When you buy a home, you not only get a wonderful new place to live, but you also inherit a yard and all the responsibilities, maintenance, and upkeep that entails. It’s okay to not know exactly how to care for your lawn right away – there’s a lot to learn and a lot of different information floating around that could help or hurt your lawn.
There’s always room to learn and grow and this article aims to make your yard maintenance routine a little easier from now on. And the best way to make sure your lawn stays healthy is to learn from what others in your shoes have done wrong! Today, we’ll take a look at the mistakes new homeowners often make that harm, rather than help their new lawn.
1. Cutting The Lawn Too Short
One of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make is actually mowing their grass too short. By doing so, the grass is damaged and cannot soak up the nutrients it needs as under mowing makes root systems shallow. When mowing your lawn, always remember the one-third rule: never cut off more than one-third the current length of the grass when you mow. Most grass does best when trimmed to 6.5cm to 7.5 in length.
2. Watering Too Frequently
Watering your lawn seems easy enough, but watering it too much can actually lead to the grass being discouraged from developing a deeper root system. This leads to water runoff, essentially wasting water, as well as your time and money. On the flipside, if you don’t water enough, your water won’t even touch the roots. It’s all a delicate balance of just the right amount of water.
It is suggested that homeowners maintain an infrequent but deep watering schedule to allow for the root systems to grow strong and avoid excess runoff. Try watering only 3/4cm of water three times a week.
3. Adding Too Much Fertiliser
Over-fertilising your own or adding fertiliser at the wrong time is a common mistake homeowners make, which can lead to unintentional yard issues like “burning” your lawn, grass diseases, and plants growing leaves too fast. It is best to use a slow release fertiliser to help reduce the chance of any issues over-fertilising could cause.
4. Dull Mower Blades
If you mow with a dull lawn mower blade, you can tear or bruise your grass blades, which can decrease the moisture in your lawn and cause the grass to have a brown, sickly tint. This can leave your grass vulnerable to disease and pests. If you notice your mower doing this, either sharpen the blade yourself every new season or take it in to get sharpened.
5. Watering At The Wrong Time
Watering your lawn when it is hot and sunny out can be an exercise in futility, as the water you are using most likely won’t be able to soak into the deeper portions of your lawn to help the root system grow. Make sure to avoid watering between the hours of 10am and 6pm. Optimal watering time is between 3am and 6am, as it gives your lawn plenty of time to drink in the water down to the root and not lose it to evaporation.
6. Not Testing Your Soil
It is recommended to have a soil sample tested so you know exactly what kind of soil you are dealing with and how to take care of it. Soil tests help you find out if your lawn is missing key nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium. Conducting a soil test not only helps you understand your lawn better but it can also help you save money on watering and fertiliser, as it lets you know if you are overwatering or over-fertilising as well.
7. Throwing Away Grass Clippings
You may have heard that leaving grass clippings on your lawn is bad, but studies actually show that as long as you cut your grass the recommended length, you can leave grass clippings on your lawn and it is actually beneficial to your yard. The cuttings decompose quickly and can return organic matter and nitrogen back into your yard, essentially becoming a composting material. If your grass clippings are too long, you can get a lawnmower that turns clippings into mulch as it mows, essentially becoming free fertiliser.
The Lawn Care Experts Are Here To Help!
Here at The Garden Men, we know all the ins and outs of maintaining and improving your garden. Our services include year round garden maintenance by qualified horticulturalists and a specialist strata maintenance team. If you want to put the health of your lawn or garden in capable hands, reach out to us today.
The Garden Men is a leading landscaping and lawn maintenance company, beautifying and protecting residential and commercial properties around the Sydney area for over 20 years. Our expert property and garden maintenance will add to your property’s value and appeal while keeping it looking pristine. If you’re ready for the best garden care in the Sydney area, contact us today!