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Gardening

14 Ways of Lawn Mowing In the Least Possible Time

It is the desire of every person having a lawn or a yard to keep their lawn healthy, clean and disease free. In order to keep the lawn in good condition one must water, mow, fertilize, aerate and detach the lawn properly. Proper mowing helps to keep the lawn fresh and lively.

Mowing frequency determines how attractive and stupendous the lawn looks. So to keep a beautiful lawn one must also know the tactics and effective ways of lawn mowing. The best way to keep your lawn in an even and systematic way is to use a lawn mower in an effective manner.

But some people say that lawn mowing is a tedious work that takes a lot of time to mow correctly. However, we beg to differ! Here are some of the fastest and easiest ways of mowing a lawn are mentioned as follows:

  1. Knowing the equipment – Before mowing a lawn, you have to know the equipment like mowers, “edgers”, trimmers properly. You must go through the manual that comes along with the mower and other equipment. After knowing everything in details, you can use the equipment on the lawn.
  2. Knowing how to use a mower – It is vital to know how to use a mower. Banging the mower repeatedly against tree trunks can damage and restrict the growth of new trees.
  3. Setting the mower at the highest preferred setting according to the grass type – It is very important to set the mower in accordance with the height of the grass. Properly mowed grass develops good roots and tends to become livelier and healthier. Setting the mower at the highest setting preferring the grass is really useful.
  4. Using sharp blades for the mower – It is required to keep the blades of the mower sharp and honed. Blunt blades can cause the grasses to tear up. Sometimes the grasses turn grey if sharp blades are not used.
  5. Maintaining a definite height for the grasses – Cutting grass too short results in more weeds, fewer roots, reduced vigor and many other problems. A definite height must be maintained. The lawn must be mowed in the range between 2 to 4 inches.
  6. Leaving clippings on the grass – The technique of clipping the grasses until they form rows is called grass cycling. It helps to return nutrients and nitrogen to the lawn which definitely makes the grasses healthy.
  7. Mowing a dry lawn and varying the mowing pattern – If the lawn is mowed when wet, there is a chance for the mower to clog due to wet clippings. Brown spots can appear and the grasses will smother. So mowing a dry lawn is surely a wiser decision.

It is also important to change the mowing patterns to make the grass stand nice and tall.

  1. Mowing the lawn regularly as per requirement – You have to keep in mind that a lawn should be mowed as per needs and requirements. If the lawn is not mowed frequently it will not take long to transform into a prairie. During the spring season, the lawn may require 2 days mowing each week. In summer, one can mow every other week.
  2. Ensuring that the edges are well trimmed – You need to check whether the grasses are well trimmed or not. If the edges are not trimmed properly the lawn will never look smooth and fine. If the edges are snipped first the mower will be able to pick up the mess created by the sniper making it look professional.
  3. Mowing the lawn in the forward direction – While mowing you must keep in mind that the mower is moved or directed towards the forward direction. That gives a clean and good looking lawn.
  4. Overlapping and checking for missed spots – If the mowed portion of the lawn is overlapped then there remains less chance of missing any areas needed to be mowed and the lawn is undoubtedly mowed perfectly. After mowing you must check whether you have missed any spots or not.
  5. Practicing good lawn mowing – It is certainly one of the truest things that practice makes a man perfect. In case of effective lawn mowing this concept is vital. If you tend to mow the lawn frequently with care and newer techniques, you are predicting to mow better than the others who practice less. It may seem difficult at first, but will slowly turn to be one of the easiest works. The finishing will be awesome and it will save enough time too.
  6. Striping the lawn – This technique of striping makes the lawn to look professionally manicured. The lawn looks different with a cool design and pattern mostly like baseball fields or football fields.
  7. Hiring a professional gardener – If possible, a professional gardener with enough instruments and equipment can be hired who will have appropriate mowing skills and perhaps a recognized qualification.

A nicely mowed lawn increases the beauty of a house. So it is a must to keep the lawn green, clean and disease free. Some techniques and skills can do the trick. And certainly, the above listed 14 methods, no matter how basic they may seem to be, are some of the easiest and fastest way to do your mowing. We would recommend that you apply those and you get to keep your lawn fresh, lively, elegant and beautiful – all in the fastest possible time!

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Gardening

Introducing different lawn striping and patterns (part 2)

So here we are again for the second installment in the series on introducing different lawn striping and patterns! In case you missed out on the earlier article, here is a brief intro to lawn striping and patterns for you.

Lawn striping is a technique that leaves your yard fully manicured. Striping methods may easily be used to create different designs and patterns that would give your lawn dramatic effects. Simple checkerboard and diamond patterns can bring a unique look for your lawn.

The previous article pointed out the various methods or ways of lawn striping and those included techniques like planning grass patterns, creating simple designs, mowing each line once, intensifying the lawn stripes, etc. These are all effective methods of lawn striping. Other than these some more techniques can be followed.

Toro Lawn Striping System

Choosing lawn mowers and striping kits

While striping you must choose the perfect lawn mower and kits to give your yard a perfect look. The reel mowers which are used to stripe the golf courses or baseball fields can cut the cleanest and provide the best stripes. If you don’t have a mower and you are willing to buy one you should consider the mower with floating deck and a single roller.

Mowing using the straight lines

Mowing using a straight line is the most efficient way to good striping. It had been mentioned in the previous article to mow each line once. To do that it is necessary to mow the lawn in straight lines so that if any of the lines are crooked, they can be straightened by mowing again. This will turn out to be easier if you always keep the lines straight.

Designing a diagonal or crisscross pattern

To construct these sorts of patterns, just simply apply the stripes in a diagonal direction. Though the beautiful mowing patterns and designs give an aesthetic appeal to your yard, it’s still important to keep the mowing tips in mind to get the desirable outcome. To fabricate a diagonal or crisscross design you need to:

  • Keep the height of a grass at a moderate length. If you cut the grass too short you will not get the desired outcome since the grass blade will not blend over them reflecting less light. But if the grass is a bit long then the striping pattern will bring a noticeable difference.
  • When you are mowing your lawn, do it in alternate patterns. Varying the mowing patterns every two to three weeks can maintain a healthy growth.

Designing regular and plaid stripes

To create a regular pattern or plaid stripe begin by mowing along the perimeter of the lawn. Go over the perimeter to cover up any offsets. Take a Y- turn to avoid turf damage. Mow back and forth in straight lines and in the opposite direction covering the entire lawn. Finish by going over the entire lawn once again.

Using the High-lift mowing blades

The High-lift mowing blades can be a godsend in the matter of rotary mowers. They tend to create a vacuum or void effect which makes grass blades stand upright and get a better cut and afterwards the rollers shall lay the same grass down ending up producing nice stripes. Frequent cuttings or double cuttings can intensify the stripes.

And there is one more important thing that you just cannot afford to forget! Yeah, it may seem a bit obvious, but quite a lot of people tend to forget to do this obvious thing. Remember to check the blades if they have the desired level of sharpness on them!

Dealing with grass clumps

Clumping is more likely to occur when the grasses are wet. When you absolutely need to mow when the grasses are wet or too long, clumping occurs. You should never leave clumps of grass clipping on the turf. Disperse the clumps with a rake or blower.

If the lawn is left with too many clamps, the grass can suffocate and turn yellow. That definitely will not give the lawn its best look. To avoid clumping you can raise the height of grass; avoid over- fertilizing, mow in the afternoon when the grass is dry, etc.

Striping and avoiding trees and obstacles

What will happen if you are mowing and suddenly you come across an obstacle like trees? Well you need to be careful in these cases and need to follow a few tips. So what are those?

  • Number one: Remember to mow around the object or the tree into the uncut path.
  • Number two: When you are making your next pass, you need to mow over the turn marks. That will retain your even stripe pattern.

Using additional striping tips

The additional striping tips can be as important as the other techniques. If you tend to create a vivid pattern, you should mow high. Mowing at the highest setting can soften the grass that bends over easily. Never forget to feed your lawn every 6-8 weeks with “lawn food”. A lawn that is fed 2-3 times a year end up giving a lush look.

So if you want to keep your lawn fresh, clean, consistent and uniform you must follow certain techniques mentioned here and also in the previous article. Other than these you can keep your lawn good looking with dramatic patterns with practice and a little creativity. Seeing your lawn achieve a carpet lush look, your neighbors are surely going to stand in awe. So apply different short techniques and make your lawn consistent, uniform and lush looking.

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Gardening

Introducing different lawn striping and patterns (part 1)

Lawn striping is one of the best ways of making your lawn look better and beautiful. Your lawn can now be the “envy of the neighborhood” if you can create eye – catching grass patterns. Tractors and mowers can create a beautiful lawn with perfect stripes and patterns.

baseball-field-for-the-season

Now the question is “how does it work?” there are some ways in which lawn striping works and what more can be done to increase this effect. The light and dark stripes that are seen in lawns or yards are caused when the sunlight reflects on the grasses. Those stripes that will be closer or forward to you are going to appear darker than those which will be away from you. For that you will need full-width rollers to support the weight of the mower.

So, in this article, which is the first of the series of the articles that will focus on different lawn mowing patterns and how to do striping in the most finest of ways. There will be more in the series, like mentioned earlier which will describe other striping and patterns for your lawn, but that is for a later time. Here we go!

Planning the grass pattern first

Before starting to work on the lawn, you can plan your patterns on a piece of paper so that while creating the designs you find it easier to execute. It is just a preliminary step and not that it will work exactly the way you want. But this will help you to create patterns in a better way.

Creating simple patterns and designs

The ultimate goal of striping the lawn is to make it look more beautiful and neat. Simple designs and patterns are easier than complex ones and it is better to go for simple ones first. You can first mow a straight line and keep it as a guide for the rest of the stripes. There are chances that one or more of the lines are crooked. But that can be solved easily. You just need to go back two lines before and start over.

Intensifying the lawn stripes

Bending the grass farther can intensify the lawn stripes. You need to bring the roller in contact with the grasses and press it to the ground. Well, this way is better than the other methods that just take the roller across the tips of the grass.  You need to keep the height or length of the grasses in mind because if you cut the grasses too short the stripes will lessen and as it would reflect less sunlight the stripes will be less vivid.

Mowing each line once

Mowing the lawn too much can create a stress on the lawn. You can just disengage the mower and go back to the stripe to etch the patterns so that the lawn gets a smooth finishing.

Watching at the time of mowing

While you are mowing you must watch where you are mowing. Mow parallel to the sidewalk or driveway. In order to keep the mowing straight you should keep the mower 10ft in front of you not the ground in front of the mower. In fact, to make a good smooth lawn you need to watch over.

Selecting the basic line patterns

You should begin to mow by the perimeter of the lawn. The remaining property has to be mowed in the opposing direction. Now if you leave a “Y” turn at the end of each row, then there is less chance of damage while setting the mower to mow the other rows. Again if you mow over any type of pattern irregularities will vanish and the lawn will take a clean look.

Spraying some water

One of the tips to enhance the grass patterns is spraying a light mist of water on the grasses. The light will reflect the pattern and they will add contrast to the light and dark sections. This is actually prior showing it off to guests.

Keeping the mower blades sharp

You must always care to keep the mower blades sharp. If you use dull blades there is a possibility that the grasses are torn and this will put a stress on the lawn. Sharp blades will give a clean cut and make the lawn look smoother. Cutting more than 1/3 of the grass blade is not allowed. When the grass is under heat stress you should mow less.

Considering the grass type

As far as the lawn patterns are concerned, considering the grass type is one of the wisest thing to do. The perfect patterns depend on the types of grass. Certain types of grass will bend more easily and will produce a better striped pattern. There are some types of grass usually found in the southern regions of the USA which are difficult to handle because they are more rigid and hard to bend.

Selecting certain times of the day

There are times when the stripes will show up better since the angle of the sun would tend to make them invisible. You must consider the sunlight and also the viewing points of the lawn while mowing.

Lastly the most important thing is to mow your lawn with care and fun. Many people who are involved in this profession consider perfect lawn mowing to be a sign of quality. So work on your lawn with love and you are bound to get something good in return!

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Gardening

Lawn mowing in different seasons

A beautiful lawn increases the beauty of the house no doubt about that. On the other hand, a neglected lawn would decrease the elegance of a house. Whenever we think of taking care of the lawn, we search for steps required to mow the lawn perfectly, we find ways to trim the edges, we look for various equipment and mowers for lawn-mowing, etc.

These are undoubtedly the most important and vital steps but besides these we need to know one more important thing. That is the “perfect time for lawn mowing”. The nourishment of the lawn varies from season to season. Let us see how you will take care of your lawn in various seasons throughout the year.

Summer

The first thing that comes to our mind when we hear ‘summer’ is ‘hot’. The scorching heat of the sun can put your lawn at serious risk. The three most important things you must do to protect your lawn from the excess heat of the sun are:

  1. Adequate watering
    • Watering the lawn properly throughout the year is of course needed. But watering becomes much more important during this season. Dry weather creates a scarcity of water or even a drought. So naturally your lawn gets dry too. Externally, you must provide adequate amount of water to your lawn especially during summer.
    • Conservation becomes vital here. Well, there are some easy techniques of watering your lawn. You can use various types of water sprinklers like portable sprinklers, stationary, rotary, oscillating, impact, etc. You can keep a fountain or any sorts of decorative water features near your lawn.
  2. Proper mowing and pest controlling – Again, we would like to remind you that no matter what other things you require, you need to mow your lawn properly without negligence. Mowing and trimming has to be perfect.

Another thing is pest control. You should inspect your yard regularly and check the colors of the grass. Check whether any pests have created damage to the yard.

  1. Fertilizing – Your lawn needs proper fertilization during the summer season. Enough fertilization will definitely give your lawn a natural bright look though you must fertilize throughout the year.

Autumn

Fall or autumn reminds us all that winter is on its way. That means the fall of temperature and the shortening of days. Your lawn needs a different type of care in this season.

Fertilization is not something that is entirely new. It is equally important in every season. But why should you fertilize during autumn? The answer is simply ‘for the winter’. Why so? If you fertilize in autumn you would be able to provide a natural nutrient boost to the lawn and that can be stored and utilized during the dormancy period. Throughout the winter the roots will utilize the stored nutrients and keep growing and this would continue till spring.

Another thing that happens during autumn is the fall of leaves. Clean your lawn once a week. Aeration is effective in this part of the year. Autumn is a good season for controlling pests and grubs. Try to keep some evergreens, which can dry up during the winter, lively and filled with moisture. This is called winterizing.

Winter

Okay, we know its cold outside, but do not avoid your lawn. Your lawn needs great care now. The temperature begins to drop and reach at the lowest level. Prune your trees in this season. Pruning will lead to the growth of new roots and fruits. One of the threats of winter is snow. When the winter will start to wind down and snow will vanish, the snow mold will threaten your yard.

As this fungus prefers the cold and chilly weather, you must fertilize and maintain your yard throughout the entire winter season. The use of special fungicides and good seedling strategies can help. You can use anti- desiccant which is a kind of foliage spray that moistens trees in cold weather. Enrich and enhance the health of your soil by adding organic supplements. Facilitate growth by yard fertilizers. Reseeding helps to thicken the thin areas of your lawn.

Spring

Many prefer summer, but Spring is also quite a fascinating season, isn’t it? Yes, it is but you have the greatest amount of work now. After winter, your lawn needs greater care. First check- did your lawn develop any sorts of diseases like dead patches while facing the extremities during the winter season? Deal with problems like these and rejuvenate your yard. Things you must do during spring:

  1. Fertilizing – One of the most common things is fertilization. You have fertilized your lawn during the fall, but in order to make your grass thick and lush, fertilize again. Use a definite amount of fertilizer.
  2. Mowing – Another common term is mowing. There can be no alternative to perfect mowing. Best time to start the mower again is spring.
  3. Preventing weeds – Prevent weeds by landscaping. Perfect time to deal with crabgrass and pre-emergent is spring.
  4. Measuring the pH level of soil – Figure out which compounds can help your yard to flourish. Correct pH level of soil can help you to keep your lawn fresh and healthy for a longer time.

Mow your lawn considering the weather, seasons and climates. Your hard work of mowing and fertilizing your lawn will surely pay off if you can do these stuffs in the right time.

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Gardening

How to get grass to grow in clay soil

Grass is known to be quite hardy components in a garden to grow in most soil types. However, hard clay soil could prove to be a challenge for grass which is the reason homeowners and gardeners are frustrated when it is difficult to turn a plot of clay soil into beautiful greens.

Most homeowners want a green turf as grass is soft and ideal to cover the ground for aesthetic and functionality. It should be soft enough to sit on or walk barefooted yet strong enough to handle heavy traffic. But soft lush greens do not grow well in soil mixed with a high percentage of clay. But there are ways to overcome a hard patch of clay soil to become conducive for a grassy yard.

Clay soil

Clay Properties

Clay soil possesses several good qualities although it may seem an unfavorable candidate for grass. Clay has extraordinary moisture retention besides better levels of nutrient content compared to other types of soil.

It does take more effort in breaking up hardened clay to prepare it for laying sod. A simple solution would be to add in organic matter to make the clay more permeable with better drainage to encourage a lush, green lawn. In order to secure workable clay soil, the gardener must be prepared for a long term process to ensure the best ground conditions for a great lawn as the outcome.

Gardeners need to prepare early by prepping the clay; that is, about a year before putting on the sod. Good cultural practices must be exercised to get the clay soil in the right condition. This includes adding organic matter twice a year to maintain the right conditions for green turf growth.

Step 1 – Test pH of soil

The prepping process of clay soil is to test its pH value. Most grasses grow best in slightly acidic soil; that is a pH value between 6 and 7. Soil with pH below 6 is too acidic for good growth; lime must be added to raise the pH value before grass could be planted. The scientific name for lime is calcium carbonate which could be found as ground limestone, pelletized limestone or dolomite limestone.

But if the soil has pH above 7, it is too alkaline; it must increase in its acidity level using sawdust and peat. The length of time in prepping clay soil depends on the amount of clay in the soil to grow a lush, healthy lawn which may take at least 2 years. Experienced gardeners would be mindful to determine the ground density for their preferred or selected grass type.

Read more: Beginner’s Guide to the Best Soil pH tester.

Step 2 – Break up Hard Clay Deposits

Once the pH of the clay is adjusted, the hard clay deposits must be broken up as the big clay blocks hinder grass growth as grass roots are short and weak unlike most weed roots. It helps if the soil is tilled to aerate the ground. Hence, turf grass grows well when the soil is less compact.

The best type of soil from prepped clay could be tested by scooping ½ cup of soil into the palm with a few drops of water to knead the soil into a ball. If the ball could be easily pressed with the thumb and index finger to form a flat ribbon, it should spread out into 1-2 inches long for a well formed clay-loam composition. A heavier clay soil would form a longer ribbon which is inappropriate for grass turf growth.

Step 3 – Add Topsoil and Other Components

Once the ground soil is ready, add topsoil, grass seed and other organic matter to the top layer of the tilled clay soil. Mulch, compost, gypsum and manure could be added to provide the necessary nutrients which grass thrive on. Gypsum is good at breaking up the soil particles to promote better aeration to the top layer.

Spreading such organic compost on the clay soil surface area of about 6 inches deep is great in preparing the ground with well-formed clay-loam soil to encourage green grass growth. If heavier clay soil persists even with prepping, the organic compost should be deepened to 8 inches instead.

The rich compost must be worked diligently into the soil with a tiller for breaking clumps to enhance organic matter dispersion. The soil must be left to rest for at least 2 months. The soil should be tested again using the ball test to confirm the right proportions of organic matter for good growth.

If the clay soil is still too heavy or dense, spread in another layer of organic compost and wait another period before executing the ball test until the right clay soil structure is achieved. Time is needed for the compost to change the soil composition.

Step 4 – Choice of Grasses

Since there is no better choice of soil than clay, choose grass types that grow well in it. Bermuda grass is a hardy warm season grass while bluegrass is known to be a cool season grass. Both types tolerate clay soil quite satisfactorily.

The lawn area must be properly measured for the amount of grass seeds or plugs required according to manufacturer’s recommendation for the selected grass type and space.

The selected seeds should be divided into 2 applications for seeding with half over the area using a broadcast spreader in a vertical path while the other half in a perpendicular direction for even coverage. The seeded area should be rolled over with a lawn roller full of water before spreading the top with a thin layer of straw mulch.

Gardeners could also scatter grass clippings across the lawn to promote growth in the clay soil. However, a check must be kept of the amount of grass clippings to avoid developing a thatch problem.

Step 5 – Mix grass seed with clover seed

Grass plugs could be planted in holes 6-inches apart along the lawn area. Water must be sprinkled to the soil to moisten the holes with one plug in one hole. Again, roll the planted area with a lawn roller filled with half a tank of water.

Besides the best choice of grass type, good grass growth could be encouraged with clover seed as the latter has long roots to break up the chunky clay. Clover seed also contributes nitrogen to the soil for better soil condition.

Clover is also a great grass alternative for soil in the midst of an extremely high clay percentage. Its advantage is its short growth which does not require frequent mowing. However, it does not handle traffic well. Moreover, clover attracts bees easily.

Step 6 – Avoid overwatering

The lawn cannot have too much water as it would compact the clay even more to become hard. The grass would also “drown” with too much water and no proper aeration.

The planted area must be moistened with only ¼ inch of water. This is best executed with a sprinkler where water is applied 1-2 times a day to ensure an evenly moist soil without oversaturation until the grass comes out.

A small water can is also useful in ensuring the limited amount of water to be applied at this point in time.

Final Outcome

Grass in clay soil needs time to grow even if the clay soil has been prepped. It could be months or seasons for the prepped clay soil to become conductive for the grass to grow favorably.

A lot of hard work must be put in to change the clay ground composition from a heavy soil to light soil with sufficient nutrients. This is where diligence is required in adding proper components of organic materials into the clay soil before laying the sod is ideal to get grass turf going.

Tips for better growth

There are certain tips in which grass would grow better in clay soil.

1) A variety of cool season grasses should be planted during the fall or spring. These grass varieties help to work out the clay-loam soil throughout the year. Gardeners could choose from annual ryegrass, hard and red fescue, colonial bent grass, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass.

2) A variety of warm-season grasses like plugs could be planted from late spring all the way to early summer. These varieties are great in working out clay-loam soil. Gardeners could choose from Bermuda grass and buffalo grass to Zoysia and Saint Augustine grass.

3) Always test the pH and nutrient levels of the clay soil way ahead of laying new sod to enjoy the best outcome.

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Gardening

How to get rid of grass in my garden

Not every house wants grass on its lawn or yard. Homeowners in this category would need to find the best way to get rid of unwanted grass safely and effectively as not all methods are safe to humans and other living things.

Many grass elimination methods involve harmful chemicals which could adversely impact human lives. A safer alternative solution to get rid of garden grass would be resorting to natural methods which are also affordable and easy.

1) Using Newspaper

Newspapers are cost effective natural ways to get rid of grass in the yard. The newspaper forms the cheapest natural method in killing grass naturally while being readily available. It can handle small or large areas while being easily decomposable to supply nutrients to the soil.

Mow the area where the grass must be gotten rid of. Have that mowed area wet before laying layers of newspaper over the grass; about 8-10 sheets would be ideal in overlapping directions.

When the entire area is well covered with wet newspapers, mulch or landscape fabric could be added. This would prevent light from penetrating the area which causes the grass to die out eventually.

2) Using Plastic

Plastic is another good and effective option in killing off unwanted grass. It is an affordable option that is readily available today in most homes and stores. Again, mow the area first or till and rake manually until a smooth area is available.

Cover the grass with black plastic which serves to block out light; the grass roots would be smothered and new growth is prevented. Large rocks should be placed on the plastics to secure their position. After a season, the plastics could be removed to add mulch before planting. Landscape fabric could also be used as an alternative to the same effect.

3) Using Vinegar

Unwanted grass could be rid of using vinegar whether white or pickled. It is a natural ingredient that works effectively and safely without harmful chemicals. It is environmentally friendly but care must be exercised to prevent the survival of other plants and trees.

Vinegar is very appropriate as a natural killer for unwanted grass as it is readily available at the local stores. Vinegar works better during hot conditions on smaller patches of grass. The best time to get rid of unwanted grass using vinegar should be during hot summer days to enjoy better results. A simple saturation of the grassy area with vinegar would see a clean patch void of grass within days.

4) Simple Pulling of Roots

This is what most gardeners would resort to immediately when they want to remove grass or weeds in their garden. An immediate pulling out of the grass and roots takes place when the gardener walks by to see the weeds and unwanted grass.

Existing grass or weeds must be pulled out thoroughly before planting and seeding can take place. This exercise is commonly executed during spring. However, modern technology may make a gardener more lax in the manual tilling of the soil as it is a labor-intensive process. Diligent gardeners enjoy the good workout from this arduous task, but it may prove to be a challenging feat in a medium to large-sized garden or lawn. The better alternative would be an electric cultivator to lessen the physical effort.

5) Using mulch

Mulch is commonly used to kill off unwanted grass and weeds. New gardeners would discover quickly that mulch is formed through decaying materials such as compost and dead leaves to be spread over the soil surface with the objective of insulating or enriching the soil.

Mulch should be applied only when the area is cleared of weed and grass before lining the area with thick newspaper or plastic.

6) Using boiling water

Boiling water is very effective in killing grass or weed growths quickly as an immediate effect is seen.  Its effectiveness could be enhanced with a layer of mulch added to the targeted area.

7) Commercial Non-toxic Products

The market does carry various commercial grass killer products which are non-toxic. These are specially formulated organic weed killer which is eco-friendly with great smells.  But not every non-toxic grass killer commercial product can work on every type of grass. Gardeners need to check and confirm the right commercial product before purchasing to avoid disappointment or frustration where other plants could be adversely affected.

8) Using salt solution

Salt solution to kill unwanted grass must be carefully administered as the salinity of the soil could be changed. The right concentration of salt solution is dissolving one part salt into 8 parts water. Put the salt solution in a spray bottle to apply directly to any unwanted grass or weed.

9) Digging & tilling

Another energy consuming method is digging where harmful insects like the Japanese beetle grubs could be unearthed in removing unwanted grass or weeds. This method offers fast clean results with an immediate planting of the garden. However, a lot of effort is required in using a spade or fork which results in a lot of sore muscles later. Removed sod could be reused elsewhere for other plants.

Tilling would be a faster way than digging as a powerful machine is activated to churn out dormant weeds and their seeds effectively. Breaking up sod using a tilling machine is not as arduous as digging when small tillers come in handy for small patches while heavier and more powerful units work on larger patches. Large tillers could be a challenge to control and maneuver for inexperienced or physically weak gardeners.

10) Using Herbicides

Herbicides are available to get rid of unwanted grass but most are residual with too much risk of getting into the water supply which is highly dangerous for humans and other living things. There may be better alternatives with less residual like glyphosate which could be more expensive in removing grass from the lawn.

11) Physical removal

A physical removal of the sod by having it cut in strips using a sod cutter is a fast and effective way to remove grass. The strips are then rolled up to be disposed or left alone as compost. The cut sod could also be placed upside down to fill in a low spot in the garden.

This is a labor intensive activity using a flat shovel but it may not be very effective on persistent perennial lawn grass such as the Bermuda grass.

The roots of Bermuda grass are very long stretching several feet to grow back quickly even if the sod is removed. It takes only one inch of root for the Bermuda grass to re-grow. Only solarization or herbicides would be effective.

12) Solarization

Solarization refers to the sterilization of soil using clear plastic in high summer temperatures. The grass must be cut short with sufficient water before covering it well using large rolls of plastic without holes. The plastic sheets trap the sun’s energy in the soil to heat the top 12-18 inches of soil. The top 6 inches of soil could be heated as high as 140°F. After 4-8 weeks, the grass dies. The high temperature could also kill some insects, nematodes, plant diseases and soil pathogens at the top layer.

The dead grass layer could be left to decompose as compost. This is a very effective method with minimal labor and environmental impact although a significant amount of time is required.

13) Sheet composting

Sheet composting could be executed using different types of materials such as thick cardboards or purchased rolls where multiple layers are laid on top of each other with overlap edges that would prevent sunlight from entering through.

The cardboards are watered to be wet before covering with a compost layer followed by mulch of 4 inches thick. Grass or wildflower seeds could be scattered to the compost for a new meadow or holes could be punched out in the paper to plant new plants instead of waiting for the cardboards to decompose.

This method is advantageous with organic matter added to soil while minimal labor is exerted and no removal or disposal of turf is needed. This method is also known as “lasagna gardening” although it may not be practical on steep slopes.

Conclusion

There are plenty of ways to get rid of grass in any garden or yard but gardeners and homeowners may have to exercise caution in their choice of removal methods that would not jeopardize their own safety, health and the environment at any time.

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Gardening

How to keep lawn green in winter

The lovely and fresh smell of grass is soon gone with the onset of winter where cold icy winds and white snow tend to cover up the greenness of the lawn. This could prove disappointing to many homeowners who have spent much time and effort, much less cost, in tending their lawn through spring, autumn and summer.

Winter is considered a homeowner’s nightmare where the lush green lawns turn into muddy or soggy turfs. However, with the best efforts and diligence, homeowners or gardeners could maintain the lawn even in the winter to ensure that the greenness does not fade away quickly.

frozen grass in winter

Lawn Maintenance in Winter

A good looking lawn or yard requires much effort where its grass must be frequently cut, fertilized and watered without excessiveness especially during winter. There are certain changes to the regular maintenance process in the winter which would alleviate gardening problems through careful processes.

Good lawn maintenance during winter involves understanding the type of winter expected and the types of grass a lawn is furnished with. These are two critical components in combating winter against the greenness of the lawn.

Winters could be cold and wet or they could be cold and dry depending on the location or continent. There are also wet and not-too-cold winters while dry and crisp cold winters are experienced on interior plateaus. Coastal regions may have more rainfall with the cold wind blowing during winter instead of icy dry winds.

A wide variety of grass is available for different types of lawns which grace a home at different parts of the earth. Many gardeners prefer:

  • Kikuyu
  • Buffalo
  • LM Berea
  • Bermuda
  • Gulf Green

Homeowners may have their own special preferences of grass to line their lawns. It is best to identify the most suitable grass options for any residential lawn by checking out the market as there may be new options emerging based on progressive technologies. This is because of the different properties and characteristics found in different types of grass requiring different types of care and maintenance.

Some lawn greens enjoy the full sun while others prefer the shade for better growth and display.

1) The Kikuyu (Pennisetum Clandestinum)

The Kikuyu is a very popular choice of lawn grass in many South African homes. This is known as the local grass to grace residential lawns. The Kikuyu is very affordable compared to other types in the market with its fast growth.

Although its origin is from Kenya which is warmer, the Kikuyu adapts well with frequent watering and full sun. Hence, a cold winter could wipe it out completely with the proper care. It could grow really fast with a favorable short recovery time which makes it an ideal choice as lawn greens especially with heavy traffic.

This is the preferred lawn grass for most sports fields where their quick re-growth would grace the lawn or field quickly after heavy usage.

2) The Buffalo (Stenotaphrum Secundatum)

The Buffalo grass adapts much better in the shade than the Kikuyu. It may be more expensive but shaded gardens would look exquisite with the Buffalo grass gracing its premises.

This grass type grows slower which could prove to be advantageous to gardeners who do not need to mow the lawn so frequently. There is no self-reviving property for the Buffalo grass like the Kikuyu which could be a strong survivor in any harsh condition. The Buffalo grass requires more tender loving care and maintenance; hence, it cannot be neglected.

Regular watering is a must to enjoy its darker green beauty. The Buffalo grass shows off broader leaves with a harder texture compared to other varieties.

3) The LM Berea

The LM Berea is a lawn grass that has high shade tolerance to be very popular in Kwa-Zulu Natal and similar environments. It is loved for its soft texture although it does not respond favorably to high traffic. To appreciate the softness of LM Berea grass, it should maintain a certain length without being mowed too short.

4) The Bermuda (Cynodon Dactylon)

A Bermuda lawn is beautiful but requires full sun most of the time to retain its beauty. However, it is easy to care for as it does not require too much water unlike other lawn types. The Bermuda lawn grass is often used in combating soil erosion as it has strong roots that grow really deep into the soil.

Hence, this type of lawn grass could be mowed short as its deep roots could readily re-grow quickly. Moreover, high traffic is tolerated really well to survive for a long time. This grass type is excellent as a long-term lawn solution without requiring too much water. It grows best where winter is not too wet to become over-hydrated.

5) The Blackjack

The Blackjack grass is a special shoot of Bermuda lawn grass as its genetically modified component. Hence, it is not surprising that the Blackjack is more aesthetic with its graceful texture and color. It grows well without too much water with more or less the same characteristics as the Bermuda grass.

6) The Gulf Green (Cynodan Transvaalensis)

This grass is also known as the ‘Golf Green’ as it is commonly found on golf courses. The Gulf Green is known as an indigenous species which is the ideal grass type for manicured lawns preferred. It is excellent for wet environments even in the winter where its color is maintained and its soft texture is felt.

The Gulf Green loves water with a good response to high traffic by growing quickly to accommodate that. It is not favorable towards dryer interior regions during winter as it is frost-shy.

Winter Conditions

It is noted that most lawns tend to become semi-dormant in the winter with slower growth while losing a bit of their dark green color as if the grass is hibernating. Harsh winter conditions could damage the grass more readily with a greater difficulty in repair works unless the gardener is diligent with a proper maintenance through a good understanding of their needs.

As prevention is better than cure, it is advisable to take good care of lawns throughout the year regardless of the season so that they look their best even in harsh or unfavorable weather conditions.

A good understanding of the characteristics of the grass like slow growth in the winter due to its semi-dormancy nature would help the gardener consider apt ways to motivate growth and survival until spring comes along.

Preparations Prior to Winter

Gardeners must be diligent in preparing the lawn before winter comes. As summer winds down, the lawns require less mowing with slower growth rate. The grass naturally prepares itself for the cold winter months but gardener could add on in certain ways to keep the grass nurtured and strong to withstand winter.

If proper lawn care has been religiously exercised throughout the full growing season, there is little more effort required to ensure the survival of the lawn during winter. Special points of care prior to winter is the adjustment of watering the lawn as the condescending cool weather does not permit the lawn grass to absorb as much water as during summer.

However, lawn mowing should continue on a regular basis to encourage new greens to shoot out. The lawn must be kept in the best condition before winter kicks in to survive the cold weather.

Effective Lawn Care Practices

Although lawn mowing is necessary during winter, it should become less frequent. The mowing exercise is to keep the lawn well maintained with a clean look. The lawn grass is still growing even during winter albeit slower.

If mowing is discontinued during winter, there could be a build-up of thatch layer during the winter which makes the grass brown and scalped when spring comes on. This is an ugly sight to be endured until hard work encourages the green leaf to come forth again.

Although the lawn does not need much watering during winter, however, some soil types may drain away their underground water reserves which dry up the grass roots especially if there is not sufficient rain in the winter months.

Lawn grass can continue to look fresh and green if the survival conditions are optimal. However, problems may arise with the arrival of spring when the lawns could go into shock with the warmth to turn brown. Hence, it is good to monitor the water levels in the soil throughout winter to avoid spring effects.

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Gardening

How to prevent squirrels from digging up my lawn?

A lovely lawn is the pride of the homeowner especially when it is personally taken care of by the homeowner. A personal caring of the lawn spurs up a totally different sense of ownership and pride unlike that executed by hired hands on lawn upkeeps.

However, the best of lawns could be destroyed by pests and unwelcome intruders like the squirrels whether in the city or country surroundings. These expert climbers dart quickly up and down trees while scampering across the beautifully mowed lawn digging here and there.

a squirrel on lawn

Pet or Pest?

While some individuals may coo over a squirrel as their pet, others are high strung over one when their lawn is messed up with holes and piles of soil dug up. This is due to the survival nature of squirrels which spend a lot of time foraging for food not just for the day but storing up for their future.

With the rapid development of mankind where forests are quickly transformed into housing estates or residential areas, it is not surprising to find many of these furry creatures uprooted from their natural habitats to forage in man’s backyards. These furry rodents have no inkling of the hard work put into maintaining a beautiful lawn all year round.

The backyard or garden has become a hotspot for squirrels in their natural survival mode activities. Another nature of squirrels is their persistency in finding their food; they do not give up until they find what they are after. Hence, it is not surprising to have them labeled as pests instead of pets although they could be adorable to some.

They have sharp teeth and fast eating habits to chew up fruits still on the plant or pull up vegetables like carrots from the neat rows in someone’s veggie plot. Many little unsightly holes are seen in landscaped yards that are turned into an unearthed landmine. These persistent critters could also occasionally destroy property as they tend to chew through objects that stand in their path for food.

However, it is possible to keep these unwelcome creatures away from the lawn or garden which homeowner could exercise.

1) Clear Off Incentives

A first step in stopping squirrels from coming into the yard to make it squirrel-proof is to remove or clear off any incentives. This would mean a consistent raking of leaves, nuts or berries fallen from trees to avoid squirrels being lured into the yard by their scent or sight.

Trash cans should also be closed tightly with proper lids to avoid squirrels becoming scavengers. This practice also deters other scavengers from messing up the trash can and surroundings.

Homeowners could trim off long hanging branches in or near their garden to discourage squirrels from hopping and popping over so easily. Squirrels could also nest in these trees and access the garden through the branches in their scavenging routines.

2) Using Repellants

The market has a special repellant that is effective at keeping squirrels away; this squirrel repellant is easily available at local hardware stores or lawn upkeep shops. Innovative homeowners could conjure up their own special concoction of squirrel repellants from their kitchen.

Squirrels are not fans of spicy food scents; hence, a sprinkling of hot spices like chili powder or cayenne pepper over the yard should ward off these critters. The spices do not physically harm the squirrels or plants but they are effective in deterring squirrels from chewing or digging up the lawn with the foul odor.

A simple natural squirrel deterrent item is the garlic with a strong odor which even squirrels cannot put up with. Homeowners could also chop up jalapeno pepper or garlic and mix it with water and vinegar to squirt on those who dare show their face despite the other deterrents put in place. These natural repellants need to be reapplied after every rainfall.

Squirrels do not like the strong scent of peppermint which makes it an excellent choice of repellant on squirrels. A live peppermint plant placed in a pot could put the squirrels at bay; alternatively, concentrated peppermint oil exudes a strong scent which is repulsive to squirrels. A few drops of this oil on cotton balls would do the trick when placed around the yard or garden.

Some homeowners may use mothballs which prove to be a nuisance to squirrels. These could be placed in nylon stockings to be hung around the yard to keep squirrels out.

3) Place Predator Scents

A squirrel is part of the natural chain of food web where it could be a prey or predator although it thrives mainly on fruit and vegetables. Homeowners could adopt a dog or cat as a pet to ward off squirrels as these are known to be predators to the smaller critters.

The presence of a predator proves to be a strong deterrent to the squirrel where the dog or cat is likely to have some fun chasing after any squirrel that is bold or foolish enough to come into the garden. A predator pet is a highly effective natural squirrel repellant. Homeowners get the satisfaction of keeping the garden free from squirrel invasion as well as enjoy their pet.

Cats and dogs are highly hyped up with moving creatures smaller than themselves. Hence, it is an innate motivation to chase after squirrels. It could also be a case of territorial possession with cats and dogs if squirrels should try to cross their territory.

Instead of an actual predator like a pet, homeowners could simplify matters with the scent of a predator. The predator urine or repellant scent is highly effective in keeping squirrels away as fear is instilled although the predator is not in sight. Such repellant scent could be purchased online or from hunting stores in town.

This type of scents deceives the squirrels with a false impression of potential threat in the backyard. However, these scents could be washed off after rain or snow; hence, a reapplication is necessary.

4) Diversion

A diversion is another excellent way in keeping squirrels away from the backyard or garden. This would involve luring the critters away with more alluring food outside the premises. Squirrels could munch on flowers and plants out of hunger if they could not find their preference.

Homeowners could place a squirrel feeder with appetizing food that would entice squirrels to that direction instead of the backyard or garden. This could include peanuts or sunflower seeds which are popular squirrel fare. Such foods could be located further away from the premises like the edge of the yard or the path leading to the forest if possible. This would prevent the squirrels from hunting too far from home.

5) Instill Fear

Electronic devices from advanced technologies could prove helpful in keeping squirrels away from the premise. Motion sensitive lights or even high-frequency sound emitters are highly effective in frightening off squirrels.

Motion-activated sprinkler systems prove effective when they are turned on to shock squirrels as they try to tread across the lawn. Squirrels are easily scared creatures with every little movement or motion. The grass gets watered at the same time.

Lawn Sprinkler, UNIFUN Garden Sprinklers Water Entire Lawn And Garden Without Oscillating Systems Waste

6) Fence Up

Good fences could protect the foliage from being uprooted by squirrels. Fences could keep the squirrels on the outside but the right type of fence must be installed. Fencing must be buried deep enough to discourage squirrels from digging under the fence to come into the garden.

Mesh netting is an alternative to fencing where specific items could be protected from squirrel invasion. Budding flowers or fruit plants could be surrounded by mesh netting of tight-knit holes which squirrels cannot squeeze through. Hence, squirrels would not be able to snack on plants and fruits which would have the opportunity to bloom and ripen.

7) Traps

Traps could also be used to get rid of squirrels that persist in invading the territory. Simple mouse traps could be placed around the yard with some alluring foods as bait. This could include some of the squirrels’ favorite foods like fruit or nuts.

Conclusion

Squirrels that ruin a well-kept lawn or garden are viewed as pests although it is their natural instinct to hunt for food in order to survive. These are very adaptable creatures which learn to thrive in changing environments as their own habitat is destroyed or transformed.

It may not be possible to eliminate squirrels totally from the backyard or garden but the above options could lessen homeowners’ frustration on their well-kept yards, flora and fauna.

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Uncategorized

Electric lawn mower frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Electric Lawn Mower

Are the electric lawn mowers the same?

Electric lawn mowers just like all the other electric appliances are not the same. Starting from the motor on the different lawn mowers and the electric sources, the lawn mowers differ. That is why: the mowers are categorized as corded electric lawn mowers to signify that they require an electric cord to draw power for their use.

Cordless lawn mowers are those which do not necessarily use an electric circuit but usually depend on other sources like battery to be powered. Additionally, the differences come in terms of the manner in which they can work fast or in some cases, capacity of the electric lawn mower to work on a specific size of lawn.Are there benefits of the cordless lawn mowers?

Cordless lawn mowers like in their other electric mowers have diverse benefits to the user. For starters, the maintenance of the cordless electric lawn mowers seems easier than their corded electric mowers as there is no cable to care for. In addition, the cordless lawn mowers are considered to be quite cost effective.

The additional benefit of the cordless lawn mowers is that they can be used everywhere regardless of the power grid. The only thing needed with them is the battery which can be replaced or recharged. Most of the cordless lawn mowers are additionally lighter when compared to the other corded electric lawn mowers.Can robotic lawn mowers be part of the electric lawn mowers?

The innovation of robotic lawn mowers has in so many cases been put as part of the electric lawn mowers. This stems from the fact that most of these are remote controlled devices which have independent power sources not primarily fuel or from an electric cord.

However, because most of these remote controlled robotic mowers are known to use batteries or solar as their source of power, the lawn mowers will still form part of the cordless electric lawn mowers. Moreover, even the remote devices use batteries to operate.Can the electric lawn mower deliver a clean mowing job?

Electric lawn mowers are the most preferred when it comes to ensuring that the lawn is kept as clean as it may be desired because of the collection bag usually fitted on them. Most of these mowers also have powerful blades and the front wheels which are instrumental in ensuring that the grass is mowed well.

The level of efficiency of the electric lawn mower may be measured when the environmental impact is checked. It is clean and Eco friendly. However, depending on the scale of use and the time it should take, it is in some cases not as good as the tractor riding mowers. Read more

Can the electric lawn mowers be cleaned?

Electric lawn mowers are cleaned especially using the normal procedures of cleaning any lawn mower. However, the user needs to take care not to allow water to reach the electric lawn mower motor.

In most instances, the normal cleaning procedure involves wiping and the removal of grass from the blades and sharpening them to make them work more efficiently. However, issues like oiling of the other movable parts may also be done, but for the cases of electrical systems, it may not be advisable if you are not an electrician.How does the electric lawn mower work?

The operations of electric lawn mowers differ depending on which of the two types you have. Electric lawn mowers generally depend on an installed motor within its system to propel the blades which are used to cut grass. The majority of the electric lawn mowers are push behind mowers which require the physical engagement of the user as it goes about its business.

Corded electric lawn mower requires the use of an electric cord to be connected to the electric grid. On the same note, cordless electric lawn mowers are known for the overall use of batteries as their main power source. The use of solar power and the appearance of remote controlled robotic lawn mowers have shifted the manner in which the mowers work.How durable are the electric lawn mowers?

As long as the user keeps the desired maintenance practices and good user practices as well, electric lawn mowers can last for quite long. Moreover, the body of different lawn mowers is made of diverse materials which may in return determine how long they may stay.

However, the corded electric lawn mowers are also known to suffer the effects of cutting on the cord, which in most cases impede their overall use. When the cordless elecy becomes obsolete, the solution is to give it a replacement or just forget its use altogether.How much can an electric lawn mower cost?

There is no fixed cost for any given electric lawn mower in the market. Different brands of lawn mowers have their own price lists depending on the superiority of its systems. Robotic electric lawn mowers have been known to be more expensive than their other corded and usual cordless counterparts.

Depending on where you purchase, the discounts given on the several brick and motor stores can make the whole difference where the price is concerned. Another determinant of the price of any given lawn mower is the quality and the convenience in which it is made to work.My lawns is composed of long grass, is the electric lawn mower suitable for use on it?

Definitely, electric lawn mower is suited for cutting long grass lawns there are several electric lawn mowers which can work better on long grass and what one needs to do is merely look around the shops.

However, if the grass in question is rather too tall, the preferred choice would be the riding tractor lawn mowers which are regarded highly for their power and efficiency on the lawn.What are some of the cautionary measures to take when using an electric lawn mower?

There are several factors to put in mind when using an electric lawn mower. The key cautionary measure is to ensure that the electric lawn mower is used for the sole purpose for which it is supposed to be used.

Using the electric lawn mower in the open especially when it is raining is also like courting a disaster and must be avoided. To cap it all, the user need to ensure that he mows away from the electric power cord to avoid cases of intertwining while  mowing and at the same time make small but consistent movements.What are the key areas to look at when buying an electric lawn mower?

There are several areas one needs to look at when shopping for the right lawn mower. The key areas to observe are whether you needed a cordless lawn mower or a corded one. For cordless ones, check on the battery capacity and the possibility of recharge as replacements are quite costly.

For coded electric lawn mowers, check the quality of the cord, the length and the possibility of its replacement if you wish to. The motor power, the price and the other generally important features like the blade needs to be put into consideration. Read more

What are the types of electric lawn mowers in the market?

There are two major types of electric lawn mowers in the market with the third one still not very much in use. Corded electric lawn mowers are the most rampant ones as they are known to utilize the use of an electric circuit and source to be able to operate. One major undoing of these mowers is that they cannot work if the power circuit is off.

Cordless electric lawn mowers are those which may not need the use of an electric power cord to work. The majority of these are known to work on batteries in spite of the appearance of a few trials on those using solar power and others working on programmed robotic chips.What are the weaknesses of the corded electric lawn mowers?

The corded electric lawn mowers have been loved and hated in equal measure. The biggest undoing of the corded electric lawn mower is that it cannot work in places where the electric grid has not reached. Moreover, there are cases of frequent power blackouts in several areas which are likely to impede its operations.

Additionally, the presence of the power cord is in itself limiting as it does not allow for free movement. The power cord determines how far the mower goes and how. The risk of intertwining the wire and even cutting it in the course of mowing is rather a reality in this case.What are the weaknesses of the cordless lawn mowers?

Cordless electric lawn mowers have this weakness that the battery is usually prone to depletion fast. If the user has no replacement or means to recharge, the possibility of stalling the mowing is real. For the robotic lawn mowers, they are usually remote controlled and are blamed for mowing even areas which had not been prescribed by the user.What is a cordless electric lawn mower?

A cordless lawn mower is simply an electric lawn mower which in its normal operations does not require any use of an electrical cord/wire to draw power. Majority of these cordless electric lawn mowers are known to use batteries as their source of power.

However, there are new crops of cordless electric lawn mowers known to use the solar power as their source, which still helps with recharging of the battery. Other known cordless electric lawn mowers are the remote controlled robotic lawn mowers which are still not so much in use.What is the average length of the electric cord on the corded electric lawn mower?

There is no set limit to the length of the electric cord used on most of the corded electric lawn mowers in the market. The key determinant of the cord used solely depends on the size of the lawn, which one needs to gauge appropriately.

In most cases, it is recommended that apart from the power cord the electric lawn mowers come with from the factories, the user is advised to have an extra extension cable for ease of movement and to avoid cases where the electric cord gets intertwined, which may lead to its cutting.What is the basic practice when using the electric mower?

The basic practice is to ensure the electric lawn mower is powered either through an electric cord or a battery. The electric lawn mowers need no humidity in their system and so needs to be kept away from water. Moreover, you will require observation of the overall state of the lawn and ensuring that you remove obstacles to avoid destroying the blades. Read moreWhat is the operational limit of an electric lawn mower?

An electric lawn mower has diverse limits. Corded electric lawn mowers are said to work for as far as the cord can be extended. However, most of them have certain hourly limits which the user needs to be acquainted with before using them.

Cordless lawn mowers on their part may work for as long as the battery charge is still there. The presence of hourly limit on these mowers is usually set depending on the manufacturer estimate of the depletion of the power charge, which in most cases is merely recharge or a new battery is used to replace the previous ones. Ensure that the lawn mower is given some rest to avoid spoilage in the motor.What is torque, where electric lawn mowers are concerned?

Torque is usually a measure of the motor power and is a common feature on most moving appliances, especially the ones which are fitted with motor feature as a means of drive. Torque usually determines how powerful or not powerful a machine is as the higher the torque, the more powerful it is.

Most electric lawn mowers are fitted with motors and it is this capacity of the motor which you will commonly see. The electric motor measures the torque as the overall output capacity as the machine is used.What makes the electric lawn mower different from the other types of lawn mowers?

The main difference between the electric lawn mowers and the others in the market is solely based on the power source. While some of the lawn mowers are known to use the services of gas as their power sources, these mowers use an electric current from the grid or the already set up batteries.

It is in this regard that the electric lawn mowers are found to be quite environmentally friendly, a clear contrast from the others whose huge emissions into the sky has been blamed for rampant pollution, especially in areas where they are heavily in use.What makes the electric lawn mower environmentally friendly?

The fact that the electric lawn mower does not emit huge fumes into the environment makes them an ideal candidate for environmental conservation. Gas fuel is mined from the ground and has been blamed for a lot if environmental issues. Spillages are also detrimental to the lives of other organisms living inside the soil.

The additional fact to this is that the electric lawn mowers are designed in such a way that the mowing progresses without any effect of the wheels on the grass being mowed, unlike in the case of tractor mowers whose huge wheels which cause havoc on the grass.What makes the tractor lawn mowers superior to the electric lawn mowers?

Tractor lawn mowers are considered superior due to the overall torque on their power engines. Most of the motor power on the tractors is higher making them mow larger areas as compared to their electric lawn mower counterparts. The use of fuel also gives them an advantage of use over the electric lawn mowers which solely depend on the power grid.

Additionally, because they are ride on, their use does not involve the physical strength of the user as is the case with most of the push behind electric lawn mowers. They can also have better capacity to mow long grass lawns as compared to the electric lawn mowers.Where can one buy an electric lawn mower?

Several places are available for this lawn mower purchase. Brick and motor stores across the street which stock agricultural and home appliances as well as those dealing with electrical goods are known to have enough stock of any electric lawn mower you may wish to buy albeit at higher rates due to taxation and rent charges.

However, you are not lost for choice as the online market is also buzzing with the electric lawn mowers. Online retailers like Wal-Mart, eBay, Ahave proven to be some of the most reliable places to get your electric lawn mowers at netter rates. Read moreWhy are the electric lawn mowers that effective unlike the reel mowers?

It is in most cases on the open that electric lawn mowers are seen to do a better job at mowing when compared to their reel mower counterparts. This is usually solely due to the fact that reel mowers in essence are slow, sluggish and in the case of those using gas quite environmentally unfriendly.

The additional reason is that the operational span of most of the electric lawn mowers is usually better and at the sometime, most of them are fitted with features which enable them mow even longer grass, which is not possible with the reel mowers.Why do we need electric lawn mowers?

Electric lawn mowers are important for diverse reasons. The primary aim is to ensure that the surrounding is kept clean. The act of keeping the surrounding clean alone is enough to keep off certain disease causing vectors.

Electric lawn mowers are also good for the environment as they are known to be friendlier to the environment. But of greater importance, these mowers are quite effective yet economical in its real sense as far as fuel use is concerned.Why is the electric lawn mower considered to be the best?

Electric lawn mowers are generally considered to be the best that there is among the numerous types of lawn mowers. Apart from their known levels of efficiency, electric lawn mowers are also regarded to be environmentally friendly.

When compared to the tractor mowers, the fact that the electric lawn mowers do not use gas is the main advantage to the environment. They do not release the diverse pollutants which are known own to degrade the air, a fact which is not liked environmentally.

Reel Mower

Can reel mowers be used to cut wet grass?

They can provide the blades are extremely sharp. One must be careful to choose a different path every time during a mowing session in the rain, as grooves made in the mud can alter the growth pattern of the grass.How long does a full charge last?

A fully charged electric mower can run for 60-90 minutes of mowing.How much does a reel mower cost?

Reel mowers cost in the range of 80 USD to 200 USD. You will find most of them priced below 125USD. Gas powered reel mowers cost upwards of 200 USD.How much does electric reel mowers cost?

The cheapest one is available at 90 dollars (America) while the top brand in this segment is the Gardena brand at close to 500 USDHow to sharpen a reel mower

A Sharpening kit for a reel mower consists of a container of lapping compound which is an abrasive suspended in a sticky substance which can be applied with an accompanying brush. There is also a crank provided in the kit, and a set of instructions.

First lay the mower so that the cutter bar or bed knife is up and grinds against the blades just a little bit.  By tweaking the pivot bolts on each side ( there are two of them on each side)the tension should be the same across all the blades.

Disconnect any wheel from the side and expose the cog wheel which is taken off too. Stand the reel blades upright and dab lapping compound on each blade with the brush provided.

Now with the crank handle provided, crank the reel over and over in reverse. This is called back lapping and it sharpens the blades. Put back the wheel and you are ready to go!

What happens to the cut grass with a reel mower?

It is spread evenly on the surface of your lawn, making it a good fertilizer for the soil. You also have an option to bag it in a grass catcher for composting purposes.What is that thin metal strip that comes in the wingnut bolt bag?

That is a gauge. When after a year, your reel mower does not cut as it used to, it is time to reset the gap between the reel blades and bed knife. The gauge helps you to determine that optimal distance. The manual helps you through this process.What is the difference between an electric reel mower and a manual reel mower

There is very little difference, in that instead of you pushing, the electric motor attached to the reel provides the power to the blades to keep them from getting bogged down in thick or wet grass. The electric motor gets its power from the battery which is charged between mowings.When should you give up your reel mower?

When you cannot commit the time any longer for it. It will punish you if you do not mow twice a week.Which manufacturers are the most popular for Reel mowers?

Scotts, American and Fiskars are the favorites

Riding Lawn Mower

Do riding lawn mowers have reverse gear?

Yes, they have a reverse gear. The blades disengage when you put it in reverse, however, it does have an over-ride on the ignition key that allows you mow in reverse if you so desire.Do you have to assemble it? Or does it come looking like in the picture?

The seat and steering assembly have to be assembled. The battery cables have to be connected and a few small parts fixed. It is very easy.How does shift on the go operate?

There is a clutch function that allows you to move while changing speeds.How is it delivered?

It is delivered by a truck and delivered on your driveway. It comes on a pallet in a truck.Is it easy to start?

Riding mowers are key start mowers.

Self Propelled Lawn Mower

Are self propelled lawn mowers parts of the electric lawn mowers?

Yes, there are several electric lawn mowers which are self propelledHowever, they are found across the board which then makes them an entirely different area in some cases when put to perspective. What is distinctive is that the majority of lawn mower in this category is of the push behind mower category.Can the self propelled lawn mower mow backwards?

The self propelled lawn mower power drive can move backwards and so enable the whole mowing act to progress unabated. Considering whether the engine has the self drive, you may need to pull and release the drive lever. However, take note that not all self propelled lawn mowers have the ability to move backwards and so in some instances, they may just only need to be moved forward.How do I start on the self propelled lawn mower?

Starting the lawn mower is as easy as ABC. The lawn mower has a starter which when pulled to start is enough to start it. However, it is a fact that the lawn mower of self propelled model can be started through the use of choke method, which involves just pulling the pulley and letting the engine warm up.How much does a self propelled lawn mower cost?

Like all the other electric lawn mower and gas based lawn mowers, there is no fixed price for these mowers. Self propelled lawn mowers come with diverse features which distinguish them from each other and so may influence the difference in prices.What differentiates a self propelled lawn mower from the other types of electric lawn mowers?

Nothing much because the self propelled mechanism is just to enable its navigation. However, the fact that the self propelled lawn mowers have a starting mechanism which is quite unique is worth noting. In addition, the fact that the self propelled lawn mowers may be even gas based makes them be a jack of all trade in this sector. Read more FAQs.What is meant by the self propelled lawn mower power drive?

This is usually a gearbox part of the lawn mower which is driven by a pulley on a crankshaft of the engine. It is at the time when the drive lever is disengaged by pulling that the engine of the power drive is switched on, this is what propels the lawn mower.What is the advantage of having an overhead valve on the self propelled lawn mower in the market?

Because self propelled lawn mowers exist in all type of power options, some are quite noisy when being used. However, with the presence of the overhead valve, the rate of action of the self propelled lawn mower is increased. This in turn reduces the noise levels while making the lawn mower t last longer.What is the importance of the automatic choke recovery system (ACRS)?

In some instances, the user may need to start a cold engine; the automatic choke recovery allows the user to move on and off the operator system and them enables the starting of the same by pulling the starter.

When the engine warms up, the choke system is the part which moves to the start point on the self propelled lawn mower. However, like the other electric lawn mowers which are cordless or corded, the self propelled engines in some cases can also start without having to be chocked.What is the key feature on most of the self propelled lawn mowers?

The horizontal blade attached to the vertical shaft is what makes the self propelled lawn mowers to be quite different from the rest of the lawn mowers. The fact that the self propelled lawn mower models can climb on top of hills with ease allows them to be efficient lawn mowing devices.

Additionally, you may notice that the self propelled lawn mowers are four wheel drives, thus they have the capacity to take on any terrain which the lawn mower user may need to span.What is the work of the control bail?

Because of its being held against the handle bar, the bail allows the blades in the self propelled lawn mower to rotate and thus helps with the mowing process. When the bail is usually released, the engine stops and so is the mowing. This way, the control bail is a security feature on the self propelled lawn mowers which shield against unwanted operations.

Zero Turn Mower

How do zero turn mowers handle slopes?

For slopes less than ten degrees (recommended upper limit):

  • Move slowly on the slope
  • Avoid moving sideways, starting, stopping or turning on the slope
  • Do not mow wet grass

What is zero turn?

This essentially means that the turning radius is zero inches or there is no turning radius. The mower can turn in its own footprint.Why are zero turn mowers more expensive?

Instead of the single hydrostatic transmission in a lawn tractor, there are two in a zero turn mower.  They also have larger engines and decks, stronger frames and on the whole have more steel than steering lawn mowers. Hence, they are more expensive.

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A Comprehensive Guide to Best Fertilizer Spreader

Best Fertilizer Spreader


It is always an eye soothing to have a green and fresh and beautiful lawn on your yard. However, keeping the lawn green and beautiful isn’t always easy, unless you’re using the best fertilizer spreader there is. You have to keep it in check, so that the weeds don’t take over your lawn, so that insects don’t start breeding, so that it always looks green and fresh. However easy it might sound, the work is anything but. Hence, we are here to lend a helping hand to you. We will be providing you with a proper guideline, so the daunting work of looking after your lawn becomes easy and joyful.

So first things first, what does your body need to function properly? The answer is food. The grass in your lawn isn’t much different. It needs food as well. However, since it can make its own food through the process of photosynthesis, all you need to provide them with a little bit of nudge, AKA fertilizers. But why? Let’s answer that very basic question first.

Does your lawn need fertilizers?

The answer is yes. For optimum growth, plants need various elements from the environment, and not all of them can be found everywhere. Even when the soil of your lawn is absolutely perfect and contains everything that a plant (or grass) could ever ask for, but with time the plants will absorb all the nutrients from the soil, and slowly the ground will become barren. To prevent that from happening, you need to provide the lawn with adequate fertilizers, and you need to follow a fertilizing schedule. That is the only way your grass will remain healthy and fresh, which is the first thing you need to have a clean and beautiful lawn. After all, what is a lawn without green, healthy and juicy grass?

What kind of fertilizer spreader do you need?

To fertilize your lawn, the only thing you need except for fertilizers is a good fertilizer spreader. There are three types of fertilizer spreaders available in the market. They are as follows:
1) Push Spreader
2) Tow behind spreader
3) Handheld spreader

Now the question is, what type do you need? If you have a very, very big lawn (Like a golf course, maybe?), you need a tow behind spreader. These spreaders are attached to a compatible tow truck or a similar vehicle, and the spreading mechanism starts working when the wheels turn. Hence these spreaders are very suitable for people who have extremely large lawns.

If your lawn is large, but getting a tow behind spreader would be a bit too much, then you should purchase a push spreaders. These spreaders are attached behind a push cart, and the spreading mechanism starts working when the wheels turn. Basically, you just need to walk around your lawn while pushing the cart. So for medium to somewhat big lawns, push spreaders might be an option.

If you have a tiny weeny lawn, the best option for you is a handheld spreaders. These are very handy when it comes to fertilizing a small lawn, and they are great for covering missed spots.

To sum up, you need to consider the size of your lawn before buying an actual fertilizer spreader. It is always important for your fertilizer spreader to be compatible with your lawn.

The biggest brand names

There are a number of very popular brands in the market of fertilizer spreaders. These include Scotts, Agri-fab, Earthway, Buyers, Chapin, Brinly, Field Tuff etc. All of these brands have their own features, and they are all good. But since we don’t want to settle for simply good products, we will be reviewing three of the very best spreaders.

Handheld spreaders:

Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader

Just as we mentioned, this spreader is for small lawns. So if you have a lawn that is 2500 sq-ft or less, then this product is made for you. It is a good, lightweight product that is very easy to use. The spreader is designed to contain just enough fertilizer to cover a 2500 sq-ft lawn. It gives you great control in the tight spots, hence you will be able to fertilize every nook and cranny of your beautiful lawn.

The Scotts Wizz is a great fertilizer spreader. It has all of Scotts’ newest technologies, including the edge guard and handy lock. It has great versatility, hence it can be used to spread four types of gardening products- Feed, Seed, Weed and Melt. It hold enough gardening products to cover a 2500 sq-ft area, and it is battery powered. Fertilizing your lawn has never been easier.

This product has a user friendly design that lets you take care of your lawn is four simple steps. Make sure you know the grass type and what sort of fertilizer you should be using. Then fill the spreader with enough product. Set the suitable setting by turning the big, orange dial, and in order to protect the areas that do not belong to your lawn, turn on edge guard. No you just need to walk around while pulling the trigger. It’s easy, isn’t it?

Try using this spreader. It should be worth every penny. And for a spreader costing about 20 dollars, it will do a great job.

Tow Behind Spreaders:

Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader

Tow behind spreaders are most suitable for huge lawns. After all, you need a tractor or a suitable vehicle to move this thing. So if your personal golf course needs fertlizers, you could consider using the Agri-Fab 45-0463.

Agri-Fab products are particularly noted for their durability. Is that arena, the Agri-Fab 45-0463 is no big exception. It has a sturdy rod linked on/off control with perfect settings. As a result, controlling the machine is very, very easy. It comes with an enclosed gear box equipped with trapered gears, which help you spread your lawn care products evenly and precisely. In order to achieve stability on rough terrains, the spreader has large diameter tires equipped with wide wheelbase.

The best feature of this particular spreader is that it can hold up to 130 pounds of lawn care products. It may not seem much, but the amount is more than enough to cover an area of 25000 sq-ft. In other words, you can fertilize almost half an acre with this spreader. Astounding, isn’t it?

The Agri-Fab 45-0463 can be easily used by professional farmers. But that does not mean that it is very hard for non-professionals to use. In fact, even home gardeners can use this spreader for the perfect growth of their plants. It works with any kind of seeds and fertilizer, and it doesn’t stain or damage your tractor. The metal gears along with the metal frame ensures a lasting life. And all of this comes for at around one hundred and seventy dollars. All in all, this spreader can be your comrade in your fight for a healthy and beautiful lawn.

Walk Behind Spreaders:

Earthway 2150 Commercial 50-Pound Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader

Just like any other walk behind fertilizer spreader, the earthway 2150 is suitable for medium sized lawns. Like all earthway products, this spreader comes with a number of features which are able to blow any gardener’s mind. It has an extended handle, which makes it very easy to walk around while pushing the spreader. The tires roll very smoothly, and since they are big and pneumatic, they can even roll over uneven turfs quite smoothly. Made in USA, the earthway 2150 has a very well calibrated setting control which maximizes the satisfaction from your gardening experience. And as a bonus, you get the looks.

The Earthway 2150 comes with a unique EVE-N-Spread technology to ensure even spreading of your fertilizing products. You can adjust the spreading rate control, and you can adjust the handle according to your height. The spreader can hold 50 pounds of gardening material.

The only con that you might be concerning yourselves with is the expense of this particular product. True, this spreader is a wee bit more expensive that other spreaders available in the market. But when you think of the service it will be able to provide you with, the cost does not seem to be all that much.

To be precise, the earthway 2150 is a really great spreader with great functions. It is definitely worth a try if you want to have a healthy, beautiful lawn.

Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Deluxe Broadcast Spreader

Another fantastic walk behind fertilizer spreader you might want to look into is the Scotts Turf Builder. It is a very handy and useful fertilizer that will make your work a hundred times easier. Equipped with Scotts supreme EdgeGuard technology, the Scotts Turf Builder will make sure that you are getting maximum efficiency. If you are a perfectionist to your very core, this product is perfect for you. Why? Because it has an ultra-modern control panel with precision rate settings, which will help you to control your spreading rate even more accurately. And if you use this with Scotts lawn food, it can be guaranteed that you will be awed at the efficiency rate.

The Turf Builder is not only technologically advanced. It is very useful for somewhat big lawns. Since it can hold up to fifteen thousand square feet of lawn care products, it goes without saying that this product is good enough for lawns that size.

Calibration is often an important factor for fertilizer spreaders. All fertilizer spreaders need to be calibrated to perfection. But if you purchase the Turf Builder, you will not have to worry about calibration- because the products is already calibrated and perfectly ready to use.

All in all, Scotts Turf builder is a great choice when it comes to fertilizer spreaders. Give it a try!

Using Fertilizer on your lawn

We have already discussed why you should fertilize your lawn. But how frequently should you do it? When it comes to fertilizing your lawn, you should always follow a competent schedule. But before you begin, you must know what type of grass you have in your lawn. Depending on your grass type, your fertilizing schedule might vary. Also, determine your lawn size, and you must do a soil test. After you have done all this, it should be easy to determine what kind of fertilizer your lawn actually needs, and then fertilize accordingly.

Quick tip- if you have cold season grasses, fertilize heavily in the fall and lightly in spring. If you have warm season grasses, then start fertilizing when the grass starts to turn green in the spring. For more information, google.

To maximize the fertilizing effect, you should follow a regular schedule. Just google it, and you will find tons of resources on the internet. Always use the internet to your benefit, and pave your way to a greener lawn.

Advantage/Disadvantage of a Fertilizer Spreader

Like everything else, fertilizer spreaders have their own pros and cons. Let’s look a little more in to it:

Pros:

  1. Fertilizer spreaders are fast and reliable. If will save you a lot of time and manual labour for a very little cost. So it is always better to use a spreader to fertilize you lawn.
  2. It is always very important to spread your fertilizer evenly. Fertilizer spreaders help you do exactly that. That way, your grass will get the maximum benefit from the fertilizer you are using.
  3. You can find great spreaders for very little cost. Hence, it makes your work a whole lot of easier without you having to spend a lot of money. That’s a bonus, don’t you think?

Cons:

  1. Fertilizer spreaders aren’t very great when it comes to that little blind spot you have in your garden. To avoid that trouble, keep a handheld spreader handy, or just use your hands.
  2. Fertilizer spreaders do not work well with clumpy or grainy fertilizers. The mechanism clogs, and you will have to go through extra trouble to make it work again. That is a big disadvantage of fertilizer spreaders.

Nonetheless, these spreaders are definitely worth it.

How to buy:

Buying the perfect fertilizer spreader is not a very hard task. You can look into Amazon.com. They have a wide range of fertilizer spreaders. If that’s not an option, then try your local dealer who sells gardening appliances.

However, before you buy your fertilizer spreader, make sure to explore your options. Determine your budget- decide whether you want a cheap one or an expensive one. Discuss it with experienced gardeners, and check out customer reviews. All these steps will help you find the suitable fertilizer spreader for your lawn.

Maintenance and troubleshooting:

Maintaining your fertilizer spreader, along with troubleshooting it wherever necessary, can be a somewhat daunting job. But follow the following rules, and you’ll be fine.

  1. Oil the moving parts regularly: Parts like grease fittings, chains and sprockets should be oiled on a regular basis in order to keep your spreader up and running. Otherwise there’s a chance that it will get stuck. Doing this properly will also ensure that you’d able to avoid troubleshooting in this regard as well.
  2. Empty it before storing: Never leave your spreader out in the open. Before storing it away, make sure that you have emptied out the remaining fertilizers and other materials.
  3. Keep it dry and clean: Watery residues might make your spreader rusty. So always keep it clean and dry.
  4. Keep the chains in check: Chains are a vital part of your pull behind spreader. Oil, fasten or loosen the chains if needed.
  5. Change the worn out parts: For the longevity of your spreader, make sure to check the parts regularly and change them if needed.

FAQ

  1. Does it work with all kind of gardening material?
    Ans: Yes, as long as they don’t clog the mechanism
  2. What setting should I use on my spreader?
    Ans: Depends on your speed, but it is always better to experiment
  3. Can the spreaders be used for salt in winter?
    Ans: Yes
  4. Can these spreaders be used to remove snow by spreading salt?
    Ans: No.
  5. Can the handheld spreader be used for bird seeds?
    Ans: Only if the size of the seeds are about the size of a bee.
  6. Does the walk behind spreader adjust to narrow places in the lawn?
    Ans: Yes. Just slow the drop rate and walk slower.
  7. How hard it is to assemble the products?
    Ans: It is not very hard. It should take about 1.5 to 2 hours.
  8. Can these products be used for spreading compost?
    Ans: they can, but it is better not to. They might clog up.
  9. Will the tow behind spreader damage my tractor?
    Ans: No, it won’t.
  10. Can the spreader be attached to a truck?
    Ans: Feasibly, yes.

All in all, a great fertilizer spreader will your greatest friend who will always be with you on your journey to a great lawn. So, you should spend your time deliberating which spreader will suit you the most, and get that spreader without hesitation. Think of it as an investment in your lawn. Also, it is better to be safe than sorry.

We hope you can find the best fertilizer spreader for your lawn. May the force be with you.