Your lawn is not green because of the grass plant itself. Fertilizer is not a magic paint sprayed on your grass to keep it green. It is actually all about the soil not the grass plant. The soil holds “food” for the grass. Fertilization puts nutrients into the soil of your grass. This is what makes the rich green color in your grass. Turf-grass feeds from the nutrients in the soil in order to thrive. Most soils aren’t great for growing a healthy thick lawn. The best way to improve your lawn is to improve your soil.
Soil nutrients vary from yard to yard and lawn to lawn. Your neighbor has different soil than you. A soil sample is the only way to find out what is exactly beneath your grass. A soil test (or sample) is a “physical exam” for your lawn. It shows us if there are any missing nutrients. It can tell if your soil needs any corrective applications such as Lime, Potassium, or Phosphorus.
Another way to improve soil is through core aeration. Aeration is removing small pieces of dirt (plugs) from all over your lawn. These plugs (actually 100s of them) then in a matter of days decompose. This decomposing actually deposits small bits of nutrients and microbes that help the thatch layer break down.