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Tips and tricks to DIY a green lawn

8 Tips How to Grow a Green Lawn, DIY and save money!

My first home came with 2,600sq/ft about 1 acre of land, and all the crabgrass in New Jersey.  Tight on budget from my new home, I had to teach myself how to grow a green lawn and I think the results speak for themselves.

Here are the steps I took to remove all the crabgrass and get the nicest lawn on the block without breaking the bank paying someone else to do it for me.


  1. Buy a Sprayer
    I started by purchasing a 4 gallon backpack sprayer.  If you have a smaller yard you could probably get away with a 1 gallon, but my front lawn is about 1/3 an acre.  Here’s a sprayer similar to what I purchased on Amazon.  AMAZON SPRAYER
  2. Kill all the Crabgrass
    My yard was 90% crabgrass so the whole yard ended up pretty much dead.  I used Lawn Weed & Crabgrass Killer by BioAdvanced.  It worked extremely well and didn’t break the bank at only $12.
  3. Rent/Buy a Dethatcher
    This is an especially important part.  You need to pull up all that dead crabgrass or the grass won’t be able to take root or wont get enough sunlight as the dead crabgrass will block them.  You can rent one of these machines or if your yard is small enough the little electric ones on Amazon seem to get great reviews and only around $125, probably a good investment.  Check the electric Dethatcher HERE.
  4. Clean up all the Thatched Crabgrass
    Once you thatch, you’ll have bundles of uprooted dead crabgrass.  You can rake these up, run over them with a riding mower with a bagger (what I did), suck them up with a yard vacuum or use a yard sweeper.  Make sure all the thatch is nice and dry making it easier to collect.  If you’re mowing or raking it up I strongly suggest a face mask from all the dirt and dust that’ll kick up.   A yard sweeper is a great option, and only cost $100 off Amazon.  This is a great machine to have when the leaves start falling as well.  You can find a Yard Sweeper Here.

    Cleaning up thatched lawn with mower
  5. Put down Seed
    I am all about saving a buck, but when planting an all new fresh lawn I suggest spending the extra money on a quality grass seed.  Here in the North East it’s hard to beat a Turf Type Tall Fescue and one of the best is Titan RX.
    It has advantages over your standard grass seed.  Better growth rate, less weed seeds in the bag, deep green.  Once you’ve established a strong lawn you can overseed with less expensive options if you like, but getting a quality seed down at the start will be your best option.
  6. Starter Fertilizer
    Putting down fertilizer with your new seed is never a bad idea.  Honestly, I just use a very basic 10 10 10 fertilizer and have never really had an issue.  You can get this at your local Walmart, Home Depot or Tractor supply for ridiculously cheap.  What you will need for both he seed and fertilizer is a quality spreader.  You can find one HERE on Amazon for less then $40.

    growing a green lawn and killing crabgrass
    Grass growing after 3 weeks
  7. Water
    New grass seed needs A LOT of water.  Some even recommend watering twice a day.  The seeds need to stay wet to germinate.  These watering sessions can be short as you don’t need to penetrate deep into the soil.  This is another benefit to the Titan RX grass seed as it hold water better than most other seeds.
  8. Wait
    New lawns take a while to grow.  I’d give it 2 weeks before you really start to notice anything and 3-4 weeks before it actually starts to look like a lawn again.  There’s not much you can do other than make sure people stay off the growing grass and water, water and water some more.

    Lawn a year later, green and beautiful

Maintain your new lawn

Maintaining a healthy green lawn really isn’t all that hard.  You just need to make sure you keep track.  I feel like a lot of suggestions online come from fertilizer companies.  Of course those companies are going to recommend using their products 10 times a year, that’s called sales.  I recommend just 3-4 treatments a year. One, in the spring putting down crabgrass pre emergent.  Another just before the heat of summer makes the lawn want to go dormmate.  For this time of year I suggest Milorganite as it wont burn the lawn and will help it stay healthy through the heat of summer.  And finally, fertilize in the fall with overseeding.

If your lawn was hit in the summer and you have weeds popping through you can always go with a weed and feed.  Otherwise the basic 10 10 10 has always worked fine for me.

If you do put down a weed and feed don’t overseed for at least 5 weeks or the seeds risk not germinating.

If you don't follow these steps you'll be back on Google searching for "How to grow a green lawn" all over again!


Cost Breakdown

Having a professional come out, rip up your lawn, plant new seed and treat it could cost thousands.  The first quote I received was $300 per session with 6 sessions needed!  So what will it cost to DIY your lawn?

For the initial rip up and planting I’d estimate about $350 between the tools, seed and fertilizer needed.

To continue to maintain the yard might be another $90.  Again, this will totally depend on the size of your yard.  But as a home owner few things are more rewarding than having the nicest lawn on the block!

Good luck!



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Covid-19 unemployment payment amount is too high

Covid-19 Unemployment Payment Amount Equals $168,000 a year

The Covid-19 unemployment payment amount was absolute insanity.  A couple living in New Jersey with no children making under $150,000 annually would have received a one-time payment of $2,400 and a combined $11,600 per month.  They would each receive $713 from the state of NJ and an additional $600 each in federal unemployment.  This would be a total payout of $14,000 in the first month.  This is 7 times the poverty rate in New Jersey, SEVEN TIMES!  How can two, out of work adults, bring home 7 times the poverty level while not working?

At $14,000 a month that is the equivalent to $168,000 a year… all from UNEMPLOYMENT.  This is why the freeze on evictions is so infuriating.

Unemployment is supposed to be difficult.  You are supposed to make sacrifices and be scared.  It motivates you to get back up on your feet and find work.  You are not supposed to go shopping, eat out, order needless things on amazon, or make more money than when you are working.

My position was eliminated at my w2 job thanks to Covid-19.  I have other forms of income, from blogging, real estate, investing, and auction flipping, but all the profits form these activities go into separate accounts that I don’t really touch.  My W2 account is what I use for all my day in day out bills and expenses.  My Covid-19 unemployment payment amount in New Jersey was so high my bank account actually continued to grow each month.

I received the $713 NJ unemployment along with the $600 Federal and a $1,000 grant for being an S-prop because of my rental property.  Bank accounts should not grow when you are unemployed, quite the opposite.

Still, people demanded free rent, student loans be frozen, and when the $600 a week federal ran out they still demanded more.

We live in a world of such entitlement that even the unemployed believe they should not have to make sacrifices.

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Living paycheck to paycheck is a choice

Living Paycheck to Paycheck is a choice

For those who argue the cost of living is too high to put any money away for retirement, and that's why people are living paycheck to paycheck, then why is it that....

Those who make $30,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck,

Those who make $40,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck,

Those who make $50,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck,

Those who make $60,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck,

There are even those who make six figures who live paycheck to paycheck and for some reason they all seem to blame the “cost of living”.  Why doesn’t the person making $60,000 live like the person making $50,000 and put the other $10,000 away?  They could use that extra money start a business or perhaps purchase an investment property to better their situation, or just max out their 401k with company match and guarantee an early retirement as millionaires.

Humans have an almost innate tendency to spend every cent we make, then we blame everyone but ourselves for our inability to save.


$3 a day = $1 million

Investing even $3 a day from the age of 22, into a 401k with a company match earning a 9% return will net the contributor a total of just over $1,000,000 by the age of 65.  Perhaps people cannot save an extra $3 a day, fact is, majority of the population isn't even putting away $1 a day.  Roughly 42% of people close to retirement age have less then $10,000 they are not even putting $1 a day away.  It simply is not a priority (for the record, $1 a day in a company match 401k will still return $350,000 come retirement).


Smoking a pack a day is costing you $2.2 million

About 25% of smokers smoke a full pack a day.  The national average for a pack of cigarettes is $6.28 but can be over $12 in places like New York.  By investing that $6.28 into a 401k with a company match you would earn over $2,200,000 come retirement, not even factoring in the health benefits and savings associated.  The point being, there are things we spend money on that we simply do not need, removing these things could make us millionaires.  Make your future self-rich, you will thank yourself.


It is an unwillingness to sacrifice or to do more

The reality is most people are living paycheck to paycheck because they simply are not willing not to.  It could be that they are not willing to make a few sacrifices or they are not willing to work harder to earn more.  That does not mean they should go get a second job (I am actually very against getting a second part time job), it simply means they are too comfortable in their discomfort.

If all it takes is $3 a day to be a millionaire come retirement how hard is it really to save an extra $3 a day?  Drive a cheaper car, cancel cable and get a fire stick, do not eat out, quit smoking or drinking, pack lunches, rent a cheaper apartment, don’t worry what other people think.

Making an extra $3 a day is even easier than trying sacrifice and save an extra $3.  Get up early on Saturday morning and head to a garage sale, even if you have kids this can be a fun family activity.  Go with $20 or $10 or all the coins you can find in your couch and the floor of your car.  People at garage sales are looking to get rid of stuff for cheap.  Buy something for $1 and sell it on eBay for $15.  Purchase a larger item for $15 and sell it for $50 on Facebook marketplace.  Point is, making an extra $100 a month is so easy it is borderline infuriating that everyone is not out there doing it, especially those who complain that they can’t get ahead then don’t even try.

Check out our Self-Help page for more suggestions on how to make extra money or get out of debt faster.


Try automatically saving with Acorns

Have you ever heard the saying "Pay yourself first"?  Acorns lets you pay yourself without even realizing it.  When you purchase something with your debit card the total is rounded up to the next dollar and that "change" is invested for you.  So if you purchase something for $3.55 Acorns will automatically put $0.45 into your investment account for you.  It doesn't sound like much, but in a year you'd be amazed at how much it has grown, I know people who check their account and are shocked to see $1,000 and the best part is they didn't even notice the money being saved.



I get that it is not always easy, but things that are truly worth doing rarely are.  What bothers me most is the excuses.  Instead of blaming “the cost of living” the non-savers should try saying “it’s simply not a priority to me” and see how that rolls of their tongue.


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