Rake or Mulch Leaves?
As fall continues, those beautiful fall colors end up all over your lawn. We’re talking about leaves! But just how should you clean up all the leaves on your lawn? Should you rake or mulch? Is one better?

As a matter of fact, mulching is not only quicker, but is, in general, better for your lawn. Mulching leaves returns key nutrients such as nitrogen to the soil. Mulching allows the leaves to quickly decompose. Raking is really only necessary if you cannot keep up with leaf fall or if you are prone to other fall debris such as pine needles and pinecones that cannot be mulched. Leaves have to be mulched when they are dry, before they pile up. If leaf coverage become dense, mulching the leaves will only smother your lawn.
image of a rake and mulch mower

Thatch: What is it?
a diagram of thatch buildup What is thatch and what should you do about it? Thatch is the buildup of organic material between your grass and soil. It includes things such as grass clippings, leaves, roots and stems. Thatch can be super beneficial to your lawn as long as it is well maintained.

Up to a half inch of thatch is considered healthy for a lawn. It will aid in shielding the soil from unwanted materials, chemicals, sunlight and water. In addition, it creates a good feeding source for soil nutrients. If buildup is more than an inch, it can begin to damage your lawn. It can cause moisture buildup which leads to bacteria and fungus growth. Additionally, it will block key nutrients from getting to the soil. If your thatch is too thick, look into dethatching your lawn.

Choosing the Right Blower.
With so many options on the market, buying a new blower can be stressful. Just what should you be looking for anyways? Let us give you some pointers. First thing to check is the CFM and MPH of the blower. These two numbers determine the output of the blower. Air volume (CFM) determines how much debris the blower can move in a single pass. Air speed (MPH) determines the size of the debris that can be moved and keeps the debris moving.

Next, determine what you are going to use the blower for. With multiple styles of blowers, it is important that get one that fits your needs. Looking to blow off decks, driveways and a small yard? Get a handheld or backpack blower. Have a large field that gets overrun with leaves? consider a walk-behind model. Check out the full article for more blower buying tips
image people using blowers

Mulching: What is it? Should I do it?
a mower with mulching blades Mulching is a form of mower discharge that releases grass clippings back on top of the soil. Grass is cut and spun around the deck. While being spun the clippings come in contact with the blades multiple times. The finely clipped grass (mulch) is then discharged directly out of the deck and onto the soil.

You should absolutely mulch your lawn as long as you are able to stick to a mowing schedule. The grass clippings return a great deal of nutrients to the soil and decompose quickly. In addition, it saves you the step of emptying your bag or raking up your side-discharge. However, leaving an excess amount of clippings on the soil can discolor or even kill patches in your lawn.

Fall Projects.
Fall projects are a great way to pass the time and can make your fall more enjoyable! With the weather beginning to cool down, it is a great time to be outside. Consider building a firepit to sit around on a chilly night or a pergola over your garden, patio, or other area for some shade and style.

You can even start a garden at the start of fall! root vegetables and veggies in the cabbage family do great in the fall, so you can get another season out of your garden or start a new one! Looking to do something more crafty? Grab a couple of wooden pallets and you will be set to take on some cool fall projects. In addition, you can preserve some fall leaves and branches for your future crafts.
image of a pumpkin on a book

All About Aeration.
a close up of a core aerator pulling plugs out of the soil Aeration is important to soil and lawn health, but what exactly is it? Core aeration is the process of removing plugs of soil from your lawn to relieve compression. This decompression allows for the easier transport of air, water and nutrients into the soil. Aeration should take place in the early fall when grass is entering its peak growing season.

You aerate your lawn using a machine known as a core aerator. There are multiple types and styles of core aerators, but the two basic versions are drum aerators and reciprocating aerators. Properly aerating your lawn at the beginning of the growing season allows you to properly maintain and repair your lawn before it goes dormant.

Fall Lawn Care Guide.
Fall lawn care is among the most important times for many lawns. Cool season grass is at its peak growing season which means its time to maintain and repair your lawn before it goes dormant. A great start to fall is dethatching followed by aeration. Dethatching generally only has to be done every few years, but aeration should be done yearly or every two years depending on how much you're on your lawn.

After getting those tasks out of the way, there are quite a few tasks to complete before the first frost. You'll want to spot kill any established weeds then spread a weed and feed. The weed and feed will help stop weeds from emerging in the first place and give your grass much needed nutrients. Once that sets in, it is time to overseed. You need to spread grass seed throughout the entire lawn, but pay better care to bare or dying spots.

Finally, be sure you are keeping your grass shorter than you did in the summer. Keeping the grass shorter will keep it from matting under fall debris and make it easier to remove debris. Fall debris will smother your grass, so be sure you are removing any leaves, sticks, and/or other fall debris at least weekly.
image of fallen leaves

Be Prepared for Fall!
Fall Equipment including blowers, spreaders, sprayers, a debris loader, and an aerator It's time for a fall equipment check! Fall is right around the corner, so make sure your equipment is ready to go. You need to be checking your aerator(s), spreader(s), sprayer(s), blower(s), leaf vacuum(s), and debris loader(s).

If your lawn or lawns you maintain use cool season grass, then early fall is the best time to aerate. Aerating is almost always followed by overseeding and fertilizing. It is also super important to have a piece of power equipment to tame your leaves and other fall debris. After all, you don't want to be stuck using a rake for all that work!

Tampers. Rammers. Compactors.
Soil compaction can be confusing, especially if you are new to it. People throw around a ton of terminology and have multiple names for the same machines! It can be simple though. There are two general types of compaction machines: rammers and plate compactors. Rammers are called a bunch of different things including: tampers, jumping jacks, jack rammers, and more. They compact soil through impact with a small plate making them great for small areas of cohesive soils.

Plate compactors compact soil through weight and vibration. They are also referred to as vibe plates or vibratory compactors. They have a large plate and are great for settling gravel and sand making them the preferred tool for loose soils and large areas.
illustration of a rammer and plate compactor

Vanguard Oil Guard System
Vanguard engine with the oil guard system as awell as a mower that uses the system Oil Guard can only be found on Vanguard Commercial Engines, and it is the biggest breakthrough on small engines since... well... in a long time! The system has three main components that set it apart.

One, an easy fill cap with an integrated oil filter, allowing for easier, cleaner, and faster oil changes. The filter is a cyclonic filter which is 80% more efficient than standard screw-on filters. Plus, the set-up makes oil changes TOOL-LESS.

Two, a dry sump system. Yes, like the ones in high performance race cars. Most small engines are a wet sump system, where the oil is stored in the crank case of the engine. The Vanguard Oil Guard System moves the oil outside of the engine into a separate reservoir making it a dry sump system. This allows for the oil to stay cooler and increases the amount of oil the system can handle.

Three, a high-capacity, external oil reservoir. The Oil Guard System holds a total of 6 quarts of oil (5 quarts in the reservoir, 1 quart in the engine). This is 3 times the average 2 quarts other small engines hold. This reduces the risk of engine failure and allows you to mow comfortably at off-angles.

The Greenworks Commercial Advantage
Greenworks Commercial has quickly made a name for themselves in the battery-powered outdoor power equipment industry. They are the ONLY brand that is 100 percent focused on the design and manufacturing of battery-powered OPE, so it comes as no surprise that they are the ONLY brand that has a full line of professional-grade, battery-powered OPE.

This means they have given professionals the ability to upgrade their entire fleet to battery-powered equipment. EVERYTHING. Blowers, Mowers, Edger, Trimmers, Chainsaws, Zero-Turns, UTVs, Pole Saws, Winches, Tillers and Snow Throwers! That means you can get professional grade equipment without the hassle. No more gas, engine maintenance, oil changes, emissions, or heavy equipment. All of this plus a lower lifetime cost.
greenworks commercial chainsaw sitting on a pile of logs

Electric Outdoor Power Equipment?
gas versus electric equipment Electric Outdoor Power Equipment may actually be the way to go. Thanks to advancements in battery technology, electric OPE is more powerful, longer lasting and cheaper than it ever was. In fact, it is able to keep up with or outperform a lot of gas equipment at this point

Battery-powered OPE weighs less, produces less noise, and requires way less maintenance. Run time on a single battery is generally only 30-45 minutes, but with a couple batteries, the equipment can run an indefinitely long time. No over heating, stalling, or engine flooding. The downsides to battery-power?

Honestly, pretty limited at this point. There is a high upfront cost, but the equipment costs less over it's lifetime. The only other potential downside is max power. Even the most high-end battery-powered OPE only competes with mid-level gas OPE. In other words, if you are looking to take on heavy-duty jobs like clearing thick brush or cutting down massive trees, gas equipment will quickly outperform battery equipment. However, if you are just using the equipment to trim some hedges, cut up firewood, or mow some grass; you won't be able to tell the difference (power wise) even if you are doing those things on a commercial basis.

Irrigation Systems: A Beginner's Guide
If you're looking to get that green, lush, movie like lawn; then you need to get yourself an irrigation system. The most common irrigation system for a homeowner is going to be a Sprinkler System. This goes beyond the basic sprinkler that you would buy at WalMart or Lowes. We are talking a full fledge sprinkler system

A system will save you time by taking care of watering on a set schedule or at the flip of a switch. Plus, you wont have to stand there with your hose or spend time setting up your sprinkler attachment. Not only that, it will actually SAVE water. Well, if you already spend time watering your lawn it will. A sprinkler system is more efficient and consistent than your hose, so it takes LESS water than watering by hand.

Sprinkler systems aren't cheap, but they will increase the value of your home and save you money in the long run.
sprinkler head watering a lawn

Tips to Mow Your Lawn Better
Mower mowing grass Did you know the top of your grass is actually the healthiest part? That's why good mowing habits are SO important.

When talking about mowing habits, it is better to look at the height of your grass than the time between mows. the most grass you should cut at one time is 1/3 of the height of the grass. So if your grass is 4.5 inches long, the most you should cut is 1.5 inches. Generally it takes about 1-2 weeks for grass to grow that much.

When you start mowing, make sure you know what height you are aiming for. Every grass thrives at a different height, but a good rule of thumb for most warmer climate grasses is 3 inches. Starting out, your grass will be overgrown, so you should mow evry 3-4 days only taking off a bit of grass each cut. Once your grass reaches your desired height, just be sure to mow regularly so you don't have to cut too much grass at one time.

Even more important than your mowing schedule is your equipment. Make sure your mower blades are kept SHARP. As the blade dulls, it begins to tear the grass instead of cutting it. In addition, don't bag your grass every time you mow. Returning the cut grass to the soil will help bulid up essential nutrients and shade the roots of your grass.

Time to Weed and Feed
Weed and Feed is both a fertilizer and a weed killer/preventer bundled into a singular product. This mixture makes it the perfect thing to spread early in the spring season. After about 3-4 weeks of mowing, fertilizer becomes important for greening your grass. In addition, killing off the weeds early (or preventing them all together) will help the grass grow thick and strong.

There are two types of weed and feed — granular and liquid — but most homeowners use granular. Spread you weed and feed 2-4 days after mowing and DO NOT water your lawn for 2-4 days after.
spreader spreading weed and feed

Usher in a Healthy Lawn this Spring!
healthy lawn As the Spring Season gets to a start, these tips will help you usher in a healthy lawn. If you want a green, lush yard; it is important to start off every season (especially spring) the right way.

Spring is the time for clean up! Start off by giving your lawn a good cleaning to start promoting new growth. This means using a rake or a blower to get rid of all the dead grass and leaves. After that, you should overseed your lawn. This is the process in which you seed your whole lawn then go back over bare or thin patches.

Once that new growth begins to sprout, its time to start mowing. Your first mow should always be kept fairly high. Work your way down to your desired height in small increments to ensure your lawn stays healthy. Once your lawn starts to turn green (usually about 3 mows) it is time to spread fertilizer. Make sure your grass is ready before spreading fertilizer or you'll end up with fertilizer run-off and wasted money.

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