The grass is always greener in your neighbor's yard... or so it seems.
This season more Americans will be grabbing gardening tools and undertaking lawn maintenance themselves rather than paying lawn care professionals. But doing it yourself and knowing what to do are two different things.
"Many lawns emerge from the winter months dry, barren and some even diseased, making a lawn care regimen an important part of spring cleaning," says Mark Short, vice president of product development at Agri-Fab, a manufacturer of lawn and garden attachments. "The good news is there are affordable tools that allow for homeowners to tackle lawn chores themselves and even save on time and backaches associated with tools of the past."
To ensure you're on your way to a lush lawn, consider the following:
- Sweeping: Just as you use a sweeper for indoor cleaning, apply the same idea outdoors. Before your lawn can blossom, you'll need to remove dead leaves, twigs and debris that have gathered. Instead of using a rake or picking up debris by hand, save yourself the backache and some time by using a lawn sweeper. For instance, Agri-Fab offers both a push lawn sweeper for smaller lawns and a tractor-tow-behind model called the Smartsweep that sweeps up everything in its path. When using a tow-behind, look for one that collapses for compact storage and eliminates wheel skipping, the leading sweeper frustration.
- Rolling: As the seasons change, you may see subtle bumps and grooves in your lawn. Rolling the lawn at the start of the season is important for proper fertilizer and grass seed application, as well as precise mowing. Lawn rollers attach to the back of a tractor and can be purchased at home improvement stores nationwide. You simply add water to weigh them down.
- Dethatching: Thatch is a layer of problem material that hides between layers of soil. Thatch build-up can spread harmful pests and disease. It also can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the lawn's root zone. Invest in a dethatcher, which brings matted layers of thatch to the surface for easy removal.
- Aerating: Aerating should be done at the beginning of the season to improve oxygen circulation, reduce weeds and help absorb fertilizer. To determine whether your lawn needs aerating, use the screwdriver test. Try to insert a screwdriver into the ground. If it's difficult to penetrate, you need to aerate. Many aerators conveniently attach to the back of a tractor and include knives that effortlessly slice into soil.
Instead of purchasing a separate aerator, roller and dethatcher, consider an all-in-one system like Agri-Fab's Smartlink. This complete grooming system allows users to switch from one of these attachments to another in seconds without any tools. Plus, it saves on storage space by eliminating bulky platforms for each product.
- Re-Seeding: To give your lawn a boost and repair seasonal damage, re-seed at the start of the season. Use a spreader for even distribution to ensure the lawn grows evenly. Both push and tow-behind spreaders are available. Your local lawn and garden store can help if you don't know what type of seed to purchase.
- Mowing: Once your grass reaches three inches tall, begin mowing. The first mowing will help remove old, damaged grass and reveal a green lawn you can enjoy for the remainder of the season.
For more lawn care tips and insights on the latest lawn care tools, including special product rebates, visit www.agri-fab.com.