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Fertilizer Basics

Fertilizer Basics

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Grasses require at least 16 different essential elements for healthy growth, most of which are provided by the grass’s surrounding environment.  However, three of these elements, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), are needed in larger quantities and may require you to apply a fertilizer to sustain a healthy, vigorous turf. Nitrogen is the mineral nutrient required in greatest quantity.  Not only is nitrogen responsible for enhancing the grass’s deep…

Fertilizer Guidelines

Fertilizer Guidelines

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North and South The optimal time to apply fertilizers is when the grass roots and blades are actively growing. 

Self-Propelled Walk-Behind Mower

Buying a Self-Propelled Walk-Behind Mower

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The vast majority of self-propelled gasoline walk-behind mowers are rotary type, meaning they cut the grass with a horizontal blade attached to the vertical drive shaft of the engine.  The deck is a protective housing component and an integral part of the mower that supports the engine and wheels and controls the airflow to maximize the cutting and bagging efficiency.  Most decks are steel, but some are aluminum alloy or high-impact…

Tools for a good lawn care program

Tools For a Good Lawn Care Program

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Lawn tools fall into three categories: Basic Tools to Own, Specialty Tools to Rent or Own (if you have the budget and space), and Tools to Rent (seldom used or take up a lot of space).  The recommendations assume average situations.  Your needs may differ. Basic Tools to Own The following recommendations assume average situations.  Your needs may differ. Bulb Planter: Digs a hole and pushes the bulb into the…

Setting the Right Mowing Height

Setting the Right Mowing Height

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There are several reasons not to cut your grass too short. Grass grows from the crown, not the blade tips, a trait that makes grass ideal for lawns.  Grass keeps growing despite regularly cutting off the upper stem, leaf sheath, and blades. Keeping grass longer allows it greater surface area to carry out photosynthesis,  which in turn results in healthier plants.  In addition, taller grass grows slower than shorter grass. …

Choosing the Right Mower

Rules for Smart Mowing

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Cut no more than one-third the height of the grass in any single mowing.  By setting cutting heights correctly, you can greatly reduce weed growth and mowing frequency. Mow only when the grass is dry. Mow with a sharp blade.  Re-sharpen after every 10 hours of mowing.  Bring the blade to a professional sharpening service once a year.  Replace the blade as necessary. Change mowing patterns frequently to prevent soil…

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…

Toro recycler deck under

Spring Equipment Preparation

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After your equipment has been stored all winter, you should take your machine(s) to a local dealer for any needed maintenance or repairs before using it during the upcoming season.  If you like to perform your own maintenance or product repair, check out your equipment and order the parts you need. Walk Power Mowers Carefully check blades for sharpness. Make sure the cutting deck is clear of clippings. Check pull…

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…

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 connected…