The Top 7 DIY Lawn Care Mistakes to Avoid

December 6, 2023

You may work regularly to keep it green, clean, and beautiful. But even with the best efforts, there will be instances where your lawn doesn’t look anywhere near as good as you hoped.

Lawn care and landscape maintenance service providers say this is often due to human error. Even if maintaining and enhancing your lawn seems simple and straightforward, the mistakes you wittingly or unwittingly make can cause you to do more harm than good to your outdoor space.

If you love working on your lawn, here are seven mistakes you must avoid making to be sure you’re not damaging your yard with your DIY efforts.


All plants need water to grow and thrive. But they don’t need to be drowned in water.

Watering too frequently will hinder the grass from developing a deep root system. Grass with a shallow root system is less able to cope with stress from use, weather conditions and weeds competing for nutrients.

When watering your lawn, a good rule of thumb to follow is to give your yard a third of an inch of water three times a week.

Cutting the grass too short

If you don’t like mowing, chances are, you may cut the grass too short to avoid having to do this task too often. Overcutting is something that you should stop doing.

Mowing the grass too short will limit its ability to absorb sunshine – something the plant needs for photosynthesis and to make food.

Additionally, cutting the grass too short can cause the plants to have a weaker root system.

To make sure you’re not scalping your grass, set the mower height to about two and a half inches. Also, avoid cutting off more than a third of the grass blade at a time.

Using a mower with dull blades

Another mistake you may be making that can damage your lawn is using a mower with dull blades.

When you use a mower with blunt blades, you actually tear the grass blade whenever you mow. This will cause the grass to have light-colored tips that make them look brown and unhealthy. Torn blades of grass are also more prone to disease and pest damage.

It is best to sharpen the lawnmower blades at the start of each season before using them to keep your grass healthy and looking its best.


Applying too much fertilizer, especially a product with high levels of nitrogen, can cause excess leaf growth and limit your plants’ root development. Over-fertilization can also burn your lawn.

To go about this lawn care chore safely, follow the fertilizer manufacturer’s recommended amount for application. Make sure you apply it evenly as well.

It is also best to use a slow-release organic fertilizer to reduce the chances of burning your lawn.

Ignoring weeds on your lawn

Letting weeds grow on your lawn is a critical lawn care mistake that can lead to numerous problems.

Weeds fight with grass and other plants over nutrients, sunlight and water, affecting the overall health and appearance of your lawn. They also spread rapidly, making them difficult to control once they take hold.

Letting weeds grow rampant can also result in an unsightly, patchy lawn that is more susceptible to diseases and pests.

If you want to maintain a lush and healthy lawn, tackle weeds promptly through regular maintenance and prevention.

Overlooking the importance of pest control

A beautiful, thriving lawn is a home feature that will attract the attention of any guest, neighbor, and passerby. Unfortunately, it will also attract a number of unsavory pests.

Pests of different sizes can cause considerable damage to your yard. The most common and harmful lawn pests you have to look out for are:

  • Aphids
  • Caterpillars
  • Flea beetles
  • Mealybugs
  • Scale insects
  • Slugs and snails
  • Rats

It is important to keep your yard clean and tidy to eliminate possible food sources that will attract pests. If you’re dealing with large pests, providers of landscaping services recommend surrounding your property with fences to keep them away.

Make sure you always have an organic pest control product in your home to deal with pesky insects.

Bagging lawn clippings

It is common practice to bag your lawn clippings and throw them once you’re done mowing.

However, you can keep your lawn healthy and save time and money in the long run by simply leaving grass clippings in your yard.

If you want to buy a new mower or replace your current one, choose a self-mulching mower. This will allow you to leave lawn clippings behind, which you can use as fertilizer.

By leaving your grass clippings behind whenever you mow, you give your lawn nitrogen almost continually, which will reduce the need for fertilization by as much as 25%.

There is nothing wrong with being meticulous about taking care of your lawn. However, be wary of mistakes that can inadvertently cause you to ruin your outdoor space.

Take note of these mistakes to ensure you keep a healthy, thriving and appealing lawn all year round.



Urban Splatter

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