The saying may be that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side—but what if it is? We’re not talking metaphorically but in real life. What if your neighbor’s lawn is always greener?
Even though you don’t live there, you might be right next door—or perhaps right across the street—and you can’t help but notice what’s going on in their lawn. In fact, on the flipside, if your neighbor’s lawn is full of weeds, that might be a frustration, too. Not only do you have to look at their lawn (and worry it will bring your property value down), but you might be worried about those weeds creeping into your lawn.
We understand that if your neighbor’s lawn is better or worse than yours, that both can be a frustration as much as it is a curiosity. You might feel that you’re doing everything right but your neighbor’s lawn is always greener! Or, you might feel as though you’ve got a great-looking lawn but your neighbor’s weeds are going to bring you down.
Let’s dive into both of these scenarios to help you gain a better understanding of what may be going on and what you can do. We completely understand the frustrations involved in both sides of this equation.
Why is My Neighbor’s Lawn Greener Than Mine?
There are a number of different reasons why your neighbor’s lawn may be (or appear to be) greener than yours. This is a question that we sometimes get when working with new Oasis Turf & Tree clients. They get started on a lawn care program and they get anxious to see their lawn improve rapidly. But we have always been transparent about the fact that these changes will not happen overnight.
Think of it in these terms. You wouldn’t start a gym regimen and after a few months complain that the guy or girl next to you is fitter if they’ve been coming for years. It takes a certain amount of time (and a certain level of commitment) to get to that point—and it’s the same way with your lawn.
But just like the gym analogy, you have to understand that everyone is starting at different points. Someone who is already in decent shape and starts a new workout routine is going to get fitter more quickly than the person who has never worked out. In the same way, your neighbor’s soil health may have already been in much better shape than yours.
We often find that most homeowners believe that everyone’s lawns must have the same soil make-up and conditions but as frustrating as it may be, this is not the case at all. Two lawns in the same neighborhood can be entirely different. Everything from how much sun it’s receiving to how it holds water can vary dramatically. All of that will impact how green your lawn will be as well as how long it will take for a lawn care program to be effective.
Your Neighbor’s Lawn is Always Greener Because They’re Taking Better Care of it
It’s also important to remember that cultural practices beyond the services included in a lawn care program can also make a world of difference in your overall results. If you take two neighbors, both of whom are on the same lawn care program, but one mows properly, waters correctly, and aerates every season and the other does not, then you can likely guess who is going to have the greener lawn.
These things really do matter. Too often, we find that homeowners overlook these tasks or don’t give them the credit they deserve.
For instance, homeowners commonly assume there is no “right or wrong way to mow.” But this isn’t the case at all. The vast majority of the time, homeowners (or even professional mowers) cut their grass too short. When a lawn is mowed too short, you create an environment that is more prone to weed growth. We recommend a mowing height of at least 3.5 inches, but the taller the turf, the better when it comes to choking out weeds. A lawn that is mowed too short will also be more prone to yellowing as the grass struggles to recover from such a drastic cut.
In addition to mowing height, you’ll also need to pay attention to the sharpness of your blades. Mowing your lawn with a dull blade can put it under a great deal of stress which is another reason it may not be as green as it could be.
On that same token, proper watering is critical, too. Established lawns need one to two inches of consistent water per week during the growing season. During certain times of the year, Mother Nature may provide enough rainfall to keep your grass growing. However, it’s common to have dry spells for several weeks or more. When this happens, lawns can go dormant and brown if you don’t keep up with watering.
The bottom line? If you and your neighbor are on the same lawn care program but your neighbor’s lawn is always greener, it’s worth evaluating the additional cultural practices you’re performing and whether you’re doing them right.
Your Neighbor’s Lawn is Always Greener Because It’s Not Actually Healthy Turf
Before we shift gears and talk about the neighbor’s lawn that is full of weeds, we have one more point for you to consider. If a neighbor’s lawn always seems to be greener than yours (and you truly are doing everything right for your lawn), it may benefit you to take a closer look.
Healthy turf is green. But guess what else can be bright green?
You guessed it—WEEDS.
We only bring this up because we’ve had these very conversations with homeowners we’ve worked with. They’ve mentioned that a neighbor’s lawn looks greener than theirs. But upon closer inspection, that lawn is full of weeds! From faraway all you might notice is the color. But as you actually walk by and look in the yard, it could be full of clover or crabgrass, or other weeds that are bright green but still undesirable.
Actually, grass type can have something to do with it, too. Different grass types have varying shades of green. Oftentimes, people are surprised that their neighbor’s lawn might have a completely different make-up of grasses than theirs. Sometimes, they are undesirable grass types that aren’t truly the best for our region.
The point is, sometimes the grass really isn’t always greener. We’ve witnessed this enough times to know that it happens!
Your Neighbor’s Lawn is Full of Weeds
Of course, as much as it can be frustrating to feel like your neighbor has a better lawn than you, it’s equally (if not more) frustrating when a neighbor’s lawn is full of weeds. That’s because a lawn overrun by weeds is not only an eyesore but a potential threat that you might be worrying about. What if those weeds start creeping into your yard?
First and foremost, you should know that many weeds spread by seed and probably aren’t even coming from your next-door neighbor’s. They may be coming from as far as blocks away! Weed seeds can even be tracked into a lawn on your shoes or by an animal. So, even if your neighbor’s lawn has weeds, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll come into your yard.
Of course, there are weeds that spread by creeping roots. These grow underground and can spread into your lawn. Oxalis is a perfect example of this. It’s a weed that we commonly see in our region and it spreads by creeping.
This is where having a healthy lawn on your own property is going to make all the difference.
While it’s hard not to be focused on what your neighbor’s lawn looks like, it’s important to try and keep the focus on your own property. If you have a lawn that is in top shape, it’s going to be able to naturally resist weeds from creeping in in the first place.
That’s because the best defense against weeds is a healthy lawn!
A lot of people don’t realize that weed control actually starts beneath the surface level and down in the soil. If you want a lawn that is going to be naturally resistant to weeds, then you need to have healthy and thriving soil. When you do, then your lawn will do a lot of the heavy lifting of choking weeds out. Anything that does creep into your lawn (after all, weeds are pretty persistent), will be addressed with an effective weed control program.
A Whole Neighborhood of Healthy Lawns
Of course, if you’re an Oasis Turf & Tree client and your lawn looks amazing, there’s a good chance your neighbor might ask what you’re doing.
This is a great opportunity to refer us to your neighbors.
When you refer a friend and they sign up, you save $25 and so do they! Plus, you’ll reap the benefit of having neighbors with healthy and thriving lawns like yours. When you look around there will be nothing to see but lush green lawns!
Ready to learn about professional lawn care services from Oasis Turf & Tree for your Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio, or Northern Kentucky home? Request your quote, choose the lawn care program that’s right for you, and then sit back and relax as the pros take away your worries and help you get the lawn of your dreams!