Categories
Landscaping OPEI

Use Outdoor Power Equipment Safely

Does your home and property house stop traffic? It can when it looks its best with a freshly cut lawn, manicured garden beds and trimmed shrubbery and bushes, sure signs it is well cared for. The pros at the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) have some sage advice to make that happen with these eight tips to help care for, store and use outdoor power equipment that will help you maintain your property. Read their suggestions (and follow them) so when you’re using outdoor power equipment you know you’re playing it safe.

***Read the operator’s manual to understand the controls of your equipment.

***Inspect your equipment for loose belts and missing or damaged parts. Drain and responsibly dispose of old oil and put in fresh oil before starting equipment that has been in long-time storage. Install clean air filters so your engine and equipment will run optimally.

***Have your lawn mower’s cutting blades sharpened so your mower will operate more efficiently, cutting your lawn cleaner and making it healthier.

*** Only allow responsible adults who are familiar with the instructions to operate the machine. Do not let children use outdoor power equipment.

*** Confirm the locations of pets and children, and ask that they be kept out of the area where you are working.

*** Clear the area. Remove debris, wires, branches, nails, rocks, or metal that may become projectiles if thrown by lawn mower blades and other equipment.

*** Wear substantial shoes, long pants and close-fitting clothes. You may want eye or hearing protection.

***Fill your gasoline tank only when the engine is cool. If you need to refuel before completing a job, turn off the machine and allow the engine to cool. Never light a match or smoke around gasoline.

Visit www.diyornot.com to compare the cost of doing it yourself with hiring a contractor for hundreds of improvement jobs.

Categories
gardening Landscaping

Grass Growing Advice from Grass Seed USA

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton

To create a lush green landscape keep your grass healthy and in tip top shape with these helpful hints from the experts at Grass Seed USA, a coalition of American grass seed farmers. These are 3 easy peasy takeaways any homeowner can do using ordinary household items – ruler, screwdriver, mason jars – most everyone has around the house.

Tip 1: Mowing advice. To check if you’re mowing your grass to the right height use a ruler. Wait until your grass is three inches tall before mowing, and then cut it to two inches in height. By trimming only one-third of the blade length, you’ll avoid stressing the grass while leaving enough leaf to protect the roots from the sun. When you mow your grass to the correct height you create a low maintenance, drought-tolerance lawn.

Tip 2: Avoid overwatering. By watering only when your lawn needs it your grass will develop longer roots that are able to pull moisture from deep in the soil. To test for moisture, push a screwdriver (an old one) into the ground. If it’s tough to push it in, the soil is dry and the grass needs a drink; if the tool goes in easily, you don’t need to water yet.

Tip 3: Do It Yourself pH test. Most turf grasses prefer soil with a neutral pH (neither acidic nor alkaline) and you can test for it with a pair of pint size mason jars. Fill each jar about half way full of soil taken from different parts of the yard, removing any rocks or other debris. Add a half-cup of household vinegar to the first jar and if the mixture fizzes, the soil is highly alkaline and you don’t need to test the other jar. If you get no reaction, continue the testing by adding a half-cup of water to the soil in the second jar. Mix well and then add a half-cup of baking soda to the slurry. If this mixture fizzes, the soil is very acidic.

Amend overly acidic soil with lime; amend alkaline soil with sulphur.

For more tips about your lawn go to http://www.weseedamerica.com, the Grass Seed USA website.

If you’re considering any lawn and home improvement jobs visit us at www.diyornot.com and find the cost of doing it yourself compared with the cost of hiring a contractor.

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Categories
gardening Landscaping

Grass Growing Advice from Grass Seed USA

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton

To create a lush green landscape keep your grass healthy and in tip top shape with these helpful hints from the experts at Grass Seed USA, a coalition of American grass seed farmers. These are 3 easy peasy takeaways any homeowner can do using ordinary household items – ruler, screwdriver, mason jars – most everyone has around the house.

Tip 1: Mowing advice. To check if you’re mowing your grass to the right height use a ruler. Wait until your grass is three inches tall before mowing, and then cut it to two inches in height. By trimming only one-third of the blade length, you’ll avoid stressing the grass while leaving enough leaf to protect the roots from the sun. When you mow your grass to the correct height you create a low maintenance, drought-tolerance lawn.

Tip 2: Avoid overwatering. By watering only when your lawn needs it your grass will develop longer roots that are able to pull moisture from deep in the soil. To test for moisture, push a screwdriver (an old one) into the ground. If it’s tough to push it in, the soil is dry and the grass needs a drink; if the tool goes in easily, you don’t need to water yet.

Tip 3: Do It Yourself pH test. Most turf grasses prefer soil with a neutral pH (neither acidic nor alkaline) and you can test for it with a pair of pint size mason jars. Fill each jar about half way full of soil taken from different parts of the yard, removing any rocks or other debris. Add a half-cup of household vinegar to the first jar and if the mixture fizzes, the soil is highly alkaline and you don’t need to test the other jar. If you get no reaction, continue the testing by adding a half-cup of water to the soil in the second jar. Mix well and then add a half-cup of baking soda to the slurry. If this mixture fizzes, the soil is very acidic.

Amend overly acidic soil with lime; amend alkaline soil with sulphur.

For more tips about your lawn go to http://www.weseedamerica.com, the Grass Seed USA website.

If you’re considering any lawn and home improvement jobs visit us at www.diyornot.com and find the cost of doing it yourself compared with the cost of hiring a contractor.

Format for Print Email to a Friend