These 10 Things Are Compromising Your Lawn

You’ve got a lot of tasks to tend to when it comes to maintaining your home, and lawn maintenance is one of them.

But did you know that certain things you might be doing could actually be harming your lawn? If your grass is looking like it could use a little TLC, it might actually be because of something you’ve done.

Before you go out and tend to your lawn, make sure not to commit the following blunders.

1. Cutting the Grass Too Short

There’s a reason why homeowners cut their grass short: so they don’t have to mow the lawn as often. But while you might think you’re saving time, you’re actually doing your lawn a disservice.

Cutting the grass blades too short can increase the chances of lawn disease and bald spots. Blades that are too short are not able to take in the crucial energy from the sun and other sources as a result.

And if you cut off the blade entirely, the grass stem will be exposed. When cutting the grass, don’t hack off any more than a third of the length of the blade.

2. Using Dull Blades on the Lawn Mower

Instead of getting a nice clean cut, the blades of grass will basically just be ripped off when using a lawn mower with dull blades. This is a problem because the ends will end up being frayed, which can make your grass vulnerable to disease, pathogens, and dryness.

Your best bet is to make sure your lawn mower has sharp blades to avoid any of these potential issues.

3. Cutting the Grass When it’s Wet

Don’t cut the grass soon after a rainfall. Mowing the lawn when the grass is still wet can damage the blades. Not only that, but you’ll increase the odds of weeds and diseases spreading as a result of grass clippings clumping from all the moisture.

Further, cutting the grass while it’s wet is also a bit dangerous because your chances of slipping on it are much higher. Make sure the grass is dry before you cut it.

4. Not Plucking Your Weeds

If you allow weeds to grow, the chances of them spreading around are pretty high. At that point, your lawn will be inundated with weeds and your weed removal job will be even more tedious and time-consuming.

Every weed that grows can produce dozens of seeds, which can easily spread. Keep on top of the weeds to avoid any unnecessary additional work you’ll have to do in the future.

5. Watering at the Wrong Time of the Day

It’s important for your lawn to get some moisture, and the most obvious way to do that is to water your lawn on a regular basis (adhering to any water conservation regulations in your local area, of course). But when you water your grass matters.

For example, watering in the middle of the day is a bad idea. That’s because the moisture will be easily evaporated by the heat and sun. If you water at night, your lawn will be vulnerable to fungus.

Instead, your lawn should be watered in the early morning hours. That way the lawn will be better able to absorb the moisture and retain it without losing it to the elements and being susceptible to potentially harmful fungus.

6. Watering Too Frequently

Watering your lawn is important for obvious reasons, but sometimes you can water too often. In addition to wasting water – which is a huge no-no in particularly dry parts of California – you run the risk of getting in the way of deepening the root system, which can make your lawn more vulnerable to disease. Instead, water less frequently but more in-depth with each session.

7. Not Watering Enough

On the flip side to the above-mentioned issue, not watering enough also has its consequences, which really don’t need much explanation. If your lawn is not given enough moisture, it will dry out easily and the root system will be too shallow to absorb nutrients from the soil very well.

8. Not Tending to Your Soil

The blades of grass are obviously important to tend to, but the soil should also be cared for. If your soil isn’t healthy, odds are your grass won’t be either. Soil without enough organic matter can’t help the roots absorb adequate amounts of moisture or nutrients.

Ideally, your soil should be able to hold moisture well but also drain adequately when you water the lawn. Consider having your soil tested to make sure it’s healthy enough to sustain an equally healthy lawn.

9. Not Fertilizing Properly

Fertilizing is a great way to keep your lawn healthy. But if you don’t get it right, you can actually damage your lawn. If that happens, you’ll have to either reseed the lawn or completely redo it, depending on the extent of the damage.

Applying fertilizer can actually burn the grass blades, leaving you with grass that looks more like hay than anything else. Be sure to understand the right strength fertilizer that should be used, as well as the appropriate application to avoid causing damage.

10. Killing Off All Insects

There’s no doubt that certain types of insects can wreak havoc on your lawn. But there are plenty of other insects that can actually help to keep it healthy.

Certain spiders and ladybugs, for instance, can help get rid of sap-sucking insects, and bees pollinate the plants. Before you start arbitrarily spraying an insecticide on your lawn,  consider using specialized solutions that are designed to target specific critters.

The Bottom Line

Your lawn plays a key role in your home’s external appearance and curb appeal. Knowing how to properly care for it can keep your home looking in tip-top shape and can even help maintain your home’s value.