Moreover, if you give the turf your personal attention, you won't have to shell out $500 to $1,000 or more a year for services that spray and fertilize. You can do as well as they do for a lot less money - and with a lot fewer chemicals.
You figure that if you give your lawn a buzz cut, you won't have to mow it as often, right? No, lazybones. Cutting the lawn short makes it grow faster - and stresses the plant, ramps up its need for fertilizer and water, and weakens its roots.
"Most lawns should be cut between 21/2 and three inches high," says John Stier, professor of horticulture at the University of Wisconsin's turfgrass extension program and playing-field consultant for stadiums in the National Football League and Major League Baseball.
The highest setting on some older lawn mowers is barely two inches, which gives you the perfect excuse to buy a new machine ($200 to $500 for a walk-behind; $1,000 to $3,000 for a rider if you're dealing with an acre or more).