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Blog - Richardson Saw And Lawnmower | Outdoor Power Equipment

  • Product Spotlight: eXmark Radius Zero-Turn Riding Mower

    exmark-radius-zero-turn-lawnmower-new-dallas

    Exmark unveiled the newest addition to their zero-turn riding mower collection last year at GIE+EXPO 2016. When creating these mowers, they used feedback from lawn care professionals and their extensive experience in the lawn equipment industry to create what Exmark is calling “the next great zero-turn.”

    These mowers deliver the high level of performance landscape professionals have a right to expect. Durability, cut quality, operator comfort, and superior control all come together in a professional grade lawnmower. The Radius mowers are available in E-Series, S-Series, and X-Series.

    Shared Features

    Because of Exmark's commitment to simplifying maintenance, there are only four grease points on the entire mower. The deck design lets you access belts without tools and an oil drain hose in the engine enables quick, clean oil changes. In addition, an integrated jack receiver makes it easier to access the underside of the deck for cleaning and blade sharpening or replacement.

    The three series also feature a strong frame, large ties, and other features designed for comfort and safety:

    • The heavy-duty unibody frame is formed from fully welded 2-inch by 3-inch rectangular steel frame tubes.
    • Frame design places engine, fuel tank, and hydrodrive system low to the ground. This provides a low center of gravity and improves traction and maneuverability.
    • Large front caster tiles and rear drive tires offer increased traction, ground clearance, and stability while reducing turf compaction.
    • High back-seats with armrests and an integrated safety switch ensure comfort and safety.
    • A quick adjustable Rollover Protection System (ROPS) protects the operator from accidents.

    Cutting Decks

    Radius mower design eliminates deck sway by isolating deck struts, as Exmark did in their Lazer Z-style mowers. This design reduces noise and how much vibration the operator feels. The different series offer different deck options:

    • E-Series mowers use Exmark's 5-inch deep UltraCut Series 3 cutting deck. It is a side-discharge deck available in 48-, 52-, or 60-inch cutting widths
    • S-Series mowers are available with the same deck as the E-Series. You can also choose a 5.5-inch deep Ultra Cut Rear Discharge cutting deck with 60-inch cutting width.
    • X-Series models provide greater cutting capacity with a 5.5-inch deep UltraCut Series 4 deck. It is a side-discharge deck available in 48-, 52-, or 60-inch cutting widths

    Distinctive Designs

    Other than the cutting decks, the biggest differences between the three series are found in the comfort features and maximum speed.

    • E-Series seat has a foam padded seat cushion. These mowers offer forward speeds up to 8 mph.
    • S-series models have foam padded seats with an adjustable Seat Isolation System. These models offer forward speeds up to 9 mph.
    • X-series feature a deluxe full-suspension seat that you can easily adjust to fit the operator's weight and ride preference. These models offer forward speeds up to 10 mph.

    If you're in the market for a new professional grade mower, consider going with a model from Exmark's Radius series. We're an Exmark Turf Star Dealer, and that makes us a top choice for providing service, parts, repairs, and quality advice on Exmark equipment. Our technicians have the highest qualifications offered by Exmark and we'll be happy to answer your questions about the different mowers if you stop in at our location in Richardson, Texas.

  • Set Your Equipment Up For Spring Success

    After being in storage all winter, you'll want to make sure your equipment is in good working order before the grass starts growing. That last thing you want is to find out something isn't working the first day you try to mow the lawn or edge along a flower bed.

    Performing routine maintenance or bringing your equipment into our service department also plays a key role in extending the life of your lawn equipment. Spring's the perfect time for your equipment's yearly check-up. And if you do need new equipment, spring's a good time to catch sales.

    Plano Outdoor Power Equipment Set Your Equipment Up For Spring Success

    Tune-Up What You Got

    If you haven't done so recently (like when you put the equipment in storage) take the time to check and clean spark plugs. This is also a good time to go over the electrical system and make sure connections are clean and tight.

    Make sure trimmer heads and mower cutting decks are clean. Replace or sharpen blades and cutting lines as-needed. For riding mowers, check that tires are properly inflated. For walk-behind mowers, check pull cords to make sure they aren't fraying.

    Troubleshoot Problems

    If you run into any trouble starting your equipment, bring it in to see us. Richard Saw and Lawnmower has a highly-qualified team of service professionals to get your equipment up and running again as quickly as possible. We pride ourselves on getting the job done right the first time.

    We can also handle any routine maintenance you'd rather not do yourself. Don't have the equipment to sharpen mower blades? We'll do it for you. Want an expert eye to look over your electrical system? Bring it on in for a tune-up. We're more than happy to help.

    Snag Some Deals

    Spring's a good time to snag some deals if you need new lawn equipment. We'll have sales going off-and-on for much of the spring, so keep an eye on our website for announcements. Some of the best brands and models of lawn equipment offer some pretty impressive discounts.

    But saving money isn't the only concern when shopping for lawn equipment. You also want to make sure you get the right equipment. Our website and blog are great resources for researching which equipment is right for you. And you can also head into our well-stocked 7,000 square-foot showroom and check out the equipment we offer in person. Our sales team will show you around, answer your questions, and help you find exactly what you need.

  • Help Your Lawn Survive a Drought

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    The warm-season grasses grown in Texas thrive in hot weather. Zoysia, Bermuda, centipede and other types of warm-season grass experience their peak growth season during the warm months of the spring, summer, and early fall. This increases their drought tolerance, and there are a few additional steps you can take to help your lawn thrive when there is little water available for irrigation.

    Watering Efficiently

    As long as you have some water available for your lawn, you want to make the most of it. Watering efficiently will minimize wasted water and ensure that the water getting to your grass encourages healthy lawn growth. Deep, infrequent watering instead of small amounts of water every day or so will encourage deep root growth and keep the soil moist for a longer time between waterings.

    Other tips for saving water include:

    • water in the morning to minimize evaporation
    • check your hoses and sprinklers regularly for leaks
    • make sure sprinklers and hoses are adjusted so water is only falling on the lawn, not the sidewalk or other areas of the yard
    • keep an eye on the weather so you're not watering right before or right after rain when possible.
    • use soaker hoses instead of sprinklers
    • avoid creating run-off by watering too much at one time

    Change Mowing Habits

    One of the easiest things you can do to help your lawn survive a drought is increase the mowing height. Taller grass blades encourage a deeper root system that will be better able to survive low water conditions. Since the grass may bHee growing more slowly with less water, you may also be able to switch from a weekly to a biweekly mowing schedule.

    When you do cut the lawn, make sure you leave the clippings on the grass instead of raking. This will return nutrients and moisture to the soil, helping to protect your lawn against drought. With a mulching mower, the clippings will be finely chopped.

    Weeds and Fertilizer

    Controlling weeds and applying fertilizer play an important role in keeping your lawn healthy. Weeds will steal water and nutrients from grass and should be removed with chemical herbicides or by pulling and other natural methods.

    Texas grasses should be fertilized at least once a year, in the spring as the peak growing season starts. A time-release chemical fertilizer or an organic fertilizer like compost are good choices. If there is enough water available, you can fertilize a few more times in the late spring and summer and early in the fall. When water is less available, however, you'll want to fertilize less to avoid stressing the grass.

    With a little attention to efficient watering and basic lawn maintenance, you'll be able to help your grass survive and thrive when there is little water available. Watering deeply when you can and increasing the mowing height will help strengthen your grass to survive periods of drought. Making sure that you're only watering grass instead of weeds, and timing your fertilization around the amount of water available, will also contribute to a healthy lawn.

  • 5 Essential Tasks For Spring Prep

    Spring is my favorite season. New baby plants, bright spring flowers, warmer weather. And you can finally get outside and start working in the yard. Just make sure you don't miss any of these essential tasks for getting the lawn and garden ready for a good spring.

    Frisco Lawn Mowers 5 Essential Tasks For Spring Prep

    1) Clean Things Up

    As the weather warms, start out your spring lawn care by raking. This will fluff up grass leaves and remove debris from the lawn. Some sources also suggest aerating your lawn in the spring. You'll want to time aeration with the grass's peak growing season. For cool-season grass, early spring or late fall works well. For warm-season grass, wait until late spring.

    In early spring, prune perennials back to 4-5 inches tall and ornamental grasses down to 2-3 inches. Rake dead foliage and leaves out of the flowerbeds, borders, and off the lawn so they don't smother plants or contribute to mold and disease.

    2) Stop Weeds

    If you want to use herbicides on your lawn, start by applying a pre-emergent herbicide when the top 1 inch of soil has stayed above 55 degrees Fahrenheit for five days in a row. That's about 2 to 3 weeks before the time of year you usually start noticing weed growth. If you're planning to re-seed any areas of your lawn this spring, skip the pre-emergents. They'll stop grass seeds from sprouting along with weed seeds.

    3) Get Ready To Mow

    You can start mowing in the spring as soon as the grass is tall enough. Aim for cutting off 1/3 of the grass' total height with each mowing. That will mean you're cutting about once a week during peak growth season

    Before it's time to mow, get your lawn mower out of storage and give it a tune-up. Fill it up with new gasoline and make sure it starts. If you didn't do maintenance like blade sharpening and cleaning the air filters before storing the mower last year, take care of it now.

    4) Tune-Up Equipment

    It's not just mowers that need some attention in the spring. Trimmers, tillers, edgers, and other equipment benefits from regular maintenance at least once a year. Spring's a good time for that since you're already getting equipment out of storage and making sure it's ready for use. If you find anything that needs repairs, bring it into our service department. We can also help you with routine maintenance to keep all your equipment running smoothly year-round.

    5) Start Tilling

    Once the soil in a garden is free of ice and moist but not soggy, you can start tilling. For small gardens, we offer mini-cultivators that are compact and maneuverable. For larger gardens, a mid-size or larger rear-tine tiller makes the job faster and easier.

    Working the soil in the spring lets you add organic soil amendments like compost. It also makes planting easier for you, since you're not trying to dig compacted soil. And loose soil is easier for young plant roots to grow through.

  • 5 Landscape Trends To Look For In 2017

    About a year ago, home design website Houzz surveyed its members about their outdoor landscaping projects. This included recently completed projects, in-progress projects, and upcoming projects. The 2016 survey showed many similar trends to the 2015 survey. It's a safe bet to assume last year's results can give us some idea of the outdoor projects homeowners might be starting in 2017.

    1) Water Conscious Renovations

    A high percentage of homeowners cited drainage problems as a major reason for their renovations. 40% of respondents in the south and 27% to 35% in other regions listed drainage as their top challenge. That could include excess surface water, high underground water tables, runoff leading to erosion, or other water-related issues. In contrast, 46% of homeowners in western states consider drought/water shortage their biggest challenge.

    In keeping with these nation-wide concerns about water, it's little wonder that the number of homeowners upgrading their water management systems is going up. Fully 40% of homeowners surveyed were updating their sprinkler or irrigation systems (compared to 29% the previous year). 18% planned to start harvesting rainwater, most of them using a rain barrel system.

    2) Creating Privacy

    Nation-wide, lack of privacy was listed #2 on the Top Challenges Addressed During Outdoor Projects. None of the survey questions directly asked how homeowners were increasing privacy, but we can take some guesses.

    The survey found more homeowners are planting perennials, shrubs, trees, and other plants than in previous years. Low-maintenance and flowering plants are the most popular, and I think we can assume some of these plantings are also used to screen the yard from prying eyes. 34% of respondents also talked about installing a fence or property border, so hardscaping plays a role in increasing privacy as well.

    3) Pets and Children

    Quite a large number of renovators are keeping children or grandchildren in mind when updating their outdoor spaces. Fully 33% planned to make kid-related updates. Those included spaces to run and play, planting edible landscape plants, adding a fence around the yard, avoiding toxic plants, and installing a play structure.

    Even more survey respondents, 42%, were making pet-related updates. For both dogs and cats, creating space to run and play topped the list. Toxin-free plants, fenced off areas, paths for exploring, and providing shelter were also top concerns.

    4) Making It Comfortable

    Survey results indicate homeowners prioritize style, comfort, and beauty in a landscape that is, above all, low-maintenance. After finishing their landscape project, they want to focus on enjoying the space rather than maintaining it.

    Another top concern is creating an outdoor living space that the entire family can enjoy on a regular basis and which makes entertaining easy. More than half the homeowners renovating outdoor spaces include outdoor furniture in the design, and 75% included outdoor comfort features like fire pits, seating, hammock, and storage.

    5) Landscape Pros Needed

    The good news for landscape professionals is that people planning renovations aren't focused exclusively on DIY projects. Fully 52% of survey respondents hired a landscaping professional to help with their projects. The five professionals most in-demand were landscape contractors/gardeners, landscape architects or designers, paving specialists, deck and patio specialists, and fencing and gate specialists.

    If your business can help homeowners address drainage problems, water conservation, and privacy you should be in a good place for the upcoming year. Catering to pet- and child-friendly yards, as well helping homeowners create a comfortable, low-maintenance space, will also help you stand out as a landscape professional. And as you support your customers, remember that we're here to support you with professional quality lawn equipment and a promise to always service what we sell.

  • Understanding Oil Ratings For Your 2-Cycle Engine

    Many people know a 2-cycle engine runs on a mixture of oil and gasoline. What you might not know is how important it is that you use the right type of oil. The vast majority of our handheld chainsaws, blowers, edgers, trimmers, etc. run on 2-cycle engines, so this is a question that affects many lawn equipment owners.

    Two-cycle oils are chemically altered to combust or burn. They're very different than 4-cycle lubricants and cannot be used interchangeably. Also, keep in mind is that not all 2-cycle lubricants are created equally. Different oils meet different quality ratings and you need to use the right rating for your equipment.

    Early Rating Systems

    There are several different rating systems for 2-cycle oil. The National Marine Manufactures Association (NMMA) set the earliest standards governing 2-cycle lubricants. Currently, oils meeting their requirements carry the label TC-W3. This is typically the minimum oil rating required for use in small engines.

    The American Petroleum Institute (API) also developed a rating system. This system is rarely used today and the only classification still in use is TC. Most oils available today surpass this rating. You may see some oils described as API TC+.

    Modern Oil Ratings

    In 1994, the Japanese Automotive Standards Organization (JASO) developed a new standard oil rating that they revised in 2004 as JASO M345. This modern rating has three levels:

    • FB level oils meet strict requirements regarding lubricity, detergency, exhaust smoke, and exhaust system blocking.
    • FC levels oils have higher requirements for detergency, exhaust smoke, and exhaust system blocking.
    • FD oils meet the same requirements as FC but with a higher detergency requirement.

    The International Standards Organization (ISO) also developed new standards during the mid-90s. Oils with these ratings meet a corresponding JASO level and on top of that they have to pass a 3 hour Honda test run.

    • ISO-L-EGB oils meet the same requirements as JASO FB and pass a test for piston cleanliness.
    • ISO-L-EGC oils meet the same requirements as JASO FC and pass a test for piston cleanliness.
    • ISO-L-EGD oils meet the same requirements as JASO FD and pass tests for piston cleanliness and detergent effect.

    Which Oil Is For You?

    The owner's manual that came with your lawn equipment tells you which type of oil to use. If you've misplaced your owner's manual, then you can typically find a copy on the manufacturer's website. Using the wrong oil rating can cause engine damage, so stick with what the manufacturer recommends. There's no need to use a higher oil rating than your owner's manual calls for.

    If you have any trouble figuring out which oil to use, you can ask us for help. Here at Richardson Saw & Lawnmower, we excel in delivering a quality service experience for all of our customers and we're happy to answer questions like this. And if you'd rather not mix the oil and gasoline yourself, many equipment manufacturers offer pre-mixed fuels specially designed for their engines. These include STIHL MotoMix and Echo Power Blend premixed fuels.

  • Redefine Edges With Stihl's New Tools

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    Whether it's redefining the borders of a garden or maintaining a neat edge along the pavement, Stihl has you covered. And with their improved edgers and new bed redefiner, they're keeping on the cutting-edge (if you'll pardon the pun) of new technology.

    New Edgers

    The new products Stihl introduced at the end of 2016 included three updated edgers. The FC 91, 96, and 111 replaced the FC 90, 95, and 110 models. One difference you'll notice is that the new edgers are lighter weight. The FC 91 is only 0.2 pounds lighter than the previous model, but the FC 96 and FC 111 are both 1.7 pounds lighter.

    An open-style deflector minimizes clogging so there's less downtime for cleaning. The new deflector also features a mudflap design that's split so you can follow the contours of lawn and paved surfaces more easily. Add to that an adjustable depth wheel and you've got all you need to create a precise edge.

    Bed Redefiner

    Previously only available as an attachment for the KombiSystem, Stihl's stand-alone bed redefiner offers something new for the professional landscaper. This powerful tool delivers a precise edge at exactly the depth you need with an easily adjusted depth-wheel.

    This bed redefiner is designed with ease of use and simple maintenance as a priority. Cost-effective replacement blades deliver high-quality performance. There's also a line of sight indicator to give you more control. And the durable, solid steel drive shaft comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

    Shared Features

    The updated edgers and the new bed redefiner share several key features. All have large 710 cc fuel tanks and low-emission engines. This enables longer run times so you can work longer without stopping to refuel. For the edgers, this provides you with 30 percent longer run times compared to the previous models.

    That's not where the resemblance stops. The new edgers and bed redefiner also share a new interlocked choke for simplified starting. This enables a 3-step start that's as simple as purging primer bulb, setting the choke, and pulling the starter handle.

    The edgers and redefiner also feature a vertical pleated paper air filter. It doesn't need changed as often as previous filters and also offers better filtration to extended service life. On top of that, the new IntelliCarb carburetor automatically compensates for reduced air flow when the filter begins to clog.

    Easier Maintenance

    Several new features for the edgers simplify maintenance and save you money, and they're also included on the new redefiner. Take the new skid plate, for example. It protects the gearbox and is easily replace if it gets damaged so you can avoid costly gearbox repairs.

    The new designs make it easier to access the spark plug and valve train – just remove a single screw from the service cover. Three-screw access to the starter assembly makes for easy on-the-job replacement. It's now also easier to quickly adjust the throttle cable.

    Want to see Stihl's new power equipment in-person? Stop in at our Richardson, Texas location and check them out. Our Stihl-certified experts will answer all your questions and help you decide which tool's the best-fit for you.

  • 5 Tips For Winter Yard Work

    winter-yard-work-snow

    Cold weather doesn't mean an end to outdoor work. You can still trim trees and shrubs, work on cleaning up flower beds, and cut firewood. Here are five tips for what to do while working around your yard this winter.

    1) Trim Dormant Shrubs and Trees

    Winter is the perfect time to trim most trees and shrubs. Just don't prune spring-flowering shrubs or trees. Most of them flower on old wood, so it's best to trim them after they're done flowering. Also, if you want to avoid gumming up your pruning tools, wait until summer to prune sap-producing trees like birch, maple, and walnut.

    In areas with mild winters, you can trim any time the plant is dormant. If you're expecting harsher winter weather, wait to prune until late winter right before the buds break in the spring. When pruning, focus on removing weak, twiggy, and dead branches and shaping young plants.

    2) Define Flower Beds

    You can start working to clean up and mulch flower beds at the beginning of winter or wait until late winter/early spring. Winter provides a chance to work in the flower beds without so many plants in the way. It's a good time to remove old growth, add mulch, and edge the garden.

    Start by cleaning out old leaves, taking care not to disturb the roots of perennial plants. Next, use an edger to clean up around the garden bed. You can then mulch planting beds to a depth of 1-1/2 to 2 inches. Just make sure not to mulch right up against the trunks of trees and bases of shrubs – they need a little breathing room.

    3) Store Equipment Properly

    If you won't be using your lawn equipment over winter, take the time to clean and winterize it for storage. Remove dirt, dead grass, and other debris. Add a fuel stabilizer or drain the fuel tank. Clean and/or replace filters and sharpen blades.

    Store the equipment in a dry place. If you put a cover over it, don't use plastic. Plastic sheets and tarps can trap moisture and cause rust. In the spring, all you'll have to do is get the equipment out, refuel it, and you should be ready to go. If you have any troubles, you can bring it into our service department for a tune-up or repairs.

    4) Take Care With Chainsaws

    Winter wood cutting calls for some additional considerations than cutting during warmer months. You'll need to take extra care with safety because snow and ice make things slippery. Take time to clean the chainsaw more often than usual so ice doesn't build up around the throttle trigger, cooling air intake, sprocket cover, and chain brake

    Frozen wood is harder than unfrozen wood. To compensate, experts at Stihl suggest decreasing the saw chain’s filing angle by five degrees. This improves cutting performance in frozen wood and helps reduce wear on your guide bar and chain.

    5) Wear Winter Clothing

    If you're trimming trees or working in flower beds, you can wear pretty much anything you're comfortable in. But when you're working with power equipment in the winter it's important to take a few extra precautions. Don't wear loose clothing, like unsecured scarfs, that could get caught in moving equipment. Also, remember to wear safety gear when cutting wood. Frozen wood is more likely to splinter, so it's extra important that you wear head, face and eye protection.

    If you have any questions or need to pick up some new yard care equipment, come visit us at Richardson Saw & Lawnmower this winter. Our friendly power equipment experts will help you figure out the best tools get the job done right.

  • 3 Great Reasons To Buy Stihl's New KombiMotors

    Don't you hate it when new technology comes along and makes your system obsolete? Well, that's not happening with Stihl's new KombiMotors. If you already have a KombiSystem, these updated motors are still compatible with all the old attachments so you can upgrade without breaking the bank.

    Stihl's recent product updates include three new KombiMotors. The KM 91 R replaces the KM 90 R, the KM 111 R replaces the KM 110 R, and the KM 131 R replaces the KM 130 R. This means three out of Stihl Kombimotor Dallasfour professional KombiMotors got an upgrade, while the KM 56 homeowner model and the KM 94 professional model stay the same.

    Compatible Accessories

    Stihl's product manager Marv Mathwig has this to stay about the new motors: “The new additions to the STIHL KombiMotor line offer professionals a way to use one of three motors to power up to 14 hardworking accessories, saving big on fuel and servicing costs. ... Having one motor like this can make yard work much more efficient.”

    Every one of Stihl's Kombi system attachments still works with these new motors. If you already have Kombi attachments, you can upgrade your motor without worrying about replacing any attachments you already have. And if you're looking for more attachments, what we have available will work with older motors and the upgraded motors.

    Improved Features

    Like all Stihl's recently updated products, the KombiMotors got a more efficient engine. In addition, a new interlocked choke makes starting simple. You just purge the pump primer, place the product in choke, and pull the starter handle. Engaging the throttle automatically moves the motor from coke to run. And when you're ready to turn it off, one-touch stop works with a simple press of a button then returns the trimmer to start position automatically.

    These new KombiMotors are also equipped with a larger fuel tank for longer run times. Previous models only held 17.9 ounces and the new ones hold 24 ounces. These motors are a few tenths of a pound lighter weight than the previous versions, which helps a bit in offsetting the greater weight of more fuel.

    Easier Service

    Several new features simplify maintenance to keep your KombiMotor running longer. Three-screw access to the starter assembly makes on-the-job replacement simple. A new one-screw service cover simplifies access to the spark plug and valve train. In addition, the motors feature unloaded overspeed protection to reduce engine damage and lower maintenance frequency.

    The new ignition module records information such as RPM ranges the machine was used at, engine hours, and number of starts. It also stores the serial number so it's easier to identify stolen equipment and to work on machines where the number has worn off from use. This helps technicians during diagnosis, troubleshooting and when performing routine maintenance if you take your motor in for service.

  • Increasing Curb Appeal

    Whether you are trying to market your home to potential buyers, impress the neighbors, or make a better first impression on guests, increasing your home's curb appeal is a good first step. A healthy manicured lawn provides an instant curb appeal boost. Well-maintained landscaping is an added bonus. And, as this article demonstrates, improving curb appeal need not break your budget.

    lawn-curb-appeal-plano-texas

    Manicured Lawn

    One of the simplest things you can do to increase the curb appeal of your home is to maintain a healthy lawn. A regular mowing schedule, about once a week during peak growing season, will keep the yard looking well-maintained. Hiring a professional lawn service can eliminate the weekly hassle of mowing the lawn yourself and ensure that the yard continues to look nice.

    Weed-removal quickly increases the visual appeal of your yard. If there are only a few weeds, hand-pulling is probably the best option. For more extensive weed problems, weeds can be treated with herbicides or a natural weed-killer. Be careful when selecting herbicides to ensure that they will kill the type weeds you want to target and not damage lawn grass. If you are re-seeding any areas of your lawn, be aware that preemergence herbicides can prevent grass seed from germinating.

    To ensure that your grass grows well throughout the year, fertilizer should be applied when your grass is growing most vigorously. For cool-season grasses, those typically grown in places with warm summers and cold winters, the best times to fertilize are in the spring and fall. Warm-season grass is usually grown in the south and thrives through summer heat. These grasses should be fertilized when the grass is growing in the early and late summer.

    The fertilizer won't do any good if it can't get to the grass roots, and this is where aeration comes in. Before one of the two yearly fertilizer applications, a mechanical core aerator should be used to remove plugs of sod from the lawn. The removed cores can be left on the lawn to dry, then raked into the grass.

    Landscaping

    Your manicured lawn will look even better if complemented by well-maintained landscaping. Existing trees and bushes should be neatly trimmed, and flower beds should be weeded and cleared of dead plant material. This article has some more ideas for giving your garden a facelift.

    Adding flowers to your landscaping can increase the curb appeal of your entire home. In existing garden beds, planting annuals will add instant color. If you don't have flower beds or if the entrance to your home looks a bit drab, container gardening is an excellent idea. Containers can be purchased pre-planted from home and garden centers, or you can plant them yourself.

    Adding or cleaning paving stones and edging flower beds also contributes to the overall curb appeal of your house and yard. Another simple landscaping task is to add some landscape lights around walkways if they are not lit by a house light.

    Taking steps to improve the look of your yard increases the curb appeal of your entire home. A healthy lawn, trimmed shrubs and trees, and colorful flowers will provide a better first impression to guests and potential buyers. Boosting your curb appeal is a good move whether trying to sell your house or just improve the overall look of your home.

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