Top Ten Lawn Care Mistakes

Jun 04, 2009, 09:14 ET from TruGreen

Survey of lawn care experts helps homeowners cultivate success

MEMPHIS, Tenn., June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- During a summer when "staycations" encourage homeowners to get the most enjoyment from their lawns, keeping lawn care as care-free as possible is a number-one priority. A survey of lawn care experts from the nation's largest lawn care company, TruGreen, reveals the top ten mistakes that homeowners from across the country make when it comes to lawn care and how to avoid them.

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No. 10. Removing the lawn clippings after mowing. Lawn clippings are a great source of nutrients for your soil. Rather than bagging grass clippings when you mow, recycle the clippings back into the soil.

No. 9. Wrong plant, wrong place. Planting unsuitable grass or plant types for the agronomic region is an easily avoidable mistake. Ask a lawn care expert in your area for a list of the plants and grass types that will thrive with your average temperature and soil type.

No. 8. Fertilizing Faux Pas. Fertilizing at the incorrect rate or the incorrect time of year for your type of grass can seriously damage your lawn. Research the best time and rate to fertilize your grass to get maximum results.

No, 7. Off Target Application. Fertilizer is a great source of nutrients for your lawn but it doesn't do much for your sidewalk, driveway or street. It's important to keep fertilizer applications on target to avoid potential nutrient run-off.

No. 6. Misdiagnosis. Well-meaning do-it-yourselfers often inadvertently cause more harm than good by misdiagnosing a lawn problem. Unless you're positive of the problem, consult a lawn care specialist who can provide you with the correct solution for your lawn care challenges.

No, 5. Seasonal Seeding. Eager to get their lawn looking great, homeowners often grow anxious to seed new grass to thicken up their lawn. Seeding is typically best in the fall when grass is going into dormancy for the winter.

No. 4. Trimming Trouble. Using a string trimmer too close to the base of a tree may actually kill the tree over time. It's important to be mindful of trees and shrubs when caring for your lawn.

No. 3. Watering Woes. Watering is a tricky task. Avoid over or under watering your lawn - a slow steady water once a week is a good rule of thumb. Lawns require a minimum of 1 inch per week of water - or as much as local water restrictions allow - which is achieved in about 30 minutes of watering. Be mindful of the weather and time of day when watering as well. Watering in the heat of the day actually wastes water to evaporation; instead, water early in the morning to maximize the moisture on your lawn.

No. 2 Mowing Mishaps. Some homeowners try to reduce the number of times they mow by mowing too low, essentially "scalping" the grass. This can put the lawn into shock and allow weeds and insects to take over. Additionally, mowing with a dull blade increases water loss from plants and requires more gasoline to power the mower.

And the number one-lawn care mistake to avoid this summer is...

No, 1. Failure to Follow. All lawn care products come with instructions for proper use. Be sure to read and follow the instructions and you will avoid some potentially serious mistakes that could damage your lawn and the environment.

"There's a lot more to proper lawn care than simply pushing a mower," explained Kirk Hurto, vice president, technical services for TruGreen. "If you really want a winning lawn this summer, you need to be aware of some basic lawn care principles. Knowing the mistakes to watch for is the first step to a gorgeous green lawn that can be an outdoor living room and playspace for family and friends."

Hurto recommends that do-it-yourselfers seek lawn care advice from a qualified lawn care professional or the local Cooperative Extension Service. They can help direct you to the appropriate products, set a healthy watering schedule, and identify any problems you have.

Additionally, TruGreen recently launched a new website for homeowners who want to discover even more ways to enjoy their well-cared-for lawns: The easy-to-navigate website features lawn and landscaping tips, outdoor grilling recipes, games to play in the back yard, and even contests where people can submit videos and photos describing "Why I Love My Yard."

About TruGreen

TruGreen is the nation's largest lawn and landscape company, serving more than 2.5 million residential and commercial customers across the United States with lawn care, tree and shrub care, and landscaping services. As the current industry leader, TruGreen continues to pioneer the development of new technology for lawn care, and devotes substantial resources to evaluate new products and equipment continually. Today there are 268 TruGreen LawnCare branches in the United States and Canada, including 52 franchise locations. TruGreen is part of the ServiceMaster family of brands, one of the world's largest and most versatile service networks.

About ServiceMaster

ServiceMaster currently serves residential and commercial customers through a network of more than 5,500 company-owned locations and franchised licenses. The company's brands include TruGreen, TruGreen LandCare, Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic, and AmeriSpec. The core services of the company include lawn care and landscape maintenance, termite and pest control, home warranties, cleaning and disaster restoration, house cleaning, furniture repair and home inspection.