Common Myths About Your Lawn

There’s no shortage of tips and advice on how to maintain a healthy and attractive lawn. Some tips are spot on, for example: fertilize your lawn in the spring and fall. Others, however, have been widely accepted despite the fact that they are ineffective or unnecessary.

For all the information out there on creating, nurturing, and maintaining lawns and gardens, some myths continue to lead to common landscaping mistakes. The difficulty in sticking to good landscaping methods and maintenance is one of the most underestimated aspects of home maintenance. Yet, there is also no easier way to take pride in the appearance of your home. You may have thought, uttered, or overheard the following statements, but don’t let them fester into dangerous landscaping habits.

To save time and money, make sure you ignore these common lawn and landscaping myths.

Myth: “By watering my lawn in the evening, I’m conserving water.”
This is a big one that can lead to costly lawn mistakes. One idea is that watering after the sun goes down makes the water “go further”.  Instead, the water ends up sitting on top of your lawn, allowing lawn fungus and disease to germinate. In the end, you may need to rip out and replace your entire lawn. Most lawns need only .5″-1″ of water each week. Water your lawn early enough in the morning so that you do not prolong the normal “dew period”. in other words, if the dew is normally evaporated from the lawn by 10 am, cease watering by about 8am. If you want to conserve water, you’re much better off installing low-flow toilets, showers, and dishwashers.

Myth: “Always pick up grass clippings”.

While you don’t want to leave grass clippings all over the driveway, street or and sidewalk, they are actually beneficial to your lawn as they are rich in nutrients. When broken down they create more microbial activity in the soil (which is excellent for the health of your turf).

 

Myth: “If I mow my grass shorter, I won’t need to do it as often.”
When you adjust your lawn mower to a shorter setting, you’re robbing your lawn of its ability to produce sugar from photosynthesis, exposing sensitive root systems to excess sunlight, and allowing weeds to capture more sunlight and grow themselves. The grass must race to produce new blades using additional sugar reserves. Letting the grass grow long, then cutting it short can shock your lawn system. The clippings will be too thick to leave on your lawn, removing nutrients from the system. Dramatic cutting removes more of the leaf, leaving mostly bare stock. Thus, the plant is unable to produce extra shoots and brown patches are often the result. This, in turn, leads homeowners to think their lawns need more watering, a dangerous course of action for a lawn already weakened by shortened blades.

Myth: “ Aerate your lawn every year.”

Unless your yard is subjected to a ton of foot traffic or is loaded with thatch (true thatch), there is no need to aerate your lawn every year. So go ahead and spare yourself the expense.

 

 

Myth: “All landscaping is good landscaping.”
This last myth is loaded with potential mistakes. Although an unadorned lawn is a missed opportunity to create or enhance your homes curb appeal, ill-advised landscaping can cause more damage than it’s worth. One of the most common mistakes is to plant and cultivate trees and shrubs too close to a home. Trees may allow pests to infiltrate your roofing and attic space, inhibit roofing ventilation, or broken branches may directly damage your roof. Hedges, meanwhile, can trap moisture in your siding and lead to mold and rot. These and other less common mistakes are also important reasons to consider hiring a professional landscaping company. Their general landscaping expertise and local geographical knowledge will help identify potential dangers before they occur.
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