The ABC’s of Lawn Care Mistakes to Avoid

lawn care mistakes to avoid

Whether you’re a newbie homeowner or an experienced property caretaker – home mistakes are a fact of life! Unfortunately, when it comes to lawn care mistakes, any blunders are likely to be visible and on display for the whole neighborhood to witness. Not to mention that mishaps in your yard can be expensive and difficult to fix.

Naturally, the best way to avoid mistakes is to learn from others who have experienced slip-ups. Understanding the fundamental rules of basic lawn care chores just may help to save you from making some costly mistakes of your own.


Avoid Cutting Your Grass Too Short

When time for regular mowing sessions is scarce, it can be tempting to want to cut your grass extra short to avoid having to mow too soon. Don’t do it! Mowing your grass too short is known as “scalping.”

Scalping your lawn can weaken it causing visible damage and making your turf more prone to weed and disease invasions.

To avoid this mistake, a good rule of thumb is to never cut more than 1/3 of grass blade length in a single mowing session.

Be Sure To Sharpen Mower Blades

Mowing your lawn with dull mower blades is another mistake. Worn mower blades rip and tear the grass as opposed to a clean cut with a sharp blade.

Pulling at grass blades stresses your turf leading to browning grass blades and eventually brown patches in your lawn. To avoid this issue, sharpen your mower blades at the beginning and midway through each season.

Create A Seasonally Appropriate Routine

Your mowing frequency and height will change throughout the year as temperatures and growth vary. How short you mow in the winter will differ drastically from summer mowing habits.

You will want to set your mower lowest for the first mow of the spring and progressively higher as the year goes on.

After the first mow of the season, your goal is to cut 1/3rd of the grass blades. Check out our guide to mowing turf grasses to learn even more helpful tips for creating a good mowing routine.


Avoid Watering Every Day

No matter what element of lawn care you’re talking about – it is always a mistake to believe that there is “no such thing as too much of a good thing.”

Wrong! When it comes to watering your yard, adding too much water or watering too often can lead to serious turf issues. Overwatering can cause fungus growth, puddling issues, and poor turf health.

To establish strong, healthy roots, it’s always best to water deeply and thoroughly rather than more frequently.

Be Sure To Water In The Morning

As heat and sunshine pick up throughout the day, so does evaporation. To avoid water evaporating away before it has time to sink down to your roots, don’t water during the heat of the day.

You should also avoid running your sprinklers in the evening as it can leave your soil overly moist through the night.

The best sprinkler routine is twice a week between 5am and 10am – though how long you run your sprinkler system will depend on the season.

Create A Seasonally Appropriate Routine

How long you supplement your lawn with water depends on the season and your location. Naturally, grass will require the most supplemental water during summertime, less to no water during some parts of winter, and a reasonable amount of sprinkler time depending on rainfall in the spring and fall.

Read our guide to proper watering for more detailed information about setting your sprinklers for the seasons.


Avoid Using Too Much Herbicide.

Weeding with herbicides is another time when thinking “more is better” can be a big mistake.

Herbicide products can damage your turf grass and garden plants when overapplied and won’t make any extra difference to the weeds. Correctly applying herbicide is more about timing and selecting the correct product than how much you throw down.

Adding too much herbicide to your lawn can also negatively affect the environment around your property. Check out our blog to learn why choosing a professional weed control service over DIY is your best option.

Be Sure To Follow The Directions

We understand that every yard is unique and that you may feel you know how to handle your lawn best.

However, ignoring or altering the directions on herbicide products can not only damage your lawn and garden, it can also put your family and pets at risk. Always follow all of the directions on any lawn care product label.

Create A Seasonally Appropriate Routine

Misapplying herbicides can be a waste of time and money. Weeds come in a wide variety. Whether the weed is an annual, perennial, or cool or warm-season plant will determine when control and preventative measures must be taken.

Try to identify the weeds you’re trying to eliminate and do a little research before you attempt to treat the issue with herbicides.


Avoid Using Too Much Fertilizer

Adding excess fertilizer or adding it too often is a common lawn care mistake. Applying too much fertilizer to your lawn or applying it unevenly can lead to “fertilizer burn.”

This condition creates yellow patches or can even turn your entire yard yellow. Creating the perfect balance of nutrients in your yard requires a delicate touch!

Be Sure To Fertilize Early In The Spring.

Many homeowners wait too long to fertilize, which is a missed opportunity. The absolute best time for lawn fertilization is in early spring.

Spring is the growing season, and your lawn will definitely need a nutrient boost. An added perk to fertilizing in the early spring is that it will encourage your grass to green up a bit more quickly.

When green starts popping up after winter, your grass is finally waking up from winter dormancy and is ready to grow again.

Create A Seasonally Appropriate Routine

Your yard’s nutrient needs change through the seasons. For example, your grass doesn’t need as much fertilizer during dormant times as during a growth cycle.

Every lawn is unique, and determining the amount of fertilizer to spread and when to do it can be rather complicated. Read our homeowners guide to fertilizing to help you navigate the tricky waters of applying fertilizer correctly.


Avoid Trying To Aerate On Your Own

Aeration is not a task to be taken lightly. Take the time to do some research to learn all that’s involved in aerating on your own. Aeration requires a lot of time, muscle, and skill, and a lot can go wrong.

The equipment necessary is large, very heavy, tricky to maneuver, and not the cheapest item to rent. If you think you can handle this mighty chore, start your research here to learn how to aerate your lawn.

Be Sure To Not Skip Aeration

Most lawn care experts agree that aeration is necessary to maintain a healthy yard – much like fertilizing. Aerating twice a year is a great way to keep your yard from developing thick thatch, compact soil, and irrigation issues.

Create A Seasonally Appropriate Routine

Aeration is designed to alleviate stressed-out lawns after a harsh season and prepare the yard for the next tough one.

One of the most common amateur mistakes is aerating in summer’s hot and dry conditions. Aeration will likely cause further stress to your yard if you aerate during a stressful season.

Aerating in spring encourages thick growth during the growing season. Fall’s cool temperatures and extra rain make it another excellent opportunity to aerate.

Autumn aeration helps your lawn recover from summer stress faster and also helps it toughen up before winter dormancy.

Lawn Care Service You Can Count On Year-Round

As a locally-owned and operated lawn care & pest control business based in Dallas – Fort Worth, we prioritize giving you the individualized and personalized attention you deserve.

With over 20 years of experience in the industry, the professionals at Gecko Green make lawn care easy year-round. With Gecko Green on your team, lawn care mistakes will be a problem of the past!

Request a free lawn care quote today!