Lawn abuse isn’t a crime, but it’s a waste of money. When you maltreat your lawn you pay dearly for it by having to reseed dead patches, purchase sprays and powders to fight weeds, pests, and diseases, and spend even more money on watering than you ordinarily would. To be sure you are not paying the penalty for bad lawn care, abide by these rules of good lawn mowing:
-Don’t allow the grass get too tall between mowings. Infrequent mowings are a shock to the lawn and open invitations to weed invasions. Plus, you have to water more than usual to help the yellowed stubble grow back.
-Never remove more than half the height of the lawn in a single mowing. When summer vacation leaves you faced with a jungle-like thicket, adjust the mower to cut just half the height of the grass blades. Wait a couple of days, then cut again to the desired height (this also saves wear and tear on your mower).
-Keep lawn mower blades sharp; check them now and then throughout the mowing season.
-Mow cool-season grasses a bit taller during summer heat waves. This keeps the lawn healthier and cuts back the need for watering.
The good news is that you do not have to look really hard to find low-maintenance grass varieties. All of the named varieties released on the market in the past have terrific characteristics, like resistance to diseases and insects, lower fertilizer and water needs, and tolerance of poor growing conditions developed right into them. The bad news is that many lawn owners do not know this and keep pumping massive amounts of fertilizer, water, and pest and disease controls into their lawns. The Lawn Institute has some really simple, money-saving advice: cut down the expensive TLC and let the grass take care of itself. The money you save by irrigating and feeding the lawn less can go toward some fresh plants for the garden!
Among the four main groups of grasses, here’s how they rank from lowest maintenance needs to highest: tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass.
Five Steps for a Money-Saving, Weed-Free Lawn
A weed-free lawn is every homeowner’s dream. You could be the envy of everyone on the block and save money on weed killers at the same time by building a thick stand of grass that repels weed invasions. Follow these five steps for a weed-free lawn:
1. Select the correct type of grass for your growing conditions. If your lawn area is partly shaded, be sure you get a seed mix blended for low light levels.
2. When you’ve got the right type of grass in place, boost nice lush growth with timely fertilizing. A thick mat of grass denies weeds the light and space they require to gain a foothold.
3. Take the needed steps to control insect damage and disease. A healthy lawn is better able to fend for itself against weed attack.
4. Take it easy on the watering. A lawn that gets a bit much water is ripe for weed problems.
5. Don’t clip the grass too short.