I’ve always appreciated the fact that my husband Dave is so passionate about keeping our lawn nice. (Although maybe he’s not “passionate” so much as “borderline obsessed!”) In the past, he typically orchestrated all the fertilizing, watering, and mowing of the lawn, while I stuck to the flower beds and pots.
But in recent years I’ve been taking a more active role in other aspects of maintaining our lawn. And one thing I’ve learned about the lawn in particular is that lawn care can be much more complicated than you’d think! It’s not just watering and mowing. In fact, there are all sorts of issues that can wreak havoc on your grass!
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So today I wanted to explore some of those things that can ruin a perfectly good lawn. Because the only way to avoid problems is to learn about those problems in the first place! So here are 7 potential problems that can negatively affect the health and appearance of your lawn, in the hopes that you’ll be able to avoid them entirely!
7 Unexpected Problems That Can Ruin Your Lawn
1. Not Enough Variety
Some people dream of a Kentucky bluegrass lawn, but going all in on one grass variety may not be the best idea. A lawn that consists of a few different varieties of grasses can actually be more resilient and resistant to disease!
Read up about the recommended grasses for your region, and look into grass seed mixes that can help diversify and strengthen your lawn.
2. Unhealthy Soil
Making sure your soil is in good condition can go a long way toward improving the health of your lawn! Having your lawn aerated once or twice a year can help get more nutrients, air, and water into the soil.
If aeration alone isn’t cutting it, you may want to do a soil test to determine if a nutrient deficiency or imbalance is affecting your soil. Most state university extension offices offer soil testing services at reasonable prices! There’s a useful list of state extension offices with soil testing labs at GardeningProductsReview.com.
3. Cutting It Too Short
Keeping your grass short can actually do more harm than good! The optimal height for most grass types is somewhere between 2 1/2-3 inches. Cutting it too short can put added stress on grass, and even make it more susceptible to disease!
4. Mowing In The Same Direction
Switch up your direction every time you mow your lawn. This will help prevent weird grooves or patterns from forming in your grass.
5. Mowing When It’s Wet
Wait for a dry day to mow your lawn. Water weighs down grass, which makes it much harder to get a clean, even cut. Wet grass clippings also put added stress on your mower and can even lead to blockages. So do yourself and your mower a favor and let the grass dry out first! :-)
6. Heavy Foot Traffic
Of course you should be able to walk on your grass, but heavy foot traffic in one area can do real damage. If the soil in the area gets too compacted, water won’t be able to reach the roots of the grass and it could die.
If people often walk across your grass in a certain area, consider installing some stepping stones or a pathway there as an attractive alternative!
7. Dull Mower Blades
Dull mower blades lead to rough and ragged cuts in your grass. It might not sound like a big deal, but ragged cuts can actually make your grass more susceptible to disease and pests!
Sharpen your mower blade once or twice a season to protect both your lawn and the mower itself. There’s a good tutorial on how to do it and what tools to use at HomeDepot.com.
Bonus Tip: Hate Lawn Care? Consider Xeriscaping!
Lawn care can be a lot of work, and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea! If taking care of your lawn feels like too much work and not enough reward, consider xeriscaping your yard (or part of your yard) instead.
Xeriscaping is a type of landscaping that focuses on reducing water use. Instead of grassy lawns, xeriscaped yards often feature soil, rocks, and drought-tolerant plants. While there is an upfront cost with any large-scale landscaping project, it could save you substantially on your water bill and maintenance costs!
Do you have any tips or tricks for maintaining a beautiful lawn?