Having a lush, well-kept lawn is an envy shared by many neighbors. You may have a nice yard, but there can only be one top dog in the neighborhood. There is always “that guy/gal” who goes overboard with their lawn, and earns the respect, fame, and envy of his/her neighbors. Chances are, one of your neighbors takes care of their lawn so well, that it makes you feel the need to step up your lawn game. Then, next thing you know, you’ve made your lawn worse in the process. Ironically, the very things we do to get the lawn we want often cause more damage than good. Before you begin trying to improve your lawn, you need to make sure you are prepared to avoid or handle mistakes. If you’re confident you won’t make a mistake, then here a few things you could work on with your lawn. However, if you’re not so confident, then here are 6 common mistakes that could be avoided.
1. Treating the Wrong Problems
It can be hard to pinpoint the issue, especially if you are new to taking care of your lawn. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether your lawn is suffering from an insect problem or fungal issues, and choosing the wrong treatment may simply make the problem worse. Maybe you’ve noticed discoloration, a powdery substance on the grass, thinning out in certain places, or spots on grass blades. Maybe certain areas of your yard have one problem, but other areas have a different problem! Determining the issue and treating the problem with the right mowing techniques, watering patterns and chemical applications is key!
2. Keeping Your Lawn on a Short Leash
Mowing too short (and too often) prevents grass plants from developing vibrant foliage and deep strong roots. The plants aren’t able to take in nutrients and take up water as well. The plants then become susceptible to disease and vulnerable to pest attacks. Taller grass can also shades weeds and impede their growth, however, grass that is cut too short can have the same effect.
3. Procrastinating Weed Problems
A related mistake is waiting too long to address weed problems. It’s better to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to dealing with weeds. However, if weeds do grow in the yard, then it’s important to see the cure as a long-term, ongoing process. There simply aren’t any quick fixes – like poisoning your lawn by over-dosing it with weed killer – in this situation. It only takes a little bit of time to let it get out of hand, but it can takes weeks or months to fix.
If a plant is surviving while being planted outdoors, chances are that it is getting enough water. Of the 6 lawn care mistakes that can ruin your yard in Chicago, is when hot, dry summer weather hits, as this will make you think that you should overcompensate by watering the plant more. In fact, watering too often can impact your lawn more adversely than not watering enough. Daily watering inhibits deep root growth, and then the grass plants won’t be hardy enough to survive harsh weather conditions.
5. Planting the Wrong Grass
Planting or re-seeding the wrong species of grass for your specific lawn conditions just might be the hardest to rectify of all the 6 lawn care mistakes that can ruin your yard in Chicago. It could take years to make right again.
Suppose, for example, that you just love the look of the vibrant Kentucky bluegrass growing in your neighbor’s yard. What you’ve overlooked, though, is that her yard is sunny while yours is shaded by large trees. And if you press on and plant Kentucky bluegrass, you’ll be gravely disappointed.
Besides, most yards have a mix of shady areas and sunny areas. One kind of grass throughout is seldom the best approach. Just as every person is unique and special, every yard is different, with a different personality. Your yard is not the same as your next door neighbors, and will have a different story to tell, with different grass.
6. Lawn Nutrition
When it comes to feeding your lawn, one size does not fit all. Regularly fertilizing is, of course, essential for a healthy lawn. But it needs to be the right fertilizer in the right amounts and at the right time.
When you were a baby, you most likely ate what babies ate. Then when you were a teen, you most likely ate whatever satisfied your rampant hormones. Now that you’re older, your body has different needs. Grass is the same way. Not only are there different grasses that require different nutrients, but plants require different nutrients based on their circumstances.
For example, in late spring and early summer, you should use a fertilizer with slow-release nitrogen. Too much nitrogen too quick can “burn” the developing grass plants, which may then be stunted and turn brownish – if they survive at all. This is one instance when too much of a good thing can be harmful.
Whether you intend to sell your home or live in it for many years to come, you can avoid these 6 lawn care mistakes that can ruin your lawn in Chicago. Ready to learn more about what exterior lawn care can do for the value of your home? See below for more.