Category: lawn-care

6 Tips to Help Your Lawn Survive the Winter

Winter is rapidly approaching, and for some of us, that means so is the snow.

There are things you can do to both help your lawn survive the winter and get a head start on your spring yard maintenance!

By following the below tips your lawn will come back and be lush and green quicker.

Leaf Removal

It is not always necessary to completely remove your leaves, however,  if you have an excess amount of leaves on your lawn, you should remove some of them.

If you only have a thin covering on your lawn, you can mulch them with a lawn mower and leave them on the lawn. They will break down and add organic material and nutrients to your lawn.

If you leave too many leaves on your lawn it could lead to mold growing, or to them suffocating your grass. So be sure that if you have an excess, remove some before you mulch the rest!


Don’t Stop Mowing!

Keep mowing your grass until it stops growing.

During your final two mows of the year adjust the blade to the lowest setting. But remember, just as the 1/3 rule applies during the rest of the year, it still applies in the fall! Be sure that you only cut 1/3 of the blade at a time, and cut it 1/3 each mow until you reach the lowest level on your mower. This will protect the blade from having too much stress put on it at once.

Mowing the grass on the lowest blade setting leaves less of the grass leaf to turn brown during the dormant months.


Aerate Compacted Soil

Prepare your lawn for the winter by doing some core aeration!

If your soil is compacted this will be very beneficial for helping keep your lawn healthy during the colder months.

Core aeration involves removing a plug of the soil this allows the compacted soil to spread out, it also allows oxygen, water, and nutrient to easily reach the root systems of the grass.


Over Seed

This is a great time to over seed your lawn.  Especially if you have bald spots. Obviously you will want to do this early in the fall to prepare your lawn for the winter so the seeds have time to grow a little bit.

Spread the grass seed over your yard in the bare areas and care for it as recommended.



After your final mow, it’s time to fertilize!

Fertilizing in the fall is a great idea, and it’s the time you should fertilize if you only do it once a year.

Be sure that you apply a consistent layer of fertilizer over your entire yard.

Fertilizing in the fall will help the roots of the grass stay healthy while they hibernate and will help your grass come back quicker in the spring. The quicker your grass comes in, the less weeds you will have!

To help you out even more, there are specially made winterizing fertilizers that you can purchase to give your lawn the best treatment!


Take care of the weeds

If you have a problem with weeds, tackle it now!

If there are dandelions or other broadleaf weeds taking over your yard, apply herbicides now, and they won’t grow back in the spring. Wouldn’t that be nice? No fluffy dandelions to deal with when you’re trying to keep your lawn lush and green.  Be sure to read the instructions on the herbicide before applying.


These tips are sure to help your lawn come back quicker and healthier! Don't slack just because it's fall. Take care of your lawn now to save yourself some time in the spring.

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The Right Way to Water Your Lawn

Water makes grass grow, right? Right. But, too much water can be very detrimental to the health of the grass.

Fortunately there are steps you can take to be sure that you are properly watering your lawn.

Here are some tips to ensure that your lawn is getting adequate water.

Too Much Water....

It's a thing. Here are the signs that your lawn is getting too much water!

  • Your lawn will be soggy even hours after watering
  • You may notice fungus growth(this can also be caused by watering too late in the day)
  • Runoff is occurring
  • If your lawn is wilted, but you water it frequently, you are over watering your lawn.

The Proper Technique

There are certain things that you can do to be sure that you are properly watering your lawn.

When To Water

There are right and wrong times to water. First off, you should only water you lawn when it is needed. Watering while your grass is still wet is not ideal for your lawn. You want to let it dry.

Next, don't water your lawn while it's raining. Seems like common sense, but if you have sprinklers on a timer, you may forget to turn them off when it's raining. You don't want to be that guy in the neighborhood that wastes water by running sprinklers during rain.

Finally, water as early in the morning as you can. Watering early in the morning allows time for the water to settle in before it would evaporate in the afternoon sun. You might think, why not water at night? Well, if you water at night the water will sit on the grass for quite some time, and since the grass is not getting dried out at all, there is an increased chance that fungus will grow.

How much water should you use? How often?

You shouldn't water your lawn more than 2-3 times a week,  about a half of a inch of water should be applied each time. Make sure that water is being evenly distributed across your lawn.

If you have a sprinkler, or even if you have a hose a way to test how long it takes to get a half inch of water is to place a dish somewhere in the area that is receiving water and see how long it takes to get a half an inch of water in the container.

Once you know how long it takes you can set the timer on your sprinklers or know roughly how long you need to water your grass for.


Make sure that you follow these tips to be sure that your grass is getting a good, healthy amount of water to keep it nice and green!


A test to see if your lawn has had enough water is to see if you can stick a 6" screw driver into the ground fairly easily, this will show that the water has reached the root systems, which is most important!


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How to Mow in Tall Grass

Has your mower ever gotten bogged down or even stalled out while mowing?

Next you tap out the deck of the mower to get all those loose clippings that are clogging up the blades out.

This could be happening because your grass is too tall.

Never fear, just because your lawn got out of hand this time, you will still be able to knock it back down to the proper length, here's how!

Raise the Deck

Most mower decks have a 4" cutting height.  If your grass is taller than this, it may be an issue. You can raise your mower deck to it's highest setting and give it a shot. However, be sure you only cut 1/3 of the length of the blade with each cut to reduce stress to the blade, continue cutting just 1/3 of the blade until the grass reaches your desired height.

Hold your Horses!

Going full throttle on a mower can be fun, and maybe you are in a rush to get your lawn cut before your barbecue, but, you need to slow down. Slow and steady is going to win this race. If you have excessively tall grass, go slow, this will cause less stress on your mower than trying to go your normal cutting pace.

Use the Right Blades

When you have long grass using mulching blades is VERY important. Leaving long grass clippings on your lawn can be very detrimental to the overall health of your lawn . These long clippings can suffocate your lawn and kill the grass. If you don't have mulching blades, be sure that you bag the long clippings.

If you do not wish to mulch your clippings, consider using hi-lift blades to tackle the tall grass, but be sure that you promptly remove the clippings from your lawn!

Alternate Methods

If your grass is just too long for your mower and you yard is a manageable size, take off 1/3 of the blade using a string trimmer. After doing this you should be able to mow as you normally would.

Brush Mowers are also a good alternative to cutting down tall grass. It will surely be able to stand up to your yard and get it back in shape.

As you see, mowing tall grass can be kind of a pain, be sure to keep up with mowing your lawn so that it doesn't get too long!


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The Benefits of Mulching Your Lawn

One of the most popular features with new lawn mowers is whether or not they can mulch the grass you cut. So what's so great about mulching and why should you get on board with this trend?

What is Mulch?

First, let’s discuss what mulch is. You're probably familiar with the type of mulch that is put around your flower beds and the bases of trees. These days, that type of mulch seems to not only be there to be functional, but also to be decorative.

Mulch is a material that you put down to insulate the soil bed of a plant, protect the plant's moisture, and enrich the soil with nutrients (in the case of organic mulch) as it decomposes. Mulch can be in the form of leaves, bark, peat, or in our case, grass clippings.

Mulched grass is grass clippings that have been cut and re-cut into very small pieces that can easily drop between the grass blades in your lawn to the soil bed below. There it starts to break down, giving its nutrients back to the soil and back to your yard.

How does mulching occur?

If you want the quick and dirty of mulching your clippings, just rip off your grass bag and mow your grass, letting the discharged cuttings fall on the lawn. If you have a mulching mower, just set it to mulch and go.

But how does a mulching mower differ from a non-mulching, bag-less mower? A mulching mower has a mulching blade that attempts to cause clippings to fly upwards into the mowing deck where they will return to the blade to be cut again, over and over.

A mulching mower's deck is also made to not have a discharge location, or, as in many popular mowers, the mulching mower has a cover on the discharge location.
This keeps the clippings inside the mower's deck to get chopped up smaller and smaller.

Since there is all this extra cutting, a mulching mower's blade is usually spinning faster than a normal mower's. Extra speed and power allow the mower to power through the extra workload, but it means you will also want to monitor your blade’s sharpness. Keep a sharp mulching blade for optimal performance.

Benefits of Mulching

The major benefit in mulching is that it returns nutrients to your lawn, so your grass can grow healthy and thick. It also keeps the soil moist and covered to keep the temperature down. You may not need to fertilize as much, since you'll be gaining so much from the mulched clippings.

Mulching with your mower means you don't have to dispose of grass clippings, and you don't have to take time to empty your grass bag. That's less space in a landfill taken up with cut grass and less money you may have to pay for someone to dispose of your yard waste.

5 Quick Mowing Tips for a Better and Healthier Lawn

Everyone can mow their grass, but these 5 tips will take you from mowing like an amateur to mowing like an experienced groundskeeper.

1. Don't mow wet grass.

Mowing your lawn when it is wet is not a good idea for several reasons. First, the quality of cut will be affected, because it is tougher for the mowing blade to maintain its speed. This is due to wet clippings clumping together and impeding its progress.

Second, the clumping negatively affects the mower's ability to mulch and chop up the clippings into finer pieces.
Large clumps are then left in the grass for you to rake up, or get stuck inside the deck to bog down your mower even more.

Third, a slower turning mower blade will result in a poor cut quality. This can also mean your blade is not actually cutting the grass blades, but tearing them in half. You'll learn why that's really bad later in this article.

If you have to mow wet grass, follow these tips. Reduce the width of your cutting path to half, so less grass is being cut at one time. Bag your clippings instead of mulching to cut down on clumps being left behind and to reduce excess sticky clippings circulating in the deck.

2. Cut your lawn according to conditions.

Your lawn's height should change as the overall conditions change. Your lawn height should be longer during times of stress and shorter, if desired, during more normal and optimum growing conditions.

Some typical stresses and risks for your lawn include drought, disease, recovering from transplant (sod), and newly planted / growing grass. Longer grass will allow root systems to more fully develop so your lawn is more drought resistant.

Longer grass also allows for less sun penetration to the soil. This means your soil doesn't dry out as quickly, weeds don't get sunlight as they try to break through, and the grass can partially shade itself from the sun's intense rays.

So, be aware of your conditions. If you want short grass, make sure the weather and the current health of your lawn supports it. If it doesn't, let it grow a little bit more.

3. Cut your grass using the 150% rule.

The length you cut your grass is very important, so always cut your grass at or before it reaches 150% of your desired cutting height. This can also be called the 1/3 rule, meaning don't cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade when you mow your lawn. So, if you want 1 inch grass, cut it when it reaches or before it reaches 1.5 inches.

Cutting off too much of the grass leaf during mowing causes shock to the plant, resulting in halted growth. This shock can also leave your grass open to more damage from conditions, disease, and lead to a thinning lawn.

If your grass grows fast and you don't want to be out mowing all the time, consider choosing a longer length for your lawn. You'll have more time between mowing and you won't be jeopardizing the health of your lawn.

4. Mulch your clippings, bag when necessary.

You should always try to mulch instead of bag your clippings. This returns valuable nutrients to your lawn, promoting thicker healthier grass. But, if you're not adhering to the 150% rule (1/3 rule), you might not be helping your lawn.

If you've let your grass grow too long and end up cutting more than 1/3 of the grass's length, you run the risk of having large clippings blocking sunlight to your remaining living grass. In this situation, it is better to bag your clippings, or even rake your lawn, if necessary.

Short, finely cut grass clippings make great fertilizer for your lawn. They are better able to fall between the remaining blades of grass to the soil bed to be absorbed. If you are unable to mulch or you can't have visible clippings, you should definitely bag.

5. Keep your mower blade sharp

This may be number 5, but it is extremely important to keep your lawn mower's blade sharp. It greatly affects the quality of your cut and therefore affects the quality of your lawn's health.

Grass is a plant and you are basically pruning every blade of it when you mow your lawn. A sharp blade produces a clean cut that seals quickly. A dull blade, tears through a blade of grass leaving a ragged edge.

The shredded top left by a dull mower blade will brown, and if all of your grass is ragged, the overall color quality of your lawn will be impacted. Not only will the look be affected, but the grass blade will have a large open wound better allowing disease to enter it.

The ragged edged cut to your grass leaf can also cause shock to the plant, impacting its resiliency and growth. To rehash, a sharp blade creates a crisp, clean cut that will seal quickly and allow the plant to get back to its business of growing.

A sharp blade is also necessary when mulching to chop clippings into finer pieces fit for lawn mulch.

To check to see if your blade is sharp enough, inspect your lawn after mowing. Look closely at the tops of blades of grass that have been cut. Are they ragged or are they cut cleanly? If they are ragged, it's time to sharpen or replace your lawn mower blade.