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Lawns tend to be fairly hardy and, if you don’t torture them, they can stand up well across the years. The longer you’ve got a lawn, the better it will be, and a well-established lawn can be close to impossible to destroy. However, there are a few things you can do that will cause your lawn to take a turn for the worse quite fast.
Overfertilizing: While properly measured and applied fertilizer can help your lawn to grow, overfertilizing will burn your lawn and create dead spots, some of which can leave the ground barren for years. Make sure to fill any fertilizer spreaders away from the lawn, and make sure your spread rate is appropriate. Read all of the directions before using a fertilizer, and look for one that is a slow release.
- Grass Removal: One way to get some nitrogen back to your lawn without using fertilizer – which will help you to avoid the first bad idea on this list – is to leave your grass clippings on the lawn. Not only does this help improve the health of your lawn, it will also keep lawn debris out of land fills. Make sure to go over the clippings a number of times, or use a mulching mower.
- Midday Mowing: Mowing in extremes is never good, and the hottest time of day certainly falls into the category of extreme. Not only will you get worn down in the heat, you awn will be left vulnerable.
- Scalp It: Cutting your grass too low will allow weeds to flourish while causing your grass to fail to develop deep roots. Both of these can spell doom for your lawn, as the grass won’t be able to compete with the weeds. On top of this, short grass does not shield the dirt from the sun, letting it dry out and bake faster.
- Cutting While Wet: We’ve discussed the safety issues of cutting a wet lawn before, but it also is not healthy for your lawn either. There are numerous reasons for this. First off, wet grass is more susceptible to disease than dry grass is. Secondly, wet grass tends to droop instead of standing up straight. Uneven levels of drooping will lead to uneven cuts. Finally, wet grass will clump together instead of spreading out across the lawn when cut – this can lead to mold or bad patches where the clumps are left.
- Using Poisons: This is pretty self explanatory. Every poison will have side effects, and almost every poison will weaken your lawn in one way or another, even if it isn’t directed at it. This doesn’t just mean herbicides and pesticides – minerals such as salts, like the salt you may lay down over the winter, can also be looked at as poisons, and will definitely harm your lawn.
- Using A Dull Blade: We’ve talked about how dull blades give bad cuts in the past, but it isn’t just a matter of attractiveness. A clean cut decreases the possibility of water loss, and increases photosynthesis. So not only does a rough cut from a dull blade look bad, but it can also stunt the growth of your lawn.
Even if you’re not too worried about having the best looking lawn in the neighborhood, you certainly don’t want to have one of the gnarliest looking ones either. By avoiding these pitfalls, you can make sure your lawn lasts for quite a while, and in tip top shape.