Commonly Made Lawn Care Mistakes

If you’ve been a homeowner for any length of time, then you have probably learned the common mistakes you should avoid making when tending your lawn. As they say, wisdom comes with experience.

It's always a good time to teach the next generation how to mow the lawn.
Consider the chore of mowing the grass a right of passage. (Courtesy: Dushan Hanuska at

However, if you are a new homeowner and have never handled the task of caring for your lawn, then I’m going to provide you with some tips on what mistakes to avoid so that you don’t have to gain that knowledge performing years and years of lawn work.

Mowing The Lawn

Mowing is an essential part of lawn care. Although the task sounds relatively simple –- you just push a lawn mower across the lawn –- experience will teach you that this is not the case. Here are some things to keep in mind when mowing.

First, don’t mow too much. Throughout the years of tending your grass, you may let the lawn grow too long. Known as overgrowing, it is no big deal and certainly nothing to be ashamed of. However, the tendency is to eradicate the too tall grass in one mowing. Actually, it best not to try to mow the long grass down in one day. It can cause stress on the grass blades. Instead, do the mowing over a few days.

Neophytes to lawn mowing may also fall into the trap of mowing the lawn in the same direction time and time again. Actually, your lawn will look so much better if you mow in a different direction every time you take on the assignment of mowing the lawn. This assures that the blades don’t grow at an angle, and it avoids the possibility that permanent mower tracks could appear on the lawn.

Neophytes may also make the mistake of cutting grass too short. It is not always easy to determine how much length you should cut off the lawn. The rule of thumb is erring on the side of long. There are benefits of long grass. But the biggest benefit of all is that all blades shade the soil and the shade helps keep weeds from growing.

Here’s one more hint on cutting the lawn. Don’t mow the lawn with a dull mower blade. If the blade isn’t sharp enough, it can cause stress on the grass when it’s cut. So check the blade of your mower to assure that it is sharp.

Other Lawn Care Maintenance Issues

Mowing the lawn is not the end all of lawn care maintenance. There are a number of other lawn care issues to be aware of to assure that your lawn looks pristine.

For example, if a dog is part of your family, then you need to consider dog spots. This is what results when the dog pees on the lawn. You don’t have to see your dog do it. You know that he or she did when you see circular patches of dead grass. As soon as you notice this, soak the area with a lot of water and then plant some grass seed.

Overwatering is not just an issue for the garden. It is also an issue when maintaining the lawn. Here’s a great tip on how to determine how much to water your lawn. Place a pie plate on the lawn and then water. Notice how long it takes to fill up the pie tin with half and inch of hose water. But it doesn’t end there. You need to also consider soil density. If the soil is dense, a little less watering will suffice.

Another common mistake is to forget to reseed your lawn. It is essential to reseed once a year to assure a healthy and thriving lawn. The task can be done in just a weekend each spring.

Of course, the fall, also known as autumn brings falling leaves from the trees. Yes, you should rake the leaves from the lawn. However, allow a few leaves to remain. These leaves will decay and provide nutrients for the lawn just like fertilizer does.

Finally, don’t ignore the shady areas of your lawn. Remember that shady patches of grass that are not directly exposed to the sun through a day should be fed less water than parts of the lawn that are bathed directly with sunlight. Less water evaporates from the shady areas. Also keep in mind that these areas need less fertilizer than other parts of your lawn. Feeding too much fertilizer to grass that are in the shade the whole day can lead to the death of some blades.


About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.