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6 Lawn Care Mistakes That Empty Your Wallet: Valuable Tips for Wisconsin & MN Homeowners


We all make mistakes. Fat-free ice cream. Those jeans you thought you could fit into if you just gave up full-fat ice cream. And the less said about your DIY haircut, the better.

Your hair will grow out. But lawn care mistakes can linger, costing you money and causing frustrating regret.

Take a look at these common lawn care mistakes — and how to avoid them.

1. Poor Irrigation Design

This is a sneaky one. You might not realize design is a crucial element of irrigation system installation. 

lawn irrigation sprinkler headBut you’ll discover it pretty quickly when some of your irrigation heads are barely spraying water — or spraying all over the place.

But then, it’s too late. You have to install a sprinkler system right the first time. If it’s wrong, it’s really expensive to fix. Sometimes it even means starting over.

Sprinkler system companies who ignore good design might skimp on the number of irrigation heads or the number of zones to reduce the amount of materials and labor, so they can offer a lower price.

They might install two heads where there really should be three. They might install four zones when five would do a better job.

That means your entire lawn might not be getting the water it needs. 

Shoddy design can mean you waste hundreds to thousands of gallons of water each year. That’s a lot of water, and a lot of money, wasted. Big lawn care mistake. 

Pro Tip: Make sure the company you choose includes expert design in your installation cost. Not every irrigation company does.

At RainMaster, our team includes trained and certified irrigation designers who understand hydraulics and electrical systems. Advanced knowledge of these two areas really comes into play with designing and installing a great irrigation system.

2. Skipping Pre-emergent Weed Control 

There’s no sign of any weeds. Do you really need pre-emergent? 

Listen closely, and you can hear your crabgrass whispering, “Nah, don’t worry about it.” 

Crabgrass in lawnBut weed seeds are pesky. They hang around, ready to germinate the following spring and start the evil weed cycle all over again.

Pro Tip: Prevent those stubborn seeds from becoming more seed-producing plants with pre-emergent weed control. Pre-emergent targets those seeds as they germinate and take root in the soil. 

While most lawn care companies in our area do one crabgrass application in the spring, here at RainMaster, we do two, one in early spring and another in late spring.

Double protection against one of the peskiest weeds. Longer-lasting results.

Skip it, and you’ll end up spending more to battle your monumental weed infestation. 

3. Using Cheap Products 

If you’re standing in the lawn care aisle excited about the bargain price on grass seed, you’ve already made a lawn care mistake. 

Sure, you can find grass seed for pretty cheap.

But will you know you’re getting the right kind, designed for the conditions of your yard? And will you actually know what you’re getting? Bargain seed from the big box store often has weed seed mixed in.

Same with fertilizer. RainMaster uses premium professional-grade formulations of granular fertilizer, which is more expensive and effective than liquid counterparts some of our competitors use.  

Granular lawn fertilizerOur granular fertilizer breaks down slowly, giving you consistent benefits from fertilization.

Cheap products won’t get you that thick, healthy lawn that you’re expecting.

Pro Tip: Leave it to the pros. Conscientious professionals follow the latest research and trends and know which lawn care products actually deliver.

It often means we spend more money for an improved product vs. the 20-year old standby that competitors and DIY lawn care programs utilize to keep costs down.

You really do get what you pay for.

Read The Essential Guide to Lawn Care in Minnesota & Wisconsin

4. Ignoring Irrigation Maintenance 

A new sprinkler system almost seems magical, turning on just when your lawn needs it, watering efficiently, removing a huge amount of effort and stress from your life.


But these things don’t just take care of themselves. 

Irrigation system maintenanceBefore you turn your system on after a long winter, it needs some attention. Heads could be leaking. A snow plow might have caused damage. Residue in the line can flow to the heads once the water is turned on, clogging the head without you even realizing it. A fitting might have come loose.

Most irrigation systems need at least a minor repair after winter. 

Things can go wrong during the busy summer months, too. Ignore routine maintenance and small issues can quickly turn into big, costly lawn care mistakes.

If a leak goes undetected, damage can happen in a hurry. Retaining walls are washed out. Landscaping is ruined.

Most homeowners don’t do thorough sprinkler system inspections, so they don’t see the little issues, the warning signs that turn into big problems later. 

So, by the time their system needs repair, it’s an emergency. The grass is getting brown. Those expensive plants are dying.

Pro Tip: Invest in an irrigation system maintenance program and rest easy. 

Our irrigation maintenance programs start at $179 a year for basic start-up and winterization tasks.

Or choose our Peak Performance Plan starting at $359 and we’ll be there every month between spring start-up and fall winterizing, to make sure everything is running smoothly and take care of any problems.

Our most popular program is right in-between and starts at $229.

It makes good sense to have a professional irrigation technician check your system regularly.

5. Mowing Too Low 

This might not seem too important, as lawn care mistakes go. But mow your lawn too short, and the soil heats up, helping weed seeds germinate. Cutting your grass too short stresses the grass, too, and makes it more susceptible to damage from insects and disease.

Pro tip: Aim to have grass blades that are approximately 3-3.5” tall when you finish mowing.

6. Hiring the Wrong Lawn Care Company 

What could go wrong?

Let’s see. They don’t show up. They use cheap products. They cut corners on irrigation design and installation. You end up wasting water and money. You pay for expert service and your lawn still looks terrible. 

You get the idea. Even some professionals make lawn care mistakes. 

Pro Tip: Hire a lawn care company you can trust to show up, deliver great results, and remove stress and worry from your life. 

Avoid Lawn Care Mistakes with RainMaster

Stressed out about all the potential lawn care mistakes you could be making? 

That’s wasted stress.

You just need to make one good decision to avoid all of them. 

RainMaster lawn technician with customersChoose RainMaster. We believe the best lawn care services focus on your lawn’s total health.

It means using the best quality products. Knowing the perfect timing for services. Starting every irrigation project with expert design. Staying on top of sprinkler system maintenance so your lawn gets the right amount of irrigation, all season long. 

Make no mistake — this is a partnership, a relationship built on trust, good communication, and conscientious customer service. 

Are you ready to ditch your lawn care mistakes and trust your lawn to the pros? Request a quote today! We’ll review your options together so you can make a great choice. Then, you can finally enjoy your lawn and stop worrying about it.

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Topics: Lawn Care, Irrigation

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