Five ‘major’ lawn mistakes to ‘avoid’ to stop you ‘killing’ your grass

Now in the midst of spring, homeowners are beginning to prepare their garden for the season – including their lawns. However, most households don’t realise that the things they are doing to help their lawn are actually hurting it. Brian Davenport, gardening expert and co-founder of The Solar Centre, has shared several mistakes to avoid this season.

He said: “We all want our lawns to look healthy and beautiful, especially during the spring and summer seasons, but there are some major mistakes you could be making that are damaging your grass.”

1. Too much or too little water 

The expert claimed that over-saturating a lawn can cause it to flood and become wet and muddy, which will end up “rotting the roots and killing the grass”.

But in contrast, too little water will cause grass blades to “turn brown and the ground to become dry and cracked, “which will also lead to grass roots dying but also for “weeds to grow instead.”

To combat this, Brian urged homeowners to stick to an infrequent water schedule to “avoid damaging their lawn”.

He said: “Grass only needs an inch of water each week to grow at a normal rate, and this will normally be provided by rainfall.

“During warmer months, you can water your grass two to three times per week to account for a lack of rainfall but be careful not to soak it as the ground will be dryer and may not absorb excess water.”

Homeowners should also be wary of any restrictions of watering grass, particularly in the summer when droughts can lead to hosepipe bans.

2. Overcutting grass

Cutting the lawn too short may seem like a good solution to prolong the need to cut it again, but “this will damage the grass”. The expert explained: “By cutting the grass too close to the root, it will diminish its ability to absorb much needed nutrients to grow.”

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This limits a lawn’s ability to absorb sunshine which is essential for photosynthesis and ultimately weakens the root system.

Per session of lawn mowing, gardeners should not cut off more than a third of the grass blade, and it will grow best when it stands to at least three inches.

3. Cutting grass with dull blades

Dull lawn mower blades will tear the grass instead of cutting it properly, resulting in the grass looking “shredded”. Tearing grass blades will also impact its growth, as they will likely grow back light-coloured tips which can appear “brown and make your lawn look dead and unhealthy”, according to Brian.

Torn grass is also far more susceptible to diseases, so make sure to sharpen mower blades for every 25 hours of use, which equates to roughly twice per season.

It is best to take them to be professionally sharpened to ensure it is done properly, but blades can also be sharpened at home with the right tools.

4. Removing lawn clippings

Plenty of people make the mistake of removing the clippings left over from cutting the grass, but clippings “can actually help grass growth”, reveal the expert.

Brian said: “Cuttings are essentially free fertiliser as they increase the percentage of nitrogen present which can reduce the need for other methods of fertilisation, and it is an essential nutrient for grass growth and general health.

“Known as grasscycling, it’s far more sustainable to leave the cuttings where they are. Not only will it benefit the grass, but it will prevent them from being deposited in landfills where it will release high quantities of methane gas.”

However, it is important to cut the lawn at least every six weeks to produce small clippings that will decompose quickly.

5. Planting one type of grass seed

Gardeners should plant  variety of seeds to grow a “healthy and even” lawn, as the specifications and strengths of each seed can balance each other as they grow.

The lawn pro explained: “Turf that is grown from several types of grass seeds is far more likely to survive intense weather conditions, from heat and drought to heavy rainfall and cold, over grass grown from one seed type.”

Before reseeding a lawn, gardeners should always do their research or consult a professional to find the seeds most suited to their needs and climate.

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