You asked, we listened and we answered. All those questions about your lawn that you need answered in one (long) very well elaborated article.
Some mowers use the standard 6-volt batteries but riding mower uses the higher 12-volt battery (you can confirm from the label) and will take anything from 4 to 8 hours to charge on the recommended "trickle charge" setting.
Most chargers also feature a "fast charge" setting that takes less time but which exposes the battery to the risk of damage or explosion.
For efficient charging, you should always stick to the correct amperage for the battery charger as specified in the manual.
Having said that, always allow enough amount of time to adequately charge the battery.
Then, always charge your mower’s battery before storing the mower for winter and before recalling it to duty.
Push mowers are more beneficial than power mowers in burning fat.
If you lawn mow for a half hour using a manual mower, you will burn 114 calories if you weigh 125 lbs., 138 calories if you are 150 lbs. and 156 calories if you are 175 lbs.
A power mower will burn 102 burn calories in a half-hour job if you weigh 125 lbs., 123 calories for a 150 lbs. person, and 141 calories if you are175 lbs.
According to calories calculators, a more intensive push-mowing task for 60 minutes can burn between 280 to 446 calories depending on your weight.
Lime improves your soil’s pH to make it a better nutrients’ absorber and improves grass growth in notoriously poor nutrients absorbing acidic soils (where pH is below 5.5).
In addition to altering soil’s acidity, applying lime adds to the soil calcium and magnesium, two essential nutrients for healthier plant growth.
The best time to lime your lawns is generally in fall or spring. In fall, lime tends to break down much quicker thanks to the conducive weather cycles.
It’s also important to note that lime can take a couple of months to break down so don’t expect to see a lush green grass overnight.
Conducting soil tests will help determine the current pH and the necessary amount of limestone.
When applying the lime, first aerate your lawn to open up the space that the lime will use to move into the acidic soil. You can use a core plug aerator.
Next, apply the lime using a rotary spreader or a drop to your lawn. To ensure proper coverage, apply half of the required amount while walking in one direction then the other half while coming in the reverse direction.
Most standard push lawn mowers will take 2/3 to 3/4 quarts of oil to maintain optimum performance.
Riding lawn mowers will, however, take substantially more depending on the brand and engine capacity.
It’s also clear that bigger engines generally requiring more oil. For example, a 19 HP engine may need slightly above 1.5 quarts while a 26 horsepower engine may need about 2 quarts of oil to fill.
The best way is to refer to the mower’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations on the correct oil amount.
Water 2-3 times per week. This ordinarily gives better results and will allow your lawn to dry out partially between next watering, leading to a healthier growth.
On average, your lawn needs a minimum 1-1.5 inches of water weekly –though some turf varieties need watering year round.
You can reduce the frequency of watering during the rainy season provided the rain is enough to maintain optimum growth.
Conversely, you may have to water more frequently during a drought.
To test if you are watering enough, stick a 6-inches screwdriver in the irrigated soil.
If it goes in easily, you are doing well. If not, increase your watering frequency.
Check out our recommended lawn sprinkler for low water pressure.
This will vary year to year and also depend on how fast the turf-grass grows and the season.
Where you live, watering, lawn care maintenance, and proper application of fertilizer are some of the other factors influencing growth and subsequently, the mowing schedule.
Your personal judgment and taste will also come in. Some lawn owners like it short and sweet yet others find longer grass delightful.
Lawn experts have, on their side, suggested the ideal length to be around 2-3-inches for all types of grass so you should generally cut it if it’s beyond this size.
That being said, both undercutting and overcutting are considered bad practices so you need to get the right balance.
To be on top of things, change or file your mower’s blade regularly. And while you can file without removing it, it’s much easier to sharpen a blade when out.
Here is how I remove the blade:
He is how to balance the blade:
Tip: To prevent a messy fuel spill, you can siphon out the gas before everything else.
You can also invest in a good blade balancer.
Changing a lawn mower tire isn’t as taxing or time consuming as many people think.
Try to slide the rim into your new tire, prying the tire open as appropriate with the screwdrivers until the rim fits. Keep applying more solution until you get your way.
Now replace the tire onto its axle then the pin/clip and lastly the debris cap.
But for a few commercial grade and large mowers, it’s pretty easy to change a spark plug and service lawn mowers.
Here are the steps:
Lawn mowers engines, like car engines, need regular oil changeover to increase the lifespan.
Here is how to change oil in lawn mowers:
Cleaning is an important part of maintaining your mower on a tip-top condition.
Follow the following steps to clean your lawn mower:
While there are other ways of dethatching your lawn, using the small dethatching blades typically sold as lawn mower attachments remains one of the best methods.
Here is how to remove thatch from your lawn:
With the spark plug wire disconnected, tilt the lawn mower sideways.
Locate the spindle bolt that holds the old blade under the mowing deck.
Wedge a wooden block between the old blade and the deck to prevent the blade from moving or turning. Now wrench out the spindle bolt using a socket wrench.
Set the mower’s old blade aside and fix the dethatching blade – tines or springs facing down- on the spindle.
Fasten the spindle bolt to secure the dethatching blade.
Reinstall the spark plug wire.
Now set mower’s deck height highest possible and start mowing the yard in normal movements. The springs/tines will remove the nasty thatch as you ‘mow’.
‘Mow’ to satisfaction then follow the previous steps in reverse to reinstall the normal blade.
Rake up and clear the excess that you have removed.
Remove the ‘dethatcher’ and put the normal blade.
A time comes when you and your old servant have to, sadly, part ways.
Now, you have several options to dispose of your old lawn mower:
You can decide to make one last kill from it by selling it. You post advertisements locally. Don’t forget to include details such as the engine size, year of manufacture, mower type and model, and deck width.
You can also share the ad online and local classifieds.
If you find the selling process laborious, you can call scrap waste dealers to pick up your mower. It may not fetch a lot but you are saved the hassle of looking for buyers.
If the replacement is similar to your current model, you may want to keep it for parts. You break it down and select what you need. The rest can be disposed of through the local channels.
You can also extend a helping hand to the neighboring trade school, charity or educational facility by donating the mower to them.
You can also give it away to one of the numerous online giveaway platforms.
Recycling is another smart option especially because it will cost you almost nothing.
Empty the oil and gas into an approved container then talk to a recycling agency and find out how else to prepare the mower prior to dropping it off.
You should always drain the gas from the mower before storing it for the off season or when you feel that the gas quality has deteriorated and needs a fresh refill.
Here is how to drain gas from your lawn mower:
1: Set the mower safely on raised ground. Some people use a set of saw horses or cinder blocks. This gives easy access to the underside. You can spread a tarpaulin under the mower to collect the spills.
2: Disconnect the connecting wire from the spark plug.
3: Attached to the carburetor is the fuel line which runs all the way from the mower’s gas tank. Detach it, place a collecting can underneath the tank and let the gas drain freely into the container. You can also siphon the fuel with a hand pump.
4: Next, turn to the carburetor and locate the drainage bolt typically on the floor of its float “bowl”. Remove the bolt and allow the fuel to drain from the float tank.
5: Now remove the entire carburetor and clean it. You can spray an aerosol carburetor cleaner on all its accessible parts for a better wash. Reinstall the carburetor.
6: Clean the gas tank now by adding some fresh gas (not water as it poses danger to injectors and carburetors) and sloshing it around in the tank. Thoroughly drain the added ‘cleaning’ gas into the can and wipe the tank dry using rags.
7: Reconnect the fuel line on both sides and the spark plug.
8: If you will be using it, fill up the tank and start it.
You may take advantage of the process to also inspect and clean or replace the air filter as necessary.
Edging a lawn gives it a professional look and makes it the talk of the neighborhood.
Start by marking out a straight path on the edges clearly and prominently.
1: Start your power edger and starting at an end, walk forward slowly along the defined path while tightly controlling the edger to cut neatly.
2: For a precise edge, keep the edger level and at the same position throughout. Also, focus on moving your body but never your arms. Additionally, movement should be slow and deliberate.
3: If possible, avoid stepping on the grass all the way to the end.
4: Review the line and perfect it where necessary.
1: Pick up the half-moon and standing at the first end of the area to be edged, align the round edge of the half-moon with the line.
2: Next, tilt its handle back about 45 degrees.
3: Now place one foot on top of the edger and push it down until the round edge has sunk 2-3 inches in the turf.
4: Rock the edger sideways and forward/backward to loosen the soil and attain a good cut.
5: Repeat this to the end and again in reverse coming back from the other way.
6: Finally remove the turf with a straight-edged shovel.
7: Review the line and perfect it where necessary.
If you are losing your lawn to infectious weed, here is what to do:
1: Mow the lawn. Ensure the blade is at a high setting.
2: Spray a weed killer directly with a sprayer. Follow dosing instructions to avoid hurting the grass.
3: Aerate the lawn using a tuff/grass aerator. To reach deeper roots, start aerating from one end to the other working first, moving horizontally. Then, aerate across diagonally (starting at one corner and ending in the opposite corner of the lawn)
4: Sow grass seed and add a pre-emergent weed herbicide as per the manufacturer's usage instructions. Then mist your lawn (don’t saturate), preferably using a garden hose.
5: After the lawn dries up, spread weed-killing fertilizer over the entire lawn grass.
6: Water regularly and appropriately
Smoke is bad for all engines and your lawn mower isn’t spared. Smoking may mean it needs a bit more of care and not necessarily a broken mower.
Here are the tests and what to do is its billowing smoke:
Color of the smoke
What to do
white / blue
*Oil has leaked into the engine- likely when tilting the mower to its side.
This is completely harmless
restarting the mower then allow the leaked oil to burn
white / blue
*The oil chamber is exceedingly full.
Avoid overfilling by checking the dipstick when refilling the oil
Persistent White/blue (even after trying everything else)
*A possible air leakage in its crankshaft
* Some engine’s components and/or seals need replacement. For example the head gasket, crankshaft vent, or piston ring.
You are in serious trouble
Take it to a professional
*carburetor isn’t getting sufficient air
#The engine is “running rich”
replace the air filter
adjust the filter if the problem persists
Take it to a professional
Continued black smoke (after filter replacement and adjustment)
* This could be a critical mechanical issue.
There’s a lot of trouble ahead
Take it to a professional
Any other strange looking smoke
*Could mean anything
The mower may be having problems
Take it to a professional
Aaaaah, dog urine spots on the grass are an ugly eyesore and make all your efforts seems to be in vain.
Here is how to fix dog urine spots on lawn:
1: Rake the affected area thoroughly to remove the dead or browned grass.
2: Apply extra-fine ground limestone (one layer) then water the spot heavily to boost limestone absorption. Wait for a week.
3: Dress that area with top soil or compost before sprinkling grass seeds through the affected area.
4: With your garden hose, gently water the freshly seeded area to avoid washing the seeds away.
5: Water daily, or as necessary, for a couple of weeks. The spot will soon go back to a healthy green!
Brownish color could be the clearest sign yet that your lawn could be plagued by fungal disease. It could also mean that some nasty insects are hard at work doing damage or that your dog has been visiting (and peeing).
Here is what to do:
1: Rake the brown spots vigorously, removing dead grass. Collect and dispose of the dead matter.
2: Aerate the soil
3: Cover the area with the right mixture of top soil and grass seeds. The seeds should be the same variety currently planted in the lawn. The grass seeds’ package has guidelines on the correct amount of seeds.
4: Scatter the right amount of root-stimulating fertilizer over the entire area. The amount should be as indicated on the fertilizer package for the total area to be treated.
5: Water every spot daily for at least two weeks unless it rains. You can reduce the frequency later to about twice a week.
Ants are downright stubborn and some of the most difficult menaces to rid from your lawn.
But you can conquer them and it’s good that you have several options.
Here is how:
Option 1: Prepare a mix of liquid dish soap, water, and canola oil. The measurements should be 1/2 teaspoon, 1 quart, and 1 1/2 tablespoons respectively. Add them in a mixing bowl and with a whisk, blend the ingredients to perfection.
Then add the solution into a spray bottle, shake it well, and go around your lawn spraying the spots with high ant concentrations. Also pour some into their nests directly. They will suffocate to death.
Option 2: Apply diatomaceous earth in the entire yard. Target spots with high ant concentration and ant nests and be generous. The earth kills by suffocating and drying out the ants’ body moisture.
Option 3: Prepare a mix of liquid dish soap, cayenne pepper sauce, and water. The measurements should be 1/2 teaspoon, 3 tablespoons, and 1 quart respectively. With a whisk, mix well in a mixing bowl and then transfer it into a spray bottle.
Visit the lawn spraying the ants and pouring some more into their nests.The mixture smothers and burns tons of the insects.
Option 4: Pour white distilled vinegar (about 1 quart) into the ants' nests. This causes acidic conditions which are very fatal to ants.
Option 5: Choose one of these top rated insect killers for lawns and safe for pets
For purists, moss is yet another unwelcome eyesore and the sooner it’s gone from the yard, the better for everyone. We also know that moss go as far as attempting to replace your turf grass!
So, how do you get rid of moss from the lawn?
Option 1: Grab the best spring-tine rake at your disposal and rake the affected zone vigorously.
Option 2: If you are under a massive invasion, install your dethatching blade and get on the mower.
Be sure to set the mower’s height properly so the tines will only strip the moss away (and not the grass).
In most cases, you have to make several passes to completely exterminate the moss.
Option 3: Apply moss-killers especially those with ferrous sulfate on the infested area. As usual, follow the usage instructions. Allow the product time to work before raking up the dead moss. If you are a fan of organic products, try a mixture of water and baking soda or dish water in place of commercial herbicides.
Collect and dispose of the raked or dead moss from the lawn.
Sodding your lawn helps replace dying or struggling turf grass quickly and efficiently.
The bit I like most is that you can lay sod over your existing lawn and save money plus time.
Here is how:
1: Start by cleaning the landscape. This requires that you collect all the possible lawn debris and pull the weeds by hand or with glyphosate. You can apply an herbicide to remaining weed.
2: Cut current grass low. Here is why: Tall grass blocks the sod’s roots from reaching the ground potentially causing it to die.
3: Now level up the surface by filling the holes and depressions with soil. Also, consider digging the lawn to help improve leveling. Tilling will also help the grass to decompose faster (and provide nutrients) after you lay the sod.
And while at it, you want the sod to be level not only with the ground but also with edges such as any driveways and walkways so maintain the line of sight.
1: Place the sod at the end (of your lawn) you want to start from and start unrolling it, beginning from the furthest corner.
2: Start another roll immediately where your previous roll finished even if some space will be left between the rolls. Of course, try to avoid walking over the freshly laid sod.
3: Trim the edges of any excess sod immediately using a lawn edger.
4: With a utility knife, cut out the sod that could be placed over obstructions such as irrigation heads on your lawn.
5: Fill a lawn roller (halfway) with water and roll over the new sod with it to remove air pockets between the ground and the sod.
Again roll row-by-row to ensure that you cover all the spots. This promotes contact with soil and can help the roots of the new sod to come to life more quickly.
6: Water your sod daily to about 7 inches deep for the next 6 weeks to boost roots growth.
A level lawn looks easy on the eye and makes your maintenance work a whole lot easier.
Here is how to level your lawn:
Here are some tweaks you can try to make your mower mow like a racer:
Blunt blades cut slowly and make it sluggish. Sharpen them and you may immediately notice quicker cutting. Also, clean the undercarriage.
For belt-driven lawn mowers, altering the size of their pulley systems can speed it operations. You expand the size of both the pulley at the rear and the one attached to its engine. These are minor adjustments but can have an impressive impact.
High-octane gasoline helps the engine to achieve maximum running efficiency which translates to easier and quicker cutting.
Also, Adding a fuel stabilizer can help it will run more efficiently.
Lastly, always check that it’s running at full tank and that the engine oil is at optimum.
Accessing the governor of the lawnmower and shortening the spring can help.
If not, remove the aforementioned spring altogether. The latter works like a charm!
Finally, confirm that every other component is in top-tip condition. The air filter, tires, shafts, chains, and everything.
If you’re struggling with a thin lawn, you can try aerating.
More often than not, aeration brings an improved root system and enriched growth.
An easier and less-time consuming alternative is overseeding -sowing new grass seeds into an already grown lawn.
Here is how to overseed:
1: Mow the existing turf to loosen the soil (cut it to be between 1- 2 inches tall).
2: Rake and dethatch if necessary
3: Apply the 10-10-10 (or any other starter) fertilizer.
4: Spread the seeds. Use a spreader or hand (small areas).
5: Water lightly and regularly (twice a day for 2 weeks). You can reduce watering frequency from the 3rd week as the seedlings get well established.
Tip: the best time to overseed is during early fall or late summer as the temperature is-at this time-highly conducive to germination and growth.
Planting grass seed on an existing lawn breathes a fresh lease of life to an emaciated lawn.
This is how:
1: Mow grass to about 1-2 inches.
2: Rake the top ½ inch of soil to loosen it. Collect the debris and remove dead grass. Use a walk-behind aerator if you have a big yard. Again consider dethatching if there’s overwhelming thatch.
3: Apply a starter fertilizer such as 8-8-8 as per the manufacturer’s instructions using a rotary spreader.
4: Fill a spreader (broadcast/drop) with grass seed. The rate per square feet should be as recommended in the re-seeding instructions on the grass seed packaging. Small areas can be seeded by hand.
5: Water initially twice daily for 2 weeks to boost sprouting. You can reduce watering frequency from the 3rd week as the seedlings are now germinated and healthy.
If your mower’s primer bulb is missing or broken, you can still start the mower by adopting a substitute priming method.
Essentially, you will be adding starter gas manually to the bowl via the air intake hole:
1: Remove the cover protecting the air filter by unsnapping small retaining clips (or in some cases by removing the screw).
2: Remove the now visible air cleaner from its housing.
3: Fetch and spray a reasonable amount of your regular fuel (using an eye dropper) through the air intake hole at the rear of the housing.
4: Start the engine immediately via the electric starter or pull lord as the gas evaporates rapidly.
5: If it doesn’t start, keep retrying. (You can squirt some more fuel after 6 failed attempts)
6: Eventually replace the filter correctly and the cover.
You may need to remove the lawn mower’s blade to sharpen or for replacement reasons.
It’s fairly straightforward:
1: Set the mower on its side.
2: Disengage the spark plug.
3: Wedge a wooden block between the blade and the mower’s deck to steady the blade.
4: With a wrench, remove the fasteners on the blade. If they’re too tight, spray a lubricant and retry.
5: Pull the blade plus the support off the crankshaft.
You can actually remove a stuck lawn mower wheel without injuring the rim.
1: Jack the tire until it’s about 6 inches off the ground. Once you have confirmed that it’s safely supported with the jack stands, remove the wheel nuts.
2: Spray a penetrating fluid generously where the rim meets the wheel axle. Be sure to spray both the front and the back of the rim.
3: Now tap the rim around the axle’s circumference with a mallet (rubber mallets are preferred). Be sure to tap the front as well as the back of the rim.
Let the penetrating fluid to sit for about 20 minutes.
4: Grab the tire (the two sides) and with force (but not excessive), attempt to pull the wheel off the axle. To ease matters, use a rocking motion.
5: If the tire is unmoved, grab the rubber mallet one more time and bang on the back/front of the rim before re-applying more penetrating oil.
6: Using an emery cloth, remove any rust around the visible part of the axle while allowing the penetrative oil to work.
7: Now grab the tire, again the two sides and re-attempt to pull the wheel from the axle.
8: If you are not heading anywhere, ask a friend/colleague to tap the rim’s back side with the mallet while you simultaneously rock it off the axle.
A bench grinder is a quicker and easier alternative lawn mower blade sharpening tool.
Here are the similarly easy steps:
1: Tip the mower on its side
2: Disengage the spark plug
3: Wedge a wooden block between the blade and the mower’s deck to steady the blade.
4: With a wrench, remove the fasteners on the blade.
5: Pull the blade off the crankshaft.
1: Move the blade back and forth -against the wheel- so as restore the edge. Make a couple of light passes and ensure you sharpen both edges
2: Balance the blade on a nail and grind the heavier side- if any- until it’s fully balanced.
3: Reinstall the blade by following the previous steps in reverse.
Sharpening the blades will make your mower to do a neat cutting job, quickly, and efficiently.
So, is there a way to sharpen lawn mower blades without removing them?
Sure, yes. And its quicker than removing.
This is how:
Tip: doing this with the gas tank empty prevents a messy gas spill.
Tree roots sprouting from your lawn are unsightly as well as being a general nuisance.
Of course, it’s easier to prevent the sprouting rather than wait to battle the sprouts when it’s too late.
Now, the easiest way to stop the roots sprouting into the lawn is by maintaining healthy tree growth. This is because most tree species grow suckers only when stressed. And so ensuring that the trees are accessing sufficient sunlight, nutrition, and adequate water is your first line of defense.
Installing a proper root barrier (between the turf area and the tree) can also effectively curtail the unwanted trees sprouting.
You can also apply quality growth inhibitors to the trees to control sprouting. However, if overused, these chemicals could end up killing the tree.
Stripping a lawn can give the mouthwatering patterns that leave everyone salivating.
And Unlike what you may think, it’s so easy to mow your favorite stripes pattern since it’s simply a question of cutting the grass creatively in different directions.
At times, top dressing a lawn gives it a big league look. Top dressing also helps in evening the ground. Plus, it provides richer nutrients for growth.
What you need…
The type of top-dressing to prepare depends on the soil.
Purchase high-quality bagged lawn soil or top-dressing mixture.
Shovel out small mounds of top-dressing mixture onto the lawn.
Spread it with the back of your heavy garden rake (or something flat) filling the aeration holes and covering the low spots.
Keep spreading until the depth evens and grass peeks through.
In the end, the top-dressing should be ½” or even less over your existing grass.
Using a lawnmower shouldn’t be an intimidating spectacle. Here is an easy guide:
Check for leaking fluids (gas or oil) and the fuel level (Refill if it’s running low). Also, confirm that your spark plug is correctly inserted and that it’s in top condition.
To prime the engine is to squirt small amounts of gas into the carburetor and gives the mower optimal combustion reaction for an optimal run.
Yank the ripcord to ignite the mower. Remember to hold down the safety bar while pulling the cord and to set the choke to 'off'.
Now, Set the right cutting height (between 1 3/4 - 2 inches) depending on the grass type and begin mowing. Take breaks whenever mowing an expansive lawn and never abandon a running mower.
Since slopes can be slippery; mow them side to side to reduce the risk.
Note: If the mower had already warmed up, just pull the ripcord string safely to start it. Priming isn’t necessary.
Starting a lawn mower after spring can be a daunting task. But if you properly prepare it for the cold season storage, it will come out in shape and ready to roar to life.
Here is how to winterize your lawn mower:
If you’ll be keeping it in the basement, have it run until it’s out of gas. Or just follow the instructions on your owners’ manual to empty the gas tank.
This protects carburetors and discourages corrosion of the engine parts.
If you’ll be leaving the mower in the garage, refill the fuel tank and add a gas stabilizer.
This keeps the gasoline from disintegrating.
Check and refill the oil to the designated marking on the dipstick. This helps preserve the engine.
Scrape grass clippings and other debris from under the mower deck by spraying with a garden hose or using an old school bristled pot scrubber
This prevents rusting.
Inspect and change the spark plug if there are signs of corrosion. If it looks fine, add some oil to its crankcase and reinstall the plug.
You can also sharpen the blades now.
Aeration is a potentially vital part of lawn maintenance practices. It reduces soil compaction and will help air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots for lush growth.
But should you ask when is the best time to aerate your lawn?
The key is to check for soil compaction.
Now, to probe the soil for compression, try to insert a compaction tester up to 36" to 48" deep. If it’s compacted, it will resist the penetration.
Another approach is to dig out one square foot area of the lawn about 6 inches deep.
You then check the grass roots. If they reach only 1-2 inches deep, your soil could be compacted.
Then, when is the best time?
The most recommended time to aerate the soil is during the growth season typically early spring/fall(for cool season grass) and late spring (for warm season grass).
For efficiency, always perform a "core aeration," with a plug aeration machine.
For more on what aeration does to your lawn, check this article.
Using the wrong kind of gas for your lawn mower could sound the death knell for your engine. It may also void your warranty.
So, what gas should you fill in your mower?
Four-stroke engines will use high-quality unleaded gasoline (at least 87 octane rating).
Two stroke engines still use this gasoline but need it to be mixed with high-grade two-cycle engine oil in the proportions indicated on the lid.
In most case, the ratio is 50:1 (fuel : oil) for higher revving mower engines.
Riding lawn mowers are easier to start than traditional push mowers thanks to the installed batteries. Now, riding lawn mower batteries are mostly the standard lead-acid 12-volt designs but for a few mowers that use gel batteries (a variation of the lead-acid types).
Lawnmower batteries usually die after sitting for a prolonged duration, after being shorted out, or being drained by too many attempts at turning the starter.
However, proper usage and care for the battery will give you three to four years of service (even longer in some climates).
Examples of care practices include ensuring it stays charged, cleaning corrosion off the terminals, monitoring and refilling the battery as necessary, fitting the right battery, and checking that the terminals are never loose.
Lawn mowers do exceptional jobs on our lawns but unfortunately, almost all are quite loud.
While it’s true that some models are less noisy, you will most certainly need some form of noise protection at some point.
The best hearing protection for lawn mowing should, at the bare minimum, block out noise while allowing normal conversations, be comfortable to your ears, easily adjustable, and generally, well built.
From my experience, the ProForSho Noise cancelling Earmuffs are outstanding. I have used them with my riding mowers and take it from me; these know how to silence mowers.
They’re lightweight, feel good, and bring down noise to just about 34dB!
Check out our reviews on the best hear protection for lawn mowing here.
Hilly and winding yards are an amazing sight but can be costly to maintain.
That’s because standard lawn mowers are wanting when we come to climbs and can even be unsafe in excessively hilly landscapes
And so yard owners often have to spend on lawn mowers for hills- specially built mowers to cut on extreme slopes and challenging climbs.
Now, I know you would want the best trimmer but which tops them all?
As you can see here, Honda’s 3-in-1 self-propelled gas hills mower is a favorite for many lawn owners.
It packs incredible horsepower and is very talented climber dashing across yards at full speed.
But the biggest attraction is the reassuring zone starting safety system which shuts the engine automatically if it slips from your control.
That it uses less gas than competing lawn mowers is another huge bonus.
While everyone agrees that cutting grass is a crucial part of owning a lawn, the question of the best time of the day to mow the lawn is a bit controversial.
So, when should you cut the grass?
The grass is wet from dew meaning your mower can easily clog up. This could hence be one of the worst hours to cut.
The dew is gone and the sun welcoming. You and your mower will thus be safe and at home.
It follows then that mid mornings could be the optimal mowing hours.
The grass is now completely dry and feels fine. But the sun is at its hottest and punishing.
So, this hour is fine for the grass but punishing for you.
There is still less stress on the grass while the sun is slowly cooling off. It’s a much better cutting time than mid-hours.
For you, the evening is perfect. Even the blades will find cutting still easy. However, the grass will not have recovered by night time meaning your lawn could be at risk of disease and fungi.
Installing a side discharge chute enables you to mow taller grass without clogging the mower deck as it is often the case when mulching with typical lawn mowers.
Installing a side discharge is very straightforward:
If you have the best snow blower for gravel driveway, beating back frost from your gravel driveway is going to be unbelievably easy.
Check the steps:
1: Clear the gravel driveway and the walkways - you don’t want the car there as it will give you additional work.
2: If there the wind isn’t blowing, start from the center of your driveway ensuring the snow nozzle is all along pointing outwards towards the surrounding yard. In the meantime, you blow in circular motions moving outwards as you go.
3: If you can feel the wind, the snow nozzle should be facing in the direction the wind is blowing. You then start in the extremely upward section of your driveway, blowing side to side. You also set the snow chute to discharge blown snow downwind.
4: Shovel any snow left overs.
If the snow is very deep, make two passes. First time, the snowblower will pass higher to remove the top layer. In the second pass, you blow lower to eliminate remaining snow.
Oak trees have their goodness but dropping acorns on the lawn isn’t one of them.
But you’re in luck because there are many ways of getting rid of acorns scattered in the yard.
Here is how to eliminate the acorns menace:
You can simply rake them up using the best rake for acorns.
Spread tarps over the ground (around the oak tree trunk) and underneath the canopy;
Grab the tree forcefully and shake it vigorously to stir acorns to tumble off the branches. You can also smack the branches, if necessary, with a stick. Wrap up the fallen acorns inside the tarps and dispose of them in the compost or appropriately.
Push an acorn picker (nut roller) across the yard to pick up and toss the acorns into a waste collection basket.
Attach a quality lawn sweeper to your lawn tractor and make several passes over the infested area.
Vacuum the acorns with either;
The family pet is a family favorite. But it’s also a darling of fleas. And so despite your best efforts, your pets are likely to carry fleas into the house.
To permanently combat these blood sucking parasites, you have to wage war on them where they are hiding- your yard.
1: Rake the yard and remove all weeds and debris. Focus on spots where the insects hide such as flower beds, composting areas, and beneath bushes.
2: Mow the lawn grass and clear the clippings.
3: Water the yard generously 24 hours before scheduled time. This encourages flea pupae to hatch (making them easier to kill with insecticides) and drowns some adults as well as larvae.
Buy and spray a suitable flea killing insecticide with a hose. Use the recommended volume measurements and thoroughly treat heavily infested areas and zones frequented by your pet.
Also, treat every other spot visited by pets simultaneously and give the pet a good flea bath using a vet-recommended insecticide.
Your pets and everyone should stay away from the treated areas for between 4-6 hours
Spray a fresh round of treatment after every 7-10 days perhaps up to 8 weeks.
Tip: You can prevent re-infestation by mowing and raking your yard regularly.
When fall comes, the best gas leaf blower might be the easiest way out of the flood of leaves that will certainly inundate your yard.
Personally, I find the Troy-Bilt TB672 Wheeled Leaf Blower(Sweep- Best) amazing.
It has stellar power and does a fantastic job sweeping and loosening not only leaves but also prickly seedpods as well as every other type of debris.
What blew me away was the athletic 208cc engine, the 14-inch output impeller, and the 90-degree discharge chute (front) all which team up to dramatically cut blowing time by almost 3/4.
It’s actually recommended as one of the best gas leaf blowers for short people or anyone who struggles with lugging a backpacking blower.
Yard aeration is one of the most critical lawn maintenance tasks. And while it’s true that for large spaces you will need a powerful pull-behind plug aerator, it may not make economic sense investing in a costly aerating machine for small yards.
Instead, you can still aerate effectively by using your hands.
Here is how:
With a hand aerator (should have ¼ - ½” diameters):
Push the hand aerator tubes through the ground to see if they can reach a minimum of 4-inches deep.
For the soil to be right, it should not stick to the tube ( if it does, it’s too wet). Similarly, it shouldn’t be powdery or resisting the push (if it does, it’s too dry.
Wet soil conditions should improve within days so bid your time and retry. For dry conditions, water for 2-3 days then retry.
When the soil is okay, you rake the heavily thatched areas and remove debris from the lawn.
Push the diameter tubes 4 inches (minimum) deep in the soil then pull it out to extract cores of soil which in turn makes aeration holes. Don’t move the cores from the lawn.
You will repeat every 4-6 inches for the entire area.
When finished, rake the cores breaking them down throughout the lawn area.
Push it down around 4-inches and rock it back/forth to loosen the soil. You will repeat every 4-6 inches for the entire area.
A rough-riding zero turn mower is bad for your back and is generally disconcerting to mow with.
But you can tweak it and make it comfier to ride even on rough terrain.
Here is how:
Since making their entry into the mowers’ market, a lot of lawn owners have been wondering if robotic lawn mowers work.
And the answer is a big yes. It’s true some resemble tiny racing cars but robotic lawn mowers can cut every blade of grass to your preferred height.
The units come with rechargeable batteries (lead-acid, nickel cadmium, or lithium-ion) and a charging station.
You plug the charging center to an accessible outdoor outlet. Now, the robot will automatically return to the charging base when it goes low on battery and self-charge.
While they may not mow in the usual immaculate straight lines as conventional mowers, they consume less energy than gas-powered models, and crucially, never release harmful emissions.
You can even schedule it to mow at your most convenient time while monitoring it from your phone.
The debate on whether to mulch or bag grass clippings isn’t going to go away soon.
But which is smarter? Bagging or mulching?
That many states have banned bagging is enough sign that the bag is an ill-advised move. This is why:
Bagging just adds more waste to our landfills which eventually harms the environment.
In any case, mulch becomes a natural fertilizer and will make your lawn grow lush and richer in addition to saving some of the money you could have spent buying nitrogen fertilizer.
Perhaps you may bag some grass clippings when the grass is extremely tall but even then, the best way is to add them to the composite pile.
Brushless lawn mowers are slowly carving a niche for themselves in the lawn mowers’ market.
But what is a brushless lawn mower?
Now, a brushless lawn mower is simply a mower flaunting a brushless motor.
On the other hand, conventional mowers spot brush motors. So what the difference?
The traditional model has carbon brushes, an armature, a commutator, and magnetic rings while the increasingly famous brushless motor doesn’t include the commutator and brushes.
Instead, they have a small circuit board coordinating energy delivery during ignition.
Additionally, the windings and magnets locations are reversed.
Because of this design , the motor auto adjusts according to how tough a task is with tougher cutting jobs drawing more power and vice versa.
This improves battery life and leads to a more intelligent and efficient cut.
The absence of carbon braches also translates into reduced maintenance and longer engine life.
Conversely, a regular brushed motor maxes out on the speed you have set it to and runs less efficiently.
Clover is a reliable supplier of natural nitrogen but isn’t the best looking addition to your lawn grass and can easily take over the yard.
Here is how to get rid of clover:
Look for a nitrogen-rich fertilizer and spray on the clover directly following the recommendations on the label. Clover struggles in a nitrogen-rich environment and should die off.
Apply ammonia (made for lawns) directly on the clover until it succumbs.
Get one of the herbicides with Dicamba and 4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid as one of the ingredients and apply to the clover directly. These are good clover killers.
Mushrooms are a nuisance and can frustrate your efforts to have a flawless lawn.
So, how can you get rid of mushrooms?
Here is how:
A riding lawn mower is the preferred trimming machine for large lawns.
However, riding lawn mowers are sometimes difficult to start..
1: Sit and ensure you can reach all levers and pedals.
2: Press the brakes (push the brake pedal or lever). Also, engage its parking brake.
3: Shift the mower’s gear to neutral. The shift lever should be near the steering wheel or below the seat.
4: Engage the choke by moving the throttle lever to be between the fast & slow positions.
5: Turn the ignition to the right- all the way. Hold the key for about 15 seconds. If it doesn’t start, turn off for 10 seconds then re-try for 15 seconds until the engine starts.
6: Slowly release the choke by raising the throttle knob to the fast setting.
7: Let the engine warm up before shifting to drive.
Dandelions have a tendency to invade even the most well-kept lawns and can be an absolute headache to remove.
But despite the difficulties, you can permanently conquer dandelions.
Here are the options:
Even though ants are a crucial part of our ecosystem, red ants’ bites are painful. Additionally, some of their antics like building hills can cause pandemonium in the yard.
So, how do you get rid of ant nests in the lawn?