7 Things You Should Never Do To Your Lawn

1. Don’t Use Salt To Melt Ice

DOURLEAK/ISTOCK/THINKSTOCK

Winter can be harsh. Snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain. Many people in cold climes have concrete or stone walkways carved into their lawns. To keep these frozen avenues of egress open, people may put salt on them. While salt will melt ice, it will also damage the lawn when it dissolves and leaches into the soil. When spring comes, brown patches of dead grass might appear where the salt has settled. In many cases, spring snowmelt and rain often will flush the lawn of accumulated salts. Within six to eight weeks, your grass may green up again.

2. Never Scalp Your Lawn

ANMALKOV/ISTOCK/THINKSTOCK

Cutting your lawn too short or scalping will damage the root system of the grass. Scalping happens when two-thirds of the leaf blade is removed, and the stem is left standing. Studies show that by cutting your grass high, the roots grow deeper, allowing them to take in more moisture and nutrients. As a result, the grass grows thicker. Experts caution against removing more than the top third of the grass blade. A taller lawn will not only blossom better than a shorter lawn, but it also will cut down on the number of weeds.

3. Don’t Use Poisons

PALINCHAKJR/ISTOCK/THINKSTOCK

Some experts recommend not using herbicides to kill weeds or pesticides to kill insects. These chemicals find their way into the environment, and they also restrict the movement of water in the soil. Pesticides can harm myriad insects, microorganisms, and earthworms that help keep a lawn healthy. Moreover, many plants that we consider weeds are actually beneficial. Clover, for example, takes nitrogen from the atmosphere and distributes it in the soil.

4. Don’t Mow At Noon

BO NIELSEN/ISTOCK/THINKSTOCK

Mowing at the right time of the day, especially during the summer, will help your lawn stay green. As we said before, don’t mow in the morning when the grass is wet. Wait until the lawn dries. Once dry, mow in the late afternoon and early evening. For one thing, it’s excessively hot at noontime for such work. Not only can mowing in the heat of the day stress you out, but it can also stress your lawn. Also, don’t water your lawn in the blazing hot sun. The water will evaporate.

5. Don’t Water Too Often

STOYKOSABOTANOV/ISTOCK/THINKSTOCK

Watering a few minutes a day is not a good idea. It’s a vicious cycle. Frequent watering creates a shallow root system. Plants with shallow roots need to be constantly watered to remain healthy. Instead, water once a week for an hour or so. This will allow the water to penetrate the soil and make your lawn more tolerant of dry conditions. It will also cut down on weeds. When you water, do it in the early morning before the sun starts to bake the landscape. You can also water in the late evening.

6. Don’t Think All Mushrooms Are Bad

POMVIT/ISTOCK/THINKSTOCK

Not all mushrooms are bad, although some spread disease. Mushrooms contain the reproductive parts of certain fungi. Mushrooms like to chow down on tree stumps, agricultural waste, and other decaying matter, including animal waste. Mushrooms break down the organic material and release nutrients that can help the grass grow. Mushrooms often sprout from buried and decaying construction lumber and other organic substances.

7. Don’t Cut Wet Grass

SILVERJOHN/ISTOCK/THINKSTOCK

The best time to mow is when the grass is dry. When moisture from rain or the morning dew weighs grass down, the blades bend, making a straight cut difficult. You also can slip on wet grass, and the clippings tend to clump and not spread evenly. However, there might be times when you have to mow wet grass, especially when it rains a lot. Experts at Kansas State University say it is better to mow wet grass than letting the grass grow too tall and then cutting it when dry.