With so much information out there about how to take care of your lawn and make it the envy of your neighbors, it’s easy to get confused. Especially given that some common lawn advice is incorrect, or only partially true.
If you are having trouble keeping your grass green and healthy, it might be because you have fallen into the trap of believing some of these common lawn care myths. While believing them won’t necessarily always hurt your lawn, it might keep the grass from looking its best. And If you aren’t sure you’re doing the right things for your lawn, you can always call in the professionals. A quick search for “lawn services near me” will get you touch with pros who can help you undo any damage caused by believing these myths and give you the knowledge you need to keep from making the same mistakes again.
In the meantime, here are some things that you shouldn’t believe about caring for your lawn.
#1. One Grub Equals a Grub Problem
Grubs are beetle larvae, and one of their favorite snacks are grass roots. But having a few grubs in your lawn isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as they can help aerate the soil. Spotting a grub or two when you’re digging doesn’t mean you have an infestation to worry about. If you start noticing brown patches and you can roll up sections a grass like a carpet, though, then you have a problem. One easy trick is to cut a one-foot square patch of grass from your lawn and lift it up. If you spot more than 10 grubs, you have a problem and need to act. Just a few bugs? Leave them alone.
#2. Only Seed in the Spring
Spring is when seeds and seedings start showing up, everything starts turning green, and we get plenty of rainfall. It only makes sense that it would be the best time to seed your lawn, right? Well, not necessarily. Although some types of grass grow best during the spring, others, like tall fescue, are best suited to fall planting. Before you spend money on grass seed, only to get frustrated that it isn’t growing, research the best kind of seed for your area and plant it according to the instructions.
#3. Fertilizing is Unnecessary and Dangerous
Over the last few years, you may have heard that fertilizers and other lawn chemicals are dangerous for the environment and do more harm than good. Some argue that grass gets all of the nutrients it needs from the soil and adding fertilizer doesn’t do anything for it. Neither of those claims are true. In fact, fertilizer, when used properly, is safe and an integral part of a healthy lawn. Not to mention, research shows that healthy lawns actually help prevent groundwater contamination, as they can help remove pollutants from the soil before they reach the water supply.
#4. Aeration Doesn’t Matter
Aerating your lawn means using equipment to pull small “plugs” of dirt from the lawn. Doing so allows more oxygen and water to reach the roots, stimulating root growth and making it easier for them to spread. If you have compacted soil, it’s more difficult for your grass to grow, and aeration is the only way to solve that problem. However, because the results of aeration aren’t always immediately visible, some homeowners think it’s a waste. It’s not.
#5. Grass Clippings are Bad for Your Lawn
When you mow your lawn, you might be reluctant to leave the clippings on the grass, and instead bag them up for disposal. You might have heard that leaving clippings behind is bad for the grass, as it can lead to thatch, or a thick layer of organic material on top of the soil. When thatch gets too thick and can affect the health of your lawn. However, leaving behind grass clippings is unlikely to create a thick enough layer of thatch to actually do any damage, and can actually help your grass by adding nutrients to the soil as it decomposes. So, go ahead and skip the bag if you want – it’s not going to hurt anything.
#6. You Can Water Any Time, Every Day
Debunking this myth will give you a break on the water bill. Grass grows best when it’s watered deeply, so a single deep watering once a week will give it enough moisture. Also? Try to water in the morning, before 10 am. This ensures the water actually gets into the soil, and doesn’t evaporate, and the grass has time to dry so it doesn’t get mold or fungus.
Believing any of these myths is likely to cost you time and money, and your lawn won’t look any better for it. So, put down the hose, stop stressing about grubs, and start doing what’s best for your grass. Your reward? A nice, green, healthy lawn.