Edging Your Lawn Like A Pro

One of the first things you’ll notice on a beautifully maintained lawn on a fine home in a nice block is not only how clean and well mowed their lawn is but also how precise and straight as arrows the edges are. Being able to edge your lawn and keep it well groomed makes your lawn stand out and look like a million bucks! You know what it’s really like? Like when you got to get a haircut. They cut the proper length of your hair, style it just like you want, and then the trip up and “edge” around your ears, your sideburns, and the back of your neck. Nothing looks better than a well-executed haircut by a pro.

The same thing holds true for your lawn. Once you mow it and fine trim all the edges and make them look flawless, you get a sense of pride and fell pretty damn good about the work you just did.

So today, we’re going to go into how to edge your lawn like a pro. You’ll notice that most professional lawn care service providers do things with incredible precision and speed. Hey, they’re pros! They know what they are doing. The majority of these folks don’t use an edger or a specific tool for edging lawns. They use their weedwhackers. The reason is that they can edge out a lawn in just about 2 minutes with it. Hell, even asphalt sealcoating companies are pros at it. They edge before the seal coat driveways along edges to not get their sealants on the grass. So here is exactly how they do it.

First off, they fire up their weedwhacker or trimmer or whatever you like to call it in your neck of the woods. Once it’s on, they hold it like they normally would. Then, they simply flip the entire thing right over and hold it upside down. This creates the string spinner from being horizontal to becoming vertical. They hold it upside down in a way where instead of pulling the trigger to rev up the string, they use their thumb to push the trigger down. Once they have their hand in place hold it upside down, they raise the back part of it over their shoulder and hold it firmly.

Oh, before they even begin, the first judge and see which way the string will be spinning. The reason is so they know on which side to stand on as they walk along and edge the lawn. They make sure that the direction they are going will not shoot off rocks and debris onto a window, property, or cars that may be parked nearby.

Once they’ve determined which way they will face the edge of the lawn, then it’s time to start edging that lawn. All the day is walk and hold the trimmer firmly. They follow a straight line in vision on the ground. They get down to the dirt with the timing moving along steadily. Most of the time you see one of these props do it, it looks really easy for them because, for one, they’ve probably been doing it for years. Number two, they’ve probably been edging that same lawn for a long time and a channel or groove begins to set in and it’s just easier to follow along.

The first time you do this, expect some gashes in your lawn and some crooked lines. No big deal. The grass always grows back. You’ll get a shot to practice over and over again. Once you get it down you’ll start edging your lawn like a pro. You’ll get good at edging around trees, bushes, and planters. Before you know it, it will look like a laser came by to edge your lawn. That’s how good your lines will look. Special thanks to our friends over at Lawn Care Stockton for their tips and expertise!

Lawn Care Tools Every Homeowner Should Own

It’s late Friday afternoon and you’ve heard just about everyone at work, work their round of saying “Thank goodness it’s Friday!” and laying out their awesome weekend plans for this coming weekend.

You, on the other hand, have work to do around the yard first thing Saturday morning. The cool thing? You actually like cleaning up your yard! It’s a pretty damn cool feeling seeing a well-maintained yard to come home to every day. But a well-groomed yard doesn’t just get groomed on its own. Just a like a great barber, a homeowner should have at least these three tools of the trade in their house to keep that yard in tip-top shape.

The 3 Lawn Care Tools Every Homeowner Should Own

This goes without saying, but nothing will get down without a lawnmower. The lawn mower you choose will be the number one tool in your arsenal to keep your lawn nice and properly maintained. Now you gotta pick wisely here with so many options out there. You got self-propelled for you guys out there that’s cardio conditioning has gone way downhill since you the days of you finishing the 1 mile run in high school in 7 minutes and 30 seconds, and basically, need the mower pulling you around instead of you pushing it. Goes without saying though, those self-propelled mowers are always a bit more pricey.

Then you got regular, plain old gas-powered push mowers. These are the norm and are priced affordably that even a kid down the street has bought one to start his own mowing service. If you got a normal sized lawn and it’s on flat ground, this is the way to go.

For all you pajama wearing, tree hugging, and skinny jean wearing boys out there, they also got some of the electric plug-in mowers and battery powered mowers. These are fine too and work great for those individuals that have a hell of a time get the gas to oil mixture ratio just right. Just plug em in and go to town! Just be careful not to chop up the cord.

There are also those old-school push mowers that are just human powered. What is this? The middle ages? Avoid those things! Those are for punishing teenagers who stay out too late and drink cheap beer with their pals.

Every Homeowner Should Have This Lawn Tool

You have to have a trimmer. Also referred to as a weed whacker or weed eater. How else are you gonna trim those edges along your lawn? You’ll also need a damn good trimmer with some real “oomph!” and not one of them sissy electric ones. You’re going to have to trim deep into the grooves of the lawn edges and this means hitting a little bit of dirt. I go into some good detail on how to trim and edge your lawn here. You’ll need to trim around bushes and tree too to make sure everything looks fantastic.

These things always run and gas and oil mixtures. Don’t be a wuss and stress about not being able to mix it just right. There’s direction right on the oil packaging for crip’s sake! You also got youtube.

The Last Lawn Tool Homeowners Should Own

So, you’ve cracked open a beer late Saturday afternoon. You’ve fired up your self-propelled mower and made some sweet looking lawn lines on your lawn. You’ve fired up your gas trimmer and edged the edges so sharp and straight that you can lay a laser pointer along the lines just to prove to your buddies just how straight your lines are. Everything looks great except there are crap and debris everywhere!

This is where a good blower comes in. You need it to finish up the work and who wants to push a broom around? You just finished the yard work and got a second beer waiting for you and you need to sweep? The hell with that! Blow it all away!  For these things, I’d recommend an electric blower. Why electric? Because you will hardly be running this thing long. Plug it in with an extension cord and blow everything off in about 3 minutes. Why waste more of your gas and oil on something you’ll run 3 minutes a week. Get electric. It’s the way to go.

Special thanks to our boys at The Pro’s Lawn and Garden in Paso Robles, CA for the tips on this post. You can visit their services at  http://www.pasorobleslawncare.com

How To Fix A Busted Sprinkler

It happens all the time. A sprinkler breaks on your lawn and you probably don’t know about it until you realize there’s a patch of grass starting to turn yellow and dry up. Or, you learn about it quickly when you see a massive puddle of water near your driveway from a busted sprinkler head and water having spewed out throughout the 15 minutes watering cycle.

Should you can a landscaper to come by and fix it? Maybe call a handyman that knows how to fix a busted sprinkler?

You know what? You don’t gotta do any of that! You can fix a busted sprinkler yourself in no time at all. Not only that, you can fix a busted sprinkler for under $10. Let us show you how to do it.

These days, sprinklers are pretty much all the same. They all work pretty much in the same way with water running underneath them and the water pressure making them “pop out” of their small casing and spraying water towards wherever the water spout is pointing. The only thing you have to really worry about is getting one that’s pretty similar to the one that is there in the first place. So the very first thing you will need to do is to dig out the area around the sprinkler and simply turn and unscrew it right outta the ground. All sprinklers are connected underneath to the main water supply line that can be anywhere from 1/2 inch to 2 inches wide. It’s usually white. Each sprinkler is connected to that supply line by a 1/2 connection.

So, just dig around the busted sprinkler, about 1 to 2 inches around it to give you room to simply unscrew it from the supply line. Pull it out slowly so you don’t get a bunch of dirt inside the open hole you’ll leave once you remove it. One of two things will happen when you unscrew it. It will come out with the small 1/2 pipe attached to it on the bottom or it will come out without it and the small pipe will stay on the supply line. Either way, you are fine. If you leave the small pipe behind, use a plastic pipe extractor to push into the pipe and it will grip it, then unscrew it out.

Next look at the sprinkler that you have. Take it with you to the nearest hardware supply store and look for one similar to it. There’s a very big chance you will find the exact same one in one of those big home improvement stores. These sprinklers have a head on them with a different variety of waterspouts to change the flow of water that they spray. There are 1/4 circle spouts that usually go on the corner end of a lawn.  There are half circle spouts that go directly on the side of a lawn. Then there is full circle spout ends that go on the middle of lawns. There are even adjustable ones but the cost a bit more. Simply look at what you have before. Purchase the one you need and also a cheap roll of Teflon tape.

Once you get home, attach the small 1/2 inch size pipe on the bottom of the sprinkler with a little Teflon tape wrapped around it first. Once it’s on there, wrap Teflon tape around the threading of the part that will go to the supply line underneath. Screw the whole thing onto the supply line and tighten by hand only. Those things are all plastic and will break with a pair of pliers or channel locks. Make sure you face the 1/4 circle or half circle in the right direction (Full circle you don’t worry about). The sprinkler will have a marking to show you where the water spout will be. Once in the ground, fill up the open ground with the original dirt and grass you dug out in the first place. Pack it nice and tight. Go turn on the sprinkler and test it out. You’ll if it’s popping out correctly and if the water is spraying out in the right direction.

And that should do it. It’s actually quite simple to fix a busted sprinkler. You can hire a pro for at least $50 or do it yourself for under $10.

Special thanks to our friends over at www.sprinklerrepairfresno.com

How To Get Weeds Off Your Lawn Forever

It always happens. You mow your lawn. You water your lawn. You fertilize your lawn and no matter what you do, weeds start to sprout out of the lawn giving your lawn a massive eyesore. We all know deep down inside that no one is walking around the neighborhood judging and awarding prizes to the best lawns on the block but to you, it really bothers you. It probably irritates the hell out of you and you murmur and curse under your breath that you want those little bastard’s dead!

Well, we are going to share with you some tips on how to get rid of those weed off your lawn so you don’t get to deal with those little bastards anymore. So, let’s get to it!

First, you must understand why weeds pop up in the first place in your lawn. Here’s why.

Weeds are always looking for some fertile and open spot they can grow in, wait, let me take that back. Weeds are looking for ANY open spot anywhere to sprout out and grow, hence why they grow in the craziest of places like the crack in a sidewalk or even on a small amount of dirt that’s been sitting around for a little while. They are some tough and persistent little pests! So, any open spot on your lawn will is considered “fair game” as long as the weed is concerned and will take full advantage of it.

Our objective here is to “crowd out” any possible weed from ever getting into your lawn in the first place. Imagine going to a sold old Metallica concert and having every conceivable seat taken in the arena by a raging and screaming fan. Imagine you were late in getting tickets and there are even a few extra fans that got in and there is standing room only in the place. There is no way you’re going to get a seat and get in. You’re straight out of luck. Well, the same thing is going to happen here with your lawn. We are going to grow a blade of grass in every single square inch of your soil that no weed can possibly get in.

So, here we go. First off, go out and get any brand of broadleaf weed killer for lawns at any home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowes. Spray your lawn with it and let it work its magic. It will take a few days, but it will kill off the weeds. Next, look for any open patches of grass and fill it in with turf builder or more seeds of grass of the same type of grass you got growing on your lawn.

Check all your sprinklers to make sure they are all working properly and watering every section of your lawn adequately with water. Next, aerate your lawn as described here in this article and fertilize your lawn properly. Water the hell out of it to let our lawn really bring in the nutrients and give all of your new seeds in the patches of empty soil a great start in growth. The key here is to give your lawn a super strong root system and strong blades on the surface. When you mow it, mow it at a slightly higher level than you had before. Again, we are trying to build a strong and sturdy lawn here with absolutely no breathing room whatsoever for any weed to find a place to take root.

Do all the following steps with persistence and consistency. Be patient. Before you know it you will have built a lawn so powerful and so dense that it is simply impossible for any weed to even think about growing on it. We want to fill in the arena with crazy fans! Not only that, fill it with extremely overweight fans! Next time a weed thinks about growing on your lawn, they’ll think twice and just float on over into the crack in the sidewalk or a fresh spot on your neighbor’s lawn.

Signs that Your Lawn Needs to Be Aerated

Ask your friends and family members how they want their lawn to look like, and you’ll end up with one answer-a lush, weed-free, healthy lawn. Isn’t that what you want also? Let’s just say every homeowner wants to be associated with a beautiful yard with healthy shrubs and trees. With all these aspirations and expectations, we still forget that this is only possible when we take care and maintain our yards. It takes effort and commitment.

Keeping your grass healthy and green is almost the same as maintaining a healthy smile. You’ll need to visit your dentist more often for dental exams and regular dental care to ensure that smile remains healthy and attractive. That’s the same relationship you must maintain with your lawn care service. You have to provide treatment and fertilization as required, mow your grass, water your lawn, and get rid of weeds and other pests.

Another important area we often forget is aerating our lawns. Lawn aeration allows for the penetration of essential nutrients to the grass roots. The playing around and daily traffic your lawn receives cause the coil to be compacted and become dry. Grass roots need oxygen and other important nutrients for healthy growth. Aerating your Lawn will go a long way to improve the flow of air, water, and nutrients into the ground.

How will you tell it’s time to aerate your lawn? Here are some signs to help you know:

When your Lawn starts Thinning

There are different causes of thinning. However, if your lawn starts thinning and you cannot identify any other possible cause, it could be time to aerate your soil.

You have a lot of Runoff or Water starts Pulling in your Lawn

When the soil is compacted, it becomes hard for water to penetrate through the ground surface. If you, therefore, see water pulling in your lawn or in areas where it wasn’t, that could be an indication that your soil needs to be aerated. Compacted soil cannot allow for water percolation. It’s either the water starts pooling up, or you have a lot of runoff depending on the slope of the area.

Thickening Thatch

We should probably explain what thatch means, right? When you take a look at the grass in your lawn, you’ll notice a layer of dead grass matter. The layer usually looks like shoots and grass stems and tends to build up right between the green growth of your grass and the ground surface. That’s what is referred to as thatch. Once this layer starts to thicken than normal, it could be time to aerate your lawn. Thick thatch is associated with poorly aerated lawns.

Sparse Grass in Areas that Were Once Lush

If your lawn that was uniform and healthy in all areas start having patches or sparse grass, it could be time to aerate. The soil around that area might have received so much traffic hence getting compacted. The cramped conditions make it difficult for the grass to breath thereby resulting in weak or disease-prone growth. Weeds such as quack grass and chicory grow and thrive in compacted soil. The presence of such weeds is an indication to aerate your lawn.