R5 Top Lawn-Care Myths

Think you know the secret to a healthy lawn? The science of lawn care is changing—so we asked Westchester experts to debunk common misconceptions.

Myth #1:

Lawns need watering daily.
Al Krautter, owner of Sprainbrook Nursery in Scarsdale, says that twice-weekly watering makes grass healthier.

Myth #2:

Short is better.
Actually, grass should stay three- to four-inches high, so the roots will deepen and there’ll be less room for weeds to take hold, says Michael Almstead of Almstead Tree and Shrub Care in New Rochelle.

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Myth #3:

You must fertilize three times annually.
Jerry Giordano, senior horticulturalist with Cornell University Cooperative Extension in Valhalla, says that, for healthy roots and disease-resistant lawns, “fertilize just twice a year—around Memorial Day and Labor Day.”

Myth #4:

Lawns need chemicals to look great.
In fact, chemicals like pesticides interfere with nutrient absorption and kill beneficial organisms, which can adversely affect lawns, says Scarsdale-based certified horticultural therapist Helene Getz. Many experts recommend organic products.

Myth #5:

Bluegrass is best.
It has prestige, but Kentucky bluegrass is temperamental, warns Kurt Morrell, director of arboretum, grounds, and gardens at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The more cooperative fescue grass—which, he says, “requires less fertilization and mowing, and has more drought tolerance”—may be a better bet.

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