Top 10 Lawn Care Myths

lawn care myths

So many homeowners, so many different ideas of how lawn care should be done – who to believe and who not to believe? Well, our certified lawn care experts here at Gecko Green in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) have taken the time to correct a few common misconceptions about lawn care practices. 

The best way to care for any lawn is to be educated and have the correct information, so read along as we bust these common lawn care myths!

Myth #1

Cutting grass short means you don’t have to mow as often.

No one can be blamed for seeing the logic in this common lawn-mowing myth. There certainly is reason in the idea that cutting your grass extra short should mean that you don’t have to mow as often. However, mowing your grass too short weakens your grass and can create many issues for your lawn. Plants (like grass) rely on using their leaves (the grass blade) to make their food using photosynthesis. 

If you cut your grass blades too short, then you are severely weakening the grass’s ability to use photosynthesis to survive. Overall, grass that is cut too short is more vulnerable to damage and weed invasions. When it comes to mowing grass, the rule to live by is to cut only about one-third of the total grass blade length in a single cutting.

Correctly mowing your lawn is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy yard.

Check out our guide to mowing for the DFW area for more information.

Myth #2

You have to rake all leaves to avoid smothering your lawn.

While it is true that a thick layer of leaves can kill your grass, there’s a bit more to the story. Decomposing leaf litter is actually highly beneficial for your grass and soil. Leaf litter is packed with healthy nutrients and also helps the soil retain more moisture.

Leaves on your lawn become a smothering issue when the layer of leaves grows too thick. When leaves become a hefty blanket on your yard, then you run the risk of killing your grass due to a lack of access to sunlight, water, and nutrients.

If raking the lawn isn’t your style, you can always try mulching the leaves as an alternative as well.

Myth #3

Wearing spiked shoes on your grass will repair compact soil.

Most homeowners that take caring for lawn seriously have a pair of spiked aerator shoes hanging in their tool sheds. However, have these shoes actually been proven to help aerate lawns and reduce compact soil?

Nope! In fact, most scientific studies show that not only are spiked shoes ineffective for aeration purposes, but they can actually make compact soil even more compact! The stats are in, and spiked shoes are out! To have a healthy, lush yard aeration is necessary, but the traditional core method is the way to go. For best results in DFW, aerate your lawn biannually in spring and fall and. 

Read our blog to get more information on how to aerate your lawn in Dallas.

Myth #4

Hand-pulling is the best way to stop weeds.

Hand pulling weeds is a common, age-old lawn care practice from which we will not deter you. Hand-pulling is a great way to target and remove isolated weeds, and (let’s be honest) anything is better than just allowing weeds to remain! However, it is essential to know that if you don’t pull the weeds properly, it is a waste of time and effort.

When weeds are pulled, any root, stem, or pieces left behind in the soil can quickly grow into another weed. When pulling weeds up, you have to get the entire root, or the weed will grow back. Hand pulling works best on new, young weeds because they have small, underdeveloped root systems.

You will then have a better chance of getting the entire weed and avoiding regrowth.

If the weed has had time to grow deeper into the soil, consider using a tool to extract the weed. You can try anything from a hand weeder, trowel, weeding fork, garden knife, or hoe. Our list of the five best ways to control weeds can help you keep weeds out of your lawn for good.

Myth #5

It’s best for your lawn if you water the grass every day.

False! Watering your grass every day can lead to significant issues in your lawn. In fact, over-watering can be just as terrible for your yard as under-watering. When you water your grass every day, your soil becomes oversaturated, which can actually drown your grass. Your root system will yield shallow roots, and your turf can dry out.

Overall, watering too much weakens your grass and makes your lawn more prone to diseases and damage. To establish strong, healthy roots, it’s always best to water deeply and thoroughly, rather than more frequently. Check out our guide to proper watering in DFW to get the best watering schedule for your lawn.

Myth #6

It doesn’t matter what time of day you water your grass.

When driving through a neighborhood, you’ll often notice sprinklers going off at different houses at all different times of the day. Homeowners abide by many different ideas of when they think lawns should be watered, but we’re here to tell you there is a proper time to water!

You should always set your sprinkler system to water between 5 AM and 10 AM. Your yard will benefit most from early morning watering so the soil has time to absorb the water before temperatures get high and the sun evaporates the water off the grass.

Myth #7

If you see a grub in your lawn, you have a grub problem.

If you spot a grub worm in your lawn, don’t jump straight to removal methods just yet! It is actually perfectly normal to have a few grubs in your yard. However, if you spot a grub worm, you should check to see if you have normal levels of grubs or if your lawn is being invaded.

Checking for grubs isn’t exactly pleasant, but it is relatively simple. Use a shovel to dig up a test area in your lawn that is about 3-5 inches across and 3-5 inches deep, and count how many worms are present. Again, having some grubs is normal and should not be harmful to a lawn. If you find less than five grubs in your testing area, then the grubs are probably not a problem.

However, if you find five or more grubs in your test area, it’s time for treatment.

A large population of grubs can wreak havoc in a yard with severe damage causing your turf to detach from the soil. If you suspect you have a grub problem, have your yard treated right away! To learn more about grub worms and how to get rid of them, check out our blog.

Myth #8

Lawn fertilizer is bad for the environment.

This misleading myth can be both true and false. Proper use of fertilizer encourages healthy plant and turf growth and should have no adverse effects on the environment. However, improper use of fertilizer, such as using too much too often or too near a waterway, can absolutely damage local groundwater, surface water, and plants.

According to research done by the University of Vermont, “Proper fertilizer application can enhance plant growth without polluting the environment.” So how can you beautify your lawn without worrying about negatively affecting the environment? Simple! Have your yard fertilized by a professional lawn care company. These educated experts can take care of your lawn while also being aware of their actions’ environmental impact.

Myth #9

You only need to fertilize once or twice a year to have a healthy lawn.

Choosing to only fertilize your yard once a twice a year can leave your lawn lacking in nutrients and looking lackluster. Texas A&M recommends that in a year, North Texas lawns with common grass types (such as Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, or St. Augustine grass) should receive about 4-6 pounds of Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. This amount of Nitrogen should be spread out throughout the year in 4-6 (ideally 6) separate fertilizer treatments.  Your yard’s nutrient needs change through the seasons, and spreading out your fertilizer treatments is the best way to make sure your lawn’s needs are always met! For everything you need to know about lawn fertilization, check out our Handy Homeowner’s Guide to Lawn Fertilization.

Myth #10

Having thatch in my lawn is bad.

False! …well, mostly. Many homeowners worry that any amount of thatch needs to be removed from their lawns. And while it is true that a thick layer of thatch can damage your yard, having a small amount of thatch is a good thing. Thatch is a built-up layer of debris that includes grass clippings, leaf shreds, and other organic debris.

A thin layer of decaying thatch actually provides beneficial nutrients to your soil as the organic debris decomposes.

Thatch becomes a problem when it has grown thicker than ½ to ¾ inches. Once your layer of thatch becomes too thick, it’s time to get to work on dethatching. Your best option for avoiding thatch issues is to subscribe to a twice-yearly aeration schedule. Biannual aeration treatments break up any unhealthy layers of thatch.

Gecko Green can take care of all your lawn needs!

There’s no myth in this statement! As a locally-owned and operated lawn care & pest control business based in Dallas/Fort Worth, we prioritize giving you and your lawn the individualized and personalized attention you deserve. 

With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Gecko Green’s professionals make lawn care easy with a team you can trust. Experience the Gecko Green difference for yourself!

Request a free lawn care quote today!