There are many myths about lawn care that most people believe to be true but simply aren’t, so to save you making costly mistakes while caring for your lawn, we’ll bust some of those myths here and also let you in on a few tricks of the trade.
- Myth – Mow your lawn extra short before the winter. It sounds sensible enough, but cutting the grass extra short will leave it exposed throughout the winter to frost damage and disease. Always leave the grass cut at around 5cm high to make sure it stays protected through the cold winter months.
- Myth – Lawns need to be aerated every year. Actually, in most cases homeowners can easily get away with aerating their lawns every other year, or even every third year. Only in the most severe cases of waterlogging or heavy footfall should a lawn be aerated every year.
- Myth – Leaving grass clippings on the lawn is bad news for grass. Wrong again. Short grass clippings can actually be beneficial to the health of your lawn, providing much needed nutrients and nitrogen, which will make the grass grow greener and stronger. However, always remember to stick by the golden rule for grass cutting and never cut more than a third off the top of the grass.
- Myth – Spring is the best time of year for seeding a lawn. In fact the autumn months provide perfect conditions for seeding a lawn, as it is cooler, the days are still sunny, there is more rainfall, plus the soil is warm. All these factors make ideal conditions for seeding a new lawn. However, if you don’t manage to get your lawn seeded in the autumn, springtime is the next best option, although the soil is generally much cooler and the grass will have less time to establish before summer.
- Myth – Mow your grass short so you don’t have to do it so often. Yes, mowing your grass shorter will give you extra time between cuttings, however this can also damage your lawn. With the grass at such a short length, sunlight can easily reach weeds that are already growing in your lawn, and will encourage them to grow bigger, competing with the grass for space to grow. This will eventually lead to the weeds taking over your lawn.
- Myth – Water your lawn every day. It is generally much better to water a lawn thoroughly in one session so that the water penetrates deep down into the roots of the soil, rather than a quick watering on a daily basis which will barely even wet the surface of the lawn. Watering your lawn deeply every now and again will benefit your lawn and lead to healthy, green grass with strong roots that is more tolerant of disease.
- Myth – Fallen leaves in the autumn must be raked up and cleared. It’s absolutely true that a thick layer of leaves left on the lawn can smother grass and encourage the onset of disease. However, when leaves are cut up into small pieces, they will decompose quickly and provide organic matter to the soil, which will lead to a healthier, thicker lawn. Use a mower to cut up the leaves into small pieces – you may have to go over them several times to get them small enough, roughly the size of a 5p piece. Thick leaves may not cut so well, so use these leaves instead on a compost heap or make Leafmould.