Sunday December 8, 2013
Looking for a unique gift for someone who loves to spend time improving the lawn? Here are a few reasonably priced gift ideas for the lawn lover in your life.
Organic Lawn Care Manual by Paul Tukey - Easily my number one recommendation. One of the best lawn care books period. Organic or otherwise, the information in this book is comprehensive, easy to understand, and well laid out. Around $20.
Worx 20v Battery Powered Trimmer- This small battery powered trimmer is the perfect size for a small yard where a smelly, gas powered trimmer is a little overkill. It also works as a mini-mower and edger. Around $120.
Avenger Organic Weed Killer - An organic weed killer that smells like oranges. What's not to like. Just remember, this stuff is non-selective meaning it kills grass too. Around $10 for 24 ounce ready-to-use spray bottle.
Grass Stitcher is a great new tool for repairing turf. A little downward pressure on the spiked rollers creates an effective seedbed quick and easy. Around $100
See more gift ideas in Product Reviews
Thursday December 5, 2013
There are so many ice-melt products on the market, it's enough to make your head spin. Not only do they all claim to work the best, they all claim to be "greener" than their competitors. Many of these claims of being green are nothing more than a marketing technique. When companies claim their product is "green" when it's not it's called "green-washing".
Sure, salt is a naturally occurring substance but is it safe for pets, plants and concrete? Ice melt labels are so loaded with claims of safety and effectiveness, never mind whether it's potassium, magnesium, sodium, or calcium chloride?
Most ice melt products are made from one, or a blend, of five products. Some chlorides are less corrosive and some lose effectiveness when it gets too cold. All ice melt products have their limits and advantages. It's best to have a blend that can take advantage of the benefits of multiple products.
Read more about ice melting products:
Treating Ice on Sidewalks and Driveways
Review of Mr. Magic Premium Ice Melt
Read more about greenwashing:
How to Know if You've Been Greenwashed
Thursday November 28, 2013
Using sod to create an instant lawn is a great time saver and is a lot easier than growing a lawn from seed or sprigs. It's not without it's own set of rules and techniques though and a bad sod job or failing to properly establish it can end up costing thousands.
Before a piece of sod is laid, the soil must be prepared properly. Poorly prepared soil will cause the sod to peter out beyond its initial knitting stage. Have the soil tested and make sure it is fertile enough to sustain a lawn.
Laying sod seems easy but is a little more involved that "green side up". There is a proper way to lay sod and failure to do it right will compromise the quality of the lawn.
The most important part of creating a lawn from sod is the after-care. Failure to properly establish the sod will result in disappointment and money wasted.
How to Create a Lawn from Sod
Sunday November 24, 2013
Lawns need to be rejuvenated once in a while. An old lawn with old seed may not be performing at the same level a younger lawn with improved grass cultivars would. Especially if the lawn is predominantly ryegrass and cannot spread via rhizomes and stolons.
Rejuvenating the lawn can be as simple as just aerating. Even without adding new seed, aerating the lawn once a year can relieve compaction and improve nutrient and water uptake. Overseeding with a quality seed blend will also bring new life to an old lawn.
Sometimes it's better to give the lawn a complete overhaul by stripping everything away and adding new sod. Not an easy endeavor but the results are immediate.
How to Rejuvenate Your Lawn