Lawn Mowers

What will a bad Spark Plug do for a Lawn Mower

April 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Maintenance | No Comments »

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What will a bad Spark Plug do for a Lawn MowerWondering what will a bad spark plug do for a lawn mower engine? It will make it difficult to start at the very least. It may cause the engine to run roughly. A bad plug may cause the engine to burn more fuel than normal ans spew more noxious exhaust. Finally it just may not start at all. Leaving you to wonder how to get your grass cut and who is going to repair your lawn mower. There may be a number of things wrong with your lawn mower engine. However checking your engine’s spark plug is one of the easier things to do.

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What will a bad Spark Plug do for a Lawn Mower – Clean or Replace

The simplest thing to do is to replace the spark plug with a new one after properly setting the gap on the center post. Replacing the spark plug will ensure that there is no soot or deposits that might be inhibiting the spark that is needed to ignite the gasoline in the combustion chamber.

You can also clean the existing spark plug. You will need to use a wire brush to remove all deposits from the spark plug. Use a bit of sand paper to clean the end of the center post and the rest of the surrounding area. Make sure there is no carbon deposits that are adhering to any metal parts. Reset the gap according to the manufacturers instructions. Reinstall the plug and test the engine by starting it to see if this makes a difference.

If not you may have other issues that need to be addressed. There could be a bad gasoline filter or a gummed up carburetor from old gas sitting too long in the gas tank. You will need to get these cleaned and re-calibrated for your engine to run smoothly.

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Can bad spark plug affect Lawn Mower

April 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Maintenance | No Comments »

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can bad spark plug affectSpring is a great time to tune up your lawn mower and get it ready for the coming season. We get questions from readers such as, can bad spark plug affect lawn mower engines? The answer is definitely yes. An engine with a dirty spark plug can be difficult to start. When you finally get it running, the engine may run poorly and shut off often. There can be a number of reasons this is happening, but one for sure is a bad spark plug. What do we mean by a bad spark plug? It is dirty around the electrode with lots of carbon deposits and the porcelain may even be pitted. All of these things will impede the spark that ignites the gasoline oxygen mixture in the cylinder causing a rough running engine. It may not even start.

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Can bad spark plug affect Lawn Mower – Repairs

If you have this problem, the easiest thing to do is to remove the spark plug and clean it up. Remove all of the dirt and grime along with any carbon deposits. Once it is clean and spotless, reset the gap according to the manufacturers specifications.

You can test your spark plug by reattaching the spark plug wire to the plug. Hold the spark plug against the metal housing of the engine to ground it and crank the engine several times to generate a spark. If you do not see a spark you may not have grounded it properly or there is something additionally wrong with the spark generation system.

You may need to investigate further, but at least you know that the spark plug has been cleaned and / or replaced.

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Underground sprinkler systems

March 28th, 2017 ernie Posted in Watering | No Comments »

Underground sprinkler systemsInterest in underground sprinkler systems increases every year. An underground system has many advantages over a portable sprinkler system. The most obvious is the convenience of not having to constantly move it. Most underground systems are also more efficient than portable types. They are planned for your yard so that all areas receive the same amount of coverage.

Sprinkler heads apply predictable amounts of water over an exact area. This eliminates the most objectionable grievance pf portable sprinklers, even water distribution. An underground system combined with an automatic timer can even water your lawn while you’re away from home.

Underground sprinkler systems

Before deciding to install an underground end to end system, consider the initial cost of materials and the labor involved in installing it. Because of the increased popularity of such systems, manufactures now produce illustrated easy to follow directions for homeowners who do the work themselves. Materials have also become easier to install and less expensive.

Home owners living in cold climates that have below freezing temperatures in the winter, must also design their system for easy drainage. All water must be drained from the system for the winter. Any water left in the lines can freeze and potentially crack the pipes.

Keep in mind, however, that a poorly designed or poorly installed underground system can be as bad as or worse than a portable sprinkler. Our next post will cover typical installation considerations, potential problems and how they can be solved.

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Types of Sprinkler Systems

March 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Watering | No Comments »

Types of Sprinkler SystemsThere are many different types of sprinkler systems. Stationary sprinklers deliver water in an irregular pattern. The accumulation of water in the containers may vary from 8 inches an hour in one spot, to 2 inches an hour just for feet away, to almost nothing near the sprinkler head. There is no predictable pattern that leads to proper overlapping and efficient watering. However, it is unfair to label the sprinkler useless. As long as you know how it distributes water, it can be valuable for spot watering, or supplementing other types of sprinklers.

Oscillating arms sprinklers deliver water in a rectangular pattern. Many observers believe that this type of sprinkler deposits most of the water near the sprinkler head. With increasing amounts toward the periphery is the arm moves away from the vertical central position. Well this is true of older models, newer versions stall momentarily when the arm is furthest from its upright position, thus evening out distribution at the periphery.

Types of Sprinkler Systems

The whirling head sprinkler deposits the largest amount of water close to the sprinkler head. The amount decreases the further away it goes from the source of the spray. Water distribution is uneven when the sprinkler is used without a system of overlapping. With a 50% overlap, efficiency increases and the sprinkler becomes quite useful.

Impulse sprinklers are best for large areas and are commonly used for golf course lawns. And internal jet rotates the sprinkler, which delivers pulses of water covering anywhere from a full circle to a part circle. Coverage to your lawn is quite even.

By combining the knowledge gained from experimentation and observant eye, it is quite easy to set up the watering schedule for your lawn with a portable sprinkler.

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Measuring water sprinkler delivery to your lawn

February 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Watering | No Comments »

Measuring water sprinkler delivery to your lawnMeasuring water sprinkler delivery to your lawn is quite easy. Set up a grid like pattern of small containers of the same size on a section of the lawn. Even though different types of sprinklers require different grid patterns, it is a good idea to start with a straight line of containers, extending them at set intervals. You want to start from close to the sprinkler Head to just outside the reach of the water.

Measuring water sprinkler delivery to your lawn

Turn the sprinkler on at the normal operating pressure. Leave it on for a set period of time. Then record the amount of water deposited into each container. This gives you a good idea of the sprinkler pattern, as well as the amount of water distributed.

Realizing that the lawn generally needs 1 to 2 inches of water per week, the container test is an easy method to follow. It helps you determine how long to turn on the sprinkler and to what degree to overlap the sprinkling pattern for efficient watering.

As you can see by the picture you can use any kind of container that you would like. The important thing is to keep them all the same size and then measure accurately with a ruler or tape measure. If you let the sprinkler run for 30 minutes, and then take your measurements you will be able to figure out how long you need to water to deliver 1 inch to 2 inches of water per week.

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Laying sod in the cold weather not outrageous

February 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Landscaping | No Comments »

Laying sod in the cold weather not outrageousCan you lay sod in cold weather? What if there is snow on the ground already? It turns out that laying sod in the cold weather not outrageous at all. Cold is not the enemy, rather it is heat and lack of water that can be the enemy of newly laid sod. Heat will dry out newly laid sod quickly, especially in hot dry weather. If you do not water the sod, the roots are going to quickly dry out and die. With no nourishment or moisture the grass quickly dries out, turns brown and dies. In cold weather, not freezing or frozen weather it can survive and even slowly put down roots into the soil below.

Laying sod in the cold weather not outrageous

The ideal time to lay sod is typically late summer or fall. A piece of sod laid down in November, rolled will survive quite well through the winter. It will defrost in the spring and everything is going to be fine. It is heat that destroys of sod, not the cold. The newly laid sod should take root. So there’s nothing to worry about, your dollars are not being wasted.

Keep and eye on it in the spring. If you have a really dry winter, with limited or no snow, you may need to water the sod as soon as the ground thaws. Following standard watering methods otherwise.

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Watering Efficiently New Lawns

January 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Watering | No Comments »

watering efficiently new lawnsWatering efficiently new lawns involves a special set of rules for newly seeded lawn or newly sodded lawn’s. Sprinkling is, at the least, and every day requirement. For seeds to germinate or sod roots to nit, watering is often required more than once a day. This is especially true if you are in a dry climate, or are experiencing drought conditions. Watering efficiently new lawns in these conditions will avoid the new sod from turning brown and dying. But what to you do when it comes to existing lawns? How often and for how long should you water?

Watering Efficiently New Lawns

Besides watering more deeply and less frequently, you can increase watering efficiency by improving other cultural practices. Two major problems that result in poor water penetration are thatch and compacted soil. If the problems are bad enough, either can actually repel water, causing wasteful run off. Regular D thatching and aerating can increase water penetration, Provide air in the root zone, and aid in nutrient simulation.

You can conserve water by following recommended mowing heights and by adding fertilizers that are high in potassium and low in nitrogen before hot weather arrives.

Fertilizing properly is an important factor in efficient watering. Under fertilizing invites competition from water hungry weeds and reduces the capacity of the lawn for wear and tear. Over fertilizing can be just as damaging. It promotes vigorous, water and regrowth of the lawn, which causes thatch to develop and reduces the ability of a cool season grass to recover from summer dormancy.

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Watering during a Drought

January 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Watering | No Comments »

Watering during a DroughtWhen drought conditions exist, a lawn slows its growth, becomes wilted and brown and may die. If you live in and area where water conservation is requested or enforced, you simply have to hope that your lawn survives the stress. If it dies, replant with a more drought tolerant grass when suitable weather returns. During times of drought, lawns that are under a system of survival watering they still develop a spotty thin appearance. watering during a drought will help your lawn survive.

Here are some basic watering rules in case your area experiences a drought:

Watering during a Drought

  • Do not apply nitrogen fertilizer to lawns when drought conditions exist.
  • Mow your grass and higher and less often. However do not let it grow more than twice the recommended mowing height.
  • Reduce weed competition.
  • Irrigate without run off to root zone depth (6 to 8 inches ) when you’re lawn shows the need.

There is a difference between a drought stressed brown lawn and a dormant brown lawn. Cool season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass or fescue, become dormant in the hottest part of the summer, returning to full vigor in the cooler fall weather. If water is abundant and you started an effective watering program the previous spring, it is possible to keep you’re cool season lawn green during this dormant period. By continuing to water throughout the summer. However, if the lawn becomes dormant, let it stay that way. Too many fluctuations between dormancy and active growth can weaken a lawn.

Check with the local weather bureau for climate information. It should be helpful in setting up your specific watering program. Rain gauges are also a useful tool. By knowing how much rain falls, you can tell how much supplemental water you need. Do not be misled by light drizzle’s that supply little moisture to the soil. However, watering after a light shower can be an effective way of reducing water loss through evaporation.

If drought is a recurring problem, you may want to plant a more drought resistant lawn.

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Garden Hose Buying Tips

December 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in General | No Comments »

garden hose buying tips Most gardeners realize the importance of a hose. Improper use or a hose of poor quality can be annoying and harmful. Does your hose have leaky connections? Is it too short? Is it impossible to roll up? Are the edges of its metal couplings sharp and jagged?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you probably need to make minor repairs or purchase a new hose. Repair is usually easy and inexpensive. If you decide to buy a new hose, it is worth paying more for one of high-quality that will provide excellent service for a long time.

Garden Hose Buying Tips

A well-made hose is flexible in any weather. This is usually the case with hoses made of high-grade rubber and laminated filament. It is seldom true of the inexpensive plastic models. The hose you buy should be long enough to reach to all areas of your yard, and should have a wide enough diameter to supply sufficient quantities of water. The larger the diameter of the hose, The more water it can deliver. Garden hoses are available in three-quarter inch, five eights inch, and 1/2 inch diameters. A hose that is five eights inch in diameter is the usual choice for a medium size lawn.

If your hose needs repair, you’ll find a wide variety of hose repair equipment, as either clamp on or screw on connections. Our favorite is the brass screw on type featured in many stores.

If you have ever damage plants while dragging the hose from one area to another, consider placing heavy wooden stakes as barriers in key areas of the garden.

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Lawn watering tips

December 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Lawn Care | No Comments »

Lawn watering tipsLawn watering tips and general guidelines depend on the type of lawn, location and rainfall. We will provide some general guidelines to follow in this post. For specific details use common sense and discuss with your local garden supply store. They will be able to give much more specific advice. Advice that will take into account the type of grass and the location you live in. The chart on the left indicates the best times to water your lawn for maximum results. Best time to water is early in the morning to avoid high evaporation and also promoting disease.  During the day you get high evaporation. At night, damp lawns are more susceptible to mold and disease.

Lawn watering tips

How often to water – During dry periods, you may need to water once a week. if you live in the desert, you may need to water every day to avoid your grass drying out. If you receive an all day rain once a week on average, you may never need to water.

When to water – As discussed above, the best time to water is early in the morning. This will minimize evaporation and also mold formation on the lawn.

How much to water – If you water once a week, your lawn should receive an inch of water. You can leave a small can or glass on the lawn. once there is an inch of water in the can, you have provided enough water. Too little water causes the roots to grow near the surface making them more susceptible in dry periods. Deep watering promotes root growth making your lawn stronger and able to withstand dry periods.

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How to Install a Sod Lawn

November 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in Lawn Care | No Comments »

How to Install a Sod LawnWe covered how to seed a lawn in a previous post. In this post we will review the steps on how to install a sod lawn. One of the big advantages of installing new sod is that you immediately have a green lawn. There are a number of steps required to ensure that your lawn stays healthy and looking green the whole season. You don’t want to spend all of that money on a new lawn, particularly a sod lawn and then have it turn brown because you didn’t install it properly or look after it after the sod was laid down. The following are the steps that one should follow to ensure a great looking lawn.

Steps – How to Install a Sod Lawn

  • Choose high quality sod – if the sod already has brown spots or looks dried out, chances are it will not look very good or grow properly once installed.
  • Prepare the soil – make sure there is at least 3 inches of high-quality topsoil that is evenly spread across the area where you’re going to install the sod. There should be no gullies  or high points and you want to pack the soil lightly before laying the sod. Use a wide rake to level the ground and prepare it for the new sod.
  • Spread fertilizer and moisten soil – spread fertilizer evenly across the ground, avoid concentrations of fertilizer to avoid burning the new sod. Dampen the soil before laying the sod to provide a nice moist environment for the roots of the new grass.
  • Keep sod moist – once the side arrives at your home keep it moist and lay it as soon as possible. If it must sit in the hot sun for anytime, spray the sod with water. You want to keep the sod from drying out.

Laying the Sod

  • Start with a straight edge – always start along the straight hedge of your yard. A concrete driveway makes an excellent straight edge, or the side of your house for example.
  • Roll out the sod – One at a time taking care to maintain the straight edge that we mentioned earlier.
  • Place edges tightly together – wherever one piece of sod touches another. This will ensure that there are no small holes or areas that lack grass.
  • Cut pieces to fit – small areas and where you must fit in a small section of sod.  e.g. along the fence, around shrubs, or trees.
  • Roll to ensure contact – use a water filled rolling drum across your lawn. This will ensure that the sod is in contact with the moist soil underneath and to level out any rough edges.
  • Water thoroughly – lack of water on the new sod during hot weather is most often the cause for sod to dry up and die. For the first two weeks make sure that your new sod has lots of water so that the roots can establish themselves in the topsail underneath the sod.
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How to Repair Bare Patches in Lawn

November 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Lawn Care | No Comments »

How to Repair Bare Patches in LawnBare patches in your lawn can occur for a number of reasons. Weak grass can die off during a dry spell. Disease and insects such as grubs etc can also cause patches of dead grass. Clearing weeds can leave more bare spaces! We will cover how to repair bare patches in lawn, but first there are some issues to consider.

How to Repair Bare Patches in Lawn – spring or fall

The best time to do repairs to your lawn is in the spring before it gets dry and hot. Early fall is also good when there is usually more rain and temperatures are lower. Leave enough time for the grass establish itself before going dormant in cold weather.

Begin by removing the dead thatch. Remove all weeds and any weaker grass around the spot you are working on. Add good top soil to ensure  the lawn will be level. Tamp the soul lightly.

Add lawn seed or sod. If you are applying lawn seed, spread it evenly and then lightly rake the soil to cover the seeds. Be careful to avoid leaving spots with no seeds.

Finally water the area gently. You should keep the soil moist until germination of the seedlings. Continue watering daily for several weeks until the new grass is well established.

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Removing Noxious Weeds

October 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in Lawn Care | No Comments »

Removing Noxious WeedsResidential consumers are always concerned about weeds invading their lawns and killing the grass. Removing noxious weeds or weeds that the consumer considers noxious is not the same as official lists from the government. A noxious weed list typically includes weeds that most home owners will never encounter. For example most people will never have thistles in their lawn. For farmers, thistles are a huge problem. Most consumers have to deal with dandelions in their lawns, which actually is not on the official obnoxious weed list! This post will focus more on the average urban consumer and what you can do to remove more common weeds such as dandelions, crab grass and other types of weeds.

Removing Noxious Weeds from Your Lawn

One of the most important things is to never allow the weeds to take over your lawn. If you maintain a healthy thick lawn, the weeds will have a tough time getting established. Never the less there will always be some that seem to make a toe hold in your lawn. When you see these weeds, remove them immediately so they do not become a problem.

There are several ways to remove noxious weeds from your lawn and gardens. The simplest and least time consuming method is to pull the weeds removing the entire root when you do. It may take an hour or so once a week but it is definitely worth it. Removing weeds on a regular schedule will allow you to keep ahead of them. It is also environmentally friendly.

If the weeds have over taken your lawn, you may need to spray the lawn with a weed killer of some kind. Note that many municipalities have outlawed many weed killers due to their impact on the environment. Choose the weed killer with care and apply following the instructions provided. Once they die off apply lawn seed and top soil,water until the new seedlings are healthy.

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How to Seed a Lawn

October 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Lawn Care | No Comments »

How to Seed a LawnIf you decide you want to seed your lawn instead of using sod, you will need to follow different steps. We will outline how to seed a lawn using lawn seed, a rake, a roller and medium to light mulch. It is important to keep the new lawn seed watered to help germination and continue growth. Once you have established the right kind of topsoil for your lawn the first step is to rake the soil to establish a level lawn. There are a couple of important points to remember in the step. The top soil should be level to avoid puddling during watering or rain fall. There should not be any dips or high areas to avoid the lawn mower scalping the lawn when your are mowing.

How to Seed a Lawn

Once you are confident that the top soil is level and there is good soil everywhere, it is time to move to the next step. Sow the seed using a fertilizer spreader following the same steps for fertilizer. Avoid high concentrations and gaps in the lawn seed. Always cover the area twice with the direction of spread at 90 degrees to the first application.

Next you need to lightly rake in the soil and lawn seed. Avoid changing the concentrations and only cover the seeds by one eight to one quarter of an inch. Next roll the soil to compress the soil around the seeds and causes germination to proceed quickly.

You may want to add light mulch to help retain moisture in the soil and help the lawn seed get established. Avoid heavy mulch which could smother the grass seedlings.

Water thoroughly and regularly to help with germination and to help with lawn growth until it is well established. High light the area to with ribbons or bright string to keep neighbors and children from accidentally walking across your lawn.

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Sample Lawn Seed Mix

September 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in Landscaping | No Comments »

sample lawn seed mixA sample lawn seed mix will show the types of grasses and weeds that are included. Depending on where you live the percentages as well as the type of grasses may vary. A good sample list will show a very low percentage of noxious weeds. It will also show a high percentage of germination. Examine various seed products at your local store. While you might have to pay a little more for quality seed, it is well worth it. A high rate of germination and a relatively lower level of weeds will make your life much easier. Your new lawn will also look much better as well.

Sample Lawn Seed Mix

While it is impossible to keep all weeds out of a bag of seed, percentages of less than .03% should be typical. You will also have inert matter and some crop seed. Around 1% for inert matter and .01% is typical of these materials. Inert matter is chaf, dirt and miscellaneous matter sometimes manages to get included during the cleaning process.

The origin of the grass will be shown when it is more than 5% of the total. This is a clue to help you decide if this grass mixture will grow in your area. Germination rates are also shown. Germination rates decrease as the age of the seeds increases and as conditions for growing become less than ideal. 80 to 90% is typical in ideal conditions.

Finally the percentage of each type of grass is included. This percentage is by weight not quantity of seeds. This indicates the type of grass and consumers should confirm that this is the type of lawn that will do well in the area they live. Also the type of lawn they wish to grow.

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Tips for Seeding a New Lawn

September 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Landscaping | 1 Comment »

Tips for Seeding a New LawnMany consumers opt for the less expensive option of seeding a new lawn rather than laying new sod. We decided to write a post about tips for seeding a new lawn to help our subscribers prepare the earth and choose the proper seed. The first tip is to choose good quality seed. Spend a few more dollars to purchase weed and disease free lawn seed. Spending a few more dollars now will save you a great deal of money in the future. No weeds or disease to be concerned about. The next tip is to choose the right grass type for the area in which you live. Some grasses do better in cooler climates while others are drought resistant and do well in arid climates.

Tips for Seeding a New Lawn

In addition to being adapted to where you live, is the lawn for decoration or will it receive a lot of traffic? Is there partial shading or will it have full exposure to the sun? How much tender loving care will the lawn need and do you have the time to spend on it? Read the labels to ensure that you purchase the correct lawn seed for your area and the local conditions it must tolerate.

Next read the label and description regarding how much lawn seed you will need for your new lawn. Have your lawns measurements ready so that you purchase the proper amount of lawn seed. Note that percentages of grass types are based on the number of seeds of each type in the bag. Not all will germinate for a variety of reasons.

All lawn seed will contain some weed seeds. These will grow and at some point you will need to deal with these weeds growing in your lawn. the label should indicate what percentage of seeds will be from weeds. Obviously the lower percentage you can get is better and will cost more as well. In the long run most consumers will agree that it is better to pay a little more rather than deal with a lot of weeds in the lawn.

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Installing a New Lawn

August 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in Landscaping | No Comments »

Installing a New LawnIt can be tempting when installing a new lawn to just grade the earth and begin installing the new sod. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. If you would like a healthy lawn for the long term. There are a number of steps that should be followed when installing a new lawn. We will cover these steps in this post. Look for more details in future posts. The installation of your new lawn whether it is being done by yourself or by a professional company you have hired. This will determine your expectations as well as how much your new lawn is going to cost to install.

Installing a New Lawn Steps

  • Examine the soil for weeds. Look  for types of soil, condition of the soil, amount of debris, grade, need for adding healthy soil over clay for example.
  • Remove all of the debris that may be on the surface or visible on the soil.
  • Remove all weeds, water the soil, wait for seeds to germinate and remove the new growing weeds.
  • Establish a rough grade based on leveling the soil and keeping in mind natural drainage.
  • Measure your lawn area so that you have an idea of how much grass seed or sod you are going to need.
  • Add nutrients to the lawn, e.g. topsoil over clay, organic matter
  • Add high phosphorus fertilizer will help the grass to thicken quickly
  • If you plan on installing an underground sprinkler system, now is the time to do so before the grass seed is sown or the sod is installed.
  • Establish the final grade. Depending on the size of your new lawn, you may want to use a rake or a larger instrument to level the lawn. This will also fill in low lying areas.
  • Roll the soil to firm it up. This will also level it before installing the new sod or planting the new seed.

Our next post will talk about planting new seed in your new lawn.

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August 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Types of Grasses | No Comments »

ZoysiagrassThe scientific name for Zoysiagrass is Zoysia species and can be found throughout the southern United States. It forms a dense fine textured lawn that resists weeds. It is good in heat and drought situations making it ideal for the south. It appears to be free from disease and insect pests although billbugs may bother it. It does take a while to establish itself and does not do well in short summers or cool environments. Its main weakness is that it is very slow to establish itself especially if summers are short and cool. The blades are tough to mow if left too long and it also can build up a great deal of thatch.


It grows slowly in the shade, but does do better than Bermuda grass. Water needs are low to medium and the same with fertilizer. Zoysiagrass only requires .3 to .5 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet. It wears well and should be mowed at a height of one to two inches. Most home owners have found that it adapts best throughout the southern US.

Since it requires relatively little water compared to many other grasses, Zoysiagrass can tolerate less moisture for longer periods. You will not need to water your lawn as much as some other grasses during dry conditions.

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St Augustine Grass

July 17th, 2016 ernie Posted in Types of Grasses | No Comments »

St Augustine GrassThe scientific name for St Augustine grass is Stenotaphrum secundatum. It is a robust and fast growing grass type, tolerates salty soil and it is also a good shade grass. One main weakness is that Chinch bugs can do considerable damage to this type of grass and it tends to also thatch badly. It is one of the best shade tolerant species compared to all of the other grass types. St Augustine grass also needs lots of water and medium to high levels of nitrogen fertilizer. From .4 to .8 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet per growing month is required. Unfortunately it does not wear very well.

St Augustine Grass

The mowing height should be from two to three inches. Mowing too low allows weeds to take hold and possibly sunburn. Mowing too high allows thatch to build up quite rapidly. It is best adapted to southern California and mild areas of the southwest and golf coast states. It does best in neutral or alkaline soils.

If thatch does build up gardeners should consider de-thatching the lawn to allow air and nutrients to penetrate to the roots. Some gardeners will regularly de-thatch their lawns once per year to prevent extended buildup of the thatch in the lawn.

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July 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Types of Grasses | 1 Comment »

DichondraDichondra micrantha is a warm season ground cover grass type that is actually not grass. It is a broad leaf plant that makes a lush, dense and bright green carpet when properly looked after and well maintained. It requires less mowing than many other grass types and is subject to only a few disease types mainly in the southwestern United States. A variety of bugs like the Dichondra such as cutworms, flea beetles, snails, and slugs.  Once weeds invade they are difficult to get rid of . This grass type is susceptible to alternaria in Texas and East-word. It also has better shade tolerance than Kentucky bluegrass and is generally considered to have good shade tolerance.

Dichondra Micrantha

Dichondra requires lots of water and medium to high amounts of fertilizer. Nitrogen in amounts of .5 to 1.0 pound per 1000 square feet per month. It does not wear well and cannot deal with a lot of foot traffic. It should be mowed to a few inches high in shaded areas where there is little traffic and lower in other areas, which helps to keep out the weeds.

It does well in hot conditions, but does not like humid conditions or temperatures below 25 degrees F.

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