MISTAKES TO AVOID IN GROWING LAWNS

Failure to feed lawns

One of the commonest of garden errors is to take the nutrition of a lawn for granted. Lawn grasses can rapidly deplete a soil of mineral fertility. Proper and regular spring and late summer feeding will insure a strong stand of lawn grass. That is the best insurance against the encroachment of Crab Grass and other weeds.




Application of slowly acting organic fertilizers in the spring

These may become available just about time for germination and growth of Crab Grass, thus accentuating the trouble.

Feeding a lawn in the heat of midsummer

This will cause burning of the grass and further stimulate weeds. Feed in early spring and again in early fall when the soil holds plenty of moisture.

Top dressing a fall-made lawn with fresh manure over winter

An infestation of weeds is sure to follow. No top dressing is necessary if grass has made good growth. If growth is not adequate and there is danger of washing, cover in early winter with a light mulch of salt hay or small twiggy branches.

Watering the lawn by merely sprinkling the surface

Watering is likely to do more harm than good if it is not thorough enough to soak the ground to the roots.

Using a heavy roller when soil is still wet in spring

Except on a very light sandy soil, this will result in so compacting the surface soil that growth of grass plants will be retarded.

Using a solid roller on a lawn

It will tear up the grass and leave a depression when the roller is turned. Young grass especially will be injured. Use a sectional roller. The sections revolve as the roller is turned. If a solid roller is in use, make a wide turn or turn on a path instead of the lawn.

Attempting to level a lawn by rolling it

This should be done by grading. The purpose of rolling is to press the grass back into the soil if it has been upheaved by the effects of winter and to flatten minor surface inequalities.

Sowing grass seed (for a lawn) in late spring

Early fall is the best time to sow grass seed, or very, very early spring. Late sown grass seed usually dies out or is crowded out by weeds during the summer.

Letting newly seeded surfaces dry out during germination period

This is the most critical time in starting a new lawn. Unless rain or cloudy weather follows seeding, it is advisable to water every day, to keep surface constantly moist.

Planting the lawn with bent grass unless you can provide great care

Bent Grass demands cutting twice a week. It is also subject to brown patch and dollar spot during the muggy days of July and August.




Mowing grass too close

Setting the mower closer than 1 inches is undesirable for most lawns. This is particularly important with blue grass lawns and during the extreme heat of the summer.

Removing grass clippings

Clippings are very useful as additions of organic matter and should not be removed unless the grass has been allowed to grow too tall.

Leaving heavy grass clippings on the lawn in the early season when the weather is moist

This will cause damping-off disease. Rake off the clippings and use for a garden mulch. Light mowings can be left on the lawn.

Mowing young grass in a new lawn with a poor mower

It is likely to pull the grass out by the roots. Roll first with a light roller then mow with a sharp, evenly set lawn mower.

Sodding in shady spots

The usual sod is largely Blue Grass which does not grow well under shade. Use ground covers instead.

Sowing grass seed in very shady spots

Usually a waste of time. Shade loving ground covers, like Vinca minor, euonymus, or pachysandra would be more suitable.

Failure to prepare soil properly for a new lawn

The soil preparation should be thorough with inclusion of humus and fertilizers. Good drainage is essential.

Allowing weeds to spread in the lawn

Prompt eradication as they appear will prevent the weeds from getting out of control.

Raking lawns in spring

If done, should be very light, otherwise humus is removed and roots damaged.

Applying lime in spring

Rarely necessary in average soils. Most grasses do best in slightly acid soils. Liming promotes growth of weeds.

Using lime too frequently on the lawn without making sure that it is needed

Lime is not a universal corrective. Even moss in the lawn does not always indicate the need for lime. Before applying lime to the lawn have the soil tested.

Allowing grass to grow long at end of season

Lawn grasses do not need a mat of dead foliage for winter protecdon; and too heavy a growth may smother out some areas. It also makes ideal wintering quarters for rodents and other lawn pests.

Using weed killer in excessive amounts on a lawn

This will kill the grass as well as the weeds and poison the soil against any further planting for some time.

Permitting a truck or other heavy machine to drive over frozen turf

Injury will be caused, necessitating digging up the tracks the following spring. Keep all traffic off permanent turf when it is frozen.

Bringing subsoil to the surface when making a new lawn

Only the best soil should be used for the surface seed-bed.

Seeding a bank or terrace without protection from washing out

Firm the surface when the seed is sown, then cover with a very thin burlap or sprinkle with a light layer of salt hay until the grass shows. Remove the hay gradually. The burlap can be left to disintegrate.



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