Cyclone Rake Blog: lawn care
Showing posts with label lawn care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lawn care. 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.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Honor Our Veterans With Fall Cleanup

            

        Fall yard cleanup is a way of bringing beauty and order to the yard or landscape. This Veterans Day, you might consider yard cleanup as a nod of appreciation to those who have served a country with a truly beautiful landscape.
            Veterans Day comes at the when many trees have lost their leaves – but homeowners may not yet have finished cleaning them up. It’s also the time of year when fall rainstorms – and snow storms, in some states – bring gusty winds that scatter leaves everywhere. With Veterans Day falling on Friday this year, some people will take the long weekend to finish some fall cleanup chores. While you’re outside, don’t forget to ponder veterans you have known and what they have meant to you, your family, and your country. And, if you happen upon a veteran while running errands or being about town this Veterans Day, consider making a special effort to simply tell them, “Thank you,” for their service.
            Good neighbors often lend a hand to help each other with fall cleanup, and this can especially be helpful for elderly neighbors as winter approaches. Simple expressions of kindness can help build community, and the ability of citizens to build healthy communities is a benefit of living under freedom. Over Veterans Day, consider helping a neighbor with his or her yard chores – particularly if your neighbor’s knees and back are not so young, and especially if he or she just happens to also be a veteran.
If your neighbor is agreeable, you might even use your Cyclone Rake leaf vacuum  to help clean up some of the heavier piles. You would not be the first to lend your time and equipment to helping to making your neighbor’s yard cleanup a bit easier.

            Many of our families also have older vets who served during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. If you have kids, consider teaching them what it means to serve by finishing up some outdoor (or indoor) fall cleanup tasks for those older veterans in your family. That can later be a teachable moment to the next generation about the value of service and remembering to be grateful for veterans who have served.

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: http://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/extension/plant-id/grasses


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.