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  • Writer's pictureDon Magruder

Springtime is the Time of Year for Lawn Hitchhikers

Having a beautiful lawn is a challenge, because of the climate, sandy soil, and pests. For many of us, it is almost like a war—you are either battling too much or too little water, the bugs, weeds, and fungus. Time and money will not ensure a beautiful lawn, because of all the lawn hitchhikers that are thumbing their way to destroy your lawn. Every homeowner must take action to prevent lawn hitchhikers from invading their yard.

The first and most common mode of transportation for lawn hitchhikers like weeds, fungus, and bugs is the traveling lawnmowers from lawn service companies. Many seniors do not cut their own grass for three primary reasons: physical ability, desire, and lack of space to store lawn equipment. There are a lot of lawn service companies throughout Central Florida and many of them are built for speed. The quicker they complete the work, the lower the price. Therefore, many of them will hit your yard like a jackrabbit. Be honest, for most homeowners it is more about the price and less about quality.

The problem with the quick-hitting traveling lawn service companies is that many of them do not properly wash and clean their lawnmowers in between yards, and many times they will take special jobs involving unkept properties with overgrown landscape. That lawnmower that is cutting your grass today could have been cutting the yard of a foreclosed property full of weeds, bugs, and fungus just a few hours ago. Just like the spread of COVID-19, all of those things that the mower was exposed to in the yard of the foreclosed property are now being spread throughout your yard. This is why you will start to see weeds you have never seen before popping up in the middle of your yard. It is imperative that your lawn service company washes their equipment down to prevent the spread.

Birds also pick up and transport lawn hitchhikers that create problems for your yard. Yes, the beautiful birds you feed in the back yard are known for picking up hitchhikers like weeds and pests. Birds can travel miles and their best food source, other than your bird feeder, is an overgrown grassy area with chinch bugs and weeds. If you have a lot of birds around your house, expect a continuing battle of the lawn.

The next carrier of lawn hitchhikers are other plants and grasses. The spring season ushers in the time of year for planting and the rebirth of your yard with many homeowners rushing to buy plants and grasses to spruce up their yard. From nurseries, to big-box stores, and flea markets it seems everyone is selling plants and grass because they are easy to produce. The challenge for this industry is poor regulation. Most of the bigger, established plant and grass nurseries will ensure their products are in good order by properly spraying for pests and weeds. However, many of the smaller ones are just into producing plants with little concern about their long-term viability. Plants that are properly treated to protect against unwanted hitchhikers cost more. Instead of looking at things like the health, longevity, and viability of the plant, homeowners only notice a 30 percent savings. When you buy plants and grass for your yard, make sure they have been treated for bugs, weeds, and fungus.

Hitchhikers can also make their way to your lawn by means of stray animals and pests. If you are one of these dear souls that feeds every stray cat or dog in the neighborhood, expect them to bring unwanted hitchhikers to your yard. Plus, having unkept areas encourages rodents or pests, which can create real issues for your lawn. Try to eliminate stray animals and pests from wanting to call your lawn their home.

Unfortunately, when you go for the lowest cost lawn services and products, you give up quality, and this encourages lawn hitchhikers. If you want to win the war on your lawn this spring, send the hitchhikers down the road to another lawn.

Don Magruder is the CEO of RoMac Building Supply and host of Around the House, which can be seen at

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