February 17, 2018

Better homes & gardens

8 Quick Tips for Organic Lawn Care

There are plenty good reasons why organic lawn care is better for your lawn. Organic methods of caring for your lawn create healthier soil, stronger grass turfs and uses the natural ability of the lawn to fight off undesirable weeds and diseases. Contrary to what many people think, organic lawn care is not expensive. When you know what to do and why you need to do it a certain way, you will see that organic lawn care is really the best method for growing a lush and healthy lawn.

Here are some organic lawn care tips for your lawn:

Mow high. When cutting the grass of your lawn, adjust the settings so you cut at the highest setting. Some homeowners think that if they cut the grass short, then that means they spend less time cutting grass. But actually, what happens is you impair the ability of the grass to produce sufficient food for itself. Very short grass means less surface area exposed to sunlight, which means less food production. Less food means less energy to grow strong roots. When mowing your lawn, the most that you should cut is 1/3 of your leaves.

Water infrequently. Wait for your lawn to show signs of thirst before watering. Water less often, but when you do, make sure your lawn receives a lot – about 3/4″ to 1″ of water. This allows the water to penetrate deep into the soil and will encourage your grass to grow strong roots deep into the soil. When your grass develops deep roots, that will allow them to absorb moisture and nutrients found in the deeper layers of the soil, making them stronger and less susceptible to drought.

Maintain a neutral pH level. Have your soil tested annually to check the acidity of your soil. The grass in your lawn thrives on soil that has a pH level of 6.5. Weeds like dandelions prefer a pH of 7.5. As you can see, maintaining the right pH level will allow you to deter unwanted growths and encourage healthy grass turfs in your lawn. If your soil’s pH is too high, then it means it’s too acidic. Add lime. If your soil’s pH is too low, opt to add gardener’s sulfur.

Check the amount of topsoil that you have. The optimal amount of topsoil you need to grow a lush lawn is 8 inches or more. Anything below 4 inches of topsoil will produce a poor lawn because your grass won’t have sufficient space to grow deep and strong roots. The quality of your soil is also important. If you see that your soil resembles dirt more than it resembles soil, then you are probably right! This is bad for your lawn, so you should immediately address it by adding organic fertilizer to your lawn.

Add top soil – a part compost, 2 parts dirt. If your lawn has too little top soil, then add soil in this ratio. Adding compost to your soil makes your soil richer and more attractive to microbes that are important to a healthy lawn.

Use organic fertilizers. Synthetic fertilizers contain salts, which actually depletes your soil the longer you use it. As you can see, it is not a sustainable or efficient way of nourishing your lawn. Organic fertilizers on the other hand helps you create healthier soil – one that encourages microbes, which are essential to growing healthy grass turfs.

Apply fertilizer at the right time. Find out whether the grass in your lawn is a cool season grass or a warm season grass. This tells you when these grasses are most active. Fertilize during the times when they are active because this is the time when they need the nutrients the most. For cool season grasses, fertilize in the fall. For warm season grasses, fertilize in summer.

Leave mulch on your lawn when you mow your lawn. These grass clippings add organic matter to your soil and make it richer. Not only does it require less work and less time, it’s also good for your soil.

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Things to know about expandable hoses

Expandable hose is an addition to everyday product that would make our life easier. Thousands of people around the world now rely on comfort and ease of expandable garden hose. If you want to water plants to other part of your lawn or wash your car that is parked far from your lawn tap you don’t need to worry about carrying heavy traditional hose. Technology used in this product is same as used for Expandable Monsters known to every 1970’s kids. These toys used to grow when put in a bowel of water.

Main characteristics of expandable water hoses are

  • Expands 3 times its length when water pressure is applied while in use
  • Shrinks to its original size when water is turned off
  • Weighs 3 times less than traditional hoses
  • Self drains and coils itself when not in use
  • Never twists, tangles or kinks
  • Easy storage due to its contracting ability

 Science Behind Expandable Hose

Expanding hoses are made in two layers. An inner tube, made from highly absorbent material, through which water flows and an outer fabric which is most commonly made of nylon fabric. The inner tube is usually made from latex/TPC. Different companies use different types of inner hose so the durability of hoses varies accordingly. When water is turned on from one end, the other end of expandable garden hose is still contracted, this helps to develop pressure inside the hose making it expand to its capacity. An expandable hose works best when it is has reached its expandable length.

Problems Users Usually Face

Online market place and forums allow product reviews and discussions. These hand-on experiences that people post on internet can be help for the user and can be used as guide. Based on discussions and feedbacks from the people around the world, it’s clearly evident that expandable garden hoses have been a big hit but there had some problems related to its material and use. Many people have reported that their hose didn’t expand as claimed and few people even complained about leakage. However not all hoses are made same, and after examining the hose, researchers concluded that these problems are due

  • User guide not followed
  • Poor quality material used
  • Fault in production technology

Both material used for inner tube have some down side to it

TPC material is just not strong enough and usually burst after few days of use.

While latex no matter if it’s used in single, double or triple layer, is little stronger but when used with brass connectors latex causes toxic chemicals to produce and these chemicals result in either the hose bursts or leaks.

Things to Keep in Mind While Using an Expandable Hose

Here are some user instructions, which if followed properly can increase your expandable hose’s life:

  • Before start using it, fill the hose with water when using for first time and allow the hose to stretch and expand. Once it has reached its expandable then release the water. Size Guide for Expandable Hoses
  • A hose is best to use when it is in its expanded form.
  • Don’t over pressure it, turn off the water when the hose is not in use.
  • Allowing the hose to shrink to its original length.
  • Avoid leaving your hose out in open in extreme weathers. Leaving it in Sun for too long and leaving it out in freezing winters, both can damage your hose.
  • Be careful when using expandable hoses on rough surfaces and sharp edges.
  • Hoses which are kept indoors and in shaded areas have longer life.

Hoses made from quality material, used in accordance with user instructions, and which have been made through properly designed technology have been proven to last longer and give better results. Always read about the hose you are planning to buy.

gardening

How to Choose a Lawn Mower for Your Yard

 

Lawn mowers come in such a variety of sizes, types, and price ranges that you should do some careful research before purchasing one. There are a whole range of things to consider, such as the kind and size of your lawn, what you can afford, how long the lawn mower will last, and even your mechanical abilities—all lawn mowers need some maintenance.

The best way to begin your research is by taking a careful look at your lawn. If you are replacing your old mower, you probably already have a good idea of what will work for you. If you have just moved into a home, you need to know how many square feet of lawn you have. This is important because recommendations for various mowers are partially based on lawn size measured in square feet.

Take these steps when you are preparing to purchase a lawnmower:

1. Carefully walk around your lawn. Is it smooth? Does it have shady spots that are always wet? Does it have a problem with surface roots from a tree? What kind of obstacles are on the lawn? Planter boxes, trees, bushes, patios, walls, and other obstacles can make maneuverability a very important factor. Is your lawn level, or is it on a slope? Since it is usually difficult to push a mower uphill, a self-propelled lawn mower may be the most prudent choice for a sloping lawn.

2. Take a realistic look at yourself. Do you really enjoy working in the yard? If not, you will probably hire a gardener in a month or two. If you do enjoy working in the yard, will you also feel comfortable cleaning the air filter, changing the oil, and checking spark plugs? A good quality mower will last for many years if it is maintained properly. A poorly maintained mower will soon have to be replaced.

3. The next thing to consider is your budget. What can you realistically afford? How long will you live in this home? Will you need your mower in two years? Five years?

Once you have answered these basic questions, you can begin your research.

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Six features to look into when you buy a string trimmer

Before you make your final decision to purchase a grass string trimmer, there are some important aspects to be focused for future benefit. String trimmers are supposed to enhance the beauty of your garden and are best for maintaining edges and walkways. There are several features which must be present in the string trimmer you have selected such as shaft, cutting edge and engine so that you can complete the task without any problems. So, to help our readers in this regard, we have briefed six important features to look into when buying a string trimmer.

1) Overview your needs

Which type of grass string trimmer you will be needing? Electric powered or gasoline? These are some of the basic aspects which you must think while planning to purchase a string trimmer. Both of them are great performers and have their own technical benefits for which you need to perform a complete research.

2) Gas and Electric grass string trimmers

Gas string trimmers are ideal for bigger yards and gardens as they usually have 2-cycle engines with a bundle of personal controls. In case you are in search of professional grade trimmer, a 4-cycle engine can surely meet your requirements. Although they are heavier, difficult to maintain and cause pollution, but are best suitable for commercial use.

Electric grass trimmers consume less power and can run on lithium-ion batteries as well. Featuring a small cutting swath of 12 to 15 inches, you can perfectly chop and trim your lawn without any pain. They are available in both cordless and wired variants where as both of them do not have a minimum price difference. Cordless trimmers are capable of handling weeds and grass in small yard as the rechargeable 12-volt battery allows users to maneuver without any hassle of cords.

3) Noise and Vibration

If you are sick of loud machine noise and vibration, Electric grass string trimmers are the perfect solution for your garden. Being lightweight and efficient, the Lithium-ion batteries require no maintenance and reduce noise as compared to gasoline powered grass trimmers.

4) Straight shaft and Curved Shaft trimmers

There are two major categories of string trimmers known as straight shaft string trimmers and curved shaft string trimmers. The straight shaft string trimmers are longer and trim hard to reach areas within no time. Being ideal for chopping shrubs and bushes, you can complete the task without any pain. Furthermore, curved shaft trimmers are ideal for trimming around sidewalks, flowerbeds and other types of lawn grass.

5) Ease of use

Check the balance and handling of the grass trimmer. Adjust the front handle and make sure it is comfortable to reach so that you can hold it into the cutting position without any problem. Furthermore, check all controls and operational methods so that you can clean your garden without any safety hazards.

6) Maintenance and Safety

Usually, commercial grade string grass trimmers are easier to maintain for which you can follow the user’s manual. Although there are some built-in design flaws through which the over grown grass traps around the cutting head, it is recommended that you take proper safety measures before starting the procedure.

Verdict

The above explained features of string grass trimmers can greatly assist you in making your final decision. Overview your gardening requirements and select the best available option. Furthermore, these features can make your task easier with increase efficiency rate. So, if you are determined to purchase a string grass trimmer, we hope these features will help you in best regard.

 

gardening

What is the best string trimmer

While reviewing even more commercial string trimmers today I noticed that really there are a few companies that stand above the rest in the industry. You should always keep in mind the size of your project before choosing a string trimmer however if you are looking for the best string trimmer for any job you should always go with a commercial string trimmer.

Why buy a commercial trimmer?

If you live anywhere outside of a subdivision most likely your yard will justify the cost of a commercial string trimmer. Folks living on a small subdivision lot will probably find a good electric string trimmer more appropriate for noise reasons as well as cost however those who do choose to go the commercial route will find their machines lasting much longer.

The Best String Trimmer Brands

Like I stated there are just a handful of companies who have mastered the art of producing a high quality string trimmer which is built to last. In this article we will look at a few of these manufacturers and why theirs are the best string trimmers. The observations for each of the string trimmer reviews are made from a collective of string trimmer reviews on Amazon.com. We choose these companies to represent the best string trimmers because they are well known in the industry and they also hold some of the highest ratings in string trimmer reviews.

Swisher Shindaiwa

Swisher is a great commercial lawn carry manufacturer. They have been making equipment since 1945 and it shows in experience. If you are looking for the best string trimmer take a look at these models:

Husquvarna

Husquvarna is a well known name in the commercial string trimmer line. These string trimmers are built to last even for commercial use. Husquvarna did about 32 Billion in sales just last year. That goes to show how exceptional their equipment is.

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