Lawn care: 10 mistakes to avoid, a beautiful, healthy lawn is a joy to behold but can be difficult and expensive to achieve.
To keep your lawn looking green and fresh, and your costs down, we’ve put together a list of ten common mistakes to steer clear of:
Mowing your lawn too short
This is something that a lot of people do, without realizing that it damages the grass.
It’s best to cut no more than one-third of the blade when mowing, to prevent the grass from becoming stressed.
If your lawn gets stressed, its ability to photosynthesize becomes impaired, which delays re-growth.
In addition, you could find yourself with a scalped lawn, which becomes a haven for weeds and generally contributes to a poor lawn environment.
If you have a sprinkler system, make sure you use it wisely and don’t just leave it on all day.
It’s best to water in the late afternoon when the heat of the day has died down.
And remember that you don’t need to switch it on when it’s raining!
Applying fertilizers the wrong way
If you’re using synthetic fertilizers, read the instructions and be aware that they tend to be “hot”, which means they can burn your lawn.
It’s important that your spreader is in good shape and set correctly, to avoid an uneven application that will discolor or burn the grass.
Not following the instructions on pesticide use
READ THE LABEL – pesticides are dangerous chemicals that can do a lot of damage if you don’t stick religiously to the directions.
You can harm other plants, the soil, and yourself if you try to guess how to use these highly toxic substances.
The same goes for handling and storage, so READ THE LABEL, as each pesticide is different.
Pesticides should never be seen as an instant solution, but rather as a part of an ongoing integrated pest management (IPM) program.
Ignoring soil conditions
If you don’t check the soil under the grass, and fix any problems that might be lurking there, no amount of fancy products, money, or hard work will give you the lawn you’ve been dreaming of.
The soil is home to a whole world of worms, bacteria, and other organisms that work in harmony to convert the minerals and organic substances below the surface into food for the grassroots.
Kick off your new lawn care regime by having the soil tested to see if it needs any additional nutrition.
Not timing lawn care jobs correctly
Make sure you carry out lawn maintenance tasks like aerating and applying fertilizers and pesticides.
And weed control in the right sequence as well as under the appropriate weather and seasonal conditions.
Planting the wrong kind of grass
There are different types of grass to suit different climates, soils, and sunlight conditions.
It’s possible that you’ll require more than one variety if your garden has some areas that are very sunny and others that are in permanent shade.
Neglecting to get rid of thatch
If your lawn is covered with thatch, the roots won’t get enough water or nutrition.
The roots won’t grow deep and the grass will be plagued by weeds and diseases.
To prevent trouble and keep your lawn healthy, aerate the soil and remove thatch once a year.
Expecting too much
If you spend too much time and energy fussing over your lawn, you won’t be able to enjoy it.
As long as you keep the soil healthy, you won’t have too much of a weed problem.
Anyway, a few weeds are charming and add character – particularly clover.
Anyway, you really don’t need an absolutely perfect lawn to have a picnic, or to play croquet or a ball game.
There comes a point when it simply doesn’t make sense to spend more time, money, or effort on your lawn, or to use any additional water, fertilizer, pesticides, or other products on it.
You should accept that just as you can buy clothes but you’ll never look like the model in the magazine, you might not be able to achieve that picture-perfect golf course look.
It’s OK, though, you can have a pretty nice-looking piece of grass, and you should enjoy it all the more because of the hard work you’ve put into it.