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Myths of Lawn Care Maintenance

Time and time again I run into customers with the right intentions, but along the way had absorbed some incorrect information when it comes to lawn care maintenance.  Here are some very common myths of lawn care maintenance that we will debunk:

  • If I mow my lawn shorter then I won’t have to mow it as often.  FALSE!  When you jam your mower through that 5 inches of grass and cut it down to 2 inches you just injured the grass.  The turf is going to use all its energy to regrow its topgrowth at the expense of the root growth.  It actually grows back quicker and weaker!  The grass will grow faster!  If you mow your lawn shorter you are harming the grass in many different ways.  If you chopped off more than 1/3 of the grass blade you just stunted the root growth.  Lawns that are mowed short (2.5 inches or less) are more prone to stresses such as insect, fungus, and drought stress.  Lawns mowed at 3-4 inches (after cut) have been shown in University Studies to have double the root mass, which means a lower water bill for you during the Summer and less stress.  Another benefit of mowing higher is less weeds or crabgrass pressure.  Try mowing your lawn at 3-4 inches after being cut this year and if you don’t see a difference go back to your old ways in 2014.
  • More is Better.  FALSE!  We’ve had customers sign up with us and then also put down fertilizer themselves!  Why?  Because they think if they put down some fertilizer in addition to our Lawn Programs, then their lawn will be extra green and thick.  They couldn’t be more wrong.  We have formulated our fertilization programs based on soil tests gathered and research done by OSU Turfgrass Department.  We are putting down the correct amount of nutrients for your grass.  If you put down extra, it not only can be harmful, but it is a waste of money.  You can potentially burn up the lawn or have it growing so much it uses all its energy in topgrowth.  Again this makes the grass more prone to stresses just like cutting off more than 1/3 of the grass blade.  Dumping a pile of fertilizer in one spot doesn’t cause the grass to grow like it is on steroids.  It will actually burn a spot in your lawn.  Fertilizer is meant to be applied at the proper rate each application and at the proper amount per year.  We will take care of this for you.  Seed is the same way.  Dumping a pile of seed in a bare spot IS NOT helping.  Those little seeds need room and oxygen to grow.  Depending on what type of seed you are using you should be putting down seed anywhere from 3-10 pounds per 1,000 square feet.  Piling it up causes all the new grass blades to be weaker if they even germinate.
  •  Watering your Lawn everyday is good for the grass.  FALSE!  Your grass is not a flower or a tomato plant.  NEVER water your lawn everyday unless you just put down seed.  Then and only then should you water daily and for short periods of time (1-2 times per day for 10-15 minutes for 2-3 weeks).  Established lawns need to be watered during stress periods every 3-7 days for 60-90 minutes.  Place a tuna can in your lawn and fill it up.  That is how long your lawn needs to be watered every 3-7 days.  This should be 1 inch of water every 3-7 days.  By spacing out the waterings you are training your roots to dive deep into the soil between waterings.  This will develop a deep root system that equals a lower water bill for you.  If you water the lawn for 20 minutes everyday the roots stay near the surface and it can also promote a thatch layer to develop.  Quit watering your lawn so often and see how well your lawn holds up this Summer.

 

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