Archive for the ‘Lawn Care’ 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.

If you’re like other do it yourself landscapers, you have probably experienced struggling with a concept or two. You might have also felt the need to start from scratch after you’re done over-thinking your initial design idea. But here’s the thing. Once you have established a framework of necessary design elements, things are bound to flow smoother.

First things first, have a vision for your design. This is one way of saying you should know exactly what you want. If you want to know where you should begin working, you must have a firm grasp of the design you want. You can have someone create a blueprint of your concept for you or you can simply sketch out your concept on a piece of paper. Whatever you do, make sure you have a vision, and you know what your garden should look like when you’re done working on it.

How do you start your landscape or garden design?

Most do-it-yourselfers start with a few structures. Lay down plans for pathways, driveways, access routes, or covered walk areas. Never mind the materials you are going to need, for now. Just make sure there is ample space for these fixtures before you plan the location of ponds, waterfalls, rock gardens and of course trees. This type of planning will help you establish a framework.

Of course, this framework won’t always be applicable all the time. If your garden is small, you have to make do with one structure. You may not need any pathways. However, a simple plan like this will help you determine which structures you can realistically fit inside your garden space.

Paths and walkways can serve as dividers. On one side, you can have your cooking area for parties and barbecues. On the other side of the pathway, you can have your plants and rocks. A designated space for people to walk on or run to when there’s rain is necessary. Structures are a great way to break up a vast expanse of lawn, meadow, or bed area.

Walkways also lead the guests deeper into your garden. Your pathway can lead to a specific place like a gazebo, or it can be a continuous loop around your garden. Walkways can be made of refined (brick, flagstone, etc.) or primitive (gravel, mulch, etc.). Maybe you want a walkway that goes from the back door to the pool area. Or from the pool area to the mini-picnic grove. Pay attention to the lines that your pathways create. Curves and winding paths can create the illusion of a bigger garden space. This is a technique made especially for small gardens and landscapes.

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.

When the end of summer comes, homeowners are left with the task of cleaning up the leaves that have accumulated in their backyard. Collecting leaves can be done the hard way or the easy way. The simplest way of collecting leaves in one place is with a garden rake. But we all know that this will take a lot of time and effort. If you are not keen on spending the night with a sore back, there is an easy way to collect leaves, and this is with the help of a leaf blower.

The concept behind this equipment is easy to understand. This equipment is made up of a high-speed fan is surrounded by a cover. Tubes protrude from the side of the fan to create a steady stream of air that you can point to the ground to move the leaves around. The air current speed can reach up to around 200 miles per hour.

Tips on How to Choose a Good Leaf Blower

Before you purchase your leaf blower, ask yourself if you really need it. If you have a small yard, you may not need a garden blower. If you have a large yard, then you may need a garden leaf blower to help with the backbreaking task of collecting leaves. You also need to consider your exposure to fallen leaves. If you do not have trees around, you probably will not get much leaf littered around when fall season comes.

There are inexpensive models of garden leaf blowers, and there are those that are more expensive than others. What is the difference? Most of the time, the expensive ones are more lightweight and easier to store than others. There may also be differences when it comes to the blowing power of the engine. Different models put out different speeds. A high blowing speed will let you finish in half the time it would take if you were using a low speed model. Most garden leaf blowers will have a rating of 350 to 600 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM).

Leaf blowers include both small one-hand models and powerful backpack types. The harness type might look tempting because you can walk around freely, but it could actually be more dangerous for your back and arms. However, it is the best choice if your yard is big. You can also choose by vibration speed. A low vibration model that has ergonomic handles and harnesses is recommended. With this, you can work more efficiently with less strain on your body.

There are some models that can collect leaves and there are those that can’t. With a quality garden leaf blower with all-in-one features, you can do much more than just move leaves around. You can also use the blower to collect rubbish, grass clippings, hedge clippings, and empty tin cans. If you can find one, get a model that can act as a vacuum so that you can collect the leaves into a trash bag as you go. This is a great way to save time and effort when it comes to disposal of the leaves.

What is your main worry when you leave home for a vacation? Most home owners are anxious about leaving for a trip because of the many cases of robberies in the state. Who knows, burglars might have known about your living and are planning to ransack your home as soon as you leave. Therefore, we take precautions. We call our close friends, notify the neighbors and set the alarms.

Although I have no doubt that you hire only the most trustworthy landscapers to maintain your garden while you’re away, the same level of trust might not be extended to their helpers. Let’s face it, some landscapers are just eager to have an extra pair of hands to help out when the orders pour in, so it’s not surprising if some landscapers don’t do a thorough criminal background check on their hired help.

What can you do to make sure your garden and lawns are well maintained while you’re away? Instead of hiring a landscaping company or a gardener, why not get a robotic land mower?

Your nice looking yard will probably look like a marshland if you let the undergrowth and weeds have their way. Leave home without worrying about how messy your yard would look when you return by getting your own robotic land mower. One more thing is that, when burglars sense that your lawn is being maintained, they feel apprehensive about approaching your home because they can never be sure that no one is really there. In a sense, a robotic land mower can keep burglars away by giving the impression that someone is around mowing the lawn daily.

Robotic lawn mowers are auto charging, which means they go back to the charger when battery is low, and then move out again during the scheduled time. They require rechargeable batteries to work so you don’t have to worry about supplying fuel for the mower to work. Change the blades a few times a year, or have them sharpened every once in a while. Most robotic mowers can work in any weather because of the water-resistant feature.

So, how do you install a robotic land mower? You can install this by first planning where to place your perimeter wire. This wire needs to be buried about two inches deep so that the mower doesn’t trip on it but can still sense it. This wire will transmit signals to the mower so that the robotic mower will not go beyond the perimeter.

The best thing about owning a robotic mower is that you can set up a good routine for mowing. If you don’t want your lawn maintained daily, you can set it every other day. To be safe, you can turn it on during the night so that there no distractions while your mower is working.

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.

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.