According to research, the average person spends about 32 hours a month on lawn and garden maintenance. Maintaining a healthy lawn takes time and effort, but it’s worth it when you have a beautiful yard to enjoy.
However, even with the best intentions, it’s easy to make common lawn maintenance mistakes. Some homeowners think they need to water their lawn every day, when in reality, watering too often can damage your grass.
Others forget to fertilize, which can lead to unhealthy grass and weeds, and there are many more mistakes. In this article, we’ll go over eight common lawn maintenance mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Cutting the Grass Too Short
While it may seem like doing so would save you time in the long run, it actually puts a lot of stress on the grass and can make it more susceptible to disease and pests. The ideal grass blade length is between two and three inches.
While mowing your grass, set your mower blade at the proper height. If you’re not sure what height to set it at, ask your local nursery or lawn care professional.
Cutting your grass too short can also promote weed growth because it leaves the soil exposed. When the sun hits the soil, it can cause the weed seeds to germinate, and they’ll easily rob your grass of all the nutrients.
It reduces water retention as well, so your lawn will be more likely to experience drought stress.
2. Fertilizing Too Much
Applying too much fertilizer can do more harm than good because it can burn the grass, leaving brown patches on your lawn.
It can also lead to an increase in thatch, which is the layer of dead and living tissue between the soil surface and the green leaves of the grass plant.
When fertilizing your lawn, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how much fertilizer to apply. Applying too little won’t provide the needed nutrients for your lawn, but applying too much can damage it.
It’s also important to fertilize at the right time of year. The best time to fertilize cool-season grasses is in the fall, while warm-season grasses should be fertilized in the spring.
3. Watering Too Much
Most people have no idea when to water lawns, but doing it too often is one of the most common lawn maintenance mistakes. While you may think that watering more will make your grass healthier, it does the opposite.
When you water too much, the roots of the grass begin to suffocate and can rot. This leads to a weak root system, making the grass more susceptible to disease and pests.
It’s important to only water your lawn when it needs it. The best way to tell is to check the soil. If it’s dry several inches below the surface, it’s time to water.
Be sure to water deeply, but less often, so the roots can grow deep and strong. If you’re using sprinkler systems, ensure they’re set up properly so the water is evenly distributed.
4. Not Mowing Often Enough
Mowing is an integral part of lawn care, but some people make the mistake of not mowing often enough. When you don’t mow regularly, the grass can become too long and begin to form a thatch.
If thatch becomes too thick, it can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the roots of the grass. This can lead to a weak root system, making the grass more susceptible to disease and pests.
Mowing also helps to remove lawn debris, such as leaves and twigs. If these things are left on the lawn, they can block sunlight and prevent the grass from getting the nutrients it needs.
5. Not Aerating Your Lawn
Aeration is important because it helps the roots of your grass to grow deep and strong. It also helps to improve drainage and prevents compaction of the soil.
You should aerate your lawn at least once a year and more often if you live in an area with a lot of traffic. There are two main types of aeration: core aeration and spike aeration.
Core aeration involves removing small cores of soil from the lawn, which helps to loosen the soil and allows air and water to reach the roots more easily. Spike aeration simply involves poking holes in the lawn with a spiked tool.
Both types of aeration are effective, but core aeration is generally considered to be more beneficial.
6. Not Mulching
Mulch helps to protect the roots of your grass from extreme temperatures and prevent evaporation of water from the soil. It also helps to control weeds and prevents lawn debris from blowing away.
You should apply mulch around the base of your grass plants and around trees and shrubs. Be sure to use an organic mulch, such as wood chips or bark, so that it will decompose over time and add nutrients to the soil.
7. Mowing With a Dull Mower Blade
One of the worst things you can do is keep blunt lawn maintenance tools. They’ll make the job that much harder for you and make things a lot worse. If you notice your grass isn’t looking as sharp and healthy as it used to, it might be time to sharpen or replace your mower blade.
A dull mower blade will tear rather than cut the grass, resulting in brown tips. In addition, a dull mower blade can damage your lawnmower engine. Check your mower blade regularly and sharpen or replace it as needed to avoid these issues.
8. Not Cleaning Up
After you mow your lawn, clean up any clippings left behind. If you leave them on the lawn, they can block sunlight and prevent the grass from getting the nutrients it needs. They can also lead to thatch build-up.
Clear up any leaves, twigs, or other debris on the lawn as well. These things can cause just as much damage to the grass.
Common Lawn Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid
So there you have it, eight common lawn maintenance mistakes and how to avoid them. With these simple tips, you can keep your lawn looking its best all year long. Remember, regular lawn maintenance is key to a healthy lawn — so don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Did you find this article helpful? Be sure to share this with your friends and family who might need a little lawn care help. Also, check out our blog for more great articles like this one.
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