1. Cutting Grass Too Short
Experts advise cutting off no more than 30 percent of the grass blade in a single pass. Cutting your grass too short or trimming it down to half of its previous size might be appealing—after all, if your grass is shorter, it will take longer to grow back—but this is not good for the long-term health of your lawn.
In addition to damaging the blade, cutting your grass too short can indirectly damage the root system. This damage will limit the grass’s ability to collect light and absorb water, leading to wilting or even plant death. Keeping your grass longer will help it to grow fuller and become more lush.
2. Using Only One Type of Seed
Using a mixture of seeds will result in a mixture of plant types. Different types of grass will survive better in different conditions. The different species will balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses, resulting in a more resilient lawn overall. This will make your turf more likely to survive extreme weather conditions such as prolonged heat or drought.
3. Ignoring the pH of the Soil
The optimal pH for grass is between 6.0 and 6.5. For reference, a neutral pH, such as that of water, is 7.0. This means that your lawn’s soil should be slightly acidic in order to bolster plant growth. Sending away a soil sample for testing can be an easy way to get a gage on your lawn’s pH. If the pH is out of whack, it can easily be adjusted using sulfur or lime treatments.
4. Forgetting to Sharpen Your Lawn Mower’s Blade
A sharp blade will cut your grass more cleanly, while a dull blade can cause bruising and other damage to each blade of grass. Damaged blades of grass are more susceptible to death or disease, so using a sharp lawn mower blade can contribute to the overall health of your lawn.
Most people should sharpen their lawn mower blades approximately twice a year. A good sign that your blade is too dull is that your lawn mower is tearing or crushing your grass instead of cutting it cleanly.
5. Collecting Grass Clippings
Many lawn mowers come with an attached bag that will gather up the grass as it is cut. This is a visually appealing strategy, but it is not good for your lawn’s long-term health. Instead, you should leave the grass clippings spread around your lawn. This self-mulching strategy will help fertilize your remaining grass. In particular, this is useful in maintaining your soil’s nitrogen levels—a key factor in lawn health.
If you can avoid making these 5 common lawn care mistakes, you will enjoy a lush, green lawn throughout the year.
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