Cyclone Rake Blog: cutting grass
Showing posts with label cutting grass. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cutting grass. Show all posts

Friday, December 30, 2016

New Year’s Resolutions for Yard Equipment

      It’s the start of a new year, and the middle of winter, meaning lawn care may seem far from your mind. But it’s never too soon to make sure your lawn and garden tools and supplies are ready to go for spring - and resolving to keep your yard tools well-maintained is a New Year’s resolution that may prove possible to keep. Start this year out right, with some time in your garage, storage shed or barn, making sure maintenance is up-to-date for all the tools you’ll need this spring – or finishing routine maintenance that may have slipped by before the holidays.
            Pay special attention to all the engines in your care: lawnmowers, lawn tractors,
trimmers and weedeaters, and other engine-powered machines, such as the Cyclone SuperHauler. Late fall and winter is a good time for replacing spark plugs and changing oil, if you forgot that task after the lawn care season. Use fluids according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, always storing fluids in approved containers and disposing used oil properly. Inspect and clean or replace filters as needed. Be sure mower decks are clean and blades are sharp, ready for the first grass cutting in the spring. If you send your lawn tractor to a mechanic for an annual tune-up, make that appointment now and beat the spring rush.
            Then, take time to inspect and maintain the moving parts on your tools – including tools without an engine. Many machines, from lawnmowers to lawn shears, have moving parts needing only an occasional application of grease or oil. Apply lubricants as needed, being sure to follow the guidelines in owner’s manuals. If you forgot to give a final fall cleaning for lawn equipment in storage, like the Cyclone Rake and other tools, take some time to be sure they are cleaned and stored properly. Inspect all the tires and wheels on your tools for excessive or unusual wear, which may signal a need for replacement or additional maintenance. It’s not too late to apply a coat of linseed oil to condition and preserve wooden tool handles, in case you overlooked that task in the fall.

            Yard care supplies also include things without moving parts, like fertilizer and seed and other soil amendments. Always store fertilizers and seeds in a dry location; keep grass seed left from last year in a cool place, like a basement, where the seed will not freeze. And use these winter months to take stock of your supplies, making a list for supplies needed closer to spring. That will help you meet the aim of your New Year’s resolution for maintaining lawn equipment and supplies: a truly beautiful, healthy lawn and garden.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Summer Lawn Care for a Hot Lawn

Your lawn may feel the heat as summer sets in, but don’t worry: Turf is tough. With some wise care, most lawns will soon rebound to their green glory. Here are some reminders for keeping lawns healthy through July and August.

Know Your Grass

Perennial turfgrasses are either cool-season or warm-season. Cool-season grasses – like fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and ryegrass – grow more vigorously in cooler months. Warm-season grasses – like bermudagrass and zoysiagrass – grow most during hotter months.

Knowing what kind of grass or grasses are in your lawn will help you know how to deal with the summer heat. Tall fescue lawns tend to be more heat tolerant than Kentucky bluegrass and red fescue, which take the heat better than perennial ryegrass.

So, if you don’t know already, find out what grasses are in your lawn. Knowing what you have growing will help you properly mow and water, if needed, this summer. Your local garden center or university extension office can help with plant identification. The Center for Turfgrass Management, at Penn State University, provides video descriptions of many major turfgrass species at its website:

Water Wise

One-inch to 1.5 inches of rain per week will sustain most turfgrasses in most zones. Heat and humidity can also affect the amount of water needed. So if it doesn’t rain, should you water the yard? For lawns recently seeded, the answer is probably yes; newer seedings are still developing root systems that will get the grass through future summers. Most guidelines advise watering deeply (1 to 1.5 inches) twice weekly.

If you water: Water in the morning to avoid a wet lawn overnight, which can promote disease. And early morning watering helps water soak into the sod before the day heats up.

Bear the Brown?

Watering may not be necessary, even during mild droughts; cool-season grasses will go dormant during periods of excess heat. Leaves will brown but the roots are likely still healthy, and the grass will usually green with fall rains and moderating temperatures. Tall fescue is known for being drought tolerant in this way; many Kentucky bluegrass varieties may brown during summer droughts of up to one month, then recover when rains begin.

That’s right – instead of watering the yard to keep it green all summer, consider letting nature run its course. Natural browning can even help control some yard pests, like grubs, in some areas.

Cut It High

And finally: Raise that mower deck. No matter how much the heat, the rule of thumb for turf health is to cut off no more than one-third the height of the grass. Ideal cutting heights vary according to variety, but many turfgrassses are healthiest when cut two to four inches.

Cutting a typical tall fescue yard higher during summer heat, say 3 to 3.5 inches, might even reduce the amount of summer mowing needed. Just be ready to return to more regular mowing when rains and cooler temperatures come, because proper summer care will help your yard return to all its green glory this fall.