iStock_000005976337SmallAs this year’s winter finally ends, homeowners will be faced with the same challenge they are faced with every single year: how does one keep a healthy, dark green lawn looking its best?

Unfortunately, many homeowners will make mistakes that set back the health of their lawn and they don’t even know it.

“When it comes to having a nice lawn, ironically the lawns worst enemy is the person who thinks they are helping,” says Thomas Kelly, founder of BeeSafe Lawns. “Tinkering too much is a terrible thing when it comes to lawn care.”

With that in mind, avoids these pitfalls when caring for your lawn this spring:

1. Don’t Jump the Gun
Right out of the gate, it’s important to know that more isn’t always better. The inclination is to load up the lawn with products that the lawn doesn’t really need. Your lawn is experiencing one of its most healthy phases about two weeks after it breaks dormancy. Both roots and shoots are growing at a tremendous pace and sometimes doing too much can interfere.

2. Don’t Over-Water
One of the worst things to happen to even the best lawns is the introduction of an unlimited supply of water. The rule of thumb is that you should water three times per week for 40 minutes per zone only when rainfall is not present. Remember the saying, “April showers bring May flowers”? If it’s raining, resist watering.

3. Don’t Bag Your Clippings
Your lawn wants to be fed naturally. Mulching the clippings back into the soil creates an additional source of nutrients, especially nitrogen and the goal of any lawn care program should be to reduce inputs.

4. Don’t Over-Fertilize
Your lawn needs about half as much fertilizer as the fertilizer companies lead you to believe. The more you apply, the more your lawn will require even more to stay healthy.

5. Hold Off on Seeding
The temptation is hard to resist. Those bare spots that were filled with crabgrass last year are bare again this spring. The commercials on the radio are telling you to plant seed now. The truth is, fall is the best time to seed and 90 percent of the time new seed won’t make it through the summer.