Lawn Mowers


John Deere Lawn Mower JS36 Review

October 25th, 2018 ernie Posted in 22 Inch Cut, John Deere | No Comments »

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john deere lawn mower js36 reviewThe John Deere JS36 lawn mower is a great lawn mower that will meet the needs of most consumers. This John Deere lawn mower js36 review is based on information and comments we have found available online. It comes with a 190 CC four cycle Briggs and Stratton engine. This engine is the work horse of many small engine machines and has a strong reputation. Easy starting is incorporated with a chokeless system. No priming or application of a choke. It does it for you. Safety is a prime concern at John Deere. When you release the control lever, the engine stops immediately. It comes with a 22 inch deck and a 3 in 1 blade for mulching, side discharge and using the grass catcher.

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John Deere Lawn Mower JS36 Review

More details about the specifications of the John Deere JS 36 lawn mower include:

  • Front wheels are 8 inches in diameter
  • Rear wheels are 9 inches in diameter
  • Briggs and Stratton engine
  • 90 CC for cycle engine
  • Safety stop
  • Twenty two inch steel deck
  • Engine speed preset at 3350 RPM
  • Wheels have bushings to ease rolling resistance
  • Three in 1 blade – grass catcher, side discharge and mulching options
  • Fuel tank includes a fuel stabilizer drip system
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Fall Lawn Repair and Care

October 2nd, 2018 ernie Posted in Lawn Care | No Comments »

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The fall is the time to consider repairing your lawn and getting it ready for winter. You can give your lawn a head start by doing a few simple things. Fall lawn repair and care can give your lawn a head start next spring when the growing season starts. Within a month your lawn will look great and recover quickly from the wear and tear of the winter season.

The main steps for making your lawn look great and also keeping it healthy easy to follow. First remove all debris from the lawn. this includes leaves, twigs, weeds and anything that blocks the sun from your grass. Although leaves with all of their colors may look great, they can damage your lawn. Mold will form on and under the leaf. Air and sunlight does not penetrate to the lawn. In short your lawn can die out in that area. It is not a pleasant task to rake up moldy wet leaves.

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Another step to follow is to make repairs to areas of your lawn that need repair like the one in the picture. First use a rake to remove the dead grass and thatch. Add good quality soil to fill in the depression. Apply appropriate grass seed for your area and lightly cover up the grass seed with more soil. Water every day to facilitate the new seed to germinate and begin to grow. Remember you need to do this in early fall to ensure that your seed has time to germinate and put down roots.

Finally fall fertilizer should be applied to help your grass build a strong root base and prepare itself for the winter.

Fall Lawn Repair and Care

There are a few more steps and regular things that home owners should follow in addition to those mentioned above. They are:

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  • Remove the leaves as mentioned above.
  • Keep cutting, but to the correct height.
  • Continue watering as needed
  • Loosen the soil using aerating machines.
  • Add fertilizer for the fall.
  • Spread grass seed to thicken up the lawn
  • Complete repairs as mentioned above
  • Stay on schedule, don’t leave it too late before the snow arrives or the grass stops growing.
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Soluble Synthetic Fertilizers

April 21st, 2018 ernie Posted in Lawn Care | No Comments »

Soluble synthetic fertilizersThis is our second post about types of fertilizers. Our previous post discussed organic fertilizers. This post will cover soluble synthetic fertilizers, slow release fertilizer‘s and water insoluble nitrogen. Many consumers select the type of fertilizer they wish to use based on local climate, the type of grass they have and the environmental conditions e.g.  spring, summer, fall, humid, arid etc. It is very important to match your grass type with the desired look and feel of your lawn when making a decision regarding what type of fertilizer to use.

Soluble synthetic fertilizers

These are the most common fertilizers used on lawns today.

The big advantage of this type of fertilizer is predictability. Because their characteristics or normal precisely, you can learn the exact effect they have on the lawn. This is an important feature for many lines. Soluble synthetic fertilizers become available to the lawn before the soil has thoroughly warm in the summer, they are less expensive than organic fertilizers, and they are easy to handle. Less fertilizer needs to be applied since the percentage of nitrogen is usually high.

However more work is usually required of these gardeners will use. Most applications are necessary because the effects or short term. If your line requires 4 to 6 pounds of actual nitrogen a year, that many separate applications are necessary.

Further, because of the high percentage of nitrogen, there is the possibility of fertilizer burn. To avoid this, apply the fertilizer at recommended rate, spread it on add dry line, and water it thoroughly after application.

Exceptions are some weed and feed products that are formulated with soluble fertilizer‘s and are designed for use on wet grass during moderate temperatures, usually under 85°F.

Slow release fertilizer‘s

To some extent these fertilizers combine the characteristics of the organics and the soluble synthetics. Usually they have a high percentage of nitrogen, spreading large quantities is not necessary. The possible possibility of fertilizer burn is greatly reduced, since the nitrogen does not become available to the plant all at once.

Several types are available. Some are categorized on the fertilizer bag as WIN, meeting water in soluble nitrogen. Mini commonly available lawn fertilizers or actually a combination of soluble nitrogen and WIN

Slow release fertilizer‘s are favored by mini blind growers because they make you have your applications of nitrogen possible, hence making your applications necessary. However, they do not provide a quick green up. Your control of greening response is slightly more than with organics.

Our next post on lawn fertilizers will cover water insoluble nitrogen, complete fertilizers, and fertilizer and pesticide combinations. For more posts about lawn care and how to have a great looking lawn that is the envy of your neighbors, click here.

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Types of fertilizers for your Lawn – Organics

April 7th, 2018 ernie Posted in Lawn Care | No Comments »

This post and the next two posts following this one discuss more detail about the types of fertilizers for your lawn available on the market for consumers. A little shopping in a garden store reveals an abundance of lawn fertilizers. You see labels proclaiming fast acting, slow release, and so on. But if they all contain the same basic minerals, what is the difference? Here is a description of these products.

Types of fertilizers for your lawn

Organic fertilizers: a chemist might argue that some manufactured fertilizers are technically organic. Here organic refers to a fertilizer derive from plant or animal waist.

The variety of organic fertilizers is endless. There are manures of all kinds, sewage sludge, blood meals, and seed meals. They all share in advantages and disadvantage. In some areas, they may be inexpensive and easy to obtain, yet the reverse is often true. Most have distinctly beneficial soil building properties,.

Since the action of organic’s is slow, over fertilizing is usually not a problem. This is the major difference between organic fertilizers and soluble synthetic fertilizers, their nutrients are released slowly. Organic fertilizers are bulkier, heavier, and more difficult to handle than other types of fertilizer. They have a low percentage of nitrogen, so it is necessary to apply a much greater quantity at one time. They may also have an unpleasant smell.

The release of nutrients from organic fertilizers depends on the weather and is, therefore, unpredictable. Soil microbes must digest the organic material to release its nutrients. Because the activity of micros depends on soil temperature, nutrients may not be available in early spring or in late fall when cool season grasses are growing actively, but be abundant in summer when cool season grass should not be fertilized heavily.

Our next post will talk about soluble synthetic fertilizers, slow release fertilizer‘s, water insoluble nitrogen, complete fertilizers, and fertilizer and pesticide combinations. For more posts about lawn care, fertilizers and much more, click here.

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Fertilize Your Lawn

March 21st, 2018 ernie Posted in Lawn Care | No Comments »

fertilize your lawnPeople accept the fact that they must mow and water to maintain the health of their life. But some may question the need for fertilizer. They should not. Fertilize Your Lawn.

Lawn grasses live in an unnatural environment. The grass plants are crowded together they compete with each other, along with neighboring trees and shrubs, for water and nutrients. They are mowed regularly, which is highly irregular in nature, and their clippings, a source of nutrients are often removed.

Because of this competition and the unnatural demands placed on lawns, they must be fertilized. Just as a balanced diet works best for people and animals, the same is true for lawns. They need fertilizer for sustenance. When properly fertilized, the lawn maintains good color, density, and vigor, and does not easily succumb to insects, weeds, or diseases. When under fertilized, the lawn is not only less attractive, but also is considerably more susceptible to environmental stress and damage.

Fertilize Your Lawn – The nutrients a lawn needs

16 different mineral elements are essential to the growth of all awns. Some are common, such as oxygen from air and hydrogen from water. Others, such as zinc or boron, are needed in only the minisculet amounts usually found naturally in most soils.

Nitrogen: this is by far the most important element the lawn needs. It promotes rapid shoot growth  and givesl awns a healthy color. Nitrogen is the mineral most often in short supply. Growing lawns need a plentiful and continuous supply of water, but watering also flushes nitrogen from the soil. Without sufficient nitrogen, growth stops and the lawn becomes pale and yellowish. On the other hand, if there’s too much nitrogen, thatch and disease develop.

Phosphorus: this nutrient is less important, but it still essential for the healthy growth of lawn grasses. It stimulates the early formation and strong growth of the roots, which is why
new lawns need it at such a high percentage. It is not readily flushed from the soil by watering and is needed by established lawns in small quantities, so most balanced lawn fertilizer‘s contain only a low percentage. Phosphorus is supplied by phosphoric acid.

Potassium: next to nitrogen, potassium is second in importance. And like nitrogen it is flushed out of my water but at a slower rate. It strengthens lawn grasses, enabling them to withstand traffic and resist disease. Potassium is needed in about the same quantity as nitrogen, but since the soil supplies a considerable amount, not as much is added to fertilizers. The major source of potassium and fertilizers is potash.

Calcium, sulfur, and magnesium: it takes relatively large amounts of these nutrients to meet the needs of most lawns. Calcium is either present in adequate quantities in the soil or is added through periodic applications of lime. Dolomite supplies magnesium as well as calcium. Most soil sulfur reaches a lawn through the air, water or organic material.

Micro nutrients: these are elements needed in small amounts. If your lawn does not become greener with an application of nitrogen, the problem may be a shortage of iron. This is particularly true in your areas were soil pH is high. Yellowing can also be caused from a sulfur deficiency, or watering, Manganese is deficiency of sandy soil‘s, or a pH less than 5.0. A soil test may be needed to help find the cause of persistent soil related problems such as these.

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Lawnmower Safety and Mowing Tips

March 7th, 2018 ernie Posted in Lawn Mower Safety | No Comments »

Mow a new LawnPower lawn mowing equipment is so common that it is taken for granted. But power mowers are responsible for thousands of accidents yearly. Follow the guidelines below about lawnmower safety and mowing tips, along with those provided by the mower manufacture, and you can avoid becoming another injury statistic. An injury from a power lawn mower can be very painful and disabling for the rest of your life. Always follow safety rules when working on or operating a lawn mower. It could be your fingers, toes or even a hand that you lose if not careful.

Lawnmower Safety and Mowing Tips

Do not disconnect the manufacturers safety features and always keep in mind the possible dangers.

Many fingers have been lost by unclogging discharge shoes of rotary lawn mowers. Make a habit of turning off the power and disconnecting the spark plug before reaching into the clogged grass. Use common sense when mowing steep or uneven terrain. Check the stability of the mowere first, and be aware that a slipping lawn mower can injure both you and your lawn. Mow slight slope‘s either across or up and down. If there is a chance of slippage, tie a rope to the mower and more down the slope from the top. Perhaps the safest way to handle a slope is to plant  ground cover that does not need to be mowed.

Walk over the lawn area before mowing, looking for rocks, toys, sprinkler heads, and other possible obstruction’s.

Do not allow children to use a power lawn mower until they are strong enough and mature enough to handle the job.

Lawn mowing hints

Don’t cut wet grass. It causes uneven mowing, the clippings are messy, and they can matt and block light from getting to the grass. There’s also the danger of slipping on wet slopes.

Pick up stones and sticks before mowing.

Alternate mowing patterns. Mowing the same direction every time tends to compact the soil and causes wear patterns. If you are using a reel mower, give the lawn an attractive checkered finish my mowing it twice, traveling in opposite directions.

Check the blade height by measuring the grass after cutting.

Sharp turns with a mower can cause uneven cutting. Make wide turns or take advantage of sidewalks and driveways, but be aware of rocks or debree on pavement areas.

If the ground is uneven in some areas because the soil is settled, be careful not to scalpe the high spots.

For more lawn mower safety suggestions, click here.

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What Basic Lawn Mower maintenance Should I Do

February 21st, 2018 ernie Posted in Maintenance | No Comments »

Lawn Mower Annual Spring Maintenance TipsTaking care of your lawn mower will lengthen it’s life as well as eliminate many time-consuming problems. The manufactures maintenance manual for your lawn mower is the best guide. Always check the oil level in your lawn mowers engine before starting it. use the proper engine oil and change the oil at least once a year in the spring before the season begins.

Mow at the proper cutting height for your lawn. Adjust a reel lawn mower by raising or lowering the rollers by the knobs or screws in each end. Measure the distance between the bed knife and a hard surface to check the cutting height.

Adjust a rotary lawn mower by raising or lowering the wheels. Some rotary mower blades are at the same level as the skirt so check the cutting height by measuring the height of the skirt above a hard surface. You can always determine the cutting level by cutting a small section of lawn and measuring the height with a ruler.

Basic Lawn Mower Maintenance

Keep the lawn more blades sharp. The blades of rotary lawn mower are easy to sharpen at home. Only a small portion at the end of the blade actually cuts the grass. Sharpen the edge with a file or grind stone, making sure to even out any rough spots.

Check the balance before remounting. Because of their position, blades of reel lawn mower are tricky to sharpen at home. Take any lawn mower to a shop if you have doubts about sharpening it’s blades.

Remember that every lawn mower has other maintenance needs to keep it in working order. Be sure the motor oil is at the proper level. Clean the lawn mower blades after use with a soft spray of water. Forceful cleaning with water or air can push dirt into delicate bearings.

Do not spray water on hot engines. Keep gaskets and fittings tight; gas or oil leaks kill the grass. If you store your lawn mower in the winter, clean and drain the gas tank. In the spring, change the oil, clean the spark plug, and refill the gas tank.

For lots more maintenance information, click here.

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What other types of Lawn Mowers are There

February 14th, 2018 ernie Posted in Buying a Lawn Mower | No Comments »

There are a variety of types of lawn mowers for consumers to choose from. They have various applications and may be of interest to home owners with specific needs for maintaining their lawns. Electric nylon lawn mowers cut grass with nearly the same efficiency as steel bladed lawnmowers and are much safer. Two counter rotating disk powered by separate electric motors spin mono filament line to mow and trim your lawn.

Several other less common types of mowers are available for special jobs. Flail mower‘s, also known as hammer knife mowers use T-shaped blades revolving on a horizontal shaft to cut grass.

They are useful in maintaining rough areas such as vacant lots and on the sides of highways. Sickle bar mowers are perfect for an empty lot overgrown with weeds. They are the same sort of more that farmers use to cut fields of oats and other hay fields.

Types of Lawn Mowers

Heavy real mower are useful for the one or two times you need to cut the lawn extra low for Thatch removal. Many consumers will rent this type of lawn mower from a local small tool rental store instead of investing in this type when it is only used once or twice a year.

High wheel rotary mower cut higher than most rotary mowers, about 4 inches, and are easy to maneuver over rough terrain. If you just want to keep the weeds at bay and are not concerned about having a manicured look to the lawn, this type of mower is very useful. Again, if you only use it once in awhile, renting can be an option.

For more details about types of lawn mowers to purchase, click here.

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What are Reel Lawn Mowers

February 7th, 2018 ernie Posted in Buying a Lawn Mower | No Comments »

Reel mowers her available in manual models or powered with gasoline or electric engines. They cut with a scissor action, which produces the cleanest cut. Reel lawn mowers conform better to lawn contours than rotary lawnmowers, but are impractical on rough uneven ground or for tall growing grass. They can also be difficult to push when the ground is rough or if the grass is long. Owners should cut the grass often to avoid more difficult mowing situations.

Because they can be adjusted to cut quite low, they are the preferred lawn mower for bent grass or Bermuda grass lawns. In general, reel mowers are preferred for fine lines but perform poorly on tall grasses and lawns with high, wiry seed heads.

Reel lawn mowers

Power reel lawn mowers discharge clippings from either the rear or the front. The rear throw type is widely available and less expensive. Front throw reel lawn mowers are used primarily by professional landscape gardeners. They are usually well-made and can stay in constant use.

The weight and power of these lawnmowers makes them perfect for the lawn mowing requirement of Bermuda grass or Zoysiagrass lawns. Height is easy to adjust, usually with just a lever. Some can be adjusted low enough to cut at the soil line.

For more information about buying a lawn mower, click here.

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Rotary Lawn Mowers

January 21st, 2018 ernie Posted in Buying a Lawn Mower | No Comments »

Power rotary lawn mowers are the most popular by far. It is generally lower priced, more versatile, and easier to handle and maintain than a reel type lawn mower. It stands rougher use. It’s blades cut like a spinning scythe , which is better for taller growing, less intensively maintain lawns. The blades are also easier to sharpen.

Rotary Lawn Mowers

However, power rotary lawn mowers require great caution in use. They need larger motors with more horsepower; they do not cut as cleanly as a properly sharpen reel lawn mower; and few can mow lower than 1 inch. The lawn mower also shakes if blades get out of balance.

The type that rides on a cushion of air, rather than on wheels, is the easiest to use if your lawn is smooth and level. It is almost friction less and can be swept sideways as well as forward and backward. However, it does not hover properly on rough ground, and it’s tendency to skim downhill makes it difficult to use on sloping lines.

You probably need a riding lawn mower if your lawn is large. Riding lawnmowers come in Rotary and reel models, but rotaries are the most common types available. Although they are fun for adults to drive, they are not toys; do not let children playing with them.

For more information about buying a lawn mower, click here.

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Lawn Mower Types

January 7th, 2018 ernie Posted in Buying a Lawn Mower | No Comments »

Almost every home owner with a lawn as a lawn mower. The number of available varieties and styles grows each year. It pays to shop around until you find the mower that meets your specifications. There are many lawn mower types, but really only two major lawn mower types.

Lawn Mower Types

The two most common mowers are the reel and the rotary. Each basic type has its variations for example gas or electric power, walking or riding, pushing or self-propelled. Some have bagging attachments or grass catchers. While these are similar features look  them over carefully to determine how they operate and are used. Consumers will want to make sure they are convenient and easy to use in their circumstances.

Before buying a lawnmower, look it over carefully. Consider it’s maneuverability. Make sure the grass catcher is easy to take on and off. Ask about the safety features. These points will help you choose the right lawn mower type for your personal situation.

Lawnmowers can be specialized. Some are designed to cut weeds, others are engineered to produce the carpet like nap you have on a putting green. There are some unusual types, too, such as the one that rides on a cushion of air and the one that cuts with a spinning mono-filament line.

Our next post will discuss the attributes of rotary lawnmowers. After that we will talk about reel type lawn mowers and other types.

For more information about buying a lawn mower, click here.

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Should You Remove Grass Clippings

December 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Lawn Care | No Comments »

grass clippingsWhether to leave clippings on the lawn or to pick them up is a question of many gardeners. There are advantages and disadvantages to leave in grass clippings on your lawn, depending on the type of grass you have and how well you maintain it.

Leaving clippings of cool season grasses on the lawn does not cause or contribute to thatch buildup. It is the woody, slow to do decompose stems below warm season grass blades that contributed most to thatch build up.

Clippings and Nutrients

Clippings return nutrients to the lawn. Although it is difficult to measure, some estimates suggest that as much is 1/3 of the nitrogen requirement of a lawn can be supplied by decaying grass clippings.

At certain times, however, it makes sense to remove clippings from your lawn. First of all, clippings can be unsightly. They are removed from any intensely maintain lawns for just this reason. Secondly, if you do not mow your lawn frequently enough you will cut off too much grass at one time. If clippings mat down and block the sun from the lawn remove them so only a light cover of clippings remain.

Some people remove clippings to use as a composter mulch in a vegetable garden. This is fine provided their free of two, 4D another broad leaf herbicide. Continually mulching tomatoes with herbicide treated clippings for example, has resulted in distorted plants. Also, watch the weeds in the clippings, they can create havoc in your garden.

To remove clippings from your lawn, use a steel tine lawn rake after mowing. The tines are made of spring steel and snap back into position even when bent back. Do not substitute a steel wire leaf rake for collecting clippings. It’s wire tines are more likely to tear the grass. An easier solution is to purchase a grass catcher bag for your lawn mower.

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Mowing New Lawns

December 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Lawn Care | 1 Comment »

Mow a new LawnNewly seeded lawns are more delicate than established ones, which is why you have to be more careful when you mow a new lawn. The soil is soft and the grass plants usually are not deeply rooted by the first mowing . On the other hand, when you mow a new lawn, especially those planted vegetatively, it helps the plants to spread, thus promoting a thicker lawn. Use common sense and apply the same principles for properly mowing any lawn. If you are experiencing a hot dry spell, make sure that the new lawn is receiving lots of water. The top layer where the roots are trying to establish themselves will dry out very quickly and your lawn may perish before it even gets started. You may need to water the lawn every day.

Mow a new Lawn

For the first time after it has grown a third higher than the regular mowing height. For example, a lawn that should be maintained at a 2 inch height should be mowed when it reaches two and a half to 3 inches. Do not remove more than a third of the total height of the grass.

If you can, use a mower that is not too heavy, especially if the soil is too soft. A lightweight rotary or push real mower is your best bet when you mow a new lawn. Make sure the mower blades are sharp; young grass plants can be easily pulled from the soil by dull blades.

If the soil remains too soft or if the new grass is too loosely knit to mow without damage, wait. Let the lawn continue to grow, then lower the cut gradually until it’s down to the proper height. reduce the cutting height by 1/2 inch or 3/4 of an inch every second mowing until you reach the recommended mowing height.

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Mow Your Lawn at the Right Height

November 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Lawn Care | No Comments »

mow your lawn at the right height Mow your lawn at the right height for a healthy lawn. Proper mowing height depends primarily on the type of grass. The rule of thumb is: mow the grass when it grows from 1/4 to 1/3 taller then it’s recommended mowing height. For example, if the recommended mowing height for your lawn is 2 inches, mow when is about 3 inches high.

The penalty for not paying attention to the recommended height is a stiff one. By letting grass grow too high and then cutting away half or more at once, you are expose stems that have been shaded and may burn in strong sunlight. If the lawn is yellowish after you mow, you have waited too long. More importantly, roots are severely shocked by heavy mowing and may need several weeks to recover. Research has shown a direct relationship between the height of the cut and the depth of roots. When grass is properly mowed to it’s recommended height, roots grow deeper. Intern, a deep root system makes lawn care much much easier.

Mow your lawn at the right height

Grasses tend to spread either horizontally or vertically. For instance, Bent grass and Bermuda grass spread horizontally by creeping stems. Because the stems are parallel to the ground as well as the cut of the mower, they are not normally mowed off. Unless these grasses or mowed low preferably with a heavy real mower, they will have problems with thatch.

Think of it this way: X amount of leaf surface is necessary to keep the grass plants healthy and growing. If that Leaf surface spreads out over a wide area, the lawn can be mowed close to the ground without reducing the necessary leaf surface.

Vertically growing grasses, such as by bahai grass, common Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and Saint Augustine grass, cannot be mowed too low, below 1 1/2 2 inches, because they do not have enough leaf surface to support the plants.

Mowing to low probably ruins more Kentucky bluegrass lawns more than any other practice. This is especially true in transitional periods were adaptation is marginal. Cut high, Kentucky bluegrass is more disease resistant and can successfully complete with weeds and insects. The tall growth shades the soil, keeping the temperature lower for cool loving roots.

Exceptions are some of the new Kentucky bluegrass cultivars which are essentially dwarfs. They are more compact and have more leaf surface in less area. In shade mow another 1/2 inch higher.

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How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn

November 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Lawn Care | No Comments »

Many people who want a handsome lawn do not realize the importance of mowing. A lawn that is mowed to the right height at the right time will resist weeds, insects, and disease, and appear lush and healthy. Infrequent mowing often results in the removal of too much grass at one time, and eventually produce is a lawn that looks thin, spotty, or burned. Unfortunately, grass could also be weakened by mowing to frequently, especially if it is kept short. Mow your lawn based on the type of grass, how long it is and how vigorously it is growing. It also depends on how much water it receives along with fertilizer.

How often to mow your lawn

How often your lawn needs mowing depends on three things:

  • how often and how much you water and fertilize,
  • what time of year it is, and
  • the type of grass in your lawn.

The fertilizer you apply affects the growth rate of your lawn, and consequently, the frequency of mowing. Lawns that are fertilized often require more frequent mowing. Golf course greens, for example are usually mowed daily.

Cool season and warm season grass responds differently to seasonal climate changes. When cool season grasses slow down or become dormant during summer heat, mowing may only be really necessary once every two or three weeks. However, during spring and fall, cool season grasses grow more vigorously and usually need mowing at least once a week.

Warm season grass do not grow at all in the winter and slowly in the spring and fall. Mowing is required infrequently during these times. But during the high temperatures of summer, growth is vigorous and mowing should be more frequent.

During periods of vigorous growth, many people find it convenient to mow their lawns on a weekly schedule, such as every Saturday morning. Unfortunately this is not appropriate for all lawn grasses. Even though you could establish a general schedule for both cool season and warm season grass, different types of grass still grow at different rates.

For example, although common Bermuda grass  may do well with mowing once a week during mid summer, well fertilized improved Bermuda grass may need to be mowed every two or three days. If you can, match your mowing schedule to the growth rate of the grass, your grass will be much healthier and able to deal with weeds and drought.

 

 

 

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Underground Sprinkler Installation and Testing

October 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Sprinkler Systems | No Comments »

underground Sprinkler Installation and testingThis is our second post about underground sprinkler installation and testing. Our earlier post covered setting up the manifold and the timer as well as laying out where the trenches will be dug. This post covers installation of the pipe, risers and sprinkler heads along with testing. Your trenches are already dug and it is time to install the pipes, risers and sprinkler heads.

Install pipe, risers, and sprinkler heads. Lay out pipe and fittings on the ground, work backwards to the manifold, assemble and solvent weld pipe and fittings in the trench.

Measure the trench depth at each sprinkler head location, making the head flush with the soil surface. If you are installing sod, make the head 1 inch higher than the soil surface. Install risers, making further height adjustments as needed.

In areas where the soil freezes in winter, install drain valves at the lowest point in each circuit in between the control valves and the first gate valve near the water meter. Use a level to avoid having any water pockets in the system. Slightly tilt the drain valves down word in each circuit, cover them with a short piece of pipe, surround them with gravel then cover them with plastic film. Never put a drain valve in a fitting before attaching the fitting to the pipe; PVC solvent make log the valve.

After the pipe and risers have been installed, wait 12 hours for the solvent to dry. Then turn on the water to flush out any dirt, stones or scraps of PVC from pipe lines. When the pipes appear to be clear install the sprinkler heads.

Test for coverage. Turn on each circuit one by one; inspect the sprinkler pattern carefully to make sure that every part of the ground is receiving adequate coverage. At this point, it is easy to add sprinkler heads if they are needed.

Backfill the trenches. Replace the soil in the trenches a little lower than the final soil line. Flood the trenches with water to settle the soil, then add more soil so that the back fill is mounded slightly. It will settle later.

This completes our second post regarding underground sprinkler installation and testing. Watch for more post about lawn mowing and taking care of your lawn. For other posts about sprinkler systems, click here.

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Underground Sprinkler Installation

October 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Sprinkler Systems | No Comments »

We are continuing series of posts about underground sprinklers in residential lines. We have covered planning and ordering of materials. This post will be about installing your underground sprinkler system. Underground sprinkler installation is relatively straightforward provided that you follow a set of rules and guidelines as follows.

Install the manifold. First turn off the water to the house. Cut a 1 1/4 inch section from your service pipe and install a T fitting. Several special tees are available for cutting into lines. Ask at a local hardware store.

Install a length of pipe and a shut off valve in a valve box. The shut off valve is usually a gate valve, and allows you to turn off the water to the sprinkler system without turning off the house water. Once the valve is turned off, you can turn the house water back on. Run lines to the manifold location and install the control valves. It is usually easiest to assemble the manifold at the shop bench, Then carry it to the site and install it. Close the valves, open the shut off valve, and test the manifold for leaks.

Install the controller. If you are using automatic valves and an electric timer, install it according to the manufactures instructions, and lay the connecting wire to the valves. Most timers run on a voltage that is low enough, 24 V, to let you bury the wire directly without enclosing it in conduit. Position the timer where it is protected from sun and rain and it’s close to an electrical outlet; the garage is ideal. The position of the timer may influence the location of your control valves.

Mark the layout on the lawn. Drive a stake into the ground at each sprinkler head location. Sprinkle agricultural lime on the ground to mark were trenches are to be dug.

Dig trenches. Next to your pipe layout, use of spade or rent a trencher to dig trenches. Make the trenches at least 8 inches deep.

Now you are ready to install the pipe, risers and sprinkler heads. Our next post will cover the details associated with this step. Check all of your measurements, especially before digging to ensure that all of your trenches will be in the correct location.

For more information about sprinkler systems, click here.

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Can you jump start a lawnmower Using your Car Battery?

September 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Lawn Mower Safety | No Comments »


Jump start a lawnmower
We recently received a question from a reader?  Can you jump start a lawnmower using your car battery? The answer is yes with conditions! First of all your lawnmower must have a battery and have an electric start capability. This rules out many lawnmower. Operators need to check the manual to be sure that this can be done. There should be instructions on how to proceed.

If you do not have a manual, find one online for your lawnmower. Your cars battery is 12 volts which means you can only connect to another battery that is 12 volts. Make sure your lawnmower battery is also 22 volts.

Can you jump start a lawnmower Using your Car Battery

Once you have confirmed that both batteries are 12 volts you can connect them using proper jumper cables. Always connect positive terminals together and negative terminals together. Never connect positive to negative.

Now that they are connected your lawnmower battery will be charging. Try starting the engine. You should only crank the engine 5 or 10 seconds at a time. More than that can damage the starter motor or the battery.

If the engine will not start you may have more serious problems. Start by disconnecting the jumper cables. Then check that there is gasoline in the fuel tank. Add if necessary.

Next check the spark plug. Remove it from the engine using appropriate tools. If it is corroded either clean it up or replace it. Reset the gap to the manufacturers specifications.

Try restarting the engine using jumper cables if necessary. If it still will not start you may have more serious problems and should consult a mechanic.

 

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Underground Sprinkler Shopping List

September 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Sprinkler Systems | No Comments »

Underground Sprinkler Shopping ListThe next step is to create your underground sprinkler shopping list of parts and supplies that you will need to install your underground sprinkler system. The plan that you drew up will be the source of all the information that you will need. If the plan is wrong or if you make a mistake in transcribing the requirements you may find that you’re short of parts or have the wrong parts. The following is a step-by-step approach to creating your shopping list.

Preparing your underground sprinkler shopping list.

On the plan, write the catalogue number of each sprinkler head and valve. At each intersection or turn in the pipeline, write the fitting needed. Measure the number of feet of pipe needed. Now make a shopping list, transferring items one at a time from the plan to the list. Include PVC cement. If you are using an automatic controller, add it to the list, along with enough wire and wire connectors to wire each valve to the controller.

To avoid costly problems, have your plan checked by a specialist before you begin. The retail dealer who supplies your equipment may offer help, in which case you can have it checked free of charge. Otherwise, it is money well spent to engage the services of an independent installer.

 

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Design rules for an underground sprinkler system

August 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Sprinkler Systems | No Comments »

 Design rules for an underground sprinkler systemThis is a continuation from our last post about planning an underground sprinkler system. This post will cover some of the design rules associated with planning an underground sprinkler system for residential homes. Basic Design rules for an underground sprinkler system are important to ensure proper lawn watering and a healthy lawn.

Design rules for an underground sprinkler system

Areas covered by one circuit must be water together so they should have the same watering needs.

Each circuit should use no more than 75% of the available flow rate. To determine the flow rate of each circuit, add together the flow rate of the sprinkler heads as given in the catalog description.

Do not mix different types of sprinkler heads e.g. impulse, spray, shrub bubblers etc. on one circuit.

Take your time planning the circuits. It may take two or three tries to get it right.

Next, draw in the pipe going from the house water supply to the manifold. From there, draw in every valve going to every head on the circuit. Plan to use the same trench for installing two or more waterlines whenever possible. Avoid going under walks or driveways or near trees. If you are using PVC or other rigid pipe, draw straight lines with right angle turns, you can lay polyethylene pipe in curves.

Following these Design rules for an underground sprinkler system will make a huge difference in your success as a lawn gadener.

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