Lawn Care Myth vs. Reality

HEY Landlord….Spring is approaching and it’s time to start planning a lawn and landscape strategy. I thought this would be the perfect time to review some common myths and myth-busting tips from several lawn and landscaping professionals familiar with the conditions in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

Myth #1: You can water your lawn and landscape any time of day.

Reality: Water is a valuable resource; make every drop count! Watering the lawn in the early mornings or evenings after sunset minimizes evaporation. It’s the best time for water to penetrate deep into the soil.

Myth #2: It’s okay to cut the grass very short.

Reality: Most landscape professionals advise against cutting more than one-third of the grass leaf at a time. Mowing at a finished cut height of 3 to 3.5 inches throughout the summer is generally recommended. The lawn will need less water, will be more resistant to weeds and will have a deeper, greener color. Use a sharp mower blade to prevent tearing grass blades. A crisp and clean cut will help prevent a “brown tip” appearance.

Myth #3: It’s best to water your lawn every day.

Reality: Watering your lawn every three days is better than daily watering. Deep, rather than shallow watering of your lawn is recommended to nurture the roots. An inch of water to 12 inches of soil is the preferred ratio for watering actively growing grass.

Myth #4: If you want to replace your lawn, you should do it in the spring when plants get ready to bloom.

Reality: The best time to sow seed is in the late summer and early fall when the temperatures are more consistent and when highly competitive weeds, like crabgrass, are at the end of their life cycle.

Myth #5: Early spring is the best time to fertilize the lawn.

Reality: Since different species of grass prefer nutrients at different times of the year, be sure to use the correct fertilizer, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place. A slow-release fertilizer allows for more even and consistent feeding over a longer period of time than a quick-release fertilizer. And, remember to use fertilizers responsibly by cleaning up any that lands on the street, sidewalks or driveways.

Myth #6: A garden hose is more cost efficient than installing an irrigation system.

Reality: Many landscape professionals recommend installing an irrigation system with smart controllers which have sensors that water when needed. Smart irrigation can offer a cost savings of 15–20 percent on water bills. Converting irrigation spray nozzles from sprinklers to rotating nozzles will spread heavy droplets of water at a slower pace, which makes them more targeted and effective.

Myth #7: You have to irrigate to have a healthy and beautiful lawn.

Reality: Grasses can endure long periods of drought by entering a state of dormancy. When temperatures and moisture levels are at their extreme, the growing point of grass plants will shut off the grass blades and turn brown. In almost all instances, once the heat and drought stresses have gone, the crowns will begin to send up new shoots. There’s nothing wrong with irrigating to avoid dormancy, but living with the brown for a couple of weeks in the summer is just fine too.

Do you agree or disagree? As a landlord or investor, have you considered maintaining the lawn/landscape yourself? The additional time spent, especially if you enjoy it, may payoff in the future through higher resale values and returns. Leave a comment with helpful lawn care tips, and don’t forget to share this post on Facebook tagging Real Property Management.



Real Property Management is the nation’s leading property manager. For over 30 years, Real Property Management has developed intelligent solutions for thousands of individual property owners, investors, tenants and Realtors.
7 replies
  1. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    Thanks for clearing up these ever popular lawn care myths. I have found that it is definitely not smart to cut your grass too short. It is usually best to leave it to the lawn care professionals. Great tips!

  2. Mark Daniels
    Mark Daniels says:

    Interesting myths about lawn care. I’ve constantly seen neighbors spray their lawns daily for twice a day. Overkill. Your reality on myth #3 was spot on about proper lawn spraying.

  3. Deanna R. Jones
    Deanna R. Jones says:

    Thanks for posting! It seems like I need to change a few things about the way I’ve been taking care of my lawn. Everyone in my area, including myself, thinks that the best way to have a green lawn is by watering it every day. After reading the information about Myth #3, now I can see that I really should be watering my lawn every three days, since deep watering is better than shallow watering.

  4. Huntsville Lawn Professionals
    Huntsville Lawn Professionals says:

    As a lawn care professional myself, I will second the notion that you are to cut only 1/3rd of the grass at a time. It will change your yard exponentially if you choose to practice only this!! Thank you for the share!

  5. Vivian
    Vivian says:

    I used to cut my lawn extremely short, thinking it would lead to me having to cut less often. The reality was that I ended up with brown spots and because I didn’t sharpen my mower blade very often, (not all), I caused the tips to split. Professional finally helped me figure out what I was doing wrong and a lot of them were mentioned in your article here.


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