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Common Myths about Lawns
Somewhere between Sasquatch and the Tooth Fairy are the urban lawn myths. Urban Lawn Myths have existed since man first let the sheep graze in the front yard to graze it down to close cropped lawn. They range from the subtle to the ridiculous. In this article I try to do a little “Myth Busting” – you’ll find educational and a little entertaining. Enjoy!
Myth: Finding a grub in your lawn is an indication that grubs killed your lawn
Fact: Almost all insects that can a damage a lawn are present in every lawn – including grubs. But as with grubs – and many other insects – one is not a problem. Grubs need to be in mass quantities to damage your lawn.
True that finding one may mean there are others, but if your lawn is healthy and thriving finding a lone grub is no reason for concern – it means one grub is living in your lawn. I have had competitors, dig in a lawn until they find a grub and then inform the owner they have grubs and the lawn needs to be treated or they will loose the lawn – this is scam and don’t fall for it!
The Irrigation is Running
Myth: The irrigation is running therefore it is not a irrigation problem.
Fact: Three things must happen for irrigation to NOT be a problem
- Operate – the system runs
- Volume – enough water is being applied
- Coverage – the water is being spread evenly over the turf
If any one of these three are not happening – it is an irrigation problem. Any effort spent on your irrigation system is an effort to improve your lawn.
Mowing Improves the Lawn
Myth: Mowing the lawn improves the lawn
Fact: Cutting your grass does not improve the health of the turf - mowing stresses the turf. Stressed turf is not thicker, greener or anyway “improved”. The only reason to mow your lawn is for appearance.
Pool water is Good for the Lawn
Myth: Any water, including pool water, is good for the lawn
Fact: Pool water is harmful to turf because of the chemicals – chlorine and salt. Chlorine and salt kill turf.
Too Much Shade
Myth: The tree is shading the lawn and causing it to thin/die
Fact: Rarely have I seen a tree canopy so thick as to deprive turf of enough Florida Sun to thrive. As matter of fact, turf enjoys the relief from the direct Florida Sun a shade tree provides. The real culprit is the roots. Roots of shallow rooted trees – Oaks – compete for water and nutrients and when mature form a nearly solid mass of roots. Growing grass on these root masses is something like growing grass on a stack of plywood. Pine and Camphor trees are deep rooted and grass will thrive under the canopy.
I water Once a Week like the Government Tells Me
Myth: Once a week watering is good for your lawn because you are following the law.
Fact: It is good not to break the law but watering your lawn once per week is not enough to have a healthy thriving lawn. As a matter fact, once per week watering will turn your lawn into a patchwork of weeds and healthy turf. For more about this go to: Once per Week is Not Enough
Dollar Weed is Caused by Too Much Water
Myth: Over watering causes Dollar Weed
Fact: Dollar Weed comes from Dollar Weed – not watering. Sounds silly to say it that way but watering doesn’t cause Dollar Weed. Dollar Weed is a very adaptable “water plant” that will live floating in water and on the high dry dunes. It is a very persistent and aggressive weed and left unchecked it will dominate any lawn – wet or dry (although it does seem to favor salty habitats). Do not think that reducing the water will somehow reduce the dollar weed – it won’t! Once established Dollar Weed can only be controlled, never eradicated and that only by consistent use of selective herbicides specifically for Dollar Weed. Best Advice: Hire a professional!
ILoveTurf.com - October 4th, 2009
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