Your lawn looks deceptively simple. Give it plenty of water and a dose of fertilizer a few times a year and it should turn into the lush green carpet of your dreams, right?
A healthy lawn takes a lot of work. Details matter. Lots of details. A healthy lawn needs proper mowing and fertilizing. Then there’s aeration, dethatching, slice seeding, weed control, pest control, soil analysis.
So you ask yourself: Should I hire a lawn care service? Because you know that trying to keep up with all that, well, you’re bound to make some mistakes.
Common Lawn Care Mistakes By Homeowners
Here’s a look at 5 common lawn care mistakes — and why hiring a lawn care service vs. doing it yourself will help you avoid them.
Mowing seems easy enough, but a surprising number of homeowners mow their grass too short. It’s tempting, right? Mow it super short, and you can wait longer before you have to mow it again.
But cutting your grass too short stresses the grass, and makes it more susceptible to damage from insects and disease. Never cut off more than a third of the grass blade at any one time.
That way, the grass will develop a deeper root system to support the longer blades and need less water. That leads to a fuller, more attractive lawn.
Another mowing mistake: mowing with dull mower blades. When’s the last time you sharpened your mower blade? Maybe… never?
Mowing with dull or nicked lawn mower blades will tear the grass blade, rather than leave a clean cut. Experts call this “white tipping.” After mowing with a dull mower blade the grass will appear to have light-colored tips and will look dry. A torn or ripped blade of grass is also more prone to disease and insect damage.
Hire a lawn service because: Professionals maintain their mowing equipment regularly, keeping their blades sharp. Professionals know the proper mowing height your grass type requires.
If a little fertilizer is good, more is better, right? Wrong. But this kind of thinking is a common homeowner mistake. Many homeowners either apply too much fertilizer or apply it at the wrong time of the year.
What’s wrong with too much fertilizer? Over fertilizing, especially with high levels of nitrogen, will cause lots of pretty green blades of grass, but not enough root growth. Too much fertilizer will actually burn the lawn.
Applying too much fertilizer isn’t just bad for your lawn and wasteful — it can harm the environment, running off and entering the ground water.
With fertilizer, timing is everything. Homeowners in the Northeast should only fertilize lawns three times a year — once in late spring, once in late summer and following the last mow of the year.
But life is busy, and it’s easy to let the recommended months for fertilizing sail on by.
Hire a lawn service because: Lawn care experts know exactly how much fertilizer to apply and when to apply it. And because you’re on their calendar, they’ll arrive at just the right times to treat your lawn.
Hiring a lawn care service means you don’t have to worry about buying and storing chemicals in your garage.
Ignoring The Soil
A great lawn starts with great soil, but most homeowners don’t give soil much thought. At Neave Lawn Care, it’s where we begin.
Soil is more complicated than it looks. Lawn and garden plants need at least 17 essential elements for healthy growth: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum, chlorine, and nickel.
Plants get a few of these — carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen — from air and water. But the rest they get from the soil. If the soil doesn’t have enough of these nutrients, you need to add them.
How do you know? You need a thorough soil analysis. When Neave experts send a sample of your soil to a lab, they get a detailed analysis of what’s in your soil and what isn’t. Then, they get to work and add exactly what your specific lawn needs to be green and healthy.
This is a great thing to do at the start of spring, since it allows you time to boost your soil’s quality ahead of a successful growing season.
Hire a lawn service because: Soil analysis is one of those jobs best left to lawn care experts, who know how to read the lab results that are basically soil chemistry mumbo jumbo to the layperson.
Once you know what your lawn needs, there are tricks to applying these amendments: If not applied correctly, they can burn the grass. And depending on your type of grass, amending the soil should be done at certain times of year.
Ignoring Environmental Concerns
Inexperienced homeowners applying fertilizers and pesticides to their lawns can post serious risks to the environment. For example, leaving excess fertilizer on sidewalks or driveways where it can get washed away and enter the ground water.
Hire a lawn service because: Lawn care experts understand all the fine print on the pesticide and fertilizer labels, closely following the specific application rates and safety precautions.
Neave Lawn Care is proud to offer sustainable services that keep the environment in mind, from organic lawn care options to integrated pest management, a process to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment.
Poor Equipment And Products
Few homeowners invest in all the equipment needed to properly care for a healthy lawn. Maybe you borrow a spreader from a neighbor, rent a sprayer from the place down the street, lug your aging mower from the back of the garage, season after season. Is there a power aerator in your garage? Not likely.
Once you borrow or rent your spreader and sprayer, are you sure you’re calibrating them correctly to accurately apply your products?
And speaking of products, do you always invest in the highest quality seed, fertilizer and weed control? Or do you settle on the bargain brands to save a few bucks?
You might be doing an average job with your equipment and products. But the professionals at Neave Lawn Care want nothing to do with average.
Hire a lawn service because: Leading lawn care services like Neave Lawn Care use professional-grade equipment that is top-of-the-line and expertly maintained.
Lawn Care Service Vs. Do-It-Yourself?
Easy answer: Leave your lawn care to Neave. At Neave Lawn Care, we understand how much goes into a healthy lawn. We’ve been keeping New York and Connecticut lawns healthy and beautiful since 1973.
Why risk making mistakes that can damage your lawn when you can turn your turf over to the pros?
From soil analysis to proper fertilizing, seeding to aerating, our staff knows exactly what to do and when to do it. That leaves you more time to enjoy your yard — not labor in it.
When Neave experts visit your property regularly, they can spot signs of potential lawn problems early on — then act, before things get out of hand.
At Neave Lawn Care, we love making lawns beautiful and healthy, from mowing to irrigation to everything in-between.
It all starts with a complete lawn analysis, which allows us to better understand your property’s needs. The best part about our lawn analysis — it’s free!
A lawn analysis will include analyzing the health and condition of all outdoor plant life on your property, from grass to shrubs to soil and trees. Once the lawn analysis is done, we’ll sit down with you to discuss what lawn care services you need.
Questions? Ask us anything. If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free lawn analysis.
Images: Lawn mowing, Old lawn mower