How to Make Grass Grow Thicker


A thick, green lawn that feels good underfoot may seem like a distant dream, but it's more achievable than you think. Transforming a thin, lackluster lawn into dense green grass requires time and commitment, but the results are well worth the effort.

With proper maintenance, you can enjoy a healthy lawn for years. Remember, this transformation doesn't happen overnight. By adjusting your lawn care practices, you can achieve and maintain a lush, green lawn that not only increases your home's value but also adds much-coveted curb appeal.

Getting Started: Address Underlying Issues to Grow Thicker Grass

Similar to many things, the first step in cultivating thicker and greener grass is to inspect for any underlying issues and address them. A visual inspection can reveal many things about your lawn. For example, if it lacks the density and vividness you expect, several problems could be the cause, such as uneven sun exposure, having the wrong type of grass, pests and diseases, and drainage and soil issues.

Evaluate Sun Exposure and Shade

Patchy growth, discoloration, and bare patches often suggest uneven sun exposure. Grass in shaded areas may appear lighter or darker and grow more slowly, while the grass in sunny areas is denser and greener. Increased weed growth is also common in shaded, moist areas. Recognizing these signs can help you address the issue, such as pruning trees and bushes that block sunlight to ensure a more uniform growth.

Replace Existing Grass

If your grass isn't growing as expected, you may have the wrong type of grass. Consider replacing your existing grass with a variety that better tolerates your specific environment—shade-tolerant options like St. Augustine grass for shaded areas and Bermuda grass for areas with full sun exposure. Ensure you know the type of grass plugs you are buying, or seek advice from a lawn care professional to make the best choice.

Treat Pests, Diseases, and Weeds

Various pests and fungi can affect your lawn, resulting in dry, bare patches despite your regular maintenance efforts. Identifying the specific issues is essential so you can promptly address them with the right lawn care products. Weeds are another common problem—pesky lawn invaders competing with your grass for water and nutrients and preventing it from becoming healthy and dense. Regular manual weeding and using herbicides can help keep these pesky invaders under control.


6 Best Lawn Maintenance Practices for a Thicker Lawn

Improve Soil Quality

Soil is the foundation of a healthy lawn. Although optional, a soil test is an easy process that provides a great starting point for achieving thick, healthy grass. It provides valuable insights into soil pH levels, composition, and nutrient makeup, helping you make informed decisions about soil amendments and fertilizers to restore pH balance and ensure nutrient availability.

If you're new to soil testing, contact your local extension office for testing kits and guidance. By following the test recommendations, you can improve your soil accurately, eliminating guesswork and addressing any issues preventing thick lawn growth.

Plant Grass Plugs

Transplanting grass plugs is an excellent way to fill in gaps and sparse areas in your lawn, resulting in a thicker, lusher green cover. This method is often preferable to overseeding because grass plugs are established more successfully and require less waiting time to see results. This translates to a more resilient and durable lawn that is more resistant to pests, diseases, drought, and heavy traffic.

When using grass plugs, use a variety that matches your existing grass or is well-adapted to your region, climate, and specific lawn conditions. For example, warm-season grass plugs thrive in the warm, humid Florida climate. While you can plant them anytime, late spring and summer are ideal for grass plugging to coincide with their active growing season. This ensures optimal growth and successful integration with your existing lawn.


Nutrients in soil deplete over time as grass absorbs them for growth. They may also leach away with rainfall and irrigation. Regular fertilization throughout the growing season replenishes these essential nutrients, supporting healthy growth. Fertilizing ensures your lawn stays green and lush with a strong root system and heightened resistance to pests, diseases, and environmental stresses.

When planting grass plugs, we recommend using NutriPod®, a grass fertilizer specifically designed for new grass plugs. Its slow-release formula provides a gradual and steady supply of nutrients, aiding successful establishment and accelerated growth. It also reduces nutrient loss, ensuring your lawn maximizes the benefits. Simply drop a pod in each planting hole before inserting the grass plugs for a mess-free and precise fertilizing experience.

Water Adequately

Good watering practices are essential for a lush, resilient lawn. New grass plugs, particularly, require constant moisture during their establishment stage until their roots have adapted to the new environment and show signs of new growth.

For established lawns, aim for about 1-1.5 inches of water weekly, whether from rainfall or irrigation, after the initial establishment period. Less frequent, deep watering encourages deeper root growth. This is particularly beneficial for warm-season grasses, which are more drought-tolerant than cool-season grasses, staying green and thick even with limited water access.

Mow Properly

Mowing your lawn regularly at the correct height stimulates the grass to grow new shoots and develop a strong root system, resulting in a denser, healthier turf. By removing the top portion of the grass blades, you also allow more sunlight to reach the lower parts of the grass, which further encourages root growth. It also helps prevent the grass from becoming too tall, which forces the grass to expend more energy on vertical growth than root development.

Maintain a healthy, thick lawn by mowing according to your lawn's needs rather than a strict schedule. For most warm-season grasses, keeping them at a height of 2-2.5 inches is recommended. Avoid cutting off more than one-third of the grass length in a single mowing session to prevent scalping and minimize stress on the grass.

Aerate and Dethatch as Necessary

Soil naturally becomes compacted over time due to factors like foot traffic, heavy equipment, and the settling of soil particles. Compacted soil restricts the movement of air, water, and nutrients, resulting in patchy, dry, and lackluster lawns as the roots struggle to penetrate the dense soil. Additionally, excessive thatch—a layer of organic matter accumulating on the soil surface—can further hinder root growth and water infiltration.

Core aerating relieves soil compaction by removing soil plugs from the ground. This allows the essential elements to reach the root zone, contributing to root growth and overall lawn health. Meanwhile, dethatching removes excessive thatch, allowing for better water absorption and root development. When these tasks are performed periodically, they improve soil quality and set the stage for a denser, healthier lawn.


Shop Grass Plugs for Sale at SodPods®

As an industry leader, SodPods® is a trusted brand for grass plugs. We are committed to providing high-quality warm-season grass plugs, lawn care products, and expert advice to help you grow the thickest, healthiest lawn possible. You can achieve the lush lawn you've always wanted with our dedication to excellence and your commitment to proper lawn care practices.

Trust SodPods® for all your lawn care needs. Visit our website to get started.


Jamie Tedder

Jamie surrently serve as Vice President on the board for Turfgrass Producers of Florida. He currently oversees the production of all grasses throughout all farms in Florida at Bethel Farms. He is actively working with top grass breeders, researchers, producers and end users from public and private institutions around the country to stay up to date on current industry developments. Being a University of Florida graduate, he has applied that knowledge to over 22 years of experience growing spectacular grass!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published