Your lawn is more than just a patch of grass to relax on during a warm summer day. The lawn is usually one of the first things people notice on your property and how well you take care of it is vital for your home’s curb appeal.
Sadly, not many homeowners know how to grow a healthy lawn. Growing a healthy lawn and maintaining it requires special skills, knowledge and equipment that very few homeowners have. Instead of trying to do it yourself, why don’t you hire an expert to do it right? If you try to do it yourself, there is a high chance that you will make mistakes, some of which are easily reversible while others may be permanent. The following are some of the most common lawn care mistakes every homeowner should avoid;
1. Not Testing the Soil Before Planting
Just because you see grass almost everywhere you go does not mean that it can grow under any conditions. Just like any other plant, grass requires certain nutrients and soil conditions for it to flourish into that lush green lawn you want so much. If your soil lacks these ideal conditions, your lawn will either be patchy and unhealthy or it won’t even grow at all. Before anything, have a professional soil test done on your property to determine if anything needs to be done to the soil to create perfect conditions for the grass to grow, such as adding fertilizer.
2. Using quick-release fertilizer
According to landscaping experts, homeowners should use slow-release fertilizers for their lawns since they are less likely to burn your turf as quick-release fertilizers would. Slow-release fertilizers also release nutrients periodically in small amounts. Your grass will grow consistently since there is a constant supply of nutrients.
Most homeowners think that they need to run their sprinklers every day to have a healthy lawn. This is not the case as most lawns need about an inch of water every week. This can be achieved by watering the lawn two days a week. Overwatering is not only bad for the plants but it will also drive up the maintenance costs of the lawn.
4. Watering the lawn at the wrong time
The sun gets hotter as the day advances and the hotter it gets, the more water in your lawn gets evaporated. Experts recommend that you water your lawn in the morning before the sun gets too hot and evaporates the water. If you don’t mind spending the money, you can invest in a smart sprinkler system that monitors moisture levels in the soil and waters accordingly.
5. Not Aerating your lawn enough
Aeration involves poking holes in the lawn to allow fertilizer and water to penetrate through the earth and deliver some nourishment to the roots of the grass. In other words, aeration is a way to let your lawn breathe.
It is recommended that you aerate your lawn once in the fall and once in the spring. You can aerate using a simple garden fork, but experts recommend using a lawn aerator to do it more efficiently.
6. Using dull lawn mower blades
A sharp lawn mower severs grass evenly and to the exact size that you need it to. A dull mower, on the other hand, tears the grass blades instead of cutting them. This can cause excessive injuries to the plants which may lead to a distasteful brownish cast to the lawn. A dull mower may also miss some grass, leaving the lawn looking uneven and patchy.
7. Too many herbicides
Some homeowners turn to herbicides to protect their lawns from insects or to prevent weed from growing. However, herbicides contain chemicals that when in excess, can have harmful effects to your soil, lawn and general environment. If you must use herbicides, use it sparingly and only use it where it’s needed, not on the entire lawn.
8. Cutting grass too short
Nobody likes to sit on a lawn mower for hours going back and forth on their lawn. If mowing a lawn is not your idea of fun, you might think that cutting the grass extra short will save you from having to mow as often but in real sense, it might save you from ever having to mow again.
Cutting grass too short means that you are taking away the leaves that the grass needs to produce food, essentially starving the grass.
Experts advise that you should never cut off more than a third of the grass length in a single mow. This ensures that the grass is left with enough blades it needs to produce the food it needs to flourish.
Even if you have fallen behind on your mowing schedule, always follow that rule and don’t attempt to catch up by mowing all of it at once.
9. Too much fertilizer
Fertilizer promotes the growth of the lawn, but too much of it can be poisonous. Too much fertilizer can make your lawn overdependent on chemical fertilizers and it also causes soil and water pollution. You should seek professional advice on how much fertilizer you should use depending on your location and the type of grass you have.
10. Bagging lawn clippings
The same grass blades that you are chopping off will decompose and turn into fertilizer, becoming a rich source of nitrogen for the grass. As such, you should never collect newly shorn grass. Instead, leave it there or use a self-mulching mower to evenly distribute the clippings.
11. Using bad lawnmower fuel
If you haven’t used your lawn mower for months, the fuel you left in the tank could go stale and harm the mower’s engine. To avoid this, always use a fresh tank of gas when using the mower after a long time.
12. Failure to follow simple instructions
All lawn care products have instructions for proper use. Make sure that you read the directions of use and safety precautions to avoid harming your lawn or yourself as you service your lawn.
There are also safety measures that you need to adhere to when mowing your lawn such as removing sprinklers, stones, branches or other obstacles before mowing.