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5 Surprising Things That Will Kill Your Grass

The last thing most homeowners want to do is kill their grass. However, if they don’t have a green thumb, that’s what happens.

Sadly, many do more harm than good in pursuing the perfect lawn. On the other hand, taking a hands-off approach could be equally as disastrous.

Today, we’re sharing five surprising things that’ll kill your grass.

Let’s hit it!

Did You Know These Things Can Kill Your Grass?

Some people take great pride in having the sharpest-looking yard in the neighborhood. Many even associate a well-manicured lawn with class and sophistication. This is mainly due to the historical use of the term and the individuals managing the property.

The term “lawn” originates from the mid-1500s from the Old French word “lande.” This means “heath, moor, barren land, or clearing.” Low grasses surrounding the expanses of residents, especially castles, became a popular security measure. It allowed the occupants to see anyone or anything approaching their residents.

During the 1700s, wealthy residents in France and England had yards similar to what we experience today. They were a luxury until Edwin Budding’s mowing machines in 1830. Until then, property owners required workers or livestock to control the growth.

More than 200 years later, obtaining a soft green spot to relax or play is much easier. However, some things will quickly kill your grass if you’re not careful.

Pro Tip: Protect your grass! These are 5 Reasons to Avoid Gas-Powered Lawn Mowers.

Man mowing grass near his house
Lawn maintenance is a delicate balance to keep your grass growing healthily.

#1 Over-watering

Everybody knows that plants require water, including grass. If not, it’s not long before they turn brown and die. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing is terrible when it comes to plants. One rookie mistake that’s easy to make when caring for a yard is to use too much.

Over-watering could force vital nutrients, like nitrogen and oxygen, out of and away from the plant. It can also lead to root rot and a host of diseases that’ll spell the death of your lawn.

If you want a lush and green yard, you should deeply water twice a week throughout the year. You can up it to three times per week during the seasons when it’s sweltering. By doing it well, but less frequently, you encourage roots to grow deep. Check local laws or ordinances for how often and when you can turn your sprinklers on so you won’t kill your grass or get fined. 

#2 Mowing Too Low

“Take a little off the top” applies to haircuts and grass. You want to cut it so it’s between two and a half and three inches tall. Cutting it too short can be very harmful and cause it to die. When you cut it too much, you could increase the chance of disease taking over.

How often you should mow will depend on how quickly your lawn grows. During the peak growth months, like summer, you may have to do it twice a week. However, during the fall or spring, it may be once every other week and not at all in winter.

Check the owner’s manual if you’re unsure how to change the height of your blade. There’s typically a lever on the wheels that you can adjust. Riding mowers often have a handle that makes it easy. Again, check your owner’s manual if you have any questions.

#3 Heavy Traffic

Heavy traffic is another thing that’ll murder your grass. Regular walking and playing are typically no big deal. But it becomes an issue with increased traffic in a focused area.

You can often best see this along hikes where people have created their own paths. This results in the destruction of the land and is why officials ask guests to stay on the route. They don’t want a new trail in the park, and you don’t want one through your yard, either.

If you have a high-traffic area, consider installing stepping stones. This will create a decorative look and provide protection. While the grass under the pavers will die, having them is more aesthetically pleasing than a trail of dead vegetation. 

Green grass lawn
From mowing too low to overusing fertilizer, there are lots of things that can kill your grass.

#4 Too Much Fertilizer

Another example of too much of a good thing can be a bad thing is when it comes to fertilizer. The nitrogen in fertilizer helps plants grow, but too much can poison your lawn and turn it brown. It deprives the plants of oxygen and kills healthy bacteria in the soil.

To avoid putting too much fertilizer, apply it early in the spring. Follow the directions and avoid overdoing it. If you do, you could create a very needy grass. In addition, it could find its way into the groundwater or runoff into the city’s supply during your next rain.

#5 Fungus or Insects

When it comes to keeping your grass alive, you may discover you have enemies you didn’t even know existed. Whiteflies, lawn mites, and grubs can take over your yard quickly. In the worst circumstances, they can do some serious damage. You can try to treat these yourself by using an insecticide, but it can be risky. It may be best to leave it to a professional.

Another instance where you might need to call in a professional is if you suspect a fungus. If your yard turns yellow, brown, or purplish, it’s likely a fungus. Getting rid of these can be a pain, and you can make it worse. Don’t be afraid to contact a professional for help.

Pro Tip: Keep grass out of the cracks of your driveway with this guide on How to Easily Seal Your Driveway.

Nothing Kills the Vibe Like Dead Grass

If you kill your grass before the end of the season, it’ll be much harder to enjoy your lawn. But if you want to steal the show in the neighborhood, it’ll take some consistency, effort, and research.

Developing a plan specific to your yard is essential for the best results. You don’t have to settle for a sub-par or scraggly-looking lawn. Give it the TLC it deserves so you can have a soft and comfortable place to picnic, watch a sunset, or let your kids play.

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