, here's the inside scoop on lawn care secrets.
Maybe your neighbor has installed an automatic irrigation system, or you don't have a dog peeing in the same place every day. Whatever the reason, let's take a look at the different ways to make your lawn green.
The neighbor waters the yard properly
One of the reasons your lawn may not be as green as your neighbor's may be the way you water it. To gain the upper hand, water your lawn less frequently, but long enough to promote healthy root growth.
Water 1 to 1.5 inches per week, ideally in the early morning so the sun isn't beating down right away. Also avoid watering in the evening as this can create a damp environment conducive to disease.
You can also use a wide-spread sprinkler to evenly water all parts of your lawn. If you want to spruce things up a bit, you can use an automatic irrigation system to schedule irrigation, reduce runoff, and save yourself the trouble of getting up early to water your lawn.
Fun Fact: Water is one of the most important things to keep your lawn green! You can't keep your lawn green without watering it well.
Your neighbor has a different type of lawn
Don't beat yourself up too much. Sometimes the only reason your neighbor's lawn is greener is because there are other types of grass with different shades of green and different growing habits.
Some grass varieties tend to grow tall and lush, while others tend to grow short and dense. So even if you do the same lawn care your neighbors do, you won't get the same results.
Grass falls into one of two categories.
Warm season grasses that love warm temperatures grow vigorously in the summer. They are more common in southern states, going dormant in late fall and greening in spring.
Cool season grasses that like cool temperatures and grows vigorously in spring and fall. They are more common in northern states and go dormant when the summers and winters are harsh.
If you live in the middle of the countryside in a transition area, you can grow both warm season and cool season grasses. So, if you're wondering why your neighbor has a green lawn in the summer, your neighbor has a warm season lawn and you most likely have a cool season lawn.
Your neighbor mows your lawn properly
Your neighbor's yard may be greener than yours because it is mowed using professional mowing methods. I know it's tempting to cut it short to increase the time between mowing, but this stresses the lawn.
Your neighbor is probably following the 1/3 rule. Never mow more than 1/3 of the height of a blade of grass at a time. That is, if the grass is 3 inches high, you should not set the mower to cut more than 1 inch. Otherwise, you risk stripping the turf.
Another reason your neighbors are so good at mowing is because they keep their mower blades sharp. A dull mower blade will tear more blades, leave a rough finish, and make your lawn prone to disease, so check your sharpness before mowing.
Your neighbor controls weeds
Weeds are the bane of every lawn owner, but they're especially problematic if you're looking to create a greener lawn. They compete with your lawn for water and nutrients, so getting rid of them is essential. Common lawn weeds include crabgrass, dandelion, and chickweed.
There are several ways to get rid of it.
Pre-emergence herbicides are popular herbicides applied to the soil before weeds germinate to prevent weed growth.
Post-emergence herbicides are used after weeds sprout to quickly kill weeds so they don't spread throughout the yard.
For a chemical-free weed control method, use a garden fork or hand trowel to dig up weeds and remove all root tissue.
Spray the horticultural vinegar on the weeds, but be careful not to spray the grass blades.
A neighbor fertilizes the lawn
All plants need three major nutrients: nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. So, if your yard isn't as green as your neighbor's, it could be because you're deficient in one or more of those nutrients.
Lawn fertilizer can be applied in two forms: liquid fertilizer and granular fertilizer. Liquid fertilizers are easier to absorb, but do not last long and require more frequent application. Granular fertilizers are slow-release, so they don't work as quickly, but they provide nutrients for longer.
The best time to fertilize is late spring to summer for warm season turfgrass and autumn for cool season turfgrass.
Your neighbor doesn't allow dogs to defecate on the lawn
Owning a dog is like having an infinite source of unconditional love and affection. But it's like having a urine factory at home. Dog urine contains high levels of nitrogen, one of the main components of fertilizer, but too much nitrogen can brown or even kill your lawn.
So, if you notice brown spots on the lawn where your dog urinates, train him not to urinate on the lawn. If that doesn't work, flush the area with water right after you're done.
A neighbor adds mulch to their lawn
It may not be that you are doing wrong, but that your neighbor is doing well. For example, mulching is an effective way to improve the health of your lawn by adding organic matter for soil nutrition, protecting it from dehydration and preventing weeds.
You can easily add mulch to your lawn by using clippings instead of discarding them. By attaching a special blade to your regular lawn mower, you can cut the grass into smaller pieces and move them around the yard. These clippings eventually break down to water and nourish your lawn.
You can also mulch by cutting off a few leaves and spreading a thin layer around the yard. Each piece should be shredded to about 1⁄2 inch so it doesn't block sunlight and oxygen from reaching the soil.
The neighbor aerates the soil
Aeration is often overlooked by homeowners, depending on whether the neighbors are doing it right. It can work wonders for compacted soil. The lawn in your yard may be struggling because it is not getting enough oxygen, water or nutrients.
You can do a driver test to see if your lawn needs aeration. First take a screwdriver and push it into the ground. If there's no resistance, you don't need to aerate it yet, but if it's difficult to push in, consider aerating it.
The best time of year to aerate the soil is during the growing season. In other words, cold season grass is from early spring to fall, and warm season grass is from late spring to summer.
The neighbor removes the straw
Thatch is the layer of organic matter between the soil and the blades of grass. Some say it's like dandruff, but it's for lawns. Thin layers of thatch are healthy, but thicker than half an inch can be a problem.
A thick layer of thatch prevents the soil from properly absorbing water, fertilizer, mulch or whatever you add and can become a breeding ground for pests and diseases. So, consider de- itching during the grass-growth period for a greener, lusher look.
Neighbors prevent hair loss
Have you ever suffered from turf baldness? And have you ever wondered why your neighbor doesn't have anything? It may be because you are overseeing your lawn to encourage new growth.
Overseeding is the process of spreading grass seeds all over the lawn to make it appear denser and greener. Lawns may be supervised once a year. We recommend doing this in the spring if your yard has a warm season lawn or in the fall if you have a cool season lawn.
Overseed is better for preventing hair loss patches, but if you already have large patches, grass plugs will give you faster results. Grass plugs are individual lawn plants that grow in trays and are ready to be planted, unlike lawn seeds which can take a long time to germinate.
A neighbor extends the lawn greening period
If your neighbor has a warm season lawn, but you know there's still a period of green during the winter, it might be because you're overseeing your warm season lawn with annuals or perennial ryegrass.
Warm season grasses go dormant during the winter, so if your neighbor has a mix of warm season and cool season grasses, they're likely to have a greener lawn for a longer period of time than you.
To give you an edge, do the same process on your lawn and sow cool season annual or perennial ryegrass seeds.
Neighbors get rid of pests as soon as they appear
Pests annoy all homeowners, but some take too long to notice when they appear. Suppose your neighbor constantly monitors your lawn for pests. In this case, you can have a greener lawn because you know what's going on with the pests and can take action early to stop them.
There are many ways to deal with pests, including more multifaceted approaches such as pesticides or integrated pest management. But the most important tip is to keep an eye on your lawn. Here are some signs that your lawn may have pests.
Brown patches and brown spots
Withering blade of grass
Discoloration of individual grass blades
Neighbors get expert help
You have dedicated your heart and soul to making your lawn greener and healthier. Spend time mowing, watering and feeding your lawn to create the most beautiful lawn on the block. And yet you still feel that your neighbor's lawn is greener than yours.
Your neighbor's yard can be greener with professional help. Get the most out of your lawn by connecting with a local 10X Landscaping expert.