The Dos And Don’ts Of Lawn Care: Expert Advice For A Healthy Lawn

In the world of lawn care, there are a few things you should know. First and foremost, the grass is always greener on the other side of your fence that is, unless you’re talking about a synthetic turf installation. 

How To Fix An Ugly Lawn | Lawn Care Tips For Beginners
Lawn Care 101
Regularly fertilize the lawn to promote healthy growth.
Mow at the right height to avoid stressing the grass.
Water deeply and infrequently to maintain soil moisture.
Aerate the lawn to improve soil health and reduce compaction.
Choose the right grass type and seed for your lawn’s conditions.

But if you want to grow an actual lawn in your yard, then we’ve got some tips for you:

Do Know Your Grass

Grass types are determined by the season in which they grow and whether or not they need to be mowed regularly, so knowing the characteristics of your lawn will help you determine how often to mow and what type of equipment is best for cutting it. 

Cool season grasses are dormant in winter and grow quickly when temperatures rise in spring; warm season grasses prefer hot weather and slow growth during cold months. 

If you’re unsure about what kind of grass you have on a particular section of your lawn, consult an expert or conduct some research online before deciding how frequently (and at what height) to cut it.

Lawn care is essential for maintaining a beautiful yard all year round. Check out our comprehensive guide on lawn care tips to keep your lawn in top shape!

Don’t Mow Too Short

As a general rule of thumb, your lawn should be cut to between 1 and 2 inches in height. This will allow grass to grow more quickly and evenly, promoting stronger roots. It’s also important to keep your mower blade sharp so that it doesn’t tear up your lawn when you’re cutting it.

  • Mow at the right time of day.

Cutting the grass in the early morning or evening is best because it allows moisture from dew or rain to evaporate before being set in by sunlight and heat during midday hours (giving you a healthier, more resilient lawn). 

If this isn’t possible for you, try spreading out your mowing sessions over several days instead of trying to do all of them on one morning before work or school starts—this way there are less risks involved with over-watering due to frequent watering during hot summer months!

Don’t rush into spring mowing too soon after winter ends; wait until April or even May before starting up again so that any leftover problems from last year will have been addressed first – otherwise they’ll just come back again later!

Do’s and Don’tsWhy It’s Important
Keep mower blades sharpBlunt blades can damage grass, making it more susceptible to disease and infestation. Sharpen blades at least once per season or more if they become dull.
Mow high to avoid stress on grassMowing too low can shock roots, exposing them to damage and disease. Keep your lawn tall to prevent stress and maintain overall health.
Cut no more than 1/3 of grass lengthRemoving more than 1/3 of the grass blade can cause damage and shock to the roots, reducing drought tolerance and disease resistance.
Adjust mowing frequency based on grass growthMow more frequently when grass grows faster and less frequently when growth slows. This helps to prevent removing too much of the grass blade at once.
Don’t mow too shortMowing too short weakens grass roots, slows growth and reduces disease resistance. For cool-season turf, a height of 2.5″ is recommended. For warm-season turf, 1″-2″ is recommended.

Do Aerate Your Soil

  • Aerating your soil will help to restore the natural balance of nutrients, improve drainage and boost the health of your lawn.
  • The best time to aerate is in late spring or early summer when there is little rainfall.
  • If you’re using a hand tool, remove plugs that are 2 inches wide and 2 inches deep with a ¼ inch diameter corer. You can also use an aerator with spikes that go down into the soil and create holes approximately 1 inch deep.

A well-maintained lawn is a key element of a beautiful outdoor space. Our ultimate guide to lawn maintenance offers tips and strategies for keeping your lawn healthy and looking great.

Don’t Overfertilize

It’s tempting to give your lawn a boost of nutrients after a long winter, but too much fertilizer can actually harm your grass. 

Fertilizers contain salts that build up in the soil and cause burn spots, which are brown areas where the grass is dead or dying. These burn spots have a yellowish tint to them because of all of the salt build-up!

If you’re seeing any signs of this on your lawn, it’s best to stop fertilizing right away until you’re sure there aren’t any more problems with it. 

Also, don’t worry if this happens just once it should go away within two weeks or so as long as there aren’t any other issues at hand (such as disease). 

In addition to causing damage from overfertilization itself though, too much nitrogen can also cause plants themselves not only turn yellow but also develop brown rings around their leaves due to lack of nutrients elsewhere in system (this is called chlorosis).

Do’s and Don’tsWhy It’s Important
Use a soil analysis test kit to determine nutrient deficienciesProvides an accurate picture of your soil composition and fertilizer needs to avoid excess use of nutrients.
Use fertilizers as directedOverfertilization can damage the lawn, bring an increased risk of pests and diseases, contaminate groundwater and cause environmental hazards.
Don’t overfertilizeOverfertilization increases the chance of nutrient runoff, depriving other plant or aquatic life of necessary resources. Too much fertilizer also causes nutrients to leach into groundwater, contaminating local water sources.
Apply fertilizers at the right timeApplying fertilizer outside its growing season may result in fertilizer toxicity as the plant will be unable to metabolize nutrients. For instance, Scott’s Turf Builder recommends fertilizing in the early spring or late fall for cool-season grasses.
Choose the right fertilizer typeNot all fertilizers are made equal. Different products have different nutrient ratios which should align with your soil test results. Scott’s Green Max Lawn Food, for instance, has a 24-0-4 N-P-K ratio, which delivers nitrogen and iron to the lawn.

Do Remove Weeds By Hand

You can also remove weeds by hand. Hand pulling is the best way to get rid of weeds that are growing in low-traffic areas of the yard, such as between pavers or near walkways. It’s best to do this during cool weather when the soil is moist and loose.

To pull a weed, grasp its roots with your fingers (wear gloves) and gently tug it out of the ground. If it doesn’t come up easily, use a trowel or gardening fork to loosen up the soil around its roots so they’ll be easier to pull out next time you go walking through your yard.

The downside of hand pulling is that you may not be able to reach all those root hairs—and if even one root hair remains behind, more weeds will grow back there next season!

Are you making common lawn care mistakes? Our guide on the top 15 lawn care mistakes can help you identify and fix these issues to achieve a healthy lawn.

Don’t Use Chemicals To Control Insects And Weed

The use of chemicals to control insects and weed is not good for the environment, your health and also not good for your lawn. 

The chemicals have no effect on pests and weeds if they are not used right. They can harm children, pets or wildlife if they come into contact with them.

Use only natural products like corn gluten meal, soap suds and fish emulsion that are non-toxic to humans but they help eliminate pests like grubs and caterpillars from the lawn.

Do Water Early In The Morning For Better Results

If you’ve ever had a garden, then you know that the best time to water is early in the morning. This prevents disease by keeping your plants dry at night, when fungi and mold can grow easily on moist soil. 

And because your lawn has been dormant all winter long, it’s going to need some extra time under its new sunnier skies to get used to this fresh-aired lifestyle again! 

By making sure that everything gets plenty of hydration when it wakes up and not just at night when we’re asleep you’ll be giving yourself a head start on growing an awesome grassy friend for the summer months ahead.

Watering TimeWhy It’s Best
Early morningLess water is lost to evaporation, and cooler temperatures ensure the water reaches the roots before evaporation can occur. This helps to reduce fungal growth and the spread of disease. The best time to water using Rachio brand sprinklers is between 5-9 am.
Late afternoonSimilar to early morning, cooler temperatures reduce evaporation and allow water to reach roots. However, fungal growth may increase due to the longer period of darkness and moisture.
MiddayNot recommended due to high evaporation rates, resulting in water loss and reduced soil moisture. Can also cause ‘burned’ grass tips from excess water droplets which act as magnifying glasses and intensify the sun’s rays.

Don’t Forget To Sharpen Your Mower Blades

One of the most important parts of lawn care is keeping your mower blades sharp. Dull blades can tear up grass instead of cleanly cutting it, leaving jagged edges behind that don’t look good and can actually hurt your lawn’s health.

To sharpen your blades, simply take them to a professional so they’re properly taken care of. They’ll know exactly how often you should get them sharpened based on how much you cut your grass and what type of turf you have (grass vs. sod).

Want to step up your lawn care game? Our article on 10 surprising lawn care tips offers new and unexpected strategies for achieving a beautiful and healthy lawn.

Do Rake Up Fallen Leaves In The Fall (Or Mow Over Them)

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where leaves fall, it’s important to remove them before they break down into a messy, smelly mess on your lawn.

You can do this by raking the leaves up and disposing of them or mulching them into your lawn this will help break down the leaves and make them easier for your grass to absorb when spring comes around. In addition, leaf litter is also rich in nutrients that are beneficial for plants (once it’s been broken down).

Leaves can be used as a compost or fertilizer as well! If you have access to free or cheap compost material, use it instead of buying bags at the store. 

The ideal ratio is 10 parts nitrogen-rich materials (like lawn clippings) mixed with 1 part carbon-rich materials (such as wood chips).

Don’t Compost Or Mulch Grass Clippings

Grass clippings are not good for the environment.

Grass clippings can be used as a fertilizer: While grass clippings can be a source of nitrogen, only dry them out first so they have time to break down before you apply them.

Grass clippings are not a good mulch: The composting process takes weeks or months and is best done with other kinds of waste materials (like food scraps).

Grass clippings can be used to make compost: To do this, either spread them on your garden or use them in your worm bin until they’re fully broken down into soil nutrients.

Don’tWhy Not
Compost or mulch grass clippingsGrass clippings contain high levels of nitrogen and can cause excess nitrogen levels in soil if not composted properly. It can also lead to thatch buildup, which blocks nutrients and water from reaching grass roots.
Fertilize your lawn too frequentlyOverfertilization can result in excessive growth, disease, and increased pest infestations. It can also contaminate groundwater, killing aquatic life and leading to environmental damage.
Water your lawn dailyDaily watering can lead to shallow roots, decreased drought tolerance, ‘burned’ grass tips from excessive moisture, and water wasted through runoff. It is better to deep-water less frequently for healthier grass.
Mow your lawn too shortCutting the grass too short can weaken roots, making them susceptible to disease and infestation. It also increases evaporation rates, making it harder for your grass to retain moisture and stay healthy.
Leave grass clippings on your lawnLeaving clippings on the lawn can lead to thatch buildup, blocking nutrients and water from reaching grass roots. It can also increase the risk of disease and infestation.

Do Train Your Grass To Grow Upright By Mowing In A Different Direction Each Time

You can train your grass to grow in a more upright position by mowing in different directions each time. 

Grass will grow in a circular pattern when cut in the same direction, so it’s important to alternate which way you mow your lawn. If you want your lawn to be more flat and evenly spaced, this is an important tip for achieving that look.

To train your grass to grow upright and become healthier overall, try using string on either side of the blades of grass after every couple of weeks or so. 

This will help guide them into growing straight up instead of curling around themselves like they normally do when left uncut for too long at a time (which leads them looking scraggly).

Achieving a lush and green lawn requires a dedicated approach to lawn care. Our 10 proven lawn care strategies guide offers tried-and-true tips for achieving the perfect lawn.


It might seem like a lot of work and you may be tempted to take the easy way out by letting it go, but taking care of your lawn is not only an investment in your home but also an investment in yourself. 

If you want people to see and enjoy your yard, then you need to make sure that it stays healthy. By following these tips, you will be able to do just that!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you care for your lawn:

6 Secrets for Getting the Best Lawn on the Block: Learn industry tips and secrets for a beautiful, healthy lawn.

Your First Lawn Start Here: This resource is perfect for beginners who want to learn how to start growing a healthy and beautiful lawn.

Lawn Maintenance Calendar: Keep your yard up to par with a year-round lawn maintenance schedule.


How often should I mow my lawn?

Mowing frequency depends on several factors, such as grass type, environmental conditions and growth rate. However, tall grasses generally need to be mowed more often, usually once a week. Shorter grasses might only need to be cut every 10 to 14 days.

How much water does the lawn need?

This largely depends on local weather conditions and the type of grass you have. On average, most lawns need 1 inch of water per week, whether from natural rainfall or irrigation. However, this can vary depending on factors such as rainfall, temperature, humidity, and soil.

How can I ensure proper fertilization?

Fertilization is an important aspect of lawn care. The best way to ensure proper fertilization is to test soil nutrient levels and apply fertilizer accordingly. Soil testing kits can be purchased at many home improvement stores and provide a good idea of soil nutrient needs.

When should I aerate my lawn?

It is generally recommended that a lawn is aerated once every other year, typically during the growing season. The exact timing depends on the climate, grass type, and current condition of the lawn.

How do I deal with weeds in my lawn?

Weeds can be a nuisance in any lawn. The best way to deal with weeds is to uproot them manually or use a weed killer. Herbicides or weed killers, available in both natural and synthetic forms, work best when applied during warm weather when weeds are actively growing.