(Family Features) Want to get the best out of your lawn this year? Implement these simple hacks to keep your lawn green and growing, your equipment up and running, and your yard looking great.
1. Feed your lawn. In order to maintain a healthy lawn, you should fertilize twice a year. Start the process one month after the lawn starts growing in the spring, and one month before the lawn goes dormant in the fall. Spring fertilization is imperative, as it replenishes nutrient reserves that have been used up during the first growth spurt of the season. Avoid "burning" the lawn by only fertilizing at the recommended rate and ratio for your lawn. Check with the experts at your local lawn care supply store to choose the correct dose.
2. Perform mower checkups. A properly running mower is essential to keeping your lawn looking great. Make sure it's ready for every mow by incorporating these maintenance tips into your routine:
- Change your mower oil. This should be done every 25 hours of use for a walk-behind mower, which is once a year for most users. For a lawn tractor, change the oil every 50 hours.
- Keep your mower clean. Brush away grass clippings from the cooling fans and keep air intake screens clear so air can pass through. Make sure that all safety shields are in place to protect you and your family.
- Sharpen your blade. A dull blade will split grass blades, leaving them susceptible to disease. Sharpen the blade to about one sixty-fourth of an inch for a clean cut. Also, be sure the blade is balanced to ensure an even cut.
3. Mulch instead of bag. Mulching while you mow leaves a thin layer of grass clippings on the lawn. These clippings gradually break down to provide additional nitrogen to the lawn. This provides a natural fertilizer throughout the mowing season. Look for mowers with specifically designed mulching mower decks and blades that cut clippings into tiny pieces, returning them to the turf.
4. Do more with your mower. You can now do more than ever with your tractor by adding implements to help complete yard tasks more quickly, and enjoy some rest and relaxation on the weekend. Use utility carts for hauling, spreaders for applying fertilizer, aerators to renew the soil, or even a snow blower attachment to remove the snow from your driveway.
Source: John Deere