Never Do These 20 Things to Your Lawn if You Want It to Thrive

Maintaining a lush, vibrant, and well-kept lawn requires dedication, effort, and careful attention to what you do—and what you don’t. People may think caring for a lawn is much easier than making vegetables and flowers grow; even so, there are still common pitfalls they fail to understand and avoid. If you’re a homeowner who wishes to see their lawn thrive, learn about the big no-nos when it comes to mowing, watering, seeding, and more through this list!

Do Not Water Every Single Day

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Understanding what your plants truly need is key to their health, and while water and sunlight are essential, it’s important to note that your plants don’t need water daily. In fact, overwatering can lead to drowning and the development of diseases. Landscape Workshop advises, “Watering on a daily basis is not beneficial to your lawn. Too much water can be just as damaging to plants as too little water, and excessive irrigation will invite future disease problems.”

Do Not Use Salt to Clear Away Ice

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Using salt to melt away ice is cool and convenient, as you already have the necessary materials to clear your pathways at home. However, salt has some detrimental effects on plants, especially grass. When you add salt to grass, it makes the soil the grass is planted on to be more saline, causing an unfavorable environment for grass growth. Additionally, if you go overboard on the salt, you can dehydrate your grass and damage its root system; this will eventually cause the grass to die or become unhealthy overall.

Do Not Mow the Grass Too Short

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Grass, like other plants, relies on photosynthesis to grow and thrive. If you cut your grass too short, there will be less plant surface area that can get or trap sunlight. This will then limit the amount of food your grass can produce for itself. When you do this, you’re just stunting your plants’ growth by depriving them of their food.

Do Not Plant Incompatible Grass Types

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Having different grass types in your laws is like caring for different kinds of animals with different needs. An article explains, “Mixing different grass types in your lawn can lead to various challenges, including uneven growth, pest problems, and aesthetic inconsistencies.” If you don’t take the necessary steps to fix this, you’ll most likely end up with an inconsistent, unkempt lawn. Additionally, if you have a mixed-grass lawn, you’ll be limited on herbicide and pesticide choices to control the weeds without injuring your lawn.

Do Not Let Too Much Time Pass Between Mowing

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To ensure you keep your lawn happy and thriving, you need to set a consistent schedule when it comes to mowing. You should never mow your grass too often, nor should you mow it too sparingly. A general rule of thumb is to mow every four to six days during your lawn’s most active growing season. The only way to figure this out, however, is to know what kind of grass you have.

Do Not Cut the Grass in the Same Direction Every Time You Mow

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When you mow your grass in the same direction every time, you risk running a couple of detrimental side effects, such as rutting, soil compaction, and grass leaning one way. One of the biggest issues here is soil compaction, which means soil particles get packed together too tightly, preventing water and air from reaching the roots of your grass. Conversely, if you switch it up a bit, aside from increasing airflow and avoiding ruts, you’ll keep your grass blades upright, making your lawn look well-kept, neat, and even.

Do Not Mow With a Dull Blade

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Cutting anything with a dull blade—be it in the hospital, kitchen, arts and crafts room, or garden—will never do anyone any good. Mower blades should be sharpened or replaced yearly or even more frequently if needed. According to the University of Maryland Extension, “A dull mower blade may cause the turf to have a brown cast or look ragged after mowing and can make turf more susceptible to disease.” This is because when your mower blades are dull, you’ll end up shredding your grass rather than slicing through it; worse, you may even rip your grass out from the soil!

Do Not Overlook the Importance of Checking Soil Moisture

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Forgetting to check the soil moisture is aligned with the big no-no of watering your lawn every day; soil moisture, after all, is a significant sign of whether or not you need to start watering. For one, you must consider your soil type: sand will retain less water than clay, loam, or organic matter-dense soil types. Secondly, to check the soil’s moisture level, you need to stick your finger inside the soil—about two inches deep. If the soil is dry, you’d better start watering!

Do Not Mow When the Grass Is Wet

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When you cut wet grass, you’re not only destroying your mower by possibly clogging it; you’re also putting yourself at risk of slipping and even a possible electric shock if you’re using an electric mower! Your lawn also isn’t safe when you mow wet grass, as it can cause several fungal diseases, such as brown patches; wheel ruts from your mower’s wheels sinking into damp, waterlogged soil are also highly likely. The Spurce adds, “Because the grass clippings will be wet, they’ll stick together in large clumps. Not only are these clumps unsightly, but they are also bad for your lawn’s health: they tend to smother the grass.”

Do Not Dispose of Grass Clippings

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Yes, leaving too much grass clippings can leave clumps that can eventually damage your grass and lawn as a whole. However, they aren’t always a bad thing; in fact, they’re considered a great source of organic matter that can boost plant growth. Epic Gardening explains, “They provide the soil with nutrients, prevent weed growth, and preserve moisture; they contain four percent nitrogen, two percent potassium, and one percent phosphorus, along with small amounts of other plant nutrients. When decomposed, grass clippings also serve as a food source for microbial life from the soil surface.”

Do Not Obsess Over Raking Every Leaf

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Think about this for a moment: does anyone remove leaves from the forest floor when they fall? No one does, and it doesn’t hurt the forest because leaves are a natural part of nature. Leaves are biodegradable materials that could provide nutrients to the soil it has fallen on; during colder months, fallen leaves could also protect your grass and other plants from a slight frost. Fallen leaves, while not decomposed, can also provide support and a habitat for wildlife.

Do Not Overlook the Importance of Aeration

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According to Weed Man, “Aerating your lawn allows vital nutrients, water, sunlight, and oxygen to sink in and reach the root system of your lawn.” This promotes a healthy and deep root system that would help you cultivate a lush lawn better equipped to defend itself against diseases and unwanted weeds. Aeration also helps your lawn avoid soil compaction, especially in summer.

Do Not Overlook the Dethatching Process

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In between the grass and the soil’s surface, there could be a build-up of organic dead and living roots, stems, and shoots, which are collectively referred to as thatch. While, like fallen leaves, thatch could benefit your lawn, too much can reduce the amount of water, nutrients, and sunlight that could penetrate the soil; thus, it’s imperative not to overlook the dethatching process. The dethatching process also allows your lawn to drain better as a whole.

Do Not Leave Items Sitting Out on Your Lawn

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Anything unnatural—litter, chairs, toys, decors, and more—shouldn’t be left on your lawn for long periods if you want to maintain its health. Placing items on top of your grass naturally blocks the sunlight the plants underneath are supposed to get. Without sunlight, grass wouldn’t be able to make food for itself, leading to the overall deterioration of your lawn. During colder or wetter months, moss can cling to the items you place on your lawn, which can eventually invade the lawn’s surface.

Do Not Overdo Feeding or Fertilizing

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It’s easy to believe that fertilizers are good for plants. While it can be good, just like everything else, too much of it could be harmful. In fact, if you overdo it, your plants can experience what is referred to as a fertilizer burn, which could eventually kill every single blade of grass in your lawn. This is because too much fertilizer means you’re adding too much nitrogen and salt to the soil, and a build-up of this could be toxic to plants.

Don’t Forget to Check and Fix Pet Areas

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Pet owners usually take their pets outside to pee or poo. While these could be considered natural fertilizers, pet urine’s nitrogen and salt compounds could still cause a burn similar to over-fertilization. This will leave your grass brown and shriveled and disrupt the pH balance.

Do Not Quit Nurturing Shady Areas

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Sunlight is essential to have a lush, vibrant green lawn. However, shade can sometimes be as unavoidable as sunlight. When patches of your lawn are in shaded areas, the amount of sunlight your grass should receive may be lower than what’s needed. To fix this, you can prune tree branches up top to let more light shine through. You can also make sure you’re maintaining trees and bushes at reasonable heights so that light can better penetrate your lawn.

Do Not Administer Broadleaf Herbicides in High Temperatures

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Heat can be detrimental to plants, especially when administering herbicides. Some herbicides can injure crops when applied on a day above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Aside from this, herbicides are less effective against weed control when sprayed on days with extreme heat, as weeds growing under hot conditions are generally more tolerant to these things.

Do Not Forget to Reseed Your Lawn

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If you mow and mow and mow and forget to reseed your lawn, you may be left with thin, patchy grass. This can mean your grass is more susceptible to diseases and weed growth. During spring, from March to early May, and during summer to early autumn, from the end of August into September, it’s highly recommended to overseed one’s lawn.

Do Not Use a Hose When You’re Watering Your Lawn

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Using a hose when watering your lawn can result in uneven water distribution. This can cause overwatering in some areas and underwatering in others. Instead, you may opt to use a sprinkler system, but it could be quite expensive to maintain. Manual or hand watering would be your best bet if you want to save on water!

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.