Many people don't know they’re caring for their lawn the wrong way. Are you guilty of committing the common lawn care mistakes just about everyone seems to make? Find out if you've been treating your grass in a way that makes your job harder, and how to start making better use of your time.
Mowing the lawn is relatively simple, right? You get out the mower, you go over the lawn, and you're done. But the way you mow the grass makes a huge difference in the overall health of your lawn.
1. Cutting Too Low
Many people cut their grass too low because they think this helps them mow the lawn less frequently. What it actually does, though, is cause grass to starve, unable to absorb enough sunlight to stay healthy and grow good, strong roots.
You want the roots of your grass to be strong because this allows the plants to absorb more water, making them more drought-resistant (and cutting your water bill). Aim for a height of 2.5 to 3.75 inches to save money and time.
2. Not Sharpening Your Blades
Dull blades will not cut the grass cleanly, which will leave the edges ragged and damaged. You can sharpen your own blades with a drill attachment, or take the mower to a hardware store to have them sharpened professionally.
3. Removing All Your Clippings
It's a common belief that you need to rake up and bag your clippings, but it's often much better to leave them where they fall. Cuttings break down quickly, which releases more nutrients into your grass. This means you don't need to fertilize your grass as often to keep it looking green and healthy.
Especially if you aren't cutting more than a third of your grass at once, let the clippings stay in the yard. If the piles are too clumpy, spread them out with a quick rake.
How and when you water your grass makes a huge difference in how healthy your lawn is. Start using the right watering schedule to start getting a much better-looking lawn.
1. Watering Too Often
Most grass needs about an inch and a half of water every single week. The best way to water the lawn is to give the grass this amount of water all at once, rather than watering briefly in short spurts. A longer watering session will soak the ground, allowing the water to get to the roots where it's needed.
Find out how much water you're giving your lawn by placing empty cans in the grass while the sprinklers or the lawn hose are being used. The accumulation in the cans will give you an idea of how much water your lawn's getting.
2. Watering Mid-Day
When you water, your lawn is just as important as how much. You should always water your lawn early in the morning before the sun is too high in the sky. If you water while the sun is at full force, most of the water will evaporate before it can do your grass any good.
Moreover, some sensitive plants like phlox can get burned by bright sunlight if it's amplified through drops of water.
You also don't want to water the lawn at night. If water sits on the grass when it's dark and cool, you'll increase the chances that disease will harm your grass.
Don't expect weeds to take care of themselves. The way you deal with weeds makes a huge difference in how your lawn looks.
6. Waiting to Weed
Have you ever heard the expression that something's growing like a weed? A single weed will disperse seeds all over your lawn and quickly multiply, creating bigger problems. Soon, grass will give way to weeds, which tend to be more resilient and make better use of water.
Weeds will rob nutrients from your grass, making your lawn unhealthy. Manage weeds right away by pulling them when they appear on the lawn. Prevent weeds from popping up with a regular fertilizer schedule.