Many homeowners take great pride and joy in having a lush green lawn. Some might go as far as to say that it is a quintessential component to the idyllic suburban home. What people often don’t realize though is that cultivating and maintaining a healthy, vibrant lawn is a lot more work than you’d think.
Too many DIY landscapers think they can add a dash of fertilizer, a sprinkle of water, pull out the mower once a week, and watch their grass grow into a gorgeous carpet of green. But the truth is, growing a full, beautiful lawn takes research, planning, and dedication. If you’re having trouble achieving that picture-perfect green yard, check to see if you’re making any of these most common lawn care mistakes!
Lawn Planting Mistakes
1) Planting the wrong kind of grass.
Did you know that there are two different types of grass, intended for two very different climates? A lot of homeowners don’t, end up with the wrong one, and get frustrated when nothing they’re doing seems to be making a difference in their lawn. In the south, you need to have warm-season grass. In the north, you need cool-season grass. If you grab the wrong one, you’ll just end up wasting your time and money.
2) Only planting one type of grass.
Just like you want to have a variety of plants in your garden, you want to have a variety of grass seeds for your lawn. Planting different types of grass (but all within your correct season category) will produce a lawn that is more resistant to poor weather conditions. The strengths and weaknesses in the different seeds will offset each other, leaving you with a more stable, well-rounded lawn.
Lawn Maintenance Mistakes
Without enough water, your grass won’t be able to grow to be strong and healthy. On the flip side, too much water inhibits the development of your lawn’s deep root system, making it more dependent on frequent supplemental watering. It’s best to give your lawn a deep watering (about 1/3 of an inch) three times per week. Or, you can give it 1-2 inches of water (depending on the weather) once per week.
4) Watering at the wrong time of day.
The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning, between 6-10am. If you do it later, a lot of that water will be lost to evaporation. If you can’t swing a sunrise watering, 4-7pm is the next best time. Your lawn won’t absorb water as well too late in the evening after the sun goes down, which can leave the water pooling and cause disease.
5) Using fertilizer incorrectly.
Too many people don’t know when to fertilize their lawn or how much fertilizer to use when they do, which can be an instant killer. You should apply fertilizer evenly over your lawn 1-4 times per year. Fertilize at the times when your grass is growing the most robustly—fall, late spring, and late summer. Be sure to follow the directions carefully to determine the correct amount of fertilizer to use. If you use too much, the excess nitrogen can disrupt root growth and even burn your lawn.
Lawn Mowing Mistakes
6) Cutting your lawn too short.
You may be tempted to mow your lawn shorter, so you can let it grow for longer and mow less often. But mowing too short will prevent your grass from being able to properly soak up nutrients, stunt the roots, and can damage the grass blades. A good rule of thumb is to keep your lawn height between 2.5-3.5 inches. Don’t cut more than 1/3 of the blade’s height in a single mowing.
7) Mowing with dull blades.
Dull lawn mower blades will tear at your grass blades, making their tips light-colored and your lawn look ragged and unhealthy. Additionally, this kind of damage leaves your lawn more vulnerable to pests and disease. That’s why it’s important to always mow with sharp, fresh mower blades. Sharpen them at least once every season and continue to check on their condition regularly throughout.
The best way to make sure you don’t make these common lawn care mistakes and destroy your landscape’s progress is to enlist a professional landscaping company to manage your lawn for you. At VistaPro Landscape & Design, we have a team of experienced grounds management experts ready to plant, mow, water, and fertilize the beautiful green lawn you’ve always wanted.
Reach out to our team today to discuss your lawn care needs!