A lush lawn is a direct reflection of the care it’s given. However, even the most well-intentioned lawn care practices can backfire and turn your lawn into a patchy, weedy wasteland. Take preventive measures to avoid these common lawn care mistakes that can ruin your yard in Hudson, OH.
Ohio summers can be real scorchers, but don’t assume that just because it’s hot, you must water your lawn daily. Grass roots need to go deep in order to withstand heat and drought—and overwatering encourages shallow, vulnerable root growth. Intensive once-weekly soakings ensure the roots go deep.
In addition to overwatering, watering at the wrong time is another issue. Midday watering can waste water due to evaporation. Evening watering invites fungus and mildew. Watering early in the morning gives water a chance to soak in and evaporate from the grass blades.
Some homeowners may find it tempting to mow their lawn short so that they don’t have to mow as often, but this creates several serious problems: It exposes the soil, which then can’t hold moisture; it reduces the grasses’ ability to photosynthesize, which means the grass relies on energy stored in the roots. This often leads to large areas of the lawn dying out.
Mowing with dull blades is another avoidable mistake. Dull mower blades tear the grass ends, which dry out and give your lawn a terrible brownish tint; jagged cuts also invite disease and pests.
Also avoid mowing while wet. Mowing a wet lawn creates messy clumped clippings that invite diseases and pets. It also compacts the soil, and can damage the grass.
Fertilization and Weeding Mistakes
Grass needs the right mix of nutrients, some of which may be lacking in the soil. But more is definitely not better, as overfertilization causes fertilizer burn that kills the grass.
When fertilization is done properly, watering appropriately is a part of the process. Fertilizer needs to soak into the root system, so neglecting to water after fertilizing can cause the fertilizer to sit on top of the turf where it can damage grass blades instead of being absorbed by the roots.
Weed management is an ongoing challenge. Many homeowners spray post-emergent herbicides once weeds are established—and completely neglect using pre-emergent herbicides that prevent weeds from growing.
Poor soil that lacks the essential minerals and organic matter needed to support grass cannot be amended with fertilizer alone. The application of certain minerals will balance pH levels in the soil. Water, air, and nutrients can’t penetrate soil that is compacted from use. Aeration helps loosen compacted soil.
Lawn Usage Mistakes
Leaving things on the grass (coiled hoses, toys, kiddie pools, gear, etc.) compacts the soil, and prevents sunlight from reaching the grass. Either way, the grass suffocates.
You also want to give care to your lawn when letting your dog out. Concentrated dog urine can lead to dead brown spots on the lawn, and frequent traffic also compacts the soil. Give Fido the run of the yard or create a mulched or gravel dog run.
While eliminating flies and mosquitoes helps make your backyard enjoyable, consider the benefits of insects like spiders and ladybugs. Target the use of pesticides to avoid inadvertently killing beneficial insects.