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15 Lawn Mowing and Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

Your lawn is an extension of your home. So make sure you treat it right! If you are a first-time homeowner, it’s natural to make a few mistakes here and there. But try not to make a habit of this. Therefore, if you wish to learn more about lawn mowing mistakes to avoid, and how to treat your lawn with care, continue reading!

Mistake #1: Skipping Soil Testing

This is the first mistake you can make. You move into your home, and you don’t test the soil before doing any lawn work outside. However, this should be one of the first things you accomplish while settling in and unpacking your things.

If you plant new grass without testing your soil first, it can cause the grass to die. Either this, or you won’t get the results you’re looking for. Keep in mind that grass will thrive when your soil is at a pH level of 6 or 6.5. You can collect a sample and send it to your local extension service if you want to get it tested. They will also give you tips on planting beautiful grass so you can have the most stunning lawn in the entire neighborhood.

Mistake #2: Choosing the Wrong Seeds

A lot of seeds can contain harmful weeds. Read the back of any package, and you’re sure to see it printed. Most grasses contain a percentage of weed seed. These are often cheaper. But if you want to avoid those undesirable crops from sprouting up on your lawn, look for a package that states there is 0% weed seed and ‘other crops.’

Mistake #3: Not Diversifying

There are many common lawn mowing mistakes you can make, but this one applies to the planting process. When you’re planting grasses in your lawn, don’t make the mistake of planting only one kind of seed. Sure, selecting the right type of turfgrass is important when you want a gorgeous lawn. However, planting a beautiful variety of other seeds helps the lawn become more established. These different seeds will offset each other. It creates a synergetic effect that causes the grass to survive harsh conditions like droughts and floods.

If you’re unsure which grasses and flowers to plant together, consider these pairings to avoid lawn mowing mistakes.

  • verbena and lagurus
  • alliums and molinia and poppies
  • purple fountain grass and senorita Rosalita

Mistake #4: Cutting the Grass Too Short

Want to learn more lawn mowing mistakes you should avoid? Do not scalp your lawn. Scalping is when you cut the grass too short. Avoid using the lowest setting on the mower. Keep in mind that the length of the grass should also vary throughout the seasons. During those hot summer months, keep the grass at about one to two inches.

When the weather is a bit chillier in the winter and fall, keep your grass two to three inches in length.

If you end up scalping your lawn, here are a few ways you can restore the grass.

Start by pinpointing your recovery time. Determine when is a good time to pour a lot of time and energy into the lawn. Then, try and diagnose the issue that led to the scalped grass. If your grass is uniformed but short, this means you’re using the lowest setting on your mower. If the lawn is patchy and short, this can be an issue with the blade.

Soon after identifying these areas of the lawn, water them several times a week. You should also set down fertilizer and apply chelated iron for the best results. The grass uses these ingredients to regrow the blades back in a shorter amount of time.

If the lawn is patchy, you should also add potting soil or topsoil to the areas where the grass has been severely cut.

Plant new grass seeds in areas where the grass is too short and too dead to recover.

Water these areas so the new seeds can eventually sprout and have your yard look luscious and green again!

Mistake #5: Skipping Maintenance

Reducing human error when trying not to commit these lawn maintenance tips difficult. But this is not an excuse to be negligent. Another mistake you want to avoid is forgetting about your yard completely. Skipping a week or two of lawn maintenance may not seem like a big deal, but the grasses and weeds can get out of hand in a snap. If you don’t have the time to look after your lawn, consider hiring a landscaping service to help you with all of these tasks.

Mistake #6: Neglecting Your Tools

There are several lawn mowing mistakes you can make when you’re a first time homeowner. This one is one of the easiest mistakes to avoid, though. If you want a nice lawn, you will also need to take good care of your tools. A custom shed in your yard is the perfect place to keep all your tools safe from theft or the outdoor elements that can cause rust.

Mistake #7: Overwatering

Lawn mowing mistakes are natural, but this one is typically the most popular. Many homeowners are unsure how often to water their grass, so they overwater the lawn!

Mistake #8: Not Following Safety Precautions

There are also lawn mowing mistakes that pertain to your safety. You will need to receive medical attention if you’re not too careful, so make sure to follow these safety precautions.

First, make sure you are wearing the right shoes. Leave those flipflops for the lake and pool. Never wear opened toed shoes when you are mowing your lawn. Out of all the lawn mowing mistakes you can make, this is one of the easiest to prevent. Grab a pair of boots or tennis shoes instead. If you’re concerned about running your shoes, get a pair specifically for mowing the lawn!

Next, make sure your children are away from the lawn before you start cutting the grass. Ensure younger kids are safe indoors. Lawnmowers are designed for one person to push them, so avoid letting your kids help you finish up the lawn work. If they are under 12, don’t let them operate the mower. If you use a rider to cut your grass, never let a child under 16 operate this machine.

To avoid any more lawn mowing mistakes, ensure you clean your yard up before cutting the grass. This can include toys, branches, or stones. The mower can pick these items up and fling them towards your home, shattering the windows. This also puts your safety and wellbeing at risk!

The next safety tip you can avoid when cutting your grass is to avoid moving gravel. Do not cross your mower into your driveway. This can also launch stones into your home, or even through your neighbor’s window!

You also want to wear hearing protection when mowing your lawn. These machines can get quite loud, and you don’t want this household chore to cause long term hearing damage. You can purchase a pair of earmuffs at your local supply store.

When mowing your lawn, it’s also important to remember to never pull your machine backward and towards you. Doing so can cause the mower to tip and land on top of you. You don’t even want to imagine the gruesome aftereffect of what can happen next, so it’s best to leave this to the imagination and take these precautions seriously. A lawnmower is not a toy, after all.

Mistake #9: Choosing the Wrong Mower

This brings up the next topic at hand. Ditch the mowers that need a key to start the motor. Kids can easily start up this type of motor if they find the keys! Use a model that utilizes a keypad and code to start the motor. Pick a significant date or series of numbers for your code. Ensure only the adults know which numbers start your mower. If you need a new mower, look into mower package deals.

Mistake #10: Improperly Maintaining Your Mower

Additionally, ensure you remove the sparkplug before changing the blades in your mower. In case the piston is at the top of the compression stroke, this small bump to the blade within the unit can cause it to lurch forward. This can cut your hand!

Mistake #11: Mowing Haphazardly

Be cautious when going up and down the hills around your property.

This can also cause the lawnmower to tip. Not only are you putting your safety at risk, but you can also damage your unit! If you happen to damage it, you can always look at aftermarket motors to replace it.

It will run like new!

Mistake #12: Watering at the Wrong Time of Day

You also want to avoid watering your lawn at the wrong time of day. Why learn how to upkeep your lawn and not implement this crucial practice? All of your hard work will go to waste!

Therefore, don’t water your lawn between 10 am and 6 pm. Water before or after this time window. The reason behind this is that there is a lot less wind and more sun during the middle of the day. This can encourage mildew growth and fungus! If you don’t have time to water in the morning, you can water your grass between the hours of 4 and 7 in the afternoon. This time also ensures you don’t lose too much water to evaporation. Water evaporation happens when you water in the middle of the day, so don’t let your water bill reach sky-high levels for nothing. Be smart about your lawn care!

Mistake #13: Cutting With Dull Blades

Sharpen your mowing blades whenever every season starts. Cutting your grass with dull blades will tear your grass out! This can cause the grass to have light colored tips. This looks undesirable, as half of the blade will just end up looking dead.

Mistake #14: Removing Lawn Trimmings

Do not bag your lawn clipping when doing work out in your yard. Instead of collecting all the trimmings, use a self-munching mover to leave those shredded cuttings behind. When you leave these trimmings behind, you’re providing your lawn with much-needed plant food. It will thrive this way! You will also be helping the environment by reusing your lawn trimmings as plant food for your lawn instead. These trimmings can end up in a landfill when you throw them out!

Mistake #15: Using Too Much Fertilizer

Do not apply too much fertilizer when taking care of your yard. Using high levels of fertilizer will cause excess leaf growth. However, it will stunt root growth also. Basically, using an unnecessarily high amount of fertilizer can also burn your yard and cause brown splotches to appear.

Conclusion

When families first move into their homes, they often think about all of the improvements they can make on the interior areas of the home. However, the exterior shouldn’t be neglected either. The front lawn is just as important. It’s the first thing you’re neighbors, and guests will see!

There are many lawn mowing mistakes one can make when moving into their first home. However, you can also avoid these top blunders completely by doing some research of your own.

Ensure you’re taking proper care of your grass, and there’s no reason that you can’t have a gorgeous lawn.