Archive for the ‘Grass’ Category

The ambiance of your home is highly dependent on your lawn. Why? It’s the first thing that people see. More so if you have a commercial place where potential customers go to browse your products. If your lawn can impress people, you won’t have to worry about putting them in a good mood when they reach your doorway. Your landscape creates the ambiance and can tell a lot about your personality.

Use your beautiful lawn or garden as a place for relaxing when you’re not working. A lovely and healthy garden can make you feel right when you’re stressed. What you need to do is find out more about gardening and landscaping so that you won’t have to hire professionals to maintain and build your landscape for you. A garden is really the best gift you can give your home and yourself.

A delightful garden must be built from the ground up with careful planning. Here are some tips to doing just that…

1. Fertile Soil

One of the main factors to having a great garden is your soil quality. Developing fertile soil is no easy task, especially if you live in a naturally arid environment. But it can be done. You just have to make sure that you keep the acidity-alkalinity balance, and supply enough nutrients to grow a truly lush garden where vegetation and beneficial animals can coexist.

Your soil must also be the appropriate texture for the plants you will be using. One thing you have to focus on is your soil’s compatibility with the grass species and variety you will be using. Those who live in dry, hot climate should get the summer-hardy plants that don’t require too much water to flourish. If you live in cold climate, use winter-hardy plants that can handle cold weather.

2. Grass Type

The types of grass that suit the growing conditions in your place of residence are the same ones that your lawn shop will be selling at a low price. You see, rare plants in a vicinity are those that are imported. While these plants can become a status symbol among land owners, they can be quite expensive to maintain. To be safe and practical, use the plants that are known to be endemic to your location so you won’t need to look for special fertilizers. For rainy places, use grasses that can tolerate floods and long periods of wetness. A resilient plant can out-compete the weeds so if you choose your grasses right, you might not even need to buy herbicides to control invasive plants.

3. Watering Schedules

When you know what types of grasses and plants you have in your garden, you can create a good watering schedule. Longer grass has tough roots and can hold the water better, so you need to water these only twice or thrice a week. Frequent watering will make roots shorter, and thus render the plants helpless when there’s a drought. Medium length roots will need to be watered every other day. If you have to choose the time of day to water your plants, choose early morning. Watering the plants during this time will ensure that the sun is still not powerful enough to make the water evaporate.

A robot lawn mower is not that uncommon nowadays, but I have to admit that it’s still creepy to watch how a robotic land mower seems to go straight at you with three blades spinning at 5,800 rpm. The good news is that there are ways to make sure your robotic landmower doesn’t scare your guests (or you) while it’s doing its work around your garden.

It’s not surprising how some people are still hesitant about getting a robotic land mower. A robot wielding sharp blades is the stuff of nightmares and you’re just about ready to install one on your lawn. But the good news is that even the statistics agree that robotic land mowers are safe. According to Ames Tiedeman, National Sales Manager for Systems Trading Corp., the US distributor for the Friendly Robotics Robomower, over 72,000 emergency room visits involved lawn mowers in 2005.  Not a single case involved robotic lawn mowers.

These robotic mowers have safety features and triggers that automatically shut the system off when there’s trouble. It doesn’t hurt to learn more about the safety features so you should study the manual and ask around for advice before getting your own robotic land mower.

There are robotic land mowers that turn the blade rotation off at 16 degrees, which is not even high enough to get a hand under.  Moreover, the blades are too far back and kept inside a chamber so that not even a small hand could touch them. User-friendly land mowers are also child-safe, so you need not worry about home accidents.

Push and riding lawn mowers have safety devices that are easily disabled, while those of a robotic lawn mower features are not easily disabled. The tilt detection features are a part of the main board and even the blade resistance is monitored so closely by the system that it would take creativity, not stupidity, to get yourself injured by using a robotic land mower. The software is automatic and can stop all activity if even a hint of a threat is detected. Sonar detection systems slow the mower down if any moving objects get too close to it. Touch sensors are also installed to make sure the mower moves away from a stationary object instead of ramming through it.

Flying debris need not be a problem to because most of the robotic landmower nowadays are designed for mulching. This means pebbles and small rocks do not get tossed very far from the unit at high or low velocity. Pets are relatively safe around a robotic land mower. In fact, if we really study the statistics, it’s the mower that’s in danger of getting attacked and chewed up by pets, not the other way around.

If you’re still apprehensive about mower safety, you can simply set the mower to operate at night when everyone is sleeping.

Standing water is the term used for unsightly and often dangerous puddles that form in your garden after rain. If you have one or more areas in your yard that hold water long after the rain has gone, you know you have a problem. Sometimes, it’s difficult to solve this problem because it would mean installing a better drainage system. You may even be tempted to simply let the water evaporate under the sun, but standing water can create more problems for you.

There is no tree or shrub that will grow in flooded soil. Unfortunately, standing water doesn’t just occupy one area. It can seep into cracks and reach the soil. Although watering plants daily can lead to better growth, there are a lot of plants that cannot live in a too-wet area. Standing water will make your soil soggy for extended periods. The roots of your plants, in particular your grasses, won’t be able to breathe.

One common solution to the standing water dilemma is the use of topsoil. Dry topsoil can absorb the water for the meantime while you figure out how to drain the rest of it. However, there are instances when the standing water gets displaced rather than soaked up by the layer of topsoil you install.

Ask your city engineer for advice if you plan on renovating your underground drainage system. You may be at risk of troubling your neighbours if you start digging and you hit a major gas pipe or a water pipe that supplies water to the rest of your community. Look for a nearby drainage ditch and use this fact as a possible part of the solution when you’re stating your case. A storm drain is easy to set up as long as you have the local officials’ go signal.

When you’re ready, you can buy some 4” perforated plastic drain pipes. Get the flexible kind that comes in 100’ rolls. The drain pipe has small slits that water can enter. Just create a trench from the center of the flooded area to the drainage point. Using a simple line you can set up a string over top of the trench to ensure that your pipe runs downhill towards the drainage ditch. You should have 6” fall for every 100’ of pipe.

The highest point must be the flooded area, which means you only want your pipe deep enough at this point so it can be covered with soil. Once the trench is there, you can simply install the pipe. Insert a strainer into the end of the pipe to prevent soil debris from entering the pipe and clogging it. Cover the pipe with washed stone to hide it, and then fill the trench with soil. The washed stone creates a void around the pipe allowing water to enter into the pipe. The lower part of the pipe that needs to be exposed is the low end, because this is where the water exits the pipe. You shouldn’t install a strainer at the lower end of the pipe so that water can flow freely.

The technique we described is usually applicable if the topsoil of your garden is sandy or loamy. However, a more specialized technique can be used if you have heavy clay soil.

When I first started on my big lawn, I had no idea mowing and lawn maintenance would require a lot of patience and perseverance on my part. But, sacrifices and a lot of trial and error need to be done to hone a piece of land into a thing that you can look at for hours and not get tired. A well-maintained lawn should not be expensive if you know what you’re doing.

Here are ten things you should know about lawn mowing. These tips will come in handy when you’re trying to maintaining a beautiful lawn.

1. Always carry wire cutters when you’re mowing, and while you’re preparing for mowing. Rusty old wires can stick out of the ground if your property used to be surrounded by barbed wire or any type of metal fence. Having a wire cutter handy will help you keep your rhythm. At the very least, you can deal with the few wires that are still lying around after the maintenance crew worked on the prep work.

2. Recycle what you can. If you’re working on a lawn that used to be tended by someone else, there may be some scraps around that can still be used. For starters, look at the big boulders and rocks around. Some of those can be used as borders for your zen garden. Small plastic bins should also be saved just in case you might need temporary soil bins while you’re sodding your yard. Discarding litter when you’re mowing seems like the natural thing to do, but if you have to purchase the same type of scraps in the future, it’s better to keep them in your garden.

3. When you’re mowing, always remember to push the choke lever on the mower when it keeps coughing and sputtering to a stop.

4. Beware of your mower’s safety features – Modern mowers possess a handle lever that shuts mowers down when there’s trouble. Mowers also come with what is called a Plastic Do-Hickie. This is a feature that shows a sign saying you shouldn’t shove your hand or feet inside a running lawn mower.

5. Always bring a canteen of water with you when you stay outside to mow your lawn. Heat stoke is common among those who have to work outdoors for extended periods of time. If the weather is at eighty-degrees, you should wear protective gear and have access to a constant supply of potable water just in case you feel thirsty.

6.  Budget –Tractor mowers are a must in places where lawns are too massive. Mowing with a push mower during spring is acceptable if you have a small lawn, but if your property is huge, you want a tractor mower to maintain your property.

7. Maintain your mower.  General maintenance is needed if  grass built up underneath your mower. You will learn about this soon enough when your mower keeps clanking while it’s doing its job.

Drought is never a good thing, whether for people or for lawns. When the temperature outside hits the 40 degrees Celsius, you know your lawn is in trouble. If you do not install some precautionary measures, you might end up losing your investment to the heat of the summer season. The truth is, a temporary heat spell is not too difficult to handle. Here are more recommendations for you to take care of your lawn.

Help your lawn survive using these tips:

1. Modify the blade height on your mower. Raised blades means taller grass. While you want your lawn to look clean and manicured, taller grass provides more protection from direct sunlight. Taller grass also grow deeper roots. This means more water in the soil for your small ecosystem to consume. If you have an abundance of these grasses on your lawn, it will be more weather-hardy when the air temperature gets any hotter.

2. Don’t be too free with bagging the clippings just yet. If you want an excuse to be lazy when it comes to cleaning the clippings, this is it. Grass clippings can provide more moisture, not to mention nutrients, to your lawn soil. This creates a barrier between the soil and the hot atmosphere.

3. Aeration twice a year will keep the soil maintained. You can keep out thatch from taking root and the roots of your usual plants can grow deeper in aerated soil.

4. Make sure the blades on your lawn mower are sharp. Dull blades can put stress on your grass. Stressed grasses need extra TLC in terms of water and nutrients, which is more difficult during summertime when the water evaporates as soon as you apply it.

5. Avoid too much evaporation of water by watering your plants during the early morning when the sun is less nasty. Water evaporates quickly in the heat, which means good news for those doing their laundry outside, but bad news for you if you water your lawn when it’s too hot.

6. Soaker hoses can be used to water your lawn. A drip type irrigation system can do wonders in terms of water management. It is more efficient during summertime. A hose is left to drip water on the ground throughout the day. The amount is just enough to keep replenishing water, but not enough to create a flood. This way, the water is soaked up by the roots, and not left on the leaves to dry up.

7. Fertilizing your lawn makes it more susceptible to heat. Fertilizers in the soil means you will need to water more.

Nitrogen is one of the most important minerals that plants need to grow. Nitrogen is best used with potassium and phosphorus, but on its own, it can be used to make your crops behave and look a certain way. First of all, it has something to do with chlorophyll production. The better your soil’s nitrogen balance is, the greener your plants’ leaves will look. If you want your lawn to be healthy, you should know the basics of nitrogen fertilizer application.

First of all, is your lawn lacking in nitrogen? There are some signs that your plants may be deficient in nitrogen if you observe them closely. If leaves turn yellow despite watering, your soil’s natural nitrogen reserves may be insufficient to meet the minimum requirement that your plants need. If grasses do not grow fast or become susceptible to diseases, the soil’s nitrogen deposits may be depleted.

Here are some tips for you if you are planning on applying nitrogen on your own…

There are three popular types of nitrogen fertilizers used widely for maintaining gardens. First is Isobutyledenedinurea (IBDU), which is a slow release fertilizer. It can be used to nourish your grass over a long period of time. This is one of the most expensive types of nitrogen fertilizer. Secondly, there is sulfur-coated urea.

The sulfur coating decomposes easily, but there are certain subtypes to this. The rate of uptake by the plant depends on how fast the sulfur coating dissolves. Sulfur-coated urea is temperature dependent, which means the nitrogen will be released faster when the temperature is warm, and when the lawn is wet. Pure urea is the least expensive nitrogen fertilizer that you can use on your plant. It can be used instantly, which means the nutrient is immediately available to your plants when you apply.

With proper care and the right equipment, you can have that gorgeous lawn of your dreams. With equipment, we mean the tools and gadgets you use directly to maintain the beauty of your lawn. Choosing the right lawn mower for your landscape isn’t difficult, but there are a few tips you can follow to make sure you get the best one…

Take note of cutting quality. A good lawn mower should cut the grass and not tear or rip it out. A good way to ensure this is to find out if a mower is especially designed for flats or slopes. There are some mowers that are great for flat areas but not for sloping gardens. You may need to change settings if the mower can work anywhere.

If your lawn is on a slope, the best kind of land mower you should purchase is one with high wheels. The high wheels make the mower easier to move up and down the slope. You can also consider a cordless or electric mulching lawn mower. These mower types are designed to avoid too much mess when you’re maintaining or mulching your lawn. There’s another type of land mower that will not contribute to air pollution, and this is called the reel lawn mower.

After you’ve selected the best lawn mower for your garden, read the manual and ask the service man for specialized instructions on how to maintain your lawn mower. Some home owners use the same land mower that their parents or grandparents used. The secret to this kind of longevity is maintenance and servicing. Choose a brand that’s fairly common so that you don’t have to search far and wide for spare parts if you need to fix something in your mower. Spark plugs should be cleaned or replaced for good firing and nuts and bolts should be checked and tightened where necessary.

The underside decking should be checked and cleaned all through the mowing season to eliminate grass and dirt that have accumulated. This is not only for the maintenance of your mower. This is also to prevent grass diseases, pests and what-not from spreading across your lawn.

Start cleaning the deck of the lawnmower by emptying the gas tank and making sure that the spark plug is not connected.  Tilt the mower and spray liberally with water. Use a hose to clean off the rest of the dirt and grass that got stuck. You should not use the mower right after you’ve cleaned it. Instead, make sure to dry the mower after you have finished rinsing it off.

While cleaning the land mower should be done regularly, fixes and maintenance can be done twice a year, or quarterly. It depends on how much you work your mower. Check the oil and air filters. Make sure the parts are not rusted. Filters may be foam or paper, so you’d better check with the technician if you want to change filters. It’s like caring for a car, in a way.

Another crucial thing that you have to remember is the blade of the mower. Sharp blades will cut the grass, while a dull blade will simply uproot your plants. File your blades yourself, or have a professional do it for you.

When you’re done mowing for the season is over, properly store your lawn mower for the winter by removing the oil and gas. You can also wipe down the exterior before storage.

Even if the rule of thumb for watering your lawn is an inch to one inch and a half per week, you should know that the type of soil in your lawn, the amount of sunshine, and the climate all play a role. The important thing is that you water in a correct manner. Deep watering means infrequently running the sprinklers but spewing out a good amount so that the grasses will have deeper roots.

For the usual depth of an inch to one inch and a half per week, you can do it in 2 splits or once a week. It is recommended that you don’t sprinkle water just a little each day, or else you will have shallow roots. Drought is often the result of sparse watering or sprinkling too little water frequently.

For sandy soil, the best way is to water your lawn two times a week because sandy soil drains faster. If this happens, the water will soak through the sandy soil fast and settle deeper than the roots can reach. If your lawn soil is made up of heavy clay, you must water thrice a week because water is not absorbed by clay soils well.

It’s difficult to measure the exact amount of water your lawn receives particularly when you’re using automatic sprinkler systems. One way to measure how much water your lawn is getting is to place a few plastic tubs around the lawn. Using these tubs, you will know how much water your sprinklers put out in an hour. Let the sprinklers stay for a few hours to measure how much water your lawn is getting and then you can modify your watering time accordingly. One more advantage of doing this is that you will be able to find out if watering is even all over the yard. It would be a bad thing if there were spots your sprinklers don’t reach.

The early morning is the best time to water. During this time, the sun is not at its peak and all the water can be soaked up by the soil with minimum evaporation. Watering at night may lead to grass diseases because the soil stays wet longer during the night.

If it’s summer, or the weather is particularly hot, increase your mowing height so that your lawn’s soil and the roots of your grasses are less stressed. It is also advisable to leave grass clippings on the yard. The remaining moisture in the clippings will benefit your lawn.

A backpack blower is what you need if you are serious about caring for your lawn or garden. This is what a professional would use. These contraptions are mostly powered by 2-stroke gasoline engines. There are a lot of backpack blower designs on sale nowadays, so you’d better pay attention to the different features so that you know which type you’re getting.

Backpack blowers with more than 40cc engines are bestsellers because they are designed to work without unnecessary noise. The typical blowing power is 400 cfm  (cubic feet per minute) of volume at 190 mph (meter per hour). If you live in a neighborhood where no one wants to be disturbed, these units are the best choice.

High performance backpack blowers commonly have a blowing power of more than 450 cfm of volume at 195 mph. These are noisier than other blowers but they’re more fuel efficient and you can finish the job rapidly. Commercial users use this type not only for the efficiency but also because it has optional accessories like breathable nylon back pads and padded, adjustable harnesses.

The larger types of backpack blowers include Big-bore Backpacks, which have a minimum engine power of 50cc. These are very efficient and may cut down your cleaning time in half. These are for use on larger areas. It is recommended to get this type if you have to deal with wet matted leaves.

What other selection criteria are there for choosing backpack blowers? Before you pay for a unit, make sure you try out the blower. Harness quality and comfort differ. The harness, which has a blower fit into it, is worn on the operator’s back. It should be sturdy and easy to use. The engine and fan are also fitted into the backpack frame with a hand-held hose and spout.

If you have a nice looking yard right now, you probably know that it’s pretty difficult to maintain. If you’ve ever thought about sleeping in without worrying about how messy your yard would look if you don’t mow it this week, a robotic lawn mower may be the best backyard gadget for you.

Robotic lawn mowers can do the job, charge itself and do it all over again without fail. It’s battery operated so you don’t have to worry about paying for gas or oil to keep it going. You can pretty much install it then leave it alone, except for the times when you have to replace the blades or the batteries. They can work in any weather because of the water-proof feature.

One thing you have to take care of, however, is the perimeter wire. This can be installed by a professional, or you can install it yourself. The wire has to be buried into the ground, around two inches deep. This wire will tell the robotic lawn mower the boundary of the lot it should mow.

When the robotic mower senses the wire, it will immediately turn around to avoid crossing the invisible line. But, accidents happen and sometimes the signal from the wire gets “ignored” by your automatic mower. Don’t worry when this happens because the mower will instantly shut down when it accidentally crosses the perimeter wire.

The best thing about it is that you can set a routine for mowing. The mower doesn’t emit annoying sounds, so you can set the mower to do the job during night time. This is perfect if you have kids that love to play in the yard during the day.

When the appointed time comes, the mower will move away from the charger and start mowing. There are some mowers that go back and forth, while there are some that move randomly. When the battery reaches a critical level, the mower automatically moves towards the charger.

You can choose from a variety of designs. All robotic lawn mowers nowadays have features that are meant to attract customers. Some designs are aesthetically pleasing, while some are rather plain.

When you buy your robotic mower, you should ask about auto-charging. Not all robotic lawnmowers go back to the charger automatically. A sensor for rain or puddle should also be present. It’s annoying if you have to “rescue your mower” from a soft spot on your lawn because there’s no sensor for wet or soft soil patches.

Robotic lawn mowers are practical, but not everyone has a unit yet. That’s why it’s not surprising if the neighbors stand around to watch it work if you schedule the mowing during daytime.

We are so sure you will love our Lawn Care Business Guide that we are offering you a free chapter. With an easy to follow layout and professionally written text, as well as high quality pictures and little known tips and tricks, our Guide is the best lawn care business book on the market.

We are so sure you will love our Lawn Care Business Guide that we are offering you a free chapter. With an easy to follow layout and professionally written text, as well as high quality pictures and little known tips and tricks, our Guide is the best lawn care business book on the market.