If you’ve tried every trick in the book for lawn care, chances are you’ve run into a few myths along the way. It’s impossible to know when and where lawn myths originated, but like weeds, they sometimes spread out of control. If you want a healthy lawn, it’s important to know fact from fiction. We’re here to help eradicate these myths before they spread to more homeowners. Here are some of the more prevalent myths we’ve heard over the years:
#1 Spiked Shoes Can Aerate a Lawn
Whether you’re sporting soccer cleats or wearing shoes with ridiculous protruding spikes, you’re not doing your lawn a favor when you tread over it. While it might seem like poking holes into the soil is a great way to get some air in there, the action actually has the opposite effect. As you walk around your lawn, you put pressure on the soil, which compacts it. The spikes drive the dirt deeper into the ground, suffocating grass roots. Effective aeration removes clumps of dirt from the ground, rather than creating new ones.
#2 Cutting Your Lawn Shorter is Better
We know how tempting it can be to mow your grass to the shortest length possible. After all, shorter blades mean less mowing, right? While that added convenience is true to an extent, you are also risking damage to your lawn by mowing it super short. With reduced grass coverage, low-lying weeds are more exposed to sunlight, which makes them spread quickly. Before you know it, your grass will have to compete with these unwanted weeds for space on your lawn. Short grass is also more prone to drought damage, because it has shorter roots. The blades will whither away if they don’t have a place to store water during dry periods. It’s best to never cut more than a third of your grass length when you mow.
#3 You Should Seed & Fertilize in Spring
Spring might seem like the ideal time to seed your lawn, but you’re better off planting before winter arrives. The problem with waiting until spring is that the grass seeds must compete with weeds, which sprout around the same time. Fall has more favorable conditions –pesky weeds are already dormant, and it’s easier for grass to take root. In the fall, temperatures are more consistent, so there is less risk of a lawn-spoiling cold spell or heat wave. This predictability makes fall a great time to fertilize your grass. The cool season grasses found in Minnesota, like Kentucky bluegrass, benefit from fall fertilization more than warm season grasses. Before you pick up the leaves from your lawn, pick up some fertilizer at the store to ensure healthy growth next spring.
#4 It’s Best to Remove Grass Clippings
Save yourself some extra work, and forget bagging your grass clippings. Contrary to what some people will tell you, grass clippings will not contribute to thatch in your lawn. In fact, grass clippings act as an extra fertilizer for the lawn. Those little bits of grass contribute nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to the lawn – all free of charge to you. You won’t be able to rely entirely on clippings for fertilization, but you will still get about one third of your lawn’s annual feeding requirements by letting the grass decompose on its own. Even better, leaving grass clippings on the lawn means you have to do less work. Sometimes the best solution is the easiest when it comes to your lawn.
#5 Dandelion Control is a Spring Thing
Who knew fall was such an important time for lawn care? As with fertilization, you’re better off attacking dandelions in the fall. When you go after these yellow monsters in the fall, you ensure root kill. Dandelions are a perennial plant, which means their food storage shifts, depending on the season. While they keep their nutrients in their leaves in the summer, these reserves move to the roots once fall begins. Destroying this part of the weed literally gets to the root of the problem, so if your lawn has a history of dandelions you should think about taking action early. You will rest a little easier this winter knowing your herbicides are stopping a problem before it starts.
You could talk to dozens of people about how to grow the perfect lawn, and they might each have a different opinion. Lawn care is both an art and a science – it takes years of experience to get it right. Want to guarantee a lush lawn? It’s best to leave it to the experts. See how we can help you grow the lawn of your dreams, with less research and work on your end. We’ve heard all the myths in the book, and we know what works and what doesn’t. Details are important in lawn care, so get a team that accounts for every blade of grass at your home or business. Contact us today to see how we can help you conquer the lawn.