We are moving right along in our 10 Insider Secrets to a Perfect Lawn. Thanks for checking back in and following me. If you are a first time reader, I suggest you bring yourself up to speed by quickly reviewing steps 1-7. Do so by clicking on the individual listings in the right hand margin.
At this point, you may be asking… “Who in the hell are you and why are you spending your time giving away your secrets?”
My name is Rob Lundholm and I own and operate Lundholm Landscaping in Cape May, New Jersey. My company specializes in “Extreme Landscape Makeovers” which includes every phase from design, demolition, hardscaping, pavers, irrigation, landscape lighting, grading, sod, planting, mulching and so on. My work is on display all over South Jersey. I pride myself on being extremely cutting edge in the field of Landscape Technology, specifically forward thinking! I spend a ton of time researching new products, experimenting with technology and educating my customers. I want to build your trust by giving away my information and establish myself as an expert in the field.
On a tip from a very close friend and expert in the publishing world we decided that I would put my knowledge into a series of e-books that cover everything from Creating the Perfect Lawn to Installing a kick ass holiday lighting display. This blog is my “lead in” to my e-books being published… which is only a short time down the road. For now my knowledge is free, but I don’t know how much longer I will be able to just give away all that knowledge and expertise that I have in my ultra secret, closely guarded, spiral notebook!
Back to the subject at hand. Today’s step in our quest to create a “Perfect Lawn” deals with our power equipment. Specifically keeping our machinery in optimal working order! Let’s start with the most important piece of equipment in maintaining our perfect lawn…. that would be our Lawn Mower.
Whether you are using one of these…
or one of these…
one of these…
one of these…
or you are ultra modern and own one of these…
Yes, that’s a remote control lawn mower! I told you I was cutting edge… no pun intended.
No matter which type of mower you are currently using, the concept is still the same. We must keep our equipment clean, lubricated and maintained in order to keep our perfect lawn in PERFECT shape. Here are a few quick tips to keep your mower in shape.
-Always use a sharp blade. I recommend having at least 1 extra blade(sharpened) on hand at all times. A dull blade will shred the blades of your lawn, stunt growth and make your lawn susceptible to disease. As a rule of thumb, sharpen your blade every six cuts.
-While changing and/or sharpening your blade, it’s a great time to inspect the under side of the deck of your mower. Check to make sure there is no build up of grass clippings or other debris as these obstructions could rob your mower of power. Once your deck is clean, spray the underside of your mower with cooking spray. Yes, I said cooking spray. If it keeps eggs from sticking to a frying pan, it will keep grass from sticking to the bottom of a lawn mower.
-While changing a blade on a lawn mower, always, always, always disconnect the spark plug. While you are at it, quickly remove the spark plug and inspect for carbon build up which appears as a black, sooty like substance that keeps the spark plug from doing its job. If you find your plug to be dirty, either clean it with a wire brush or install a new plug.
If your spark plug looks like this, throw it away, spend $2.00 and buy a new one.
-Check engine oil before every cutting. Keeping the engine properly lubricated will produce optimal power and the precision results that your “PERFECT” lawn deserves. Change the oil in your mower at least once every year, more often if you have a large lawn.
-Inspect, clean or replace the air filter. All gas engines have an air filter which cleans the air that is taken into the carburetor for the engine to use for combustion. Whether cleaning or replacing the air filter, always saturate the foam element with oil to insure that dirt particles stick to the filter and stay out of your carburetor.
-Most manufacturers sell a “Tune Up Kit” for their specific engines which includes oil, oil filter(when applicable), air filter, spark plug and spray lubricant.
-Check and lubricate cables
-Lubricate all moving parts to include wheels, axles, throttle body and height adjusters.
-Always cut your lawn at a height of 3 inches. Avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the grass blades off in one cutting and leave the clippings lay whenever possible.
Edgers, Trimmers and Blowers
These tools are just as important as your lawn mower when maintaining that “Perfect Lawn”. Always keep cutting areas clean and feel free to coat and areas with cook spray to keep debris from sticking. Keep your spark plugs and air filters clean and regularly lubricate and inspect cables. It is also very important to use the proper amount of 2 cycle oil if your engine require your to mix oil with the gas. Most manufacturers sell containers of oil that are pre-measured for ease of mixing.
These items may seem simple but are very important in maximizing the life of your equipment and making your chore of cutting and trimming as painless as possible. I suggest that you have a special tool box marked “Power Equipment Tools” that is specifically for all of your lawn and garden power tools. In the event that a quick repair is needed, all your tools will be in one place. It’s a good idea to have an extra blade, spark plug, oil, air filter, trimmer string, replacement edger blades and lubricant.
That’s it for today. Good luck keeping your power equipment in tip top shape and get in touch with me in any of the following ways…
P.O. Box 1066
Cape May, NJ 08204