Do This Fall Yard Work And Reap Springtime Benefits
North American Precis Syndicate
Make sure your yard and equipment are properly prepared for the seasons to come. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—Lots of people think their family yards need less attention
in the fall but autumn is no time to ignore your lawn and landscape.
“What you do now will determine the quality of your family yard next
spring and summer,” explained Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), the international trade association
representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle
manufacturers and suppliers.
“Every gardener knows to plant bulbs in the fall but autumn is also
the time to mow, aerate, mulch, trim and patch your lawn,” said Kiser.
He offers five tips to help you get your yard into top shape this fall and
ready for more relaxing and fun outdoor activities next year.
Keep mowing. Grass still needs
regular care to stay healthy. Grass that’s too high may attract
lawn-damaging field mice. Shorter grass is more resistant to diseases and
traps fewer falling leaves. Cutting the grass low lets more sun reach the
crown of the grass, so less leaf will turn brown in the winter. However,
cutting off too much at one time can be damaging, so never trim more than a
third of the grass blades off in a single cutting. Put mower blades on the
lowest settings for the last two cuts of the season.
Aerate your lawn. Compressed
soil hurts grass health. Aerating punches holes into the soil and lets
oxygen, water and nutrients into a lawn. Use a walk-behind aerator or get an
attachment to pull behind a riding mower.
Mulch your leaves. Many mowers
can mulch leaves with an attachment. Since mulching with a mower can mix
grass clippings with leaf particles, these nitrogen-rich grass particles and
carbon-rich leaf particles will compost more quickly. Together, they return
nutrients to the soil.
Trim and shore up trees and bushes.
Use trimmers, chain saws or pole pruners to cut back trees, shrubs and
plants. Make sure branches are safely trimmed back from overhead lines and
not in danger of falling on a structure in rough weather. You may need to tie
or brace limbs of upright evergreens or plants to prevent them from breaking
in high winds or snow. Call a professional arborist for big trees or
Repair bald spots. Fall is a
great time to patch bald or thin spots in a lawn. The easiest way to do this
is with an all-in-one lawn repair mixture (found at most garden shops and
home centers). Use a garden rake or dethatcher to scratch loose the soil on
Kiser also added that it’s important to follow safety procedures
whenever using outdoor power equipment. Read your owner’s manual. It
will describe the individual requirements for your particular machine and
provide directions on which fuels may be appropriate for your product. Fuels
containing more than 10 percent ethanol should not be used unless directed in
the owner’s manual.
He said, “You’ll also want to service and winterize your lawn
mower, string trimmer, leaf blower and other outdoor power equipment.”
And remember, most gas-fueled outdoor power equipment is warranted and
designed to run on E10 (10 percent ethanol) fuel or less. There are fuel
options available today that should not be used in your outdoor power
equipment. Remember to “look before you pump” and make sure to
drain the fuel tank before storing equipment for the winter. Safely dispose
of any fuel that is more than 30 days old.
“Winterization is important for outdoor power equipment. When
everything is growing again in the spring and you see how all your hard fall
lawn work has paid off, the last thing you want to deal with is a
malfunctioning mower,” said Kiser.
For information on safe fueling, go to www.LookBeforeYouPump.com. For
tips on outdoor power equipment safety, go to www.opei.org.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)