In the spring and summer months we need to water and mow our lawns fairly often. During the hot summer months the summer sun can scorch your lawn and there may also be a lot of foot traffic that compacts the soil. We wanted to give you some tips for fall lawn care because autumn is a great time to do some of your yard maintenance.
One of the first things you can start with is using an aerator. An aerator will remove plugs of soil from your lawn and will allow air, moisture and nutrients to get down to the roots. Some of the other fall lawn care tasks will depend on whether you have cool season or warm season grasses. With cool season grasses you will need to water your lawn. You won’t need to water as often as you do in the spring and summertime but there may be occasional dry spells in the autumn and you’ll need to make sure that your lawn gets enough water.
With cool season grasses it is also important to fertilize. A good rule of thumb is to use 1 pound of nitrogen for every 1000 square feet of lawn. You can apply fertilizer a couple of times during the fall with your last application being done once your lawn goes dormant.
If you have a warm season turf grass you should probably avoid fertilizing in the fall. Another fall lawn care tip for people with warm season grasses is to adjust your lawn mower height for mowing during this time of year.
During the fall you should increase the height of your mower by about 1/2 inch. Adjusting your lawnmower to the proper height may allow you to mow your lawn without the need to rake or bag the lawn clippings. You may have to mow a bit more often but if you only trim off the top inch or so the grass clippings won’t be much of a problem.
Another fall lawn care tip whether you have cool or warm season turf grass is to do a little re-seeding. The fall is a great time to add some seeds to any bare spots in your lawn. If you do add some seed, water gently making sure not to over water. Following these tips for fall lawn care will help your lawn stay healthy and look great all year.
Electric vs Gas Powered Lawn Mowers – Some Facts to Help You Choose the Right One
Electric vs gas powered lawn mowers, which one is best? You will get a lot of different answers depending on who you ask. The fact of the matter is each type has its pros and cons and there is never one solution for any problem that is going to be right for everyone. However, with the technology for electric and even cordless lawnmowers improving you can make an argument that gas powered mowers are not the best option.
The main benefits of a gas powered lawnmower are that they are generally more powerful than electric mowers and that you don’t have to worry about plugging in an extension cord (and possibly mowing right over your extension cord). The main problems with gas powered lawn mowers are that they require a lot of maintenance, mainly adding oil and gas, and that they are loud and create a lot of pollution. A lot of people are willing to put up with these drawbacks so that they don’t have to bother with extension cords. If you are concerned about the environment however the problem with pollution may be worse than you think when it comes to gas powered lawn mowers.
A statistic that might be shocking to you is that a two-stroke engine in a gas powered lawnmower can create as much as three times the amount of pollution created by an automobile. To be fair you probably drive your car for 5 to 10 hours in an average week and you may only use your lawnmower for about 30 min. per week. However, you can clearly see that mowing your lawn on the weekend would be equivalent to driving your car for a couple of hours when it comes to the amount of pollution that it creates. Another frightening statistic about gas lawnmowers is regarding the use and misuse of gasoline. The EPA estimates that approximately 17,000,000 gallons of fuel is spilled each year when people are refueling their lawn equipment. This spilled fuel contaminates the soil, leaches into the groundwater and evaporates into the air. 17,000,000 gallons of fuel is quite a bit and to put it into perspective when the Exxon Valdez disaster happened it spilled an estimated 11,000,000 gallons of fuel.
For anyone that is concerned about the environment an electric lawnmower is the clear winner when talking about electric versus gas powered lawn mowers. If the extension cord is a big issue for you there are battery-operated cordless lawnmowers on the market today that offer a good alternative. The problem with cordless lawnmowers is that the batteries are heavy but a lot of these lawnmowers have powered wheels that assist you when you are pushing the mower around your yard. Electric lawnmowers whether corded or cordless are not only much better for the environment but they operate quietly and they require very little maintenance. You may have to clean some grass away from the blades once in a while but you don’t have to worry about changing spark plugs, changing the oil, topping off the gas tank etc.
When trying to decide between electric vs gas powered lawn mowers there are pros and cons on both sides but it is our opinion that the pros greatly outweigh the cons for electric lawnmowers and a little extra power in the gasoline lawnmowers is not enough to justify all of the problems with maintenance and especially the pollution you get with gas lawnmowers.
Push Or Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers – Which one do you choose?
Walk-behind mowers are either push or self-propelled. If you have a small yard, and enjoy some exercise at the same time, a push mower is a cost-effective model that will cut your grass cleanly. Medium to large lawns should have a self-propelled model. Although you are controlling the mower, it has its own built-in acceleration to take the machine’s weight out of your hands.
Hilly lawns are particularly difficult to cut with a push mower, for example. Because an actively growing lawn needs a weekly trim, traversing hills with a push model becomes a major chore over time. Take advantage of self-propelled models to make mowing easier for everyone in the family.
Types of Fuel Supply
If you choose a large mower model, including walk-behind and ride-on types, you’ll also need to consider fuel. Many models still use gasoline as a main fuel. It provides a strong punch for large mowers, especially when negotiating a hill. Small- to medium-size mowers benefit from an electrical power supply. Without gasoline, they are significantly lighter to push. Choose from a wired model or rechargeable battery design. Wired models allow you to keep going without the threat of running out of power, but you must maneuver the mower to avoid striking the hanging wire.
Other mower enthusiasts rely on human strength as the fuel supply. Old-fashioned push mowers are still perfect for small yards, especially because they are emission-free. Without having to worry about a fuel source, push mowers are still a popular purchase choice.
Contrary to popular belief, grass clippings don’t choke or hurt a lawn’s growth pattern. In fact, clippings actually add critical nutrients back into the ground for increased turf vigor. With this in mind, your new mower’s cutting system needs to be considered. Select an ejection system to spread clippings during each cutting session or choose a collection model that holds the clippings in a bag. Some models even allow you to use collection and ejection on the same model. Alternatively, try a mulching system to cut the clippings up finely for mulching directly on the grass or in the garden.
Speed And Turns
Consider your agility when it comes to speed control on walk-behind mowers. Some models require a squeezing motion on the handlebar to move forward, whereas others simply need your hands on the handlebar. Other designs have pedals or levers, making it critical to try several models before deciding on the best one for you.
The best lawn mower is different for every person and property. Analyze your personal needs, property size and terrain to narrow down your mower search. A perfectly chosen mower will last for many years with proper maintenance.