Monthly Archives :

November 2010

Thatching rake

Prevent Thatch Buildup

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The best way to control thatch is to avoid a buildup.  Here are some maintenance practices that will help: At regular intervals, cut grass to the recommended height for your turf.  This will help avoid depositing too many clippings on the lawn at one time. Fertilize only in the fall to reduce excessive growth.  Promote microbial life by maintaining a proper soil pH. Aerate your lawn once a year.  If…

Mower timesavers

Mower Timesavers

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It is easier to adjust the cutting blade height if you get the weight off the wheels by supporting one side of the mower at a time on a wood block. Cooking spray on the underside of the deck will make your new mower’s deck easier to clean. If you use your mower infrequently, or are storing away for the off-season, then fill the tank with fuel treated with a…

Underground pests - Japanese Beetle

Managing Lawn Pests

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Insect problems, like diseases, develop when conditions are favorable to them.  As the weather warms up in spring, insect populations and activity increase.  Your best line of defense against these pests is to provide optimal growing conditions for your lawn.  A thick, healthy turf is not attractive to pests as either habitat or food, and is better able to survive any foraging of insects.

Ratios for Smarter Fertilizing

Ratios for Smarter Fertilizing

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Fertilizer ratios and grades tell consumers how many pounds of nutrients are contained in 100 pounds of fertilizer and indicate the relative amounts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). To figure out home much fertilizer (or any other soil amendments) to buy, divide your lawn into simple geometric shapes, and then calculate the areas of the shapes using simple formulas. Formulas for Calculating Areas Rectangle or Square: Side…

Bag on demand

Changing Cutting Modes Should Be Easy

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  It should be easy to change cutting modes.  In the example shown above, you just lift the cover to install discharge chute. Most rear bags are relatively easy to remove and replace.  For example in some mowers you just lift the door and lift the bag from off (or on) the highly visible support. To switch from bagging to mulching, a mulch plug must fill the opening.  Look for a plug…

Seed Storage

Seed Storage

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While unused grass seed may remain viable for years, its rate of germination will decrease over time.  Be sure to keep seed stored in a cool, dry environment.  To maintain optimal viability, the rule of thumb for storage is that the temperature and the relative humidity added together should be less than 100.  Store in 5-gallon pails with tight-fitting lids. Do not store seed in plastic bags since they will…

Protect a New Lawn With Straw

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Using Straw If the weather in your area is dry or warm, you may consider protecting your new lawn with straw. Spreading a layer of straw mulch over seeded areas will slow evaporation, provide some shade, and disperse raindrops that might otherwise dislodge young seedlings. When selecting the straw for the job, choose a clean mulching straw that is free of seed, such as wheat straw. Evenly apply about 50…

Purchasing Seed

How Much Seed Do I Need?

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Note: Spread settings vary with the type and model of spreader.  Consult your owner’s manual for exact settings.  Apply 50% more seed if you are attempting to sow a new lawn in the spring. Seed Type Pounds per 1,000 square feet Kentucky bluegrass 2 to 3 Tall fescue 5 to 7 Perennial ryegrass 4 to 6 Fine fescue 4

Amend soil

What is a Soil Amendment?

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Adding a soil amendment, also called a soil conditioner, helps improve plant growth and health.  The type of amendment or amendments added depends on the current soil composition, the climate, and the type of plant.  Some of the various amendments include: Lime (makes soil less acidic) Fertilizers for plant nutrients (i.e. manure, peat, or compost) Materials for water retention (i.e. clay, shredded bark, or vermiculite) Gypsum (releases nutrients and improves…

Nematode - Biological Insecticides

Nematodes

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Predatory nematodes attack lawn pests such as billbugs, sod webworms, and white grubs. Nematodes are parasites that kill hosts, such as this grub, within 48-hours.  Some nematodes attack surface pests; others attack soil-dwelling pests.  Choose the correct type for your pest. Nematodes arrive by mail in a sponge.  To apply, place the sponge in a container of cold water and wring it several times to release the nematodes.  Apply with…