Everyone wants a lush, verdant lawn, but how many of us actually put forth the time and effort it takes to grow one? Grass grows wild all over the place, right? It seems like it should be a simple thing. But for the most part, it’s not. No matter how hard you work, somehow your lawn is always found lacking. Why?! Well, for starters, you could be giving it too much attention. You might be concentrating so much on watering your grass that you give it too much. Or you could be forgetting to show the soil underneath a little love too. Let’s look at a few more ways you might be sabotaging your lawn.
It’s possible to give your lawn too much water, especially if you don’t take regular rainfall into account. The soil underneath your grass is composed of porous materials and air-filled spaces. Excess water is stored in those pores and spaces, pushing out the vital oxygen that plants need to survive. Without that oxygen, roots will suffocate and die off and leave you with a shallow root system. Give your lawn about an inch of water per week if you have a good rainfall. Water more frequently in dryer areas.
Planting One Type of Seed
Variety is the spice of life. It’s also the key to maintaining a healthy lawn. Choose a mixture of grass seeds that do well in different conditions so your lawn will weather it all. Here in the Lowcountry, warm-season grasses like St. Augustine, Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede, and Carpet all adapt pretty well.
Ignoring the Soil
Healthy soil is a huge key element in maintaining a great lawn. Aerate the lawn every one or two years, and think about having your soil tested. This can be done easily through the Clemson University Agricultural Service Laboratory. Soil sampling and testing is a great management tool that can aid you in deciding how to fertilize or lime your lawn.
Ideally, grass should be 2.5 to 3 inches tall. Don’t remove more than ⅓ of the grass blade at once. Never mow a wet lawn. Moisture weighs down the grass, which makes it harder to get a clean cut. Be sure to keep your mower’s blades nice and sharp. A dull blade will make rugged cuts, which in turn increases the chances of pests and disease. Alternate the direction in which you mow your grass each time. Mowing in the same direction every time creates unwanted grooves in the grass.
Overlooking Lawn Stressors
Your grass will only thrive in the conditions it likes best. Stressors like excessive precipitation, drought, extreme temperatures, construction, and foot traffic have a major effect on your lawn. Too much water or fertilizer invites weeds to grow. Heavy foot traffic compacts soil. Read up on the big stressors for your type of grass and act accordingly.