With the arrival of spring comes lawn-mowing season. A good lawn mower can run you a pretty penny, so get the best return on your investment by taking good care of yours every spring before putting it back to use. Here, you’ll learn five basic spring lawn mower maintenance tips to get your mower ready after a winter of inactivity.
- Spark Plug and Air Filter– First, remove the spark plug as a safety measure. It’s important to always disable the power supply when performing work on equipment. Replace the air filter. Lawn mowers require a new, clean air filter at the beginning of the mowing season. Foam filters can be cleaned, but it is advisable to just replace paper filters, which are usually less expensive.
- Change the Oil– Change your mower’s oil once every season to keep the motor healthy and remove contaminants, sludge, and acids that gradually eat away at its surfaces. Drain the old oil, refilling the crankcase with the oil type and amount recommended by your mower’s manufacturer.
- Mower Blade– Sharpen your mower blade at least once a year. Dull blades shred grass while sharp blades cut cleanly. First, remove the blade and inspect it. Replace it if there are nicks present. If it’s in good shape, take your blade to your local lawn care or hardware store to be sharpened, or do it yourself using a rotary tool.
- Clean and Lubricate– Once the blade is off, remove the caked-on grass and other debris from the mower’s underside, deck, and top. Once the deck is clean, wax it to prevent more grass from sticking, then oil the wheel bearings.
- Refuel– Treating your mower’s fuel is an important part of helping your mower last. Before adding fresh fuel, add an ethanol fuel treatment as well. The ethanol fuel you use should contain water absorbers to manage the water your mower will encounter over the season. Also add a protecting lubricant to protect the mower from solvency damage. Finally, replace your mower’s spark plug. And voila! You’re good to mow.
Any additional mowing questions? Call your friendly neighborhood experts at Free Spray Lawn Care for extra tips and tricks.
Fertilizing grass during its growing season is an essential part of maintaining a strong, healthy lawn. Proper fertilization helps grass fend off weeds and makes it more capable of recovering from the damages of environmental stress. But when exactly should you apply fertilizer? Read on to learn about the best time to fertilize your lawn during each season throughout the year.
- Late spring: once the soil has warmed and your grass is actively growing, mow your lawn three to five times times and then spread fertilizer.
- Summer: based on the type of grass in your yard and the fertilizer you use, apply fertilizer periodically according to the instructions on the bag. Summer is the dormant stage for cool-season grasses, so this type does not require fertilization during this season as it could cause damage. Warm grasses, however, grow rapidly during the summer. Refer to the instructions that come with your fertilizer to determine how frequently you should apply it. In general, it’s advisable to fertilize every two to four weeks if you mix your own fertilizer.
- Autumn: fertilize your lawn before the first frost hits. Grass establishes its root system during winter, so the fertilizer applied in the fall feeds the grass all winter to help it make a strong, healthy return once spring arrives.
- Winter: refrain from watering, fertilizing, or performing any other type of lawn maintenance in the winter. Any of these activities can potentially damage your grass, leading to dead spots or unhealthy growth in spring.
- Remember: keep track of how much and how often you fertilize. Over fertilization can damage your grass or even kill it. By keeping an account of your fertilizing activity, you can create a rough schedule to follow each year.
For additional assistance in fertilizing your grass, contact Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone]. We can help you create a green, healthy lawn.
Spring will be here before you know it. If you have your sights set on a healthy, green, crabgrass-free lawn this year, the time to act is now. According to experts, early spring is the best time to prevent this invasive weed. Read on to learn how to prevent crabgrass in spring before it takes over your yard.
Timing is Everything
Timing is crucial in the battle against crabgrass. The most important part of preventing its spread is to stop it before it can take hold of your lawn. Once the first thaw of spring occurs, it’s time to act, so anticipate its arrival and be prepared. Crabgrass can begin to grow after only one or two days when soil reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Determine your soil temperature by using a soil temperature probe from your local garden supply store.
What to Do
- Weed control: crabgrass germinates from early winter to late summer, so begin using a pre-emergent weed control in the early spring. It is quite difficult to eradicate crabgrass once it has taken root and bloomed, so treating your lawn with pre-emergent weed controls can help reduce its growth and spread. Two separate treatments may be necessary if your lawn was afflicted with crabgrass the prior year. These treatments should be applied in the early spring and early summer.
- Fertilize: applying a high-nitrogen fertilizer in early spring can help promote a dense lawn that will choke out crabgrass. Fertilizer must be applied during the germination period for crabgrass from January through June and avoided during its blooming stage from July to September. Waiting until late summer to fertilize will promote the growth of crabgrass instead.
- Water: water until you lawn’s soil is moist. Proper irrigation is an important part of your watering routine. Ensure that the water reaches the roots of your grass so it can absorb nutrients and moisture. Refrain from watering again until conditions are drier and your lawn begins to show signs of drought.
- The Hands-On Approach: weeding crabgrass patches by hand as soon as they appear is vital to stopping its spread. Crabgrass grows rapidly and can expand its patch size in only a few days, so do not wait: address even the smallest patch. Yank the grass out by the root and discard it immediately as patches left in a pile on your lawn can reseed throughout your lawn. Prevent reseeding by covering the newly weeded area with mulch.
- Mow: cut your lawn regularly and frequently at a height of at least 3 inches. During the spring, when grass is actively growing, it is best to mow twice per week. Mowing once a week in summer should suffice.
For additional help in creating a lush, crabgrass-free lawn, give Free Spray Lawn Care a call at [phone].
The Importance of Spring Lawn Care
Proper spring lawn care is a vital part of maintaining healthy, green grass year-round. The five tips below can help you create a greener, more vibrant yard in the growing season and beyond.
1. Nurture your Soil
Your local extension agent can administer a soil test to determine what your lawn requires. The results can help you choose how to prepare your lawn for spring. Spring aeration is imperative in ensuring a healthy lawn. Use a special machine or a hand tool to pull small plugs of grass and soil out of your lawn. Aerating your lawn helps grass—and its roots—absorb nutrients, sun, water, air, and fertilizer.
Regularly seeding your lawn helps your grass fight off weeds. First, prepare your soil with a top-dressing of compost to promote the seed’s growth. After the seeds have been planted, water every day and avoid exposing it to foot traffic.
3. Weed Prevention
While spring is the ideal time to control weeds with pre-emergent weed controls, a pre-emergent alsoprevents new seed growth. Before application, decide whether your lawn is more in need of new seeding or weed control. If weeds are the more prevalent problem, spread a pre-emergent weed control throughout your lawn in late spring and activate it with water. Subsequent applications may be required.
Fertilization is another important part of spring lawn care. Decide how to fertilize your lawn by the type of grass you have.
- Cool-season grass: do not heavily fertilize your cool-season grass in the spring as this can encourage new growth to come in too fast, which results in tender blades that can struggle to survive the hot temperatures of summer. For lawns in poor condition, feed lightly in the spring with a slow-release fertilizer containing equal parts nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Heavier fertilization should take place in the fall during the peak growing season.
- Warm-season grass:fertilize your warm-season grass in late spring (after the last frost, usually in April or May) as the lawn begins actively growing and begins to turn green.
5. Mow Properly
For a lawn to reach its full potential, Proper cutting height is of the utmost importance. Northern Ohio lawns are usually made up of Kentucky Blue Grass and different varieties of fescue. These grasses are best cut at 3”. Most of the water your lawn needs is stored in the grass blade. Cutting at 3” allows your lawn to store more water leading to improved health and vigor.
For additional assistance in spring lawn care, contact Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone]. We can come up with the perfect plan to insure a green, healthy weed free lawn all season long.