Getting Your Lawn Mower Ready For Winter Storage

One thing that I have really learned from reading people’s comments in the comment sections of many lawn mower reviews is that there continues to be some people who don’t practice proper winter storage for their mowers. They don’t seem to realize that properly storing a mower for the winter season can mean the difference between a running mower in the spring and a mower that is heading to the repair shop. Proper winter maintenance is one of the most important things you can do to keep your mower running properly. So without further ado, let’s take a few moments to learn what “proper winter maintenance really means.

Remove the battery

One of the first things you’ll want to do before your store your mower for the winter is to remove the battery if your mower has one. That’s not only because a connected battery loses its charge faster than an unconnected one, but also so that it doesn’t corrode the battery cables.

After you remove the battery make sure you store it in a cool dry place that is away from gasoline, your water heater or your furnace. Remove the negative cable from the battery first and then remove the positive cable. After you’ve done that you should then wipe the battery off with a clean cloth. Also be sure that you clean the battery terminals off with a wire brush and apply a good coating of petroleum jelly to the terminals to keep them from corroding. Now the battery can be safely put away.

Use A Fuel Stabilizer

You don’t want to leave untreated fuel in your lawn mower. If you do, it can create a varnish like substance that can clog your carburetor. That is why it is important to either use a fuel stabilizer or completely remove old fuel from your mower before you put it away for winter.

If you opt to use a fuel stabilizer, then be sure that you use it correctly. You should follow all directions on the label and all of your mower manufacturer’s guidelines.

Clean Debris Off Of Mower

Make sure you remove all mud, grass and leaves from your mower’s undercarriage. Before removing all of this debris, then be sure to disconnect your spark plug to avoid any potential accidents.

Find A Home For Your Mower

Now you can find a place to store your lawn mower. Be sure to place it in a location that is dry and will protect it from the weather. Someplace like your basement, shed or garage.

And that concludes the best lawn mower practices for proper winter maintenance. Follow these simple steps and you can count on your mower working for you for many seasons to come. Proper winter maintenance will go a long way in keeping your mower running properly.

Top Dressing Your Lawn

Top dressing your grass in the fall is one of the most important things you can do for your lawn. Yet it is the one piece of advice that is often left out of most lawn care guides. You can have the best mower in the world, but it isn’t going to do you any good if you don’t properly prepare your lawn. That is why I am writing this guide today. To show you not only the importance of top dressing, but also to show you how to do it properly.

Why Top Dress?

Your soil is full of millions of microorganisms that contribute to the health of your lawn. These organisms not only break nutrients down for your grass so it can easily consume it, but it also fends off harmful fungi that can attack the roots of your grass. Adding a good top dressing to your lawn promotes a healthy colony of these organisms and in turn, helps promote a healthier lawn. The other benefits of top dressing includes improving soil structure, reducing traffic stress, adding nutrients to the soil, improving water retention, reducing thatch and the reducing soil compaction. As you can see, these benefits make it an important part of any lawn care regimen.

Making A Top Dressing

Here are a few things you’ll need to make your own top dressing:
Coarse Sand (Don’t use sea sand because it contains a high lime content)
Loam Or A Good Commercial Top Soil
Peat Or Compost

Mix these ingredients together. If you have an average loamy soil, then mix these three ingredients in equal parts. If you soil is sandy, then leave out the sand and only mix the other two ingredients in equal parts. If your soil has a lot of clay or loam in it, then just mix together the sand and the peat or compost in equal parts.

Applying The Top Dressing

Start off by working only a couple of square feet at a time. Over this area, shovel about 3 shovel fulls of top dressing over the lawn. Use a rack to work it down into the grass until the grass blades peek through. Also make sure that it is evenly spread out. You never want more than an inch of top dressing around your grass. Continue until you have applied the top dressing to the entire lawn.

Now all that is required is to get the top dressing to settle. You can do that by watering your lawn and then leaving it alone for a day or two. After this waiting period, you can then use your rake to smooth everything out.

That is all there is to it. Properly top dressing your soil and using a high quality lawn mower (one that you have carefully selected from looking at lawn mower reviews) will ensure that your lawn is the best it can be. A little hard work goes a long way, as you will quickly see once you start investing a little bit of your time into your lawn.

Caring For Your Lawn During The Fall And Winter Months

If you haven’t read my article on taking care of your lawn during the spring and summer months, then I urge you to do that before reading this article. Today, we are going to be talking about the taking care of your grass during the fall and winter months. These are not only the best lawn mower tips for the care of your lawn during these months, but are the best tips for the overall general care of your lawn.

Fall

The fall season is an important time of the year for lawn care. Proper care during this season will not only help the grass recover from a busy spring and summer season, but will also ensure that it is strong enough to survive the low temperatures of winter.

Fertilizer: Most people neglect to feed their lawn during the fall season, but it is one of the most important feedings of the year for your lawn. It is done much in the same way as the spring feeding but there is one main difference. Instead of using a fertilizer high in nitrogen, you should use one that is high in potassium. That is because the lawn is preparing to become dormant and therefore doesn’t need any extra nitrogen. What it does need though is potassium; a nutrient that will help it build stronger roots for the upcoming winter.

Top Dressing: You should apply a good top dressing to your lawn. Following this step will promote the microbial activity in your soil, which in turn will result in healthier grass. You can either use a commercial top dressing from your local garden center, or you can make your own by mixing sand, compost and loam. For proper top dressing procedures and considerations, please see my article on top dressing your lawn.

Mowing: Hopefully, you have already checked out lawn mower reviews and bought a mower that has a height adjustment. That’s because you are going to want to cut your grass one last time and you want to use the highest setting possible on your mower. This last cut should be done as late as possible in the fall.

Raking: Make sure that you rack up all of your leaves and cut them up for compost. These composted leaves can then be used as the basis for next year’s fall top dressing.

Aerating: Make sure that you do a deep aeration of your lawn. You can do this by spiking down approximately 4 inches into your soil. This will allow air to get to the roots.

Winter

There isn’t a whole lot of things to do with your lawn at this time of the year, but there are a couple of things you need to consider, especially if you want to prepare the lawn for turf laying in the spring.

Pick Up Excess Leaves: Any leaves that have fallen since your fall raking need to be immediately picked up because you don’t want them blocking out what little sunlight there is and killing the grass. You can either remove them with a rake or use your mower if it has a bagging option.

Preparing For Turf: If the weather isn’t too cold, then you can dig up the areas of your lawn where you intend to lay turf in the spring.

That concludes my article on taking care of your lawn during the fall and winter seasons. Following these tips will help keep your lawn in better condition and make your next season of mowing that much easier.

Caring For Your Lawn During The Spring And Summer Seasons

Some of the best lawn mower tips I have ever received were from lawn experts who taught me not only how to properly use my lawn mower, but also how to work it into an integrated strategy to keep my lawn looking healthy all year round. What they taught me was that my mower was only one tool in my arsenal and that I needed to do more than just mow properly to take proper care of my grass.

The tips that I received from these lawn experts literally changed my life. Once I started implementing their suggestions into my lawn care regimen, I realized that not only did my lawn look better but that my mowing was a whole lot easier to accomplish. Today, I am going to be sharing with you these same tips that were shared with me. In this first part, I am going to be sharing with you my tips for spring and summer lawn care. I hope these tips will make your yard work all that much simpler to do and results in your grass looking the best it can look.

Spring

Spring is the time of the year when you start getting your lawn ready for the growing season. Following these steps will result in a more resilient and better looking lawn.

Fertilize: You should purchase a good fertilizer with plenty of nitrogen in it to encourage a strong grass growth. There are many packages out there that work great, as long as you follow the directions on the package.

Water: If the last few months of spring was dry, then you might need to help your lawn out by watering it. On the other hand, if you have had an extremely wet spring, then don’t give your grass any extra water to prevent drowning it.

Mowing: Check lawn mower reviews and purchase the best mower possible. After you’ve done that, then cut the grass on a regular basis. Make sure that when you mow the lawn the first couple of times that you have your mower on the highest setting possible. After these first few cuts, then you can cut according to your recommended grass height.

Remove Thatch: Remove any dead grass (called thatch) from your lawn. You can use either a rake or a device called a scarifier. The choice is up to you.

Aerate: Make sure that you aerate your lawn. This can be done with a lawn fork or a lawn spike. Aerating your lawn will allow air to get to the grass roots and will result in a healthier grow.

Summer

Summer is the time of the year when your lawn is usually the most stressed due to lack of water and heat. You can help your grass endure this tough time of the year by following these steps:

Fertilizer: If necessary, you can give your lawn one more dose of fertilizer during the summer. But only if rainfall is predicted. Fertilizer during dry or hot weather can scorch the lawn so be careful.

Water – Water as necessary

Mowing: Cut the grass 1-2 times a week max. If the weather is extremely dry or hot, then try to cut the grass as little as possible to prevent stressing it even more.

Weeding: Make sure that you weed the lawn on a regular basis. Do this by removing the entire weed, roots and all, from the ground. If the weeds are small or widespread, then you might have to use an herbicide to get rid of them.

This concludes my guide on lawn care for the spring and summer months. You can continue on to my guide on the fall and winter months for tips on maintaining your lawn for these seasons.

Mowing Tips For A Healthier And Happier Lawn – Part One

I consider myself somewhat of a lawn mower expert. After all, I have spent over 20 years looking over lawn mower reviews and acquainting myself with the inner working of this type of machine. I have also spent a considerable amount of time using the machines on my own lawn. That is why I think that I am uniquely qualified to give you some advice on how to properly cut your lawn.

When you are cutting your lawn, you have to realize that what you are really doing is pruning it. Proper mower should increase the density of the lawn by decreasing the amount of weeds. Every time that you run your mower over your beautiful grass, you should not only be cutting the length of it but you should also be improving its texture and quality.

However, if you don’t properly cut your lawn, then you are going to end up doing more harm to it than good. That is why you should seriously consider the following tips. They will help you get the most out of your lawn and are the best lawnmower tips you’ll find anywhere.

Tip #1: Cut According to Grass Type

The first thing you need to do is figure out what type of grass you have and find out the recommended cutting height. Once you have determined the proper cutting height of your lawn, you can then move on to tip #2.

Tip #2: The One-Third Rule

No matter what type of lawn you have however, you should never cut more than 1/3 of it at one time. If you do, then you risk doing serious injury to it. You can cause injury to the crown, destroy the surface area of the blade leaves which can reduce the efficiency of photosynthesis, make the grass more vulnerable to certain pests and diseases, and increase sunlight to weed seeds which in turn can cause more weeds to germinate.

Tip #3: Cut Grass While It’s Dry

Another thing to remember is to always cut the grass while it is dry. If you attempt to cut it while it’s wet, then you can cause damage to the grass blades.

Tip #4: Don’t Cut Grass While It’s Hot Outside

If the weather is extremely hot, then it’s probably not a good idea to cut it. If you do, then you risk not only overheating yourself but also overheating your grass as well. The ideal time to cut your grass is in the evening when the sun is beginning to set.

Tip #5: Keep Mower Blades Sharp

You should always keep your mower blades as sharp as possible. Sharp mower blades not only cut more efficiently, but they also are better for the health of your lawn. That’s because dull mower blades don’t really cut, they pinch off the tips of the grass. This can have disrupt photosynthesis in the grass and prevent the nutrients from being properly absorbed by the grass.

If you follow these five tips, then you will not only have a better looking lawn but you’ll also have one that is healthier and happy.

Summer Lawn Care

Lawn mower reviews can tell you a lot about your mower, but they don’t tell you how to properly use it. That is why I am writing this article on summer lawn care today. This guide is intended to tell you how to keep your lawn looking good throughout the hot and dry summer months. A time of the year that is the hardest on your grass than any other time of the year.

Below are some tips that will not only keep your grass alive and healthy but will make your lawn a field of dreams. Follow these tips and your neighbors are sure to be green with envy at your beautiful and well groomed yard.

Plan Your Mowing

You should always make sure that you plan out your mowing before hand so that you don’t have to constantly switch from your mower to your other yard tools. For example, you might want to do all of the mowing first and then switch to your trimmer to finish up the border of the yard.

Make A Wide Border

Start with mowing a collar around your yard. The first thing you should do is cut the outside edges of your yard so that you can keep things all nice and neat.

Don’t Cut The Grass Too Short

Cutting the grass too short can strain the root system of your grass and result in ugly brown patches and ruts. Cutting the grass too short can also help weed seeds get more sunlight and sprout. Therefore, you should always cut the grass to the recommended height as determined by your grass type.

Take Your Time

You should never rush mowing your yard. This is true whether the grass is wet or dry. Trying to hurry up and cut the grass can result in an uneven cut and can also result in clumps of poorly mulched trimmings.

Keep Focused

Most people look down at their mower as they are mowing, which is a mistake. To keep an even cut, you should look about 10 feet in front of your mower instead of staring straight down. It will help you keep your mowing lines straight.

Try Mulching

I know a lot of people bag their trimmings, but I think a better solution is to mulch the trimmings. Mulching feeds nutrients back into the grass and results in a much better looking lawn.

Alternate Your Mowing

Changing your mowing pattern each week will help your grass grow stronger and straighter. One week, mow horizontally across your yard and the next week, mow vertically across your yard,.

These are the best lawn mower tips I can give you for maintaining a beautiful lawn all summer long. Follow these seven steps and your lawn will be lush, green and strong, even through the hottest summer months.

Mowing Tips For A Healthier And Happier Lawn – Part Two

In the first part of my series on mowing tips for a happier and healthier lawn, I went over some basics that you should follow to keep your lawn in good shape. Now I am going to build on that by not only giving you a few more tips on lawn cutting but also some tips that will help you maintain your mower at the same time. The following tips answer many of the questions people post on the comment sections of various lawn mower reviews.

Tip #6:  Taking Care Of Your Mower

I noticed that one thing that I failed to mention in part one, is how to set up for mowing in the first place. Proper setup will not only result in a better mowing experience for you and your lawn, but it will also prevent damage to your lawn mower.

  1. Always be sure to follow manufacturer’s directions and thoroughly read the instruction manual.
  2. Make sure that all debris is cleaned up before you start mowing.
  3. Always keep children and pets from the mowing area.
  4. Wear appropriate clothing and always protect your eyes with safety glasses.
  5. If you are using a riding lawn mower, then do not carry passengers.
  6. Never refill the gas tank on the mower while it is still hot.
  7. Do not alter the mower in any way. This includes removing chutes or safety flaps.
  8. Always practice pre-season and post-season mower maintenance.

Tip #7: Change Mowing Pattern

You should regularly change your mowing pattern. There are a couple of reasons for this. One, it will prevent the grass from adapting to your cut and growing in a slanted manner. Two, it will give your grass a more compact growth pattern and keep ruts from developing.

Tip #8: Learn to Adapt To Your Grass

If you want to avoid cutting your grass more than necessary, then adjust cutting height according to your grass’s growing cycle. When the weather is dry and hot your grass grows slower so raise the cutting height. On the other hand, when the weather is cool and wet your grass grows faster, so be sure to lower your cutting height to accommodate this increase in growth.

Tip #9: Instead of Bagging Consider Composting

If you are bagging your clippings, then you might want to either switch to a composting mower or composing your bagged clippings. This will allow you to feed your grass with your clippings. This will result in a nicer and healthier lawn.

These are the best lawn mower practices you can follow. If you follow these tips faithfully, you will not only have a healthier lawn, but you will also have a better looking lawn.

Maintenance Tips For Your Mower

One of the biggest complaints that people have about their lawn mowers is the complaint that they don’t feel their mowers last as long as they should. That may be due to the fact that many people don’t properly read lawn mower reviews before they run out and purchase one, but it may also be due to the fact that many people don’t practice proper mower maintenance. A little bit of maintenance really goes a long way to keep a mower running to the best of its efficiency.

In order to help my readers keep their mowers running their best, I have decided to write this article on proper mower maintenance. If you follow this guide, you will not only get more out of your mower but it will come a whole lot closer to its maximum life expectancy.

Read The Manual

I know that I have mentioned this in several articles I have written, but that’s because it is one of the most important steps in keeping your mower running its best. Your manual not only gives you proper operating procedures for your brand of mower, but most importantly tells you what you need to do to keep it in good working order.

Change Your Air Filter

Your air filter is one of the most important things on your mower to change regularly. A clean air filter keeps debris from entering your carburetor and damaging your engine. Your air filter needs to be changed after every 24 hours of operation or at least once every mowing season.

Check Oil

Most people know that they need to change the oil in their car every 3 months, but they don’t realize that the oil in their lawn mower also needs to be changed on a regular basis. After every 50 hours of use, be sure to check your oil and replace it if necessary.

Check Spark Plug

The spark plugs need to be checked and replaced on a regular basis. Usually this depends on the model of mower that you own (so you should check your manual), but many experts agree that it should be changed at least once per season.

Check The Blade

It is vital that you check the blades on your mower on a regular basis. The blade should be checked at the beginning of each mowing season. If after inspection you notice that the blade is broken or dented, then you should replace it immediately. You should also make sure that the blade is well balanced and sharp.

Follow these tips and you will be amazed at not only how well your mower runs but also how long it lasts.

Lawn Mowing Tips For The Mower Beginner – Part One

I have written a few advanced articles for those of you who consider yourselves mowing enthusiasts, but today I am going to switch things up a bit and write an article for those of you who are new to mowing. Today, I am going to give you the best lawn mower tips I have for beginners, so if you already have experience with mowing, then this guide may seem a little basic to you. It is only for those who are truly uninitiated in the art of lawn mowing. With that being said, let’s get right down to business and get this guide started.

Difficulty Level: Very easy

Time Required: Depends on the size of the lawn but generally requires only about 2-4 hours of time. This includes the amount of time required to get everything together and set up.

Step One

The first thing you are going to want to do is to find yourself a mower. If you are just cutting your grass one time (which probably isn’t the case), then you can probably burrow a mower from a friend or a family member. However, if you plan to mow your grass on a regular basis, then you are probably going to want to buy the best equipment possible. The first place to start are lawn mower reviews. These will give you all of the specs you need to know about a particular mower before you buy it.

Since there are so many reviews it is probably best to narrow down what kind of mower you need before you start. If you have under 500 square feet of lawn, then the best mower to buy is most likely a reel mower. While it requires more physical work, it is simple to use and doesn’t make as much noise as a gas mower. If you have over 500 square feet but under an acre, then you will want to get either a gasoline or an electric mower. Those of you with an acre or more will most likely want to get a riding mower.

Step Two

The next thing you want to do is to make sure your mower is in good condition. You want to make sure that it is assembled correctly and all the parts are in good working condition. If it’s gas powered, then make sure it has gasoline and oil in it.

Also check the blades. For safety reasons, most mowers don’t come with sharp blades, so make sure that you either sharpen them yourself or take them to someone who can do it for you. On average, a lawn mower will have to have its blades sharpened at least 2-3 times a season.

Step Three

Make sure that your yard is clear of all obstacles. Use a rack to pick up loose rocks, branches or other things that might harm the mower blades or get flung by the mower. It’s not always possible to get everything picked up, but you should try to get as much as possible.

Now that you have selected your mower, made sure it works correctly and have cleared the yard of all obstacles, it is now time to begin mowing. Please consult part two of this guide for guidelines on yard mowing.

Lawn Mower Buying Tips (Important Considerations) – Part One

If you are planning to buy a new mower, then you need to make sure that you do your due-diligence. You not only want the best machine you can buy for the price, but you also want to make sure that you buy a machine that serves your needs. Buying the wrong mower can make your lawn chores a whole lot more difficult than they need to be.

Before you buy your next mower there are a few things you need to consider. That’s the whole point of this article today. I am going to show you some of the things that you need to think about when purchasing a new mower. Follow these tips and you can then pour through lawn mower reviews with confidence. You will know what you are looking for and what features are important.

Walking Or Riding Mower

The first decision you need to make is whether you need a walking lawn mower or a riding one. Usually, you can determine which of these you need by looking at your yard’s size. If you are cutting more than a ½ acre, then you definitely want a riding mower. Smaller than a half-acre (a half acre is approximate 200×100 feet) and you can usually make due with buying a walking mower. Of course, the decision is up to you, however. You might want a riding mower for a smaller lot or a walking one for a large lot. It all depends on what is comfortable for you.

Mulcher Or Bagger

Another thing to consider is how you want your mower to handle leaves. Do you want it to put it in a bag so you can dispose of it elsewhere, or do you want it to mulch your leaves? All important things to consider.

If you get a mulching lawn mower, you will also want to consider if you want one that discharges the debris from the back or from the side. There are mowers that shoot the mulch a considerable distance and those that kind of leave the debris where ever it is cut. What you need depends on your lawn care routine and on what is easier for you.

Consider Size

If you have a relatively flat yard to cut, then it might not really matter what size mower you have. However, if you have a lot of slopes, then you might want to consider getting a smaller, more maneuverable mower. After all, you don’t want to have to push a behemoth up a steep slope.

All of these things are things you need to consider to buy the best lawn mower possible. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. You also need to figure out what type of lawn mower you need. For advice on picking the model type, then check out our next article: “Lawn Mower Buying Tips Pt. 2-Choosing Your Mower Type.” It details everything you need to know about some of the more popular mower styles.