10 Common Lawn Care Mistakes to Avoid

10 Common Lawn Care Mistakes to Avoid

Whether you live in Canada or the US, in the city or in a rural environment, when it comes to caring for your lawn, homeowners are prone to repeating the same mistakes.

Here are 10 things NOT to do this lawn care season:

1. Scalping the Lawn

Scalping your lawn stresses the grass, making it less healthy and more prone to disease, and makes space for weed growth.

Mowing grass too short can put it into shock and is very harmful to the plant. Similar to the leaves on a tree, grass plants absorb sunshine through their leaves and make food (glucose) through photosynthesis. They need their leaves to absorb sunshine to make glucose to eat and grow.

2. Overwatering

Over watering discourages the grass plant from developing a deep root system.

When it comes to watering, over watering can be just as destructive as watering too little. It is better to water deeply, less often, then to water a little bit frequently.

If you water too frequently, the grass will fail to develop deep roots because there’s no need for it to reach deep down into the soil to find moisture. Watering the correct amount allows the grass to grow deep roots, creating a lawn that’s much stronger, healthier and better equipped to survive drought conditions.

As a general rule, most lawns require about an inch of water per week, but that varies widely based on weather, soil conditions, and grass species.

3. Not Dethatching

    If the layer of thatch is ½” thick or thicker, it can starve the lawn. If your layer of thatch is 1/2″ or thicker, be sure to dethatch once a year.

    Thatch is the layer of dead organic lawn matter, such as grass clippings and shredded leaves that forms on top of the soil. 

    To help grass absorb sunlight, nutrients and water, it’s important to dethatch the lawn at least once a year, preferably in the spring. Use a thatching rake or rent a dethatching machine.

    4. Not Aerating

    When your soil becomes compacted, it does not have space between the pores to transport air, water and nutrients that the grass needs to grow and thrive. Consequently the grass suffers and plant growth is limited.

    Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate deep into the root zone. This helps alleviate soil compaction and promotes healthy root growth.

    Core aeration is recommended once per year in the spring or fall.

    5. Misapplication of Fertilizer

    Misapplication of fertilizer can burn your lawn and limit root growth. 

    While most homeowners know it’s important to fertilize their lawn, not everyone knows how to do it correctly. Applying the wrong fertilizer or applying too much fertilizer can do more harm than good. And the correct fertilizer can be ineffective if applied too sparingly or at the wrong time of year.

    Common mistakes made when it comes to lawn fertilizers are:

    • over fertilizing or applying too much
    • applying at wrong time of the year

    Over fertilizing can cause excess leaf growth and limit root growth. Apply fertilizer too heavy and it can burn your lawn.

    6. Bagging the Clippings

    As you mow leave your grass clippings on your lawn to decompose and provide moisture and nutrients.

    If the grass clippings clump together, make sure to rake them out so they don’t form a thick mat and suffocate the lawn. 

    7. Mowing the Grass too Short

    Keeping your grass cut at a short height (below 2-1/2″) makes it less healthy, more prone to disease and makes space for weed growth.

     As we shared above, you are actually harming your grass by cutting it too short.  Cutting your grass too short:

    • makes the plant less healthy and more prone to disease
    • makes room for weeds to sneak in and grow, encouraging weed growth, as there is now less competition for the same space

    We recommend cutting your grass to a height of 2-1/2″ to 3″. Cutting it at this height will encourage the grass to develop a deeper root system to support the longer blades, require less water, promote growth, prevent weeds and discourage insect pests. Plus never cut off more than 1/3 of the grass blade at any one time.

    8. Dull Mower Blades

      Dull mower blades don't leave a clean cut but instead tear and rip the grass, making it more prone to disease and insects. 

      We recommend to check your lawnmower blades at the start of the season, and sharpen if necessary. Plus make sure you periodically check the blades throughout the lawn care season to make sure they are still sharp.

      9. Not Overseeding

        Overseeding your lawn is important to ensure a healthy, thick and weed free lawn.

        It helps fill in bare patches and thickens the lawn, reducing weed invasion and enhancing its overall resilience. Overseeding is recommended every 3 to 4 years.

        10. Neglecting Proper Lawn Maintenance Practices

        Proper lawn maintenance extends beyond mowing, watering, and fertilizing. Neglecting other essential tasks such as regularly inspecting for pests and diseases can compromise the health and appearance of your lawn.

        Regular inspection for pests and diseases allows for early detection and prompt treatment, preventing potential damage to the lawn. Incorporating these maintenance practices into your lawn care routine can contribute to a healthier, more resilient lawn over time.

        Are you dreaming about a lush, green, healthy lawn? You can do it!

        Are you worried that perhaps the health of your soil is hurting your lawn? Check out our blog for 8 signs, "Is Soil Health Hurting your Lawn? How to Spot the Signs".

        And if you need a bit more help, we can help! 

        Please contact us at 1-866-444-7174 or email info@earth-smart-solutions.com if you have any questions on our products. We would love to hear from you!

        Sources:

        Earth Smart Property Solutions, Is Soil Health Hurting your Lawn? How to Spot the Signs

        ScienTurfic Sod

        Popular Mechanics, 9 Biggest Lawn Care Mistakes [And How to Avoid Them]


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