Maintaining your lawn doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, proper lawn care is easy to do with the right set of tools and knowledge. To properly take care of your lawn, here are some of the most common lawn care mistakes you can make and how you can best avoid them.
Over-fertilization is a common issue for homeowners. While fertilizer provides nutrients, using too much of it can damage your lawn. For example, using too much fertilizer can make your grass grow too fast, which will, in turn, require more mowing. It could also cause your lawn to be more susceptible to disease due to the roots not being established correctly.
Use an adequate amount of fertilizer on your lawn by following the product’s instructions. Also, fertilize only when the grass is actively growing and not when it’s going through drought hibernation or dormancy during winter. This will ensure that the fertilizer is adequately absorbed.
Not Testing Your Soil Regularly
Soil conditions change over time with weather patterns, so it’s essential to do a soil test every 2 years. This will give you a snapshot of what your lawn’s health is. In turn, this will allow you to use fertilizer or other products to create the ideal conditions for your grass to thrive.
The time of day that you water your lawn is critical. Watering in the middle of the day when the sun is strongest could cause most of the water to evaporate before it reaches the roots of the grass. Alternatively, watering at night could lead to waterlogged lawns, soggy grass, and lawn disease.
Watering deeply and infrequently is best, with the best time being between 2:00 AM and 10:00 AM. This will allow the water to be appropriately absorbed to ensure that it reaches the roots.
Watering Too Much
Watering too much is a common issue for many households. Most lawns require about an inch of water each week, but most people make the mistake of running the sprinkler every day. Instead, try watering your lawn with 1 – 1.5 inches of water about once a week or as needed and appropriate for the weather. Depending on your soil type & yard conditions, this water application should deeply saturate the soil through the root zone.
Keep in mind that some types of grass in different environments might require more or less watering, so make sure to do some research before committing to a set watering schedule. Watch this short video on how soil type can affect water infiltration.
Mowing Too Short
You might think that you’re saving yourself time by mowing your grass short, but you might be causing more harm than good. If the grass blade is too short, this could cause issues with how the light and water are processed.
To avoid any issues with your lawn, cut it no less than 2 to 3 inches in length (except for Bermuda varieties, which should be kept at 1/2 – 2 inches). This comes with the added benefit of the longer grass blades shading the ground to prevent weeds from growing.
Mowing With A Dull Blade
A sharp mower blade will give you a nice, even cut. However, using a dull blade will often leave you with torn or bruised shoots. This, in turn, can lead to gray or brown blades that could leave your grass vulnerable to disease.
If you notice that your grass is being pulled when you mow, your mower could be due for a sharpening. Aim to sharpen your mower blade once or twice each 3-4 months to ensure a clean cut.
Proper Lawn Care Is Essential
Taking care of your lawn can seem like too much at first, but if you avoid the common lawn care mistakes outlined above, you will be well on your way to a healthier lawn.