Beautiful lawns are on most every homeowner’s wish list but getting your yard in the best shape is often easier said than done. You smother your grass with love – cutting it, watering it, nursing it through grub infestations and hot spells. But like any dedicated care giver, your attentiveness could be overdoing it. To keep your yard thriving, make sure you steer clear of these lawn care mistakes:
Do Not Mow Too Short – One of the biggest lawn care mistakes homeowners make is cutting the grass too short. For many, over-mowing is an attempt to save a little energy or time by trimming the grass shorter. This will actually damage the grass in the long run, making root systems shallow and unable to soak up all the nutrients they need. Weak grass won’t stand up to heat and is more easily overwhelmed by weeds.
Most grasses do best when they are trimmed to 4 inches. Never remove more than 1/3 of the height of the lawn in any one mowing. Also, make sure the mower blades are sharp to produce a clean cut. Dull blades tear the grass and make it more susceptible to disease.
Do Not Over/Under Water – You might think you’re doing your lawn a favor by giving it plenty of water, but you can easily drown your lawn. Water too much and the soil becomes saturated, actually making it harder for roots to drink. If you water too little, it doesn’t reach the roots at all and your lawn will suffer. A good rule of thumb is to assume your lawn needs about an inch of water a week. If it doesn’t get it naturally from rainfall, it will need a little help. Give grass a half of an inch of water in the morning, twice a week. You can set out an empty container to collect it, then measure to be sure of the amounts.
Do Not Force-Feed – While many people believe more is better, this is not the case with fertilizer. Using excessive amounts or the wrong ones will do more harm than good. Too much fertilizer can burn the lawn or make too much plant leaf that won’t allow healthy roots to grow. It is also important to fertilize at the right time of year, which in our area is generally spring and fall. Properly applied fertilizer helps lawns grow thick and full, allowing grass to be strong and capable of overpowering weeds that try and take up root.
Do Not Skip Pest Control – Pesky insects can do a lot of damage to your lawn and make your outdoor living space uncomfortable. Timely insect control treatment is important to prevent your yard from becoming a hotspot for creepy crawlers like grubs and Japanese beetles. These pests eat the grass roots that cause those patchy spots, so it’s important your lawn care includes pest control.
Do Not De-Thatch – Collecting grass clippings or using a mulching mower, and leaving the clippings in the lawn are both okay. If you leave the clippings, you often get a buildup of dead grass blades in your lawn from mowing, or just the natural life cycle. Sometimes homeowners decide it’s best to remove this thatch, so the lawn looks better. De-thatching the lawn, however, can cause damage to the crown of the plant, causing irreversible damage to the turf blade. Just think of it as free fertilizer!
Do Not Roll Your Lawn – This is one of the oldest tall tales in the book. The truth of the matter is that rolling causes more harm than good. For instance, if you’re on your lawn too early in the spring, you risk rutting the lawn. Also, by rolling the lawn in the early spring, you can break the crown of the turf blade, causing dead spots throughout your lawn.
Do Not Let Your Dog $#!% On the Grass – Most pets like to go to the bathroom on the lawn – this is an undeniable fact of life. While it’s better that they do their business outside instead of on your carpet, the ammonia, salts, and high levels of nitrogen in pet urine will fry grass and cause ugly brown spots. If you start training early, you can teach your puppy to go in a special spot of the yard that is hidden or covered with gravel that doesn’t mind a little piddle. But if your pooch pees on the grass and you catch him in the act, you should try to quickly water the area to dilute it.
Achieving a healthy lawn requires experienced, skilled, routine maintenance. Our year-round Lawn Care Service Programs consist of applications that include seeding, granular and slow-release fertilizers, broadleaf weed control, pre-emergent crabgrass control, insect control, limestone and more. You can count on our team to deliver the results you want!
GREENSKEEPER is a trusted, local, family-owned company that has been beautifying lawns in the Delaware Valley for over 50 years. You can count on our team to deliver the results you want!