Category Archives: Lawn and Garden Tools

Seeding and Hydroseeding in the Spring

Believe it or not, spring is really just a few short weeks away. The time to start thinking about your plan for your lawn and garden is now. Last fall, did you notice thinning or brown patches around your lawn? Is your grass as thick and lush as you would like? Now is the time to think about hydroseeding or reseeding your yard. Here are some ideas to consider.

Hydroseeding

Hydroseeding is is a planting process that uses a slurry of seed and mulch. It is sprayed on by a lawn care professional and can cover a large area and areas that are prone to erosion such as hillsides or on sloping lawns. Growing results are often quick with high germination rates producing grass growth in about a week and mowing maintenance beginning around 3 to 4 weeks from the date of application. The mulch included in the slurry helps retain water in the ground, accelerating germination. Hydroseeding is the fastest, most cost-effective, and highest quality method of seeding lawn, landscape, and erosion control practices.

Seeding

Grass seeding either by hand or using a rotary seeder is another method that many homeowners use. This method is best done in the spring, summer, or fall. There needs to be a watering source nearby and possibly a covering of straw over the seeds to avoid having birds eat the seeds. While this method is probably the most affordable method, it does take the longest to germinate. Homeowners should see full grass growing within a couple of months.

Another option that tends to be fairly expensive, but allows for instant gratification, is sod. Once laid it needs water and a chance to attach to your soil. Then all you need to do is enjoy the thick, lush lawn. Do you have questions about hydroseeding, seeding, or sod for your lawn? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll-Free: (800) 313-4733, and visit our website.

 

Avoid Lawn Damage Due to Road Chemicals

Winter is the season of snow, freezing rain, and slushy roads. In order to keep the public safe, de-icing materials are used on our highways and roadways. Many homeowners also use these chemicals on paths, steps, and driveways on their property. While they do make driving and walking safer, the chemicals in these de-icers can damage lawns and plantings as the ingredients seep into the ground. Read on to follow some simple steps to avoid lawn damage due to deicing and road chemicals.

  • Don’t pile up snow in the same locations. It is common for homeowners to have a routine of where snow is piled in their yard. Try to spread it around for each storm if at all possible to keep the same areas from getting a high concentration of snow and chemicals.
  • Create a barrier out of netting or plastic that can keep snow and ice melt from blowing or drifting on to your lawn.
  • Remove the snow as it falls so it does not have a chance to freeze. This way you will need less deicer.
  • Keep sewer drains open and free of snow so that the melting snow has somewhere to go rather than just in your lawn.
  • Use a salt alternative such as kitty litter or sand from your town’s DPW. Choose a deicing agent that is safe for landscapes. These products are healthier for the environment and allow for traction on icy areas.
  • Only use what you need. Many homeowners go with the idea that, “More is better.” This is not true when it comes to deicing materials. Only use enough to get the ice to melt, then remove excess through sweeping into a trash bin.
  • As the spring approaches and the sunny days get milder, try watering down the salt content with water. Make sure it is during a mild spell so the water does not refreeze.

 

Questions about your lawn and deicing chemicals? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll-Free: (800) 313-4733, and visit our website.

 

Lawn Care Resolutions

2019 is right around the corner and that means it is resolution season again! Many of you may be thinking about resolving to eat better, exercise more, or spend less money. If you are a green thumb or just love having the greenest, thickest, plushest grass on the block, then we have another idea for you. What about doing something a little different this year and making Lawn Care Resolutions??? Here are some you may want to make for 2019.

Resolve to Test Your Soil

Not many homeowners know the right amount and type of nutrients that their soil needs because they have not tested their soil. If you don’t know the pH level, nitrogen analysis, or nutrient deficiencies of your soil, then you could be wasting your time and money buying and applying the wrong products. Let this be the year you find out what your lawn really needs with a simple and fast soil test.

Resolve to Treat for Pests

One of the biggest problems that causes turf death or deficiencies it the presence of pests. Resolve this year to have your lawn evaluated by a pest control company who can tell you what pests may be keeping your lawn from being beautiful and healthy.

Resolve to Know When to Feed, Weed and Water

Many homeowners don’t actually know when and how much to feed, weed, and water their lawns. Do a little research about the amount of nutrients and water your lawn needs. Also, look up the common types of weeds and how to rid your lawn of them so you don’t end up plucking out a flower instead of a weed. Don’t have the time? Call Pro-Tech to help you out.

Resolve to Try Something New

If your lawn is not looking its best, try something new be it: planting a new species of flowers, trying out a new grass seed, or dethatching areas that need it. Trying something new could be just what your lawn needs next year.

Happy New Year to all of our clients from the Pro-Tech team!

Mower Prep

The mowing season is almost here! The topic is enough to make every “green thumb” out there giddy with excitement. Yes, it is almost time to start caring for your lawn and garden again. Is the most important tool you have, your mower, ready to go? Here are a few things to check before revving up that engine and taking it out for the first mow of the season.

 

  • Spark Plug – Every year, without fail, you should change the spark plug. This can be something done during an annual tune up at a repair shop or done by the homeowner him/herself.
  • Blade Sharpening – Again, either during a check up at a shop or in your own garage, check the sharpness of the blade. Each year, blades should be sharpened so that it does not pull at the grass, but rather cut precisely.
  • Oil Change – Hopefully at the end of last season you drained the oil and disposed of it properly, but if that was not the case, do it now. Start each season with fresh oil and add more as needed.
  • Clean it! – While the blade is off during sharpening and the oil is being drained, now is a good time to clean the undercarriage completely. Make sure all the debris, dirt, and grass is cleaned out of every crevice to start the season off right.
  • Lubrication – The start of every season is also a good time to lubricate and check all the moving parts of your mower so that they stay in good working condition.

 

Is your mower ready for the spring season? Are you? If you need help keeping your lawn looking sharp and free of pests, call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

Do You Have the Right Tools for Spring Lawn Care

As the calendar creeps slowly toward spring, many of us get excited about getting out there to care for our lawns and gardens. While it is still a little early to start with lawn care activities however, this is a great time to go through your tool checklist to confirm that everything is ready to go when the ground completely thaws and the first warm weekend comes when you can start your labor of love. Here is a quick checklist to help you get organized and make sure you have all the right tools before the growing season begins.

 

  • Wheelbarrow – Anyone who cares for their lawn knows that a wheelbarrow can be a lifesaver when it comes to transporting heavier items like rocks, mulch, and lawn cuttings. Be sure your wheelbarrow is cleaned out, the tire inflated and you will be good to go!
  • Rakes – There are a wide variety of rakes that you may need including: garden rakes, dethatching rakes, and leaf rakes. Make sure you have the type that you will need to dig out the dead grass, till the soil in the garden, and gather up the leaves after the long winter.
  • Pruning Shears – Bushes and shrubs will need to be pruned during the spring months to be sure that they are in good working order.
  • Spreaders – Depending upon the state of your lawn from last growing season you may need to spread fertilizer or possibly seeds to fill in bare patches. Check to see that the rotary is working well and that the bin has been cleaned out completely.
  • Edgers/Trimmers – Lawns that have gardens, walkways, and the perimeter neatly edged look neat and well groomed. Have yours conditioned or checked out before the cutting season begins.

 

Are your tools ready? Do you have the right tools? If you need more information about what tools are right for your lawn call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

Spring Tool Tune Up

Do you love gardening and puttering around in your yard? Or do you just enjoy the look of a well manicured yard? Either way, spring is the ideal time to give all your tools a once-over before you get into the hard core lawn and garden care that increases as the weather improves. What steps should you take to make sure your beloved tools and machinery such as mowers and trimmers are ready for the spring and summer seasons of lawn care? Here is a quick reference guide of tool tuneups you should consider this year.

Mower Care

  • Whether you do it all on your own or take it to a professional, the oil and air filter should be cleaned and/or replaced. This goes for the tiller, trimmer, or power washer in your shed as well.
  • Drain any leftover gas if you did not already do so last fall. Replace with new gas.
  • Change out last year’s spark plugs.
  • Make sure the blades are well cared for. Sharpen and balance all cutting blades.
  • Check to make sure all debris and grass has been washed out from under the mower and that none is caught in the blade or filters.

Garden Hoses and Hand Held Tools

  • Inspect hoses to see that there are no cracks or openings that will be sure to get you all wet when you start watering.
  • Clean all shearing or cutting tools. You may need to clean, dry and wipe with oil depending upon the type of tool. Be sure to read all instructions to keep your tools in good working order,
  • Check all sprinkler heads if you have an in ground system before starting use.

It is just plain old smart to check and tune up all the equipment you will be using regularly in your yard this spring and summer.

When Can I Start Working on my Lawn

I know! I know! We are all itching to get outside after this winter and get working on our lawns and gardens. Well, it may be a bit too early yet but there are still things you can do get get ready for the spring yard season.

 

  • Start Cleaning Up Gently – According to Today’s Homeowner online, “Avoid heavy and rough raking of the yard until the soil dries out and you can be sure there will not be another hard freeze. Foot traffic and hard raking can compact and damage tender new grass shoots.”
  • Remove any debris such as broken tree limbs, leaves or other items that may have accumulated in your yard during the winter.
  • If you have piles of snow in areas close to walkways or driveways, spread that snow out so it will melt faster. Heavy piles of snow can smother new grass and leave you with dead patches.
  • Start evaluating for pests. Do you need weed control? Decide now to start the lawn season off right. Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care for an evaluation and discuss treatment options.
  • Start growing some of your garden plants indoors. According to the Farmers Almanac,  there are many plants you can start indoors even in March to get them ready to be transplanted outdoors such as: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Kale and Lettuce.
  • Get your tools ready to go. That includes a good cleaning of hand-held tools as well as a tuneup for your larger piece of equipment such as your mower or trimmers.
  • Keep an eye on the weather. Spring can be a rollercoaster so don’t get too far ahead as the temps may drop and set you back a few weeks or days.

 

Lawn Equipment Care

 

The end of the mowing, trimming and planting season signals the end of weekend chores in the yard. It should also signal a time to carefully clean, organize and safely store lawn equipment for the winter. This may include mowers, trimmers, shovels, hoes, blowers, and garden tools of all types. Caring for lawn equipment now will save you time, energy and, possibly, costly repairs come the spring season. Here are our suggestions to caring for your lawn equipment.

 

Lawn Mowers

  • Mowers, whether they ride on or push, should be cleaned and serviced before they are stored for the season.
  • A mower used at the end of the season needs to be emptied of fuel. If you don’t know how to drain the fuel, see a technician who can help you drain and clean the mower. Allowing it to sit over the winter will cause the ethanol in the gasoline to separate and its other chemical components to degrade.
  • Spark plugs should be replaced, air filter cleaned, and mower deck cleaned.
  • While the mower is out of commission for the season, take this opportunity to sharpen the blade.
  • Store the mower in a dry, safe place such as a shed or garage.

 

Garden Tools

  • Use a bucket of warm water and soap to clean each of the tools and dry them thoroughly.
  • Store tools in a dry, safe place for the winter.
  • Be sure to examine the tools as you clean them to be sure that they are rust free and have no damage.

 

Trimmers

  • Edgers and trimmers should be cleaned, oiled and drained of any fluids.
  • Many trimmers have removable blades that should be replaced annually.
  • Store trimmers and other hand-held tools in a dry, safe place.

 

Benefits of Lawn Striping

 

Pro-Tech Lawn Care offers many lawn care packages to help homeowners maintain the health of their turf. We take a comprehensive approach offering: soil testing, fertilizing, weed and pest control, disease mitigation, and aeration and overseeding. We want your lawn to look beautiful!  One service that we don’t provide but that we are commonly asked about is something you may see at ball parks or at famous locations – lawn striping.

Professionals who care for ball parks, golf courses and national landmarks have been using lawn striping systems for years. For the regular property owner mowing in different directions can do the trick. By changing mowing directions the light reflecting off blades of grass at different angles and create light and dark patterns. For example, baseball lovers probably saw the intricate design that the grounds crew at Fenway Park created in honor of David Ortiz for his retirement. They took lawn striping to the ultimate level with a full portrait of Big Papi in the outfield. Wrigley Field In Chicago is also known for its pinstriping, checkerboard and wave designs. If you are not a professional but would like to learn the basics of lawn striping you may find that it not only adds an aesthetic appeal to your lawn but can actually make it healthier!  

There are several benefits to changing the direction of mowing. Homeowners that always mow in the same direction tend to create ruts, edges or even grooves in the soil caused by the weight of the lawn mower. Changing directions actually encourages healthy grass growth. Mowing in one direction can often cause the taller grass to bend and shield the grass below from the sun light. This could eventually kill that sheltered grass. If you want to have your grass look like a mowing masterpiece, or at least want to impress your neighbors, try these links for how directions for lawn mowing design patterns.

Kkokk in Sculpture  – Making your Landscaping Beautiful

Scag Lawn Striping How Tos

YouTube Lawn Striping How to

Caring for Lawn Equipment this Fall

 

For many of us, Autumn signals the end of our weekend chores of mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges and edging the garden. While these chores are ending, there are special steps that should be taken before the winter sets in for the long haul. Closing up shop properly in the Fall means that you will have an easier time gardening and landscaping next Spring. Here are a few steps we suggest when cleaning lawn equipment this Fall.

Garden Tools:

Garden tools come in all sizes and varieties including: hoes, shovels, rakes, edgers, and lawn mowers. Regardless of the types of lawn equipment you own, each piece should be cleaned thoroughly and stored carefully.

Garden tools have been hard at work all season long and probably have debris including grass and dirt soiling each piece. To keep each in proper working order here are some ideas for Fall clean up.

  • Clean all tools with warm water and soap if possible.
  • Dry each tools completely to avoid rust.
  • For equipment with blades such as mowers and edgers, consider have them sharpened before storing for the winter.
  • Consider also lubricating hinges, moveable parts and inspecting for rust/damage.
  • Store in a dry shed or garage. Do not lean them against the wall or on the floor.  Moisture is the enemy and walls and floors in garages and sheds can get very moist.

 

Lawn Mowers or Trimmers:

For larger pieces of equipment you may want to consider having a professional cleaning done now that the season is over. Avoid the Spring rush by getting your trimmer and mower in for a tune up now.  Then you will be ready to go in just a few months.

If you do decide to clean and tune them up on your own, be sure to empty the gas tank, change out the spark plugs, and clean out the caked on grass with a hose. Store in a dry area where the mower can be protected from the cold, wind and precipitation.