April is National Lawn Care Month! Here are some common myths associated with lawn care and we think our Cedar Rapids and Iowa City neighbors can benefit from these lawn care tips. Start the season off right with proper lawn care practices for a beautiful lawn!
This is a major lawn care mistake. Cutting grass too short leaves your lawn susceptible to weeds. We recommend that you never cut more than 1/3 of the grass leaf off at one time. Keeping the grass between 3 and 3 1/2 inches long will help it maintain a deeper root system and become more resilient to weeds and drought. Setting up a good weekly lawn mowing schedule and having sharp mower blades will help keep your lawn at the correct length and healthly.
Lawn Care Myth #2: Bag Grass Clippings to Reduce Thatch
When keeping on a regular mowing schedule and only cutting 1/3 of the length of grass leaves at a time, all those clippings are actually good for your lawn. Grass clippings decompose quickly and release nutrients back into the soil, acting as a fertilizer. However, if you are mowing very long grass you should consider bagging it with your mower as excessive amounts of clippings can cause thatch problems. If you have excessive amounts of thatch at the surface of the soil, water and nutrients cannot reach grass roots and you need to consider a dethatching service.
You may have heard that it is best to water your lawn everyday for 15 minutes to get the best results. However, this just isn’t true! You will actually be doing more harm to your lawn and your wallet by watering every day. Excessive watering causes your lawn to be dependent on that daily feeding, becoming less resistant to drought. Also, grass roots become shallow because they have no need to grow deeper and become stronger as they reach deeper into the ground for water. It is better to water your lawn for approximately one hour, 1-2 times per week.
Lawn Care Myth #4: Water Your Lawn Any Time During the Day
It is best to water your lawn between 6-10am when the sun isn’t as hot. Avoid watering during the day when the sun is beating on the lawn so that you aren’t losing water due to evaporation and wind. Also, watering in the morning gives your lawn a full day to dry which reduces the chances for mildew and fungus problems.
Lawn Care Myth #5: Keep New Plants from Drying Out By Watering Every Day
Over watering is just as bad for new plants and shrubs as lack of watering. Instead of keeping a schedule of watering every day, water new plants and let the soil dry out until it is moist to the touch. Then you know it’s time to water again. Let the plant tell you when it’s time to water instead of your clock! 🙂