The 10 Most Common Lawn Mistakes You Can Avoid by Hiring a Landscaping Company
Grass is one of the most common plants many Americans see on a day-to-day basis. According to a 2015 study from NASA, American lawns comprised more than 63,000 square miles of land across the country at the time, making it one of the single largest crops in the nation.
You might think grass would be easy to grow—give it some water every now and then and let it do its thing. But if you’ve ever tried to consistently maintain a perfectly green lawn, you know the struggle.
In this post, the lawn care experts at J&S Lawn and Landscape LLC will cover the common mistakes you might be making with your lawn. These are the errors we see all the time and that we help our clients avoid by providing professional and experience-backed lawn care.
Faulty Lawn Planning and Seeding
Let’s start at the beginning—planning and seeding your lawn. Contrary to common expectations, grass can’t grow just anywhere on your property.
Grass is a reasonably sun-hungry plant, requiring a good deal of direct light every day. That means any seeds sown in shady places are unlikely to grow properly. Instead of expecting grass to grow under the shade of big trees or areas blocked by buildings or other structures, we design landscapes with ground-cover plants that can thrive with minimal sunlight, such as ferns or hydrangeas.
Spreading Too Much Fertilizer
Logic might dictate that the more food you give your lawn, the better it will grow—not true when it comes to fertilizing.
Adding too much fertilizer to your lawn will result in weak, overgrown grass that’s more vulnerable to insects, pests, and diseases. Moreover, excess fertilizer can run off your property into the water system rather than being absorbed into the soil and cause harm to the local environment.
Knowing the right amount and type of fertilizer to use depends on being able to test the nutrients in the soil and interpret the results. This is one of the most common mistakes we see property owners make due to the difficulty of accurately determining the level of fertilization a lawn requires.
Overwatering Your Lawn
Similarly to overfertilizing, overwatering lawns tends to come from the belief that there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing. However, overwatering your lawn can lead to serious issues when excess standing water allows rot and mold to grow on your grass roots.
Generally speaking, lawns should never be watered at a time or rate that results in water pooling instead of being absorbed into the soil and plant roots. Often, watering for a short time in the morning is the best course of action, as the sun's heat soon takes care of any lingering excess. However, the most reliable way of watering a lawn correctly is to have the right experience to test the soil and determine whether it’s too wet or too dry.
Failing to Aerate Your Soil Properly
Aeration is a technique of penetrating the soil at regular intervals with a specialized tool that leaves a small, narrow hole in the surface. The purpose is to allow nutrients and water to seep into soil that’s become too tightly compacted or thatched.
Aeration is essential to a healthy lawn but must be done at the right time and under the right conditions. Ideally, aeration should be done when the soil is relatively loose—just after rain or watering. It should also be done at the right time of year when the soil can still be easily aerated before it becomes too compact to penetrate.
Applying Weed Control at the Wrong Time
Weeds are the bane of any proud lawn owner’s existence. From dandelions to crabgrass and fireweed, these unwanted invaders can wreak havoc on a well-maintained lawn with little provocation.
The key to proper weed control is to be proactive rather than reactive. Taking preventative measures to limit weed species’ ability to encroach on your lawn is far better than spending hours down on your hands and knees pulling them out. However, this requires far more vigilance than many lawn owners have the time or energy to muster, which is why our team is often called in to deal with pesky weed problems.
Generally, we avoid using harsh chemicals to limit weeds, instead preferring organic methods that remove weeds without hurting surrounding plant life.
Mowing Under the Wrong Conditions
Mowing lawns when the right circumstances aren’t present can harm both your grass and your mower. There are numerous ways mowing can go wrong, so we’ve broken them down below.
Mowing When the Grass is Too Wet
Too wet grass will clog up your machine and cause large clumps of clippings that smother the lawn. This can occur not just after watering or rainfall but also after the morning dew. Many property owners don’t have the luxury of waiting around to mow at the right time, which is why they outsource the task to our team.
Mowing on the Wrong Schedule
Like waiting for the right water conditions, maintaining the right mowing schedule requires a level of flexibility that many lawn owners simply don’t have. It might work best for you to mow on a Sunday morning, but that could be the worst time for your grass.
Often, during the height of its growing season, grass requires mowing at a higher rate than once per week to prevent too-long grass from sheltering insects or becoming unhealthy. At other times, once a week might be too much.
Trimming Your Lawn to the Wrong Height
Cutting grass too short can seriously damage the root system and stunt a lawn’s growth—this is by far one of the most frequent mistakes lawn owners make.
Grass has an ideal trimming height that can be measured down to the quarter inch, but most property owners aren’t going to get out their tape measure and start assessing their grass height. However, professional mowing equipment can accurately cut to the desired height far more reliably than most private lawnmowers.
Mowing with Dull Blades
Dulled lawn mower blades can tear at grass blades, ripping and shredding them rather than cutting them cleanly. This causes a great deal of damage and stress to your grass.
Our team uses professional-grade lawnmowers with blades that are regularly inspected and sharpened as part of our work-day checklist. This is a practice most private individuals are unlikely to do, which is why our clients prefer our services.
You Can Avoid All These Mistakes with a Professional Service
Have you been making one of these common mistakes? Are you avoiding all of them, but your lawn still won’t grow? Reach out to our team of in-house lawn care experts today for a consultation. We’ll quickly get to the root of the problem and provide you with the right solution.
Reach our team by calling (803) 603-6495 or visiting our site to learn more about our lawn care services.