on Friday, June 21, 2019
From weeding care to flowerbed maintenance, the shift into warmer weather and the growth season brings on a whole new list of backyard chores.
Having a game plan that starts before the hottest months hit will set you up for success with a beautiful yard all season long.
Start with Equipment: Lawn Tractor Maintenance
By now, you will have likely fully serviced your equipment with an at-home lawn tractor maintenance kit or through one of your local Sunshine stores. If not, you’ll want to take a look at our blog that covers this topic in depth. That said, your mower will still require some check-ups and check-ins throughout these heavy-use months to keep it running smoothly.
First and foremost, you’ll want to spend some time with your user manual. Maintenance schedules vary by model and further depend on the usage and conditions in which you use your lawn tractor most. There are a few things to check consistently with each use, regardless.
- Primary air filter
- Change and refill oil and gasoline as needed
- Sweep outside and under the deck of the machine, inspect for caked-on debris
- Clean attachments before storing
- Check blades for wear and damage, sharpen as needed
- Inspect tires and tire pressure
- Check brakes before use
Always remember to disconnect your machine from its energy source before starting any type of maintenance work.
Tend to Your Lawn: Mowing, Weeding Care, Maintenance
Even though our winters in Louisiana are on the milder side, the warm weather grasses that grow well in our northern and central regions still go dormant during the cooler months. This is less so for those living in the southernmost parts of our state, making lawn care a year-round affair. For the rest of us, our lawns begin to wake up and enter their spring growth pattern when winter ends. With growth comes the need to mow, weeding care and using maintenance techniques like aerating to make sure your lawn gets the right nutrients.
Springtime mowing can be an effective measure for weeding care for warm-season grasses. Some herbicides can act against your lawn while trying to combat weeds during the earlier part of the season. Once you’re ready to get back to mowing regularly, it’s important to remember the basics. Only cut up to 1/3 or less of the length of the grass blade at a time. Going any shorter could kill the grass, making way for unhealthy weed growth. Make sure the grass is dry for a better-quality cut, less clumping and less debris buildup.
So, when is a good time to start fertilizing again? When the grass is actively growing, it’ll be able to take in the nutrients. As a point of reference, you should fertilize when the soil temperature is 65 degrees or higher. Fertilizing when the roots aren’t ready to take in the product can be harmful for the environment and won’t help to improve your lawn.
Another key lawn maintenance element to consider is aeration. This can be a good time of year to inspect whether your yard has suffered from buildup and compaction. If you do need to do some aerating, we recommend making sure the soil temperature has hit 65 degrees for this type of work, too. And lastly, water in the early hours while being mindful of any watering restrictions. Evening watering isn’t the most ideal because it can lead to fungal growth.
Landscaping: Flower Bed Maintenance and Planting
By now, you’ve probably already put your utility cart to good use while checking off your spring flower bed chore list. Covering the basics like removing leftover matter from the winter, mulching, pruning and weeding will leave behind a great canvas for planting. It also helps if you’ve removed or moved any plants from last year that didn’t do as well.
When considering your landscape plan for the year, we recommend focusing on longevity of the plant life and having a firm strategy before heading out to the nursery. Plants that are in full bloom now may not be by the end of the summer. That’s why it’s a good idea to strike a balance between plants that are in bloom now, and those that will bloom later in the season. Apart from blooming patterns, it’s also a good idea to explore how plants of different heights and foliage look when placed together. Watering is another key component. Newer plant life will need more water while it settles into its new space. And, of course, weeding and pruning are ongoing affairs during the growth season. Make sure to make regular work of keeping your eye on signs of pests and weeds and treat them accordingly.
Ready to explore some new attachments to tackle this season’s backyard work? Come on into your nearest Sunshine dealer. We are happy to help you get outfitted with the implements that’ll make quicker, easier work of jobs as complex as hardscaping or as straightforward as fertilizing and aerating a compacted lawn.