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June 5, 2018
During a summer when “staycations” encourage homeowners to get the most enjoyment from their lawns, keeping lawn care as carefree as possible is a number-one priority. A survey of lawn care experts from the nation’s largest lawn care company, TruGreen, reveals the top ten mistakes that homeowners from across the country make when it comes to lawn care and how to avoid them.
No. 10. Removing the lawn clippings after mowing. Lawn clippings are a great source of nutrients for your soil. Rather than bagging grass clippings when you mow, recycle the clippings back into the soil.
No. 9. Wrong plant, wrong place. Planting unsuitable grass or plant types for the agronomic region is an easily avoidable mistake. Ask a lawn care expert in your area for a list of the plants and grass types that will thrive with your average temperature and soil type.
No. 8. Fertilizing Faux Pas. Fertilizing at the incorrect rate or the incorrect time of year for your type of grass can seriously damage your lawn. Research the best time and plan to fertilize your grass to get maximum results.
No. 7. Off-Target Application. Fertilizer is a great source of nutrients for your lawn, but it doesn’t do much for your sidewalk, driveway or street. It’s important to keep fertilizer applications on target to avoid potential nutrient run-off.
No. 6. Misdiagnosis. Well-meaning do-it-yourselfers often inadvertently cause more harm than good by misdiagnosing a lawn problem. Unless you’re positive of the problem, consult a lawn care specialist who can provide you with the correct solution for your lawn care challenges.
No. 5. Seasonal Seeding. Eager to get their lawn looking great, homeowners often grow anxious to seed new grass to thicken up their lawn. Seeding is typically best in the fall when grass is going into dormancy for the winter.
No. 4. Trimming Trouble. Using a string trimmer too close to the base of a tree may actually kill the tree over time. It’s important to be mindful of trees and shrubs when caring for your lawn.
No. 3. Watering Woes. Watering is a tricky task. Avoid over- or under-watering your lawn – a slow steady water once a week is a good rule of thumb. Lawns require a minimum of 1 inch per week of water – or as much as local water restrictions allow – which is achieved in about 30 minutes of watering. Be mindful of the weather and time of day when watering as well. Watering in the heat of the day actually wastes water to evaporation; instead, water early in the morning to maximize the moisture on your lawn.
No. 2 Mowing Mishaps. Some homeowners try to reduce the number of times they mow by mowing too low, essentially “scalping” the grass. This can put the lawn into shock and allow weeds and insects to take over. Additionally, mowing with a dull blade increases water loss from plants and requires more gasoline to power the mower.
And the number one-lawn care mistake to avoid this summer is….
No. 1. Failure to Follow Instructions. All lawn care products come with instructions for proper use. Be sure to read and follow the instructions, and you will avoid some potentially serious mistakes that could damage your lawn and the environment.
“There’s a lot more to proper lawn care than simply pushing a mower,” explained Kirk Hurto, vice president, technical services for TruGreen. “If you really want a winning lawn this summer, you need to be aware of some basic lawn care principles. Knowing the mistakes to watch for is the first step to a gorgeous green lawn that can be an outdoor living room and playspace for family and friends.”
Hurto recommends that do-it-yourselfers seek lawn care advice from a qualified lawn care professional or the local Cooperative Extension Service. They can help direct you to the appropriate products, set a healthy watering schedule, and identify any problems you have.
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