The weekends are all about getting outside and taking care of your lawn. Cutting the grass, fertilizing the plants, and cleaning up dirt and debris are all important to keeping your lawn healthy and green. Of course, how do you know what you are doing is the best for your lawn? It’s not like the grass can tell you what it needs; the only way you know something is wrong is when it is too late and the grass is dead. There is a chance that it was something you might have believed was the proper practice, but because the grass isn’t doing well, you may have bought into a landscaping myth. To better help you out with your lawn, let this article shine some light on the five myths most people believe about landscaping.
- Picking Up the Clippings
Whenever you buy a lawnmower, it already has a bag installed on it and you would assume picking up the chopped grass is best for your lawn. It would seem that leaving clippings covering your lawn can only make the yard look less than perfect and cover up the living grass from direct sunlight. As it turns out, it is actually better to leave the clippings of the grass on the lawn. Cutting the grass at the right level, while avoiding oversaturation of clippings on the lawn, will actually put nitrogen back into the soil and give food to microbes that will benefit the living grass over time.
- Installing Plants During the Warmer Months
When you think of plants, you think of warm spring days and lots of rainfall. When you think of your plants dying, it is fall time and the days have grown cold. Well it turns out not all plants are alike in this instance. There are many bushes, flowers, and trees that bloom in the colder months that would look fantastic on your property. Plants that love the colder weather are great and wide, such as Japanese Maples, Winter Holly, and several types of vegetables.
- Watering the Grass Day and Night
Watering your grass can be tricky because there are a lot of factors to consider. Depending on how well your lawn drains the water is important, as well as how much water your grass needs and what kind of water restrictions are in your area. These factors will determine how you water your lawn. The time at which you water your lawn is important as well, and the idea of only being able to water during the midday or night is a myth that can cause serious damage to your grass. Watering your grass during the day can cause the sun to reflect off of the water and scorch the grass, or evaporate the water before it moves into the soil. Watering your grass at night can leave the water on the grass and cause fungus to grow. The best time to water your lawn is actually early morning, as this will allow for the water to sit on the lawn long enough to be mostly absorbed, and when the sun comes up it will remove any leftover water that hasn’t made it to the soil in time to stop fungus growth.
- Always Having to Bag Leaves
Bagging leaves is a job that is tedious and back-breaking if you only have a simple rake, a few trash bags, and a large yard. Of course if you do not have a thick pile of leaves on your lawn, you might not have to believe the myth that bagging them is the only option. With a thin layer of leaves, mowing over them with your lawnmower (without a bag) is a great option. The leaves will be shredded into tiny pieces that will degrade over time, mix with the soil, and prevent weeds from popping up later. Take note that this only applies to a thin layer of leaves and not a large pile.
- Mixing Sand into Clay to Loosen Soil
An older myth, but one that is still around, is mixing sand into clay or tough soil to loosen it up and make it easier to plant your flowers, bushes, or trees. Unfortunately, this myth could end very badly for you. If you have clay in the ground and add sand to it, then introduce the sun’s rays, you are going to end up with tougher ground than when you began. Once this happens you might as well burn and salt the earth because planting anything there is going to end in disaster. Instead, use a tiller and spread organic matter, like compost, into an area with clay or hard soil to loosen it up.
Your lawn is a delicate ecosystem that holds many different plants with many different needs. Spacing, watering, fertilizing, and constant care is important to plants, and making sure to not believe the myths you were told about landscaping can save you from making mistakes. If you have any questions about your lawn, contacting a landscaping professional is the best option to get helpful insight about your lawn and someone who can do the work that you don’t want to do. Whether you want to work on your lawn alone or have a professional take care of it, knowing what to do and not to do will be the difference between a green lawn and a brown lawn.