Lawn Maintenance: How Hard Could it Be?
Lawn maintenance seems pretty straightforward: the grass grows and you cut it. But if you want to have a lush, green lawn, a little goes a long way. Unfortunately, many homeowners go about it the wrong way and end up with less-than-stellar landscaping. Here, we debunk the top lawn maintenance myths to help you keep your lawn green and healthy during the hot summer months and beyond!
Myth One – Using a Garden Hose is More Cost-Conscious Than a Sprinkler System
When you use a garden hose to water your yard, you might think that you are getting the most bang for your buck, but unfortunately, most people either over-water certain areas or under-water them. And either way, that is not very efficient. Over-watering will not only lead to brown patches; it will significantly increase your water usage and costs. Today’s sprinkler systems are built to conserve as much water as possible by using smart technology with regulating watering times. According to statistics, switching to a sprinkler system can save you as much as 20% monthly.
Myth Two – The Time of Day You Water Doesn’t Matter
Most homeowners just assume that watering your lawn any time of the day will do the trick. However, the best time to water your lawn is just prior to sunrise. Common turfgrass diseases such as brown patches require a continuously wet environment for 14 hours for disease development. Continuing to water after the sun dries off the grass blades is what puts you inside this 14-hour window and causes problems. Also, watering before dawn lets way more water soak in with less evaporating. Unless you want to wake up before dawn, a sprinkler system is the best solution!
Myth Three – You Should Water Your Lawn Every Day
Your lawn will flourish best if you only water a couple of days a week for longer periods. Longer watering times encourage the roots of your grass to grow deep into the soil, making your lawn less dependent on micromanaging. Here is a method you can use to determine duration and frequency. Take an average zone and turn the water on, letting it run until water starts running off and not soaking in.
This will give you your maximum time to saturation. Turn the system off and see how many days it takes until the grass wilts. (Wilted grass does not mean your lawn is about to die! It is nature’s way of reducing transpiration by turning the back of the grass blade toward the sun.) Subtract a little bit of time and one day from your results, and this should give you the ideal run time and frequency for your soil type and turf-grass variety.
Myth Four – Bagging Your Grass Clippings Will Prevent Thatch
Many homeowners feel like they need to bag their grass clippings to maintain a manicured and thatch-free lawn. The truth is that lawns that have clippings returned to the soil do a lot better than lawns that are bagged. A healthy lawn will always have half an inch of clippings in one of the various stages of decomposition.
When the grass plant grows and pulls the exact amount of each element out of the soil to grow that grass blade, it creates the perfect ratio of elements in that clipping that no commercial fertilizer can match. When a lawn has been established for several years and continuously bagged, it is very common for the original turf to begin to thin out and a different turfgrass variety (which you have no clue where it even came from) to suddenly start thriving in the same area. This is because it has a slightly different nutrient sub-set that hasn’t been depleted yet by always removing and hauling away the clippings.
Myth Five – Grass is Just Grass
There are several varieties of grass that all have their own requirements. Some grasses are designed to thrive in shaded areas, while others grow better in full sun. Also, some grass seeds require more water, which can increase your water needs. Make sure to know which type of grass will grow best in each region to avoid patches and dying grass during certain times of the year.
Many homeowners assume that they know how best to care for their lawns. Myths are hard to eradicate, and we see many of our customers doing things that actually work against their goal to have a lush, green lawn. At Rollins Landscaping, we have the expertise and industry knowledge not just to keep your grass green and beautiful year-round, but also to give you the best tips and tricks to keep your landscaping looking amazing. Contact us today to schedule your lawn maintenance!