Why Is My Grass Not Growing?

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A thin or patchy lawn can be frustrating for homeowners—especially after you’ve put so much effort into your yard. It seems like it should be easy, but there are several factors that could be contributing to your grass not growing—lack of sunlight, too much water, wrong pH, and more. Keep reading to learn about some common problems and what you can do to fix them. It might be a simple change!


All grass needs sunlight to some degree to produce chlorophyll and begin photosynthesis. The lack of sunlight caused by tree shade or anything else can cause a low pH in soil, making it hard to grow grass seeds. Most varieties need three to six hours of filtered or unfiltered sunlight a day to grow well.

This problem is potentially the hardest to fix since you most likely don’t want to remove trees from your yard. Remove anything else that you can that is causing shade (canopies, umbrellas, etc). Also consider a different grass species for your lawn if you get less than three hours of sunlight a day. Ask your lawn care experts at SunCo about shade-tolerant grass varieties!


The right amount and timing of watering is key to growing your grass from seed. Water is crucial for plants, but overwatering can prevent grass seed from rooting into the ground. On the other hand, too little water can hinder growth and turn your yard brown.

Most yards need around an inch of water a week. Less water than that will cause the grass to not grow taller, since it’s trying to conserve the water that it does have. Water your yard two or less times a week to prevent shallow watering from causing shallow grass roots. Not only is the right amount of water important, but also the timing. Watering is best done between 5 and 9 a.m. in the spring and summertime. This allows your lawn to soak in the water, but prevents fungus from growing. A sprinkler system can help you water your lawn efficiently and effectively.

Tips on watering your lawn wisely

Soil pH

Unbalanced soil pH may be the cause of your grass not growing. Your yard’s pH level should be between 6 and 7—a slightly acidic range. Have your soil tested in areas where you are having trouble to see if this is the problem.

If your yard’s pH level isn’t in this range, you can add lime to increase or sulfur to decrease the pH level. Compost can also be useful for lowering the pH. If your lawn was not properly prepared for grass seed, it may be difficult to grow. Have our outdoor specialists at SunCo properly manage your yard.

Aeration and Overseeding

Compacted soil may prevent nutrients, water, and sunlight from reaching the roots of your grass. This is usually a problem in older lawns that are walked on over time. The compaction removes air pockets that allow the exchange of oxygen and nutrients.

Aerating your lawn can solve this problem, allowing sunlight, air, and water to blend with the soil. Lawn aeration involves making holes in the lawn by extracting plugs of soil. This will produce a thicker lawn and deeper roots. Aerations along with over-seeding is recommended. Overseeding is broadcasting seed over an already established lawn. This can help thicken turf reducing competition from weeds. An over-seeding service is best done in the fall and at the same time as your aeration.

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Mowing Habits

Mowing your lawn with dull mower blades or cutting it too short can send the grass into shock. This can stunt growth and make your yard thin over time. Weeds may take over your lawn or disease may start to spread. To prevent this, you should always mow grass with a sharp blade, and cut no more than a third of its length.

If your lawn isn’t growing, look into these common problems and your mowing practices. With a little bit of work, you could improve your lawn. Imagine a green, lush, and weed-free lawn your neighbors will envy! The easiest way to enjoy this and your free time is to allow our outdoor experts to do the work for you. Contact SunCo today for a free consultation.


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