If the grass is constantly looking greener on the other side, you might be the problem. Seriously. Much of the time and money American’s spend on lawn care is wasted because they don’t know what they are doing and they make the same mistakes over and over again.
Homeowners are often their own worst enemy when it comes to caring for their own lawns and may not even know it. Here are 7 common mistakes when caring for your lawn and how to avoid these pitfalls in the future.
Mowing Too Low
This is perhaps the most common lawn problem. A lot of people mow short to cut down the chore so you don’t have to mow as often, but cutting too short affects the health of the grass itself. You should never mow more than 1/3 of the original blade length. Most often, the mower should be set to its highest setting, not the lowest.
Water is not always the answer. Many homeowners soak their lawns hoping that water will cure all of their woes. The truth is too much water can damage roots and is an inefficient way to manage your lawn. A deep soak every other day is better than daily watering in most climates.
Ignoring Your Soil
Too many homeowners dump a bunch of chemicals on their lawn and water it endlessly without really understanding what is happening underneath. A simple soil test will tell you what your soil really needs based on what PH level it is. Soils also need to have the right texture. If you take a small fist of dirt and squeeze it in your palm it should hold the mold of your finger, but break apart easily between two fingers. If is holds the mold, but doesn’t break easily texture your soil has to much clay and needs peat moss, or sand added to it, which will allow air to enter your soil.
Not reading fertilizers and Pesticides containers
Generally speaking, fertilizers and pesticides are dangerous products and can actually do more harm than good if they are not used correctly. Take 5 minutes to read the directions completely before you apply anything to your soil or plants.
Not Caring about Timing
Weeding, aerating, fertilizing, mowing, are all part of the lawn cycle. Understanding this cycle and the appropriate timing for each task makes a huge difference. If you do tasks in the wrong order, you might create more problems than you solve. Weeding should be done first and whenever you can. Spending 5 minutes every other day is a lot easier than 3 hours each weekend. Aeration should be done in both early spring and late fall, around the last mowing. For more weeding tips check out this article: 5 Tips to Controlling Weeds
Fertilizing should be done while there is still snow on the ground, for me I do it in February. This gives the yard a boost without over drying or hurting your roots. Another application can be made in the fall, after you aerate, otherwise aeration may disrupt your application leaving an uneven lawn next year.
Using dull blades
If you are having a hard time getting an even cut on your lawn, you might want to sharpen the blades on your mower. Lawn mower blades are just like a razor blade and can wear down quickly. If your grass looks torn rather than cut, your blades need to be sharpened.
Cutting wet grass
Do not mow your lawn after a rainstorm. It’s cuts the grass uneven, as most wet grass lays horizontal when mowed. It is also bad for your mower parts. Instead, mow before the rain to give your grass the best chance of soaking in the moisture.