Frederick MD Home Owners – Keeping A Healthy Lawn
It’s that time of year again. With lots of rain in the last few weeks, the lawn needs some attention. Our guest blogger David Goldberg from Reliable Home Inspections shares some timely tips for lawn care:
Your lawn mover is one of the most expensive investments in terms of yard maintenance equipment. Storing and operating it correctly will prolong its life as well as ensure a well-manicured lawn.
For the machine: Washing the underside of the deck is an important habit to maintain. Depending on the types of lawn treatment used, including fertilizers or pesticides, the various substances can have an effect on the underside of the lawn mower. When these elements build-up and aren’t removed they can quickly corrode the deck, shorten the life of the bearings in the spindles and also contribute to lawn disease. Regular cleaning can add life to your lawn mower, saving you money over the years.
Removing the clippings that stick to the deck is also a good reason to clean that area regularly. This will reduce metal corrosion. It is easiest to do before the clippings dry and harden.
Organic-based lubricants are now available to spray on the deck of the machine to keep clippings from sticking to the deck. (Fluid Film is an example of a lubricant that can be used to protect lawn equipment in use, in storage and in transit).
Keeping blades sharp is also another important maintenance activity. This action will ensure a healthier lawn and better gas mileage and longer life for the mower and its parts. Lawn care experts are often asked what insect or weather conditions cause brown-tipped grass. Simply put, this condition is solely caused by operator error. In other words, the homeowner is using dull blades to cut grass. Lawn mower blades can be sharpened manually with a whetstone or sharpening tool or removed and taken to a hardware or garden supply store.
As with other vehicles, checking the oil and tires are also crucial to increase a mower’s life span and operating condition. Checking the oil each time (and adding oil when the level drops below the halfway point) will keep the mower in optimal operating condition. Overfilling the oil is not recommended, because this practice will actually shorten engine life. Tire pressure is also important because lower tires can make the machine harder to steer and can affect traction.
For Healthy Grass: To keep grass healthy, the rule of thumb is mow high (three inches or more) when weather is warm. When lawns are allowed to grow higher, they develop deeper roots and are able to endure dryer conditions.
For Operator Safety: Remember that even when a mower is turned off, the blades are still turning and there is still a risk for injury. The blades must have stopped rotating before it is safe to begin maintenance activities. Pulling out a mower’s spark plug is the best way to ensure the lawn mower will not turn on accidently.
Watering and Feeding the Grass. Grass needs to be fed and watered to stay healthy, but in many areas of the country, homeowners are growing concerned about water conservation. A smart water conservation plan for any lawn starts with feeding. Feeding not only improves a lawn’s appearance, it also strengthens and thickens the grass to help the lawn protect itself. A well-fed lawn grows deeper roots to better absorb water and nutrients. Compared to an unfed lawn, a lawn that is fed uses water more efficiently. Feeding your lawn two to 4 times a year will keep it healthy.
There are many tips for homeowners to use less water on their yard and garden. Make sure to rely on the rain whenever you can to save on water consumption. Also, if you mow often, you can leave the grass clippings on the lawn. Grass clippings break down quickly and return beneficial nutrients to the soil, especially if you mow often enough so too much of the grass blade isn’t removed at once. Removing too much of the grass blade shocks the grass and leaves clipping piles on the lawn that also can smother grass.
A big thanks to David Goldberg, our preferred home inspector, for these great lawn care for homeowners to have a healthier and happier lawn. Beautiful green grass makes your outdoor living spaces much more enjoyable. Additionally, it makes for great curb appeal when you are ready to put your home on the market!
David Goldberg – Home Inspector phone: 301-913-9213 fax: 301-774-4554
ASHI Member #101584 MD License #29322