There are many misconceptions about the proper way to care for your lawn. Here are 3 Lawn Care Myths Busted.
MYTH 1. You must water your lawn every day.
Water in our area is expensive so let’s get the most out of what we use that we possibly can. Turf here needs 1 inch of water per week to thrive. If God does not give it to us, we need to use irrigation systems or hose end sprayers to get the water on the grass. Watering properly is the key to your lawn’s survival. Watering more than the 1 inch is a waste of water and money. The formula is simple, fewer applications per week for longer durations, short of water runoff.
No big mathematical formula is needed. Put a straight sided container on the lawn. Let your system run one cycle as you have it set now. Stick a ruler in the container and you have the amount of water in inches that your system supplied the lawn in one running cycle of your irrigation system. Your goal is not to run the system daily, but as few times as possible to get that 1 inch down on the grass. Runoff is when the system runs so long that the dirt under the grass can no longer absorb more water and it runs to the street gutter.
Watering daily, every other day for short times only lets the water sink into the dirt under the grass a small amount (shallow). The grass roots stay close to the water which is close to the surface where it gets HOT in our summers. The roots at the surface are therefore not very healthy or strong.
Watering deeply allows the roots to chase the water to deeper soil. This then can produce more and healthier roots capable of withstanding our hot soils much better. You will save money and provide you with a healthier lawn.
MYTH 2. Aeration is necessary for a healthy lawn.
Aeration is most beneficial to a ball field or lawn with constant foot traffic and use, the average homeowner will get no or minimal benefits from this service.
MYTH 3. It is best to bag your lawn clippings after mowing.
While it used to be fairly common practice for homeowners to bag their lawn clippings, it has become an outdated practice. Bagging the clippings means they must be disposed of. Our landfills take tons of grass clippings each year causing an environmental problem and waste of landfill space. Grass clippings blown into the street curb is not only against HOA policies and actually fineable up to $2000 by local police, it also gets into our water treatment plants. This is a very costly problem to all of us. Studies have shown the clippings left in the yard will actually decompose and provide a natural fertilizer. Regular mowing (weekly) with a good mulching mower will make the clippings so small you will hardly see them. The Texas AgriLife Extension Service has a Don’t Bag It Program to dissuade bagging. Check in with the Extension Office for answers to any lawn and landscaping questions, they are a great free resource for every homeowner.