5 landscaping and yard-care secretsAfter a long Northland winter that wouldn’t seem to end, homeowners have gotten a reminder of how quickly the seasons change. Winter hardly seemed over when the grass started greening and shoveling was replaced with lawn mowing.
By: Forum News Service report, Forum News Service
After a long Northland winter that wouldn’t seem to end, homeowners have gotten a reminder of how quickly the seasons change. Winter hardly seemed over when the grass started greening and shoveling was replaced with lawn mowing. As you prepare to keep your lawn in top shape this summer, RepairClinic.com, a how-to website for appliance and power tool maintenance, offers these five secrets to improving yard curb appeal, reducing energy consumption and avoiding costly equipment repairs without spending a lot of money.
Give outdoor power equipment a little TLC
“Lawn mowers, small engines and handheld outdoor power equipment like string trimmers, edgers and pole pruners should be tuned up every season,” said Jeff Linderman, RepairClinic.com’s in-house
“This will improve efficiency, reduce emissions,
prevent costly repairs and extend the life of the
equipment. A tune-up kit packed with essentials specifically recommended for each model makes this easy.”
It is important to replace spark plugs once per season, even if they appear to function properly. Over time, a spark plug’s performance will degrade due to carbon buildup and a weakened electrode. This dramatically increases emissions, reduces engine performance and requires the engine to use more fuel.
Blades should be replaced annually to every two years, depending on its usage.
Sharp blades, free of dents, are a must for good performance and safety purposes. Dull mower blades tear, rather than cut, which results in a yellow hue over lawns. The cutting blades located under the deck should be checked regularly for damage, bends and dullness. A damaged blade is dangerous and can lead to debris being propelled through the air. Replacement blades are inexpensive and easy to install.
Lawn mower owners should purchase blades recommended by the mower manufacturer. Universal blades are not recommended, due to safety issues. For string trimmers, professional landscapers often replace manufacturer-provided, rounded-profile string with string that has a star, cross or square-shaped profile.
“This will enable you to move through an area significantly faster,” said Chris Hall, RepairClinic’s president and co-founder. “It also provides a cleaner cut, which means a healthier lawn without browned grass tips, often caused by rounded string.”
Water your lawn only once weekly
Contrary to common belief, in most parts of North America, it is unwise to water a lawn every day.
“Frequent watering for short periods will cause your lawn’s root system to remain close to the surface and therefore more susceptible to disease,” Linderman said. “In most of the U.S. and Canada, you should water your grass weekly but keep the water flowing for a lengthy period to allow for deeper saturation. This will result in deeper root growth and a healthier, more drought resistant lawn.”
Embrace the power of handheld equipment like string trimmers and edgers
“String trimmers, pole pruners and edgers can go a long way in giving landscaping a professional look,” Linderman said. “Make it a normal part of your yard care routine to trim away excess growth in your yard. It’s amazing what a difference extra grooming can make in the overall appearance
of a yard.”
Use a pressure washer
Pressure washers can dramatically brighten up a home’s exterior, porches and yard furniture by
removing color-dulling layers of dirt and dust.
Take safety seriously
“Outdoor power equipment can be far more dangerous than most people realize,” Linderman said. “Always use safety glasses, ear protection and proper footwear while operating the equipment. Keep children and pets inside. Debris such as stones, plastic edging, wood chips, and pieces of aged blades can be propelled at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Being hit with these objects at such a speed can cause a fatal injury.”