10 Ridiculous Yet Popular Lawn Care Myths
Everyone is quick to dispel an urban myth, but what about a suburban or a rural myth? As it turns out, some homeowners do believe these myths about their lawns to be true. Here are 10 of these popular lawn care myths.
Lawn Care Myth #1: Aerator Shoes Will Improve My Lawn
Sandals or shoes with spikes in them, called lawn aerator shoes, are the source one of the biggest lawn care myths. They won’t do much for your lawn other than make you look silly while you are walking around on it.
Proper lawn aeration requires cores to be pulled out of the soil and deposited on the surface, whereas lawn aerator shoes simply displace and compact the soil and doesn’t give it any extra room to breathe.
Lawn Care Myth # 2: Beer Doubles as a Fertilizer
Contrary to the beliefs of some homeowners, beer does not work as a lawn fertilizer. Lawns need to be treated with fertilizers that contain the major nutrients such as, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Lawns also benefit from micro nutrients like calcium, sulfur, and magnesium. Beer does not contain the any of these nutrients, plus this is a waste of good beer!
Lawn Care Myth #3: Vinegar Controls Weeds
Vinegar is an acid, and when applied to weeds, it will cause the affected areas to burn and turn brown. The vinegar is not absorbed and translocated throughout the plant like a weed control, so over time the weed will sprout new growth. What’s more, vinegar is non-selective, which means it can kill your grass.
You can avoid trying the vinegar lawn care myth by choosing to use a selective weed control product that is able to differentiate between control for weeds and grass plants.
Lawn Care Myth #4: Grass Clippings Lead to Thatch
The idea that grass clippings cause thatch is another lawn care myth. Thatch is the semi-decomposed plant material that creates a layer on the soil surface. This layer can cause poor air and water movement into the soil, leading to turf health issues.
Thatch in excess of ½” can be an issue. Grass clippings decompose quickly and normally don’t contribute to the problem. In fact, recycling clippings with a mulching mower will provide your grass with additional nutrients as they decompose.
Lawn Care Myth #5: Spring is the Best Time to Seed a Fescue Lawn
Seeding in the spring does not allow the plants time to establish themselves before the stresses of summer arrive. These include heat, dryness and disease. Without a mature root system prior to summer, most plants will die. Your lawn will be overtaken with weeds and crabgrass due to the inability to apply pre and post emergent weed controls.
Fall is the only time to seed, because temperatures are cooler, better retaining moisture in the soil. Depending on the grass variety and available moisture, your seed will germinate in seven to fourteen days. Additionally, over the next four to five months, the grass will be able to establish itself enough to better deal with summer stresses.
Lawn Care Myth #6: Having Moles Means You Have Grubs
The idea that mole activity indicates the presence of grubs is yet another lawn care myth. Moles activity does not indicate there are grubs in your lawn. Moles do eat grubs, but they also eat earthworms, beetles, and insect larvae.
You can tell if you have grubs by inspecting the soil under areas of the turf that have discolored in localized areas. If these turf areas pull up easily like a carpet and you see grubs that have eaten the roots off the grass plants, you should consider treating for this grub activity. Keep in mind eliminating the grubs does not guarantee the moles will go away.
Lawn Care Myth #7: Mowing the Lawn Shorter Means Not Mowing as Often
Mowing your lawn shorter does not mean you won’t have to mow as often. When you cut your lawn short, it becomes stressed and susceptible to weeds and disease.
The rule of thumb when mowing grass is not cut any more than ⅓ of the grass blade at a time. Correct mowing height is dependant on the grass variety. The mowing frequency is not dictated by the mowing height, but rather the rule of ⅓. The growth rate of the turf, not the height, will dictate how often you should mow.
Lawn Care Myth #8: My Lawn is Brown Because it Needs More Water
This is the most popular lawn care myths. Your lawn could be brown because it lacks water, or there could be other serious reasons.
Numerous insect species and turf diseases can turn lawns brown. It is important to figure out why your lawn is brown so you know how to treat the problem. Watering more does not help you rid your lawn of insects, and with some disease issues, it can actually make problems worse.
Lawn Care Myth #9: I Will Always Have Weeds Because My Neighbor Has Them
Many homeowners tend to blame their neighbors, nearby fields and vacant lots for the weed issues in their own lawn. Unruly yards, fields and lots do present challenges, but not as severe as people assume. There are steps that homeowners can take to prevent and control weeds from these sources.
Weeds seeds can be introduced into your lawn by wind, water, human and animal traffic. This type of weed infestation can be avoided by keeping your lawn thick and healthy. This includes proper mowing, watering and a good lawn care program. Weeds tend to grow in lawns that are thin and bare.
Lawn Care Myth #10: I've Never Had Grubs So I Don’t Need to Treat for Them
Another lawn care myth is that you don’t need to treat for grubs because you haven’t had them before. It's not true that if you have never had grubs in your lawn that you never will.
The possibility that a homeowner who has never had grubs before will get them at some point is still pretty high. Grub infestation can occur through beetle activity from surrounding areas. When beetles lay eggs after flying onto your property, left unchecked, can create a grub population that can damage the lawn. A professional lawn care service preventative program can reduce this risk. It makes more sense and in the long run costs less, to prevent the problem than to wait for the damage to occur.
Weed Man Can Separate Lawn Care Fact From Fiction
Lawn care myths can be difficult to sort through. Naturally, homeowners tend to have a lot of questions about their lawn. The only thing they really need to know is how to find real experts they can ask. There is no such thing as a stupid question, so don’t be ashamed to ask a lawn care company about myths you’ve heard.
Weed Man will answer your questions and help you take care of your lawn. Whether your lawn needs help with grubs, diseases or weed control; fertilized, aerated, or seeded, our professionals can help. If you have any questions about your lawn, don’t hesitate to contact us or give us a call.
At Weed Man, we bring tried and true lawn care tips and services to the Raleigh, NC area. Learn more about how Weed Man can help you achieve a greener and healthier lawn by requesting a free quote, or call us at 919-552-1515.