Lawn Care Basics: Two Myths That Can Hurt Your Grass


Photo: woodleywonderworks

The suburban lawn is a key element to a great first impression, and a source of pride to many a homeowner. But, are there some things we take as fact that might actually be a myth as far as lawn care goes?

Recurring, and very welcome, guest poster Jessica Ackerman chimes in on two such assumptions, myths that actually are contrary to your goal of a beautiful lawn …


If you are like me, you pamper your lawn.  After all, it is the “carpeting” for your home’s exterior. Your lawn and the way that you care for it allows your pride in your home to show through!

But for all of the information that is floating around out there when it comes to lawn care, there is a lot of misinformation, too.  In fact, two actual myths that are perpetuated as fact are the culprits behind some of the ugliest lawns in America.  It’s time that they were debunked.

Lawn care myth #1: you should always water your lawn in the evening

Watering the grass in the evening allows the water to go further for better lawn care, right?  Well, that’s what we’ve been told anyway.  This is a huge myth that can lead your lawn to be nominated for America’s Ugliest Yard.

Many homeowners actually water their lawns too much, but the notion of waiting until sunset to water your loan to conserve water is foolhardy.  Waiting does not make the water go further, but it does allow it to sit on top of the lawn. This allows nasty funguses to take a foothold, and for diseases to germinate that can make your grass look unsightly.

Following this advice may cause the need to replace your entire lawn.

Use less water during daylight hours

The truth is that most lawns need just a half-inch to an inch of water weekly. In most areas of the country, giving your grass a drink on summer days when the sun is the highest in the sky is usually sufficient to keeping your lawn green and beautiful.

Lawn care myth #2: mowing the grass shorter leads to mowing less frequently

Around my house, everyone always wants to mow, probably because we recently bought a new lawn tractor and the novelty hasn’t worn off yet.  But when you mow the grass shorter by adjusting the mower to a shorter setting, you rob each grass blade you cut of its capacity to produce food via the process of photosynthesis. This exposes the sensitive root system of your grass to excessive sunlight, which then allows weeds that take root in your lawn.

Mow the lawn

Photo: Mark Guadalupe

It doesn’t take long for these weeds to capture a larger portion of sunlight, and choke your grass.  This causes the grass rapidly produce new blades, and to do so, it must tap into its sugar reserves.

Don’t shock your grass

If you let the grass grow fairly long and then cut it short, you can shock the lawn.  The clippings left behind will be thick and shouldn’t be left on your lawn since they can remove valuable nutrients from your lawn system.  Cutting the lawn too short can remove too much of the blade, leaving behind mainly bare stock.  The plant will then be unable to produce additional shoots.  What you get as a result is a patch of brown grass that is unsightly and unhealthy.

To combat this, you likely end up watering the lawn more, which can be even more detrimental for already “sick” grass.  Thus, in a way, this myth is almost true.  Mowing your grass shorter will lead to mowing less frequently – much less frequently in fact, since dead lawns don’t need to be mowed!

Avoid buying into these two myths and your lawn will breathe easier and be much healthier and more beautiful!


Thanks, Jessica!

Jessica Ackerman, author and staff designer at, specializes in candle sconces and holders as well as decorative wall wine racks.



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