Having your own private lawn and garden is one of the best parts of owning a home. Gardens provide a quiet place for homeowners and their families to relax, entertain, and enjoy their spare time. Even something as simple as taking a nap can be greatly improved if done in the presence of verdant grass and healthy plants.
Lawn and garden care often seem easy enough, but every time you cut the grass and water the plants, you are setting your own home up for success. Tools like a lawnmower and safety gumboots with steel toe all play a role in proper lawn care, but you also need to consider the human element. Cut the grass with care, and you might be blessed with a healthy, green, and strong lawn. But do your work incorrectly and carelessly, and your garden will die.
Tools and skills aren’t the only things that can make or break your garden, however. Here are a few more things to avoid when working on your garden.
1. Using salt
People often rely on salt to remove ice. During the cold winter months, the world around us is covered in ice. But that doesn’t mean you should pour salt on your lawn to melt ice. You can use salt to keep your walkways and driveways clear and dry. Just don’t use it in your garden.
Yes, the salt will clear the ice from your frozen lawn. But when the ice begins to melt, all the dissolved salt ends up in the soil. When temperatures start to become warm, you’ll be greeted with bare patches where the salt has killed the grass.
2. Incorrect cutting height
Cutting the grass too short, a practice also known as scalping can destroy your garden. If the cutting height is too low, the grass blade’s root system is damaged. Too short means over three-quarters of the leaf blade is excised with the stem left standing.
By only cutting the top portion of the grass, you’re allowing the root system to grow deeper into the soil, allowing the grass to absorb more water and nutrients. The end result is healthier grass which can better resist weeds and other pests.
3. Disposing of the clippings
After mowing, do not throw the grass clippings away. Not only are you wasting time, but you’re also throwing valuable organic material away. The clippings can be used as mulch to nourish the soil. The clippings can also be used to cover any bare patches. Most importantly, you get to reduce the amount of waste you throw out.
4. Mowing after rain
Unless your local weather makes it impossible to keep to regular mowing schedule, wait until the grass has dried off before mowing. The moisture weighs the blades down, forcing them to bend and making a straight cut more difficult. Mowing on wet grass is also dangerous since you could slip and fall down.
Aim for a balanced plan when it comes to lawn and garden care. The lawn care process can be a tad complicated. Do too much and your once-healthy lawn could die. Synthetic fertilizers are loaded with chemicals like salt and nitrogen which, if applied too liberally, can destroy the soil’s fertility.