In my business I often preach to my customers concerning “proper cultural practices”. It’s rather simple to properly care for a lawn but it seems that very few follow the rules. Mainly, cut at the proper height for the type of turf, cut at the proper frequency for the conditions and keep your blades sharpened.
The picture attached shows two lawns. The one on the left is maintained by me while adhering to these three simple rules. The one on the right is self-maintained by the neighbor with poor mowing habits. He mows too low, not often enough and I have no idea the last time he sharpened his blades.
There is no fertilization on either lawn, the only difference is proper maintenance.