Believe it or not, your home’s landscaping is one of the most important components of your home’s exterior. In fact, a well-maintained and thoughtfully designed landscape can add between 10 and 15% to your overall property value.
Though flowers and decorative plants can help set the tone, they’re not the most noticeable part of your landscaping. Your lawn is.
This means you need to take care of it properly if you want your home to stand out.
Unfortunately, caring for both front and back lawns isn’t as simple as you might think, and many homeowners end up making mistakes each year. Here are a few of the most common lawn maintenance mistakes you’ll want to avoid on your own property.
1. Cutting Your Grass Too Short
One of the most important lawn maintenance tasks you need to take care of throughout the growing season is routine mowing. This helps keep the grass from getting too tall but it also helps make sure your lawn gets the water, nutrients, and sun exposure it needs to thrive.
Unfortunately, it is possible to cut your grass too short.
Contrary to popular belief, cutting your grass shorter doesn’t mean you’ll have less maintenance to deal with during the warmer months. Instead, it increases the risk of your lawn getting scorched. Once this happens, your grass won’t grow as well, and you’ll notice bare patches throughout your front and back lawns.
Instead, leave the grass a bit taller than you think you should. This means limiting your cuts to no more than a third of the height of the blades. You may need to mow more often than you’d like, but your grass will be healthier for it.
2. Not Sticking to a Fertilization Schedule
Even the healthiest lawns can benefit from routine fertilization. This helps restore the nutrients in the soil and gives your grass the tools it needs to grow well.
However, using too much or too little fertilizer can end up damaging your lawn and ruining the soil’s pH levels for months on end.
Instead of trying to fertilize your lawn on your own, hire a lawn maintenance services provider and get them to help you. They’ll be able to tell you what type of fertilizer to apply, how often to apply it, and how to best maintain your soil’s health between applications.
3. Leaving Old Stumps in Place
Old stumps may add character to your landscaping, but they’re not as harmless as you might think. If the root systems are intact, they can continue to grow, disrupting your landscaping and damaging your lawn. If the stump is dead, insects and pests can nest inside, increasing your risk of unwanted pest infestations on your property.
Instead of leaving them in place, it’s best to remove them.
If you’re comfortable using heavy equipment, you can invest in a stump grinder for skid steer machines and remove and grind the stump into mulch yourself.
4. Planting a Single Type of Grass
Even the healthiest lawns will need supplemental seed every now and then. While it’s tempting to buy a single type of grass seed, doing so isn’t in your lawn’s best interest.
The conditions in your lawn aren’t the same across the entire space. Some areas get more shade while others get full sun. You’ll need different types of grass to fill in those spots completely.
If you’re not sure what types of seed to spread, consult with your landscaping team. They’ll be able to help you find the best varieties for your yard and your landscape design.
5. Watering Too Often or Too Little
Every lawn needs regular watering if it’s going to thrive during the growing season. However, there’s a fine line between watering too much and watering too little for your grass.
You need to establish a good watering schedule for your lawn as soon as you can. This means looking at the weather conditions for the coming week and check the soil for moisture before you water.
Ideally, you’ll water often enough to keep the soil damp but not soaked through. If you water too often, the soil won’t be able to absorb the water. Over time, that excess moisture will cause the roots to mold or rot, resulting in an underperforming lawn.
Water your lawn early in the morning or at dusk when the sun won’t evaporate the water before it penetrates the roots. As a general rule, do this three times a week and only give your lawn about one-third of an inch of water in each watering session.
6. Not Aerating Your Lawn in the Fall
Over the course of the growing season, the soil beneath your lawn can get compacted down. When this happens, the roots won’t be able to get the nutrients they need. Worse, the tight earth can restrict their ability to spread out and grow deeper.
The only way to deal with compacted soil is to aerate your lawn in the fall.
After the main growing season starts winding down, schedule an appointment with your landscaping team. They’ll use an aerator to punch holes into the lawn. This will expose the soil to more oxygen and sunlight while also breaking up otherwise tight soil.
When the spring growing season returns, your lawn will be better equipped to grow well all season long.
Avoid These Lawn Maintenance Mistakes at All Costs
Your lawn is one of the most noticeable parts of your home’s landscape design. Take care to avoid these lawn maintenance mistakes each year and you’ll be able to keep it looking great all season long.
Just remember that it’s okay to ask for help. If you feel confused or aren’t sure what’s happening to your grass, don’t leave it to chance. Work with an experienced landscaper and let them help you find the best solutions for your lawn.
Lawn care is just one key component to help you keep your home’s exterior looking pristine at all times. Check out our latest posts for more advice to help you better care for and maintain your house without breaking the bank.