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5 Handy Tips to Keep Your Lawn Mower Safe During the Winter Months

MowerWith winter fast approaching, it is time to put your summer supplies away, clean and cover the power tools, and sweep up your workspace and garage in preparation for the upcoming cold months. However, one of the tools in your yard upkeep arsenal is going to need a little more work to be ready for winter and that tool is your lawn mower.

Here are 5 tips on how to keep your lawn mower safe, clean, and functional during the cold winter months:

1.     Drain

When prepping your lawn mower for the long, cold winter months you must first drain the fuel. The tank needs to be completely dry. Drain or siphon the gas from the tank then start the mower to empty it of any of the remaining gas. You should also disconnect and drain the fuel lines.

2.     Fuel

If you have a nearly full tank of gas in your lawn mower and you don’t want to drain it there is another way to go. The main “don’t” is never to store your lawn mower with a partially full fuel tank, either run it out of fuel or add a stabilizer to a full tank. Add stabilizer (fuel preserver) to your full tank then run the mower for a few minutes so that the stabilizer circulates throughout the entire tank.

3.     Clean

Make sure you give your lawn mower a good cleaning before winter strikes. You can do this by removing and sharpening the blade. You can also oil the blade before reinstalling it. Using a wire brush you can turn your lawn mower over to clean the underside of the deck. Always remember to remove the spark plug lead wire from the plug before you go about doing any maintenance like hosing off leaves, grass, mud, and other debris.

4.     Inspect and Change

As you are cleaning your lawn mower you should be inspecting all the pieces and making note of the things you need to change out or replace. Clean or replace the air filter and change the mower’s oil.

5.     Store

Store your mower as far away from other chemicals, fertilizers, and cleaners as possible. Make sure your mower is stored in a dry place away from water heaters, furnaces, and pilot lights.

Plan Ahead For Winter with These 5 Lawn Saving Tips

With the winter months practically upon us, it’s good to remind ourselves that our lawns still need some attention during the colder weather. By preparing your lawn for winter, you’re also preparing it to thrive again in the spring.

Generally speaking, the warm-season grasses we use here in Georgia require less winter maintenance than our cool-season neighbors up north—but the cooler weather still presents us with an opportunity to prepare for winter.

Keep Mowing Until Your Grass Stops Growing

The cooler weather means your warm-season grass will go dormant, and you can eventually stop mowing it. But until it stops growing, keep mowing.

Rake Leaves or Shred Them for MulchSummer

If you allow leaves to remain on your grass more than a few days, they can turn into a wet mat that blocks out sunlight and air, promoting fungal growth.

You can put those leaves to work for you, as well, by turning them into mulch. Shred them using a mulching mower and leave them on your lawn—the extra organic matter will help feed your grass come spring.

Remove Thatch

Thatch is different from mulch—it’s the un-decayed matter (twigs, stems, leaves, etc.) that accumulates between the soil and the tips of the grass. It can keep air, water, and nutrients from reaching your grass’s roots.

A good stiff rake or thatching rake will be effective at removing thatch.

Fertilize

A little extra fertilization can help make sure your lawn doesn’t go brown in the winter. Fall fertilizers high in nitrogen and potassium can give your warm-season grass the boost it needs to stay green through the cold.

For advice on the types of organic fertilizers that would be effective on your specific species of grass, consult a lawn care professional.

Fight Weeds

Fall is the perfect time to fight weeds, because they will be absorbing as much energy as possible to prepare for winter. You can use this to your advantage by introducing a “weed eliminator” into the mix, which the weeds will immediately drink up.

Get a Free Lawn Analysis

Effective lawn care is a year-long endeavor—get your free lawn analysis from WeedPro today!

Tackling Your Lawn’s Dry Patches

There is something pristine about a fresh green lawn, but just one spot of dryness or a yellow patch can ruin the curb appeal. Your lawn is the first thing visitors and neighbors will see as they arrive at your home, and that means it is an important aspect to making a good impression.

A green lawn gives the impression that you make your yard a priority; it also creates a friendly and inviting atmosphere. Cultivating a perfectly green yard, free of dry patches will ensure that your lawn is important to the maintenance of your home.

Understanding the causes of dry patches can help you make the best decisions as you strive to maintain your lawn, and treat any dry patches that may appear.

Causes of and Solutions for Dry Patches

There are a few main causes of dry patches, some of the most prevalent that you should consider are:

Infestation:

An insect infestation can lead to dry patches; these patches will start small, and begin to grow quickly over time. These patches need to be taken care of as soon as possible before they have a chance to grow too large. The best method to take care of infestation is to remove the dry grass, water, fertilize, and seed.

Seasonal Dryness:

This occurs both in the winter and summer months as intense weather hits it. Seasonal dryness is best served with fertilization in the spring, higher grass cutting, and sufficient watering.

Wastegoose_2:

If your pet is frequently depositing waste in your yard, this can lead to dry and yellowed patches. To combat these patches, you should take care of waste promptly, and water regularly.

Keeping your grass green despite these challenges may seem difficult, but with these tips a green, dry patch free lawn is well within your grasp.

Make your lawn a priority today, and begin taking care of any dry patches that may appear throughout the year. If you have any questions or concerns as you care for your lawn, contact the experts at WeedPro today!

Will Snow Damage my Lawn and Garden?

Before winter comes, every homeowner wants to protect their lawn and garden from freezing. Here are a few tips to ensure that your grass and plants will stay aswinter yard care healthy as possible.

How to Protect your Lawn

Snow may be covering your lawn, but that doesn’t mean it’s damaging it. What really damages your lawn is the salt that comes into contact with it when you try to
melt the snow. Instead of salt, using sand or clay-based kitty litter on your driveway will prevent any salt run-off into your grass.

In addition, the grass in your lawn is more easily damaged when there is heavy foot traffic. Stay off the grass and the snow will stay light and melt much faster. At the first sign of a thaw, scatter grass seed on the soil surface. Even if more snow falls, the seed will be firmly in place by the time spring comes around.

Snow in Gardens

For the most part, snow does not do any severe damage to your garden in the winter. It can actually provide much needed insulation to dry plants. However, heavier snowfall and ice will cause damage if not treated with proper care.

In order to avoid getting snow on particular plants, you can cover them with netting. If you can, use the netting to tie plants into the shape of a cone, that way any snow will fall off of it. If you choose not to cover your plants, snowfall can gently be removed by using a broom to sweep upwards on the plant.

Whatever you do, do not use a snowplow around plants, as it will damage them. Attempting to remove any ice is also a mistake, as branches with ice on them will most likely break off.

In terms of rehabilitating plants after winter, it is advised to water any evergreen plants you have during the first thaw, as the cold will have frozen their roots. This causes dehydration, and without water these plants will die.

When there’s heavy snowfall, it can be difficult to maintain your lawn and garden but you can be fully prepared for spring if you follow these tips. Visit the website here to see what services we can offer you.

Preparing Your Lawn for a Cold Winter

alp-fursch-switzerland-1-1428086-mNow that school has started and fall weather has begun, winter is just around the corner. And that means it is time to prepare your lawn for the cold weather that is on its way.

Many people believe that preparing their lawn is as simple as giving it one last mow and letting winter begin, but there are many more things you can do to keep your lawn in great condition for next spring. Here are a few of the most important elements of lawn maintenance this spring!

Reseed

The summer heat is hard on your lawn, so before entering the next extreme, it is important to repair the damage and reseed. If it is getting close to the cold season in your area, you should choose a seed with a fast germination period so your seeds will begin to sprout before winter hits.

Plant Trees

When you plant trees in the fall, you give them a longer season to establish roots. One of the main difficulties that faces trees throughout the year is the heat of the summer, so fall planting gives your trees a chance to grow stronger before summer.

Start Your Spring Bulbs

Although spring isn’t for several months now, this is the time to begin preparing your beautiful lawn for next year. By selecting the bulbs you want to light up your lawn now, you will be able to ensure a beautiful and colorful spring!

Mulch around Trees and Flower Beds

Make sure to mulch your plants of all kinds before the winter begins. This will help your plants to be as successful and lush as possible come spring.

Getting your lawn ready for spring is an important part of fall preparation, so don’t forget to get started today!

Avoid These Practices to Maintain a Healthy Lawn

The lawn is one of the most abused elements of every yard, and for the most part, it can handle the abuse. But there are a few things that a lawn can simply not take. Understanding how to avoid hurting your lawn can help you make better choices along the way.

Here are a few common activities you should avoid if you want to keep your lawn in top form each year.

Cutting Too Short

When you cut your lawn to short it damages the roots of the blades of grass, this makes your lawn more difficult to maintain and less green throughout the year. You should always aim to leave at least two thirds of the blade in tact so your grass can be as healthy as possible.

grass

Bagging Grass Cuttings

One of the best things you can do for your lawn is mulch, and when you bag your clippings and throw them away, you are missing out on a great opportunity to feed your lawn.

Instead of bagging your clippings, consider leaving them on the lawn to provide nutrients and discourage weed growth.

Cutting While the Grass is Wet

Most things are heavier when they are wet, and grass is no exception. When your lawn is wet it causes the heavier leaves to bend downward which makes for a messier cut.

Although it is best to avoid cutting wet grass whenever possible, sometimes it is necessary. If it rains frequently in your area, you should still cut the grass regularly, but try to aim for drier days.

Keeping your lawn in good order is an important part of maintaining your home and yard so don’t let it fall by the wayside. Check out the WeedPro website for more information.

The Optimal Length to Cut Your Grass

Man at WorkMowing doesn’t just make your lawn look good—it helps it thrive. Just as other garden plants need to be pruned, grass needs to be mowed regularly to help it grow thick and full.

A thick, healthy lawn will be more resistant to drought and weed infestation. Cutting it at an ideal length is important. Grass that is too short will have shallower roots and can easily dry out. Grass that is too long will be shaggy, unseemly, and difficult to mow, in addition to harboring more insects.

Longer Grass Means Deeper Roots

When you keep your lawn at an ideal length, the roots will grow deeper and gather more water. The grass will be thicker, blocking out sunlight that weeds need to take root.

The optimal length you should keep your grass at depends on several factors, including grass type and the season. In general, you should keep your grass on the long side of the recommendations for your grass type. For example, Kentucky Bluegrass is recommended to be .75 inches to 3.5 inches in length—you should try to keep it around 3.5 inches long.

Mower Height

It’s important to measure the height of your mower as the distance between the ground and the blade. Keeping the blades sharp also helps to mow accurately and foster healthy growth.

When and How Often to Mow Your Lawn

If you have a cool-season grass, then peak growing seasons will typically be in the spring and fall. Warm-weather grass grows fastest in the summer.

During the growing season, you should mow your lawn about once every 5 to 7 days. All other times of the year you can mow less frequently and perhaps not at all.

Never cut off more than one third or your lawn at a time. If you’ve let your lawn grow taller than usual, adjust the height of your mower so you don’t cut too much. Then gradually lower the height until you’re back to the recommended length.

For more helpful lawn care tips, such as ideal water practices, check back with our blog frequently.

How Trees Benefit Your Lawn

Tree in the SunDecorating your lawn usually consists of grass, bushes, and flowers. They’re small, simple to plant, and give you almost instant gratification. However, trees can benefit your lawn much more in the long run. Here are a few reasons why you should plant a tree in your lawn.

Home Protection

In the bitter cold of winter and scorching heat of summer, your home needs protection – and not just from blasting the air conditioner or heater. Planting trees around your home can protect it from strong weather. In the summer, you can rely on the shade trees provide for cooler temperatures, and in the winter, trees will prevent cold winds from penetrating your home. Studies have shown that having trees block these severe temperatures can lower your bills by almost 12 percent.

Environmental Benefits

Trees are seen as sustainable gardening because they benefit the environment by filtering air and water. One tree can convert 330 pounds of carbon dioxide to oxygen – enough oxygen for four people. They can also remove pollution. The USDA found that trees in New York City removed more than 1,800 metric tons of pollution from the air.

Mental Benefits

Did you know that having trees around can help you on a psychological level as well? They have been known to reduce stress, especially for big city residents, who say they are much calmer and happier around trees. Even having just one tree can help relax your mind – but imagine how relaxed you could be with two trees and a hammock hung between them!

Once you’ve planted your trees, protect them and the rest of your lawn with the specialized services Weed-Pro has to offer. Visit their website to find out more about bug control, lawn care, root feeding, and more.

Keeping Your Lawn Green: Ideal Watering Practices

Having a green lawn can make a great first impression on new neighbors, and enhances curb appeal for family parties and prospective buyers, but keeping your lawn in good shape can be a difficult task.

One of the most important aspects of proper lawn care is simply knowing when to water your lawn.  This post will help you understand the best times to water your grass so you can keep your yard green and healthy every day!

How often to Water

The first part of the process is to understand how often you should be watering your grass.  Although it may be tempting to water for a short amount of time every day, it is a better idea to simply water your lawn deeply two or three times a week.

This will ensure that the roots get the water they need, instead of superficially watering the surface daily.

When to Water

Next, you need to know when watering is most effective.  Early in the morning is generally the best bet because the hot sun won’t be around to suck up all of the moisture. You will also be giving your lawn enough time to dry throughout the day.

A wet lawn all night long can lead to difficulties with mold and fungus which grows easily in a wet dark environment.  Watering in the evening leads to much more fungus, and watering in the middle of the day is ineffective because it doesn’t give the water the opportunity to penetrate the soil.

Knowing how and when to water your lawn is an important part of lawn care, and the experts at Weedpro are here to help you succeed.  Call us today to get your lawn in top form!

Earthworms: Your Natural Gardening Assistants

In the world of gardening, there are a variety of environmental factors you need to be aware of; many of them are to your advantage, while others can make your harvests more difficult.  Insects and other invertebrates can be extremely detrimental to your plants, but the earthworm is an important part of every successful garden.

Earthworms play a major role in successful gardening. Here are a few of the main advantages earthworm rich soil has for your home garden, as well as a few tips on how to keep these invertebrate gardeners around.

Soil Structure

One of the biggest benefits provided by the earth worm is that it alters the actual structure of the soil it occupies.  As earthworms burrow, they create stable paths that can hold up when you water and actually help your plants to get hydrated.

These pathways also create a better means of drainage so the root systems in your garden aren’t over watered in a heavy rainstorm, or when you forget to shut off your hose.  This simple, and effortless (for you), method of draining can keep your plants in good shape all season long.

Nutrients

But beyond the structure of the soil, earthworms also help to introduce many essential nutrients into your soil.  As these worms feed on various debris, leaves, grass, and soil, they introduce nutrient dense materials back into the ground.Maintaining your Lawn and Garden

This means that the refuse your earthworms produce is actually more concentrated in nutrients than the soil is on its own.  As your plants’ roots are exposed to nutrient rich soil, the entire plant is able to grow more effectively.  Effective root systems lead to good hydration and ultimately better fruit production.

The combination of improved soil structure and increased nutrition leads to productive plants and more successful gardens.

Inviting Earthworms in

Although earthworms are naturally drawn to certain conditions, there are some things you can do to encourage worms to cultivate your soil.  Here are a few of the best methods to invite earthworms into your garden and encourage them to stay:

  1. Make Your Soil Enticing.  Earthworms have some pretty developed tastes.  They thrive on leaf litter, mulch, and even kitchen scraps.  So, if you want your worms to hang around, it is important to give them what they need.  It may be tempting to clean up the fallen leaves in your garden, but give it some time, and the worms will do it for you.
  2. Go Organic.  The organic boom has merit, keeping your soil organic will actually encourage earthworms to hang around.  These worms prefer nitrogen rich soil, but synthetic nitrogen found in non-organic soils can frighten your worms away.
  3. Avoid Digging.  When you plant your garden at the beginning of the season, digging is important.  But from then on, you should try to avoid digging whenever possible to keep your earthworms safe and motivated.

Your garden should flourish this season, and earthworms are here to help! Follow these quick tips to keep your worms satisfied and your garden blooming.

Photo Credit: Hans