Great lawns are forged by no easy means. The amount of time, energy, and sweat that goes into lawn care in Austin is simply amazing (unless, of course, you use LawnStarter). It doesn’t help that there are bountiful lawn care myths floating around. Without pouring over a ton of research, it’s hard to know what is true and what isn’t. Well, we at LawnStarter are here to help you sort out the myths from the facts. There are many mistruths about lawn care, but here are the top 5 most common myths about lawn care in Austin:
1. It’s best to bag clippings.
There’s a common misconception that if you leave the clippings on your lawn, it will result in thatch buildup. This is false, and in fact, leaving the clippings on the lawn can be super beneficial. It’s not only easier to throw on a mulching blade and mulch your clippings, but doing so is very healthy for your lawn. Because grass clippings are mostly water, they decompose rapidly and return solid amounts of fertilizer to your lawn.
2. You get to take winters off.
Sure, winters are nicer here in Texas than they are in Wisconsin. But that doesn’t mean we get to take the season off. In fact, there are many things you can do for winter lawn care in Austin. First, you may still want to mow consistently in Austin. About 65% of our clients maintain monthly mowing service. Second, our winters can get pretty dry here. This means that if it’s been a few weeks since the last rain, you might want to water your lawn. This will help prevent winter desiccation. Some experts also recommend adding products to your lawn, like a bio-stimulant with micro-nutrients.
Winter is also the perfect time to tune up your equipment. Mower blades dull with time, so while you’re mowing less frequently throughout the winter months, you can take that time to sharpen your blades. In addition, you can add fuel stabilizer and fix or replace and broken parts.
3. The best time to fertilize your lawn is in early spring.
Most of our clients in Austin are on a quarterly fertilization plan. In reality, one well-timed fertilization won’t do much for your lawn. It’s almost a waste of money. To get any real results, you need to have a fertilization plan with a few applications. Also, there is no one correct time to fertilize. It depends on the type of grass you have and the condition of your lawn. For example, if you have Bermuda grass, it’s usually most important to feed it in late spring and early fall.
4. Wearing spiked shoes helps aerate the lawn.
It seems all-too-convenient doesn’t it? Just slip on some spiked shoes to wear while you mow the lawn and you can aerate at the same time…well, it doesn’t work that way. In reality, spiked shoes can actually further impact your lawn. Core aeration is the most effective method to relieve lawn compaction, and to do so you should use a core aerator (makes sense, right?). Apparently, there have been studies that suggest spiked shoes can be used to kill grubs, though. So you may not have to throw away those silly looking things after all.
5. Lawns are bad for the environment.
So, there’s that statistic about lawn mowers emitting as much pollution as a car being driven for roughly 200 miles. But then there are also many statistics that point towards lawns being good for the environment. In fact, they can prevents soil erosion, stabilize dust, absorb rainwater, reduce glare and noise pollution, and improve and restore the soil. Lawns clean the air by trapping dust and smoke particles. Finally, they act as natural air conditioners. When pavement heats to an excess of 100 degrees, the adjacent grass will be cooler by 25-50%. Pretty amazing!