Starting a Riding Lawn Mower
When looking for the best piece of equipment to keep your lawn up to snuff, many people would suggest a Gas lawn mower for its ease of use and the job that they do at cutting. This is a good alternative if your garden is fairly small and you enjoy doing the odd spot here and there.
But if your garden is large, or you need to cut a commercial sized field, then a riding mower would be a better-suited alternative. With a much wider cutting deck available to use, riding lawn mowers are designed for bigger spaces because the cutting deck is normally 25-32 inches. This size can increase, but if you were to go higher you'd be left with a tractor.
Reasons to Choose a Riding Mower
Even though riding lawn mowers may significantly more expensive than push mowers, they come with a number of advantages. Needless to say, when you make use of a riding lawn mower, you will have to put in less physical effort. At the same time, these mowers often tend to cut faster and have fewer stall outs. As an added bonus, you are also likely to find that a riding lawn mower will last much longer than a push mower.
If you give it some thought, you may be surprised to find that a riding mower's cost about the same price as a push mower in the long run. While some mowers may last as long as 10 years, most end up being useless within 3 years. On the other hand, when you buy a riding mower, it may last as long as 15 years with a minimal amount of maintenance. Since these machines are far more durable, you are also likely to find that you will not need to change as many parts.
Individuals that have large lawns to take care of usually find that a riding mower will meet their needs better than a push mower. While your initial investment may be a bit higher, at least you can look forward to years of reliable service, and an opportunity to cut the time spent on yard work by a good amount. At the very least, if you are planning on buying a new mower this year, you should not automatically take riding mowers off your list.
Operating a Riding Mower
Before you learn how to start a riding lawn mower, it’s necessary that you understand that some important safe measures.
Here are some tips when using a riding mower that you should follow:
1. Safety goggles are highly recommended. Not only can dust and grass clippings irritate the eyes but also small stones and other debris may be flung from the blades, and if you're unfortunate enough to get one in the eye it will cause serious damage and even blinding.
2. Stones can be thrown out of the machine at high speeds, so wear appropriate clothing. Wearing shorts, for example, is not recommended, even if you have to cut the lawn in the summer sun - a flying stone can cause serious cuts.
3. Ear Muffs for some riding mowers are recommended. Although modern mowers are designed specifically to reduce as much noise as possible if you are going to be using your mower for a sustained period of time it might pay to invest in them - your lawn isn't worth damaging your hearing over!
4. Most injuries could easily be prevented if riding mower operator's wore sensible shoes. Never operate a machine in bare feet, or even sandals. Sounds obvious, doesn't it ?!?
5. Long hair and loose items could be tucked away or tied back. Not only can the hair distract you from your job but more to the point it could get stuck in the mechanics of the machine and cause a rather nasty injury.
6. If you have sweaty palms or you are using the machine in wet conditions it's advisable to wear gloves as this will help you grip the steering wheel and maintain better control at all times.
7. If you are going to be using the mower for a long time in the summer (better than using it in the winter!) then pop a hat on your head and some sunscreen on your arms.
8. Make sure that the adjustable sitting position is correct for you. Ensure you are comfortable and can easily reach all the controls.
9. If you are lucky enough to have a drink holder on your mower use it and stay hydrated!
10. Always wear the seat belt - the last thing you want to do is fall out of a moving riding mower.
How to Start the Mower
Now that you have learned the above safety basics, you should know how to start this kind of mower. The following are the steps to follow.
1. Sit comfortably on the seat. Using your left foot, press the clutch lever on the left side of the mower. After this, slide the parking brake to the right side of your mower.
2. The next step is to move the gear shift lever into neutral position and ensure that the blade control lever is disengaged.
3. Slide the throttle lever of the mower between the fast and slow position.
4. Start the ignition switch using the ignition key. This is done by turning the key to the right. After starting the ignition, ensure that the engine is cracked for 15 seconds. The engine should start right away after this time.
5. After the engine starts, push back the choke knob of the machine and slide the throttle to the faster position. Allow the engine to warm up before you begin enjoying your ride as you mow the grass.
As you have read, riding mowers are very efficient especially for a large lawn. They are easy to use and usually cut the grass faster compared to Front Wheel Self Propelled Lawn Mowers. Just like any other mower, a riding mower will need regular repairs if it breaks down. You can fix some of the repairs yourself but if they're complicated, don't hesitate to take to a mechanic.
Fixing Your Self Propelled Lawn Mower
Every homeowner wants to keep your lawn healthy, green and lush all season long. Your lawn mower is an important part of maintaining your lawn's overall health and appeal. An overgrown grass in your lawn can spoil the beauty of your home and also can act as breeding ground for insects. Also, overgrown grass can attract a lot of weeds which depletes the soil fertility and prevent your grass from growing further. To prevent this from happen, you should own a lawn mower and properly keep it in good condition.
If you own a self propelled lawn mower, it will require regular repairs when it breaks down. You have two options of repairing this kind of mower. One of the ways is to take it to a professional repair person and the other one is to repair it yourself. The latter is more affordable for most of homeowners. In this article, we shall concentrate on how you can fix your self propelled lawn mower yourself without any need of taking it for servicing.
Common Issues and how to fix them
1. The mower won’t start. A mower can fail to start due to several problems. This can be a drained battery in case of electric mowers, a damaged spark plug or damaged cord in corded mowers.
How to Fix
First, disconnect the spark plug to prevent the engine from starting accidentally. Wipe it clean if you find that it’s clogged with dirt. You will need to replace it if the porcelain is cracked off the electrode is burned off. Ideally, you should replace the spark plug once annually to keep your Mower in good condition.
Your mower can fail to start when the blade control is engaged. Ensure that it’s disengaged and try restarting the mower. Another issue can be the fuel. It may have gone bad if it has stayed in the tank all the winter season without a stabilizer. Remove all of it and replace with another fuel.
In the case of electric mowers, you may want to check whether the battery is dead. If this is the case, recharge it immediately. If it can’t recharge, you will have no other choice other than replacing it. Also, check whether the extension cord is damaged. Replace it with other one and restart your mower.
Another way to fix this issue is to clean the carburetor and the air filters. Check guidance from your manual.
2. The mower is noisy due to too much vibration and the cut is poor.
How to Fix It
Check whether the blade is dirty and remove all the grass clippings from its underside. The blade may be bent or damaged. In this case, replace it. Your blade needs to be sharpened regularly to make it sharp. You should take the mower to a mechanic if the rod, connecting the blade to the motor, is also bent or damaged.
3. The mower moves too slowly and has become a push mower.
How to Fix It
Often, this is caused by a damaged or loose transmission cable. Make sure that the cable is connected firmly at both ends. If it’s damaged, you will have to replace it. This problem can also be solved by lubricating the wheels and drive wheel gears if they are clogged up with dirt or grass clippings.
General maintenance of Self Propelled Lawn Mower
By following the following tips on general maintenance, you will ensure that your lawn mower is working at peak efficiency every time you need to use it.
Keep your lawn mower's blade sharp. A dull blade makes an uneven cut on your lawn and may even damage your grass. In addition, a sharp blade means cutting efficiency and reducing wear and tear on your engine and other parts.
Ensure that the air filter is kept clean and free of dust and dirt. You can usually just shake the air filter out to remove dust and debris. If your air filter has been in use for a while and has a lot of build-up on it, you should replace it immediately. All of your lawn mower's parts work in conjunction with one another so saving money by not replacing an overly dirty air filter will only cost you more in the long run.
Clean the carburetor. Just like your car, your carburetor needs to be looked after. Before removing the carburetor, make sure that the fuel line has been turned off. Once you have the carburetor out, give it a good cleaning so that its floating valve is able to move freely. Then replace the carburetor and turn the fuel line back on.
Check your fuel. In addition to keeping the fuel tank topped up to at least halfway, you will want to replace any gas that was left over from the previous season that did not have a stabilizer added to it.
In addition to keeping the fuel tank topped up and in good shape, you will also want to inspect your fuel line. It is very common to switch your fuel line off at the end of the season so it is easy to forget about it. If your lawn mower is not starting, check this first.
If the engine still does not start, the gas may not be getting to the carburetor. To check this, remove the fuel hose from the carburetor to see if the fuel is flowing through. If it is, you can reconnect the two. If it is not, your fuel line may be plugged or the filter may be blocked.
Check the spark plug. This is one of the most basic things you can do if your lawn mower is not starting or working properly. To check this, detach the wire at the end of the plug before removing it. You will want to ensure that the spark plug is not wet or dirty
Before attempting to fix any issue with your mower, ensure that you follow these safety tips
· Always perform the repairs outdoors.
[ Note: This article is a little early, but still relevant]
With summertime here, that means that autumn is right around the corner. The trees will be changing their leaf color then they will eventually fall to the ground and need to be picked up. What better way to help clean up those falling leaves than with a leaf blower? Traditionally, only landscapers would use the machines, however, in recent years, more and more of the devices are being made smaller so that the "average homeowner" can operate one. They have become lighter and more powerful, using gas, diesel, a mixture of gas and oil (called two-stroke), batteries or electric to power them.
Three types of the blowers exist and they include the backpack type, hand held and "walk behind." Backpack leaf blowers are worn on the back while straps fit around the shoulders to keep the pack from falling. These blowers are best for medium or small jobs. They are run with gas or a mixture fuel and have the ability to reach places others cannot with a nozzle that usually quite flexible, such as in tight spaces under steps.
Hand-held machines are the smallest and lightest of the three types and are usually battery or electric powered, although some gas powered models exist. These typically have a straight plastic hose, so it is not flexible enough to fit into all spaces. The hand-held machines that are electric or battery powered have a limit as to how far they can reach, so using them for smaller jobs is recommended, like a small front yard or a short driveway.
A "walk behind" machine is best for a home or business where there is a large area, such as a parking lot, large yard or driveway to blow. This model typically runs on gas and has blow settings that vary in strength. Additionally, the nozzle can be angled in different directions and the machine can be "driven" on sidewalks and driveways. Many have started to adapt some of the smaller leaf blowers to other activities, such as blowing snow from steps and walkways.
Some varieties of the machines, called leaf blower-vacs, have bags attached to them so the user cannot only blow the leaves and other yard debris into a pile, but he can also vacuum them up into the bag as well. Additionally, the user could vacuum as he goes, picking up the leaves and debris along the way. This is a much easier way of taking care of yard work, since there is no bending and lifting involved that can cause injuries.
Uses for Leaf Blowers:
Of course, the most obvious use for leaf blowers is to corral fallen leaves into a pile. Whether the homeowner cleans them up every few days or waits until they are almost finished to put them in a pile is a matter of personal preference. It also depends on how many and what kind of trees are on the property. When leaves are ankle deep or higher, it is time to break out the leaf blower and put them into a section of the yard or a pile. Some municipalities will go through neighborhoods with a machine that sucks them up from curbside. Others leave it up to the homeowner on how to dispose of them. While autumn is the most prolific time of year for leaves to land in the yard, it is not the only time. Some types of trees, like river birches for example, lose their leaves year-round and cause a constant need to blow them away.
Good Tips for Buying a Leaf Blower
There are numerous factors that are involved in the purchasing of lowes leaf blowers. A number these are just about your choice and preference. However, you need to try and link the tool to the items that you want to do and the amount of work that has to be done. Here are tips that should get you thinking in the correct way:
1. Select a walk behind leaf blower if you have a lot of blowing to do, in particular if you reside in a woodland location and have a lot of land to clear, where the leaves stack up to a depth.
2. Select a backpack blower when you have a fairly large area with quite a lot of leaves to clean up. Backpack leaf blowers are powerful, but comfortable and easy to use due to the way they are made. You can use them for longer periods of time without becoming as tired.
3. Use a hand held blower for light to moderate work where the yard is a reasonable size and you don't have to use the machine for great periods of time. Hand held blowers are quick and easy to operate, but can become heavy after using them for a time.
4. Choose a gas leaf blowers where you need a lot of blowing power and don't mind something that is quite heavy. Gas blowers come is various engine sizes to match your power needs.
5. Select an electric leaf blowers for small yards and light leaf blowing. Electric machines use a power wire and that can restrict the distance that you can reach.
6. Choose cordless leaf blowers for very light work and where you only need to work for about 20 minutes. Some come with 2 batteries which will increase the blowing time. The batteries are rechargeable.
7. Use a blower with a vacuum attachment if you need to collect and bag the leaves rather than just blowing them away. Some tools also have a mulching feature that will shred the leaves and compress them to take up less space.
8. Choose a fast air velocity if you want to break up clumps of wet leaves and move larger objects. The air velocity is measured in MPH and should be taken at the end of the tube.
9. Look at machines that move a lot of air volume if you need to vacuum heavy, damp and big leaves You can check this out by looking at the measurements in cubic feet per minute or CFM.
Check out the last article: Growing a great lawn fast
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For someone who's not into gardening or landscaping, the grass is just grass, but this should not be the case. We can benefit from grasses in many ways. It is used as food for livestock and, for some, as part of their landscaping project. This plant is easy to work with. All you need to have are the ideas on how grass should be taken care of. Grass have many different species, and each will have a different way to maintain them. However, the general techniques and ways that the plant is grown should be carefully understood.
The first thing to consider is your climate and the zone where you are located. There are two types of humidity in which grass grows, depending of course on the special. The first type is called warm season which of course can come in various forms. The grasses that can grow in this type include Bermuda, zoysia, centipede and others, to name a few. Bent, zoysia, centipede are just a few who are part of the second kind. These are part of the cold season grass. Choosing the right species depending on your zone's humidity is an important factor to consider when growing the plant. Think about also the elevation of your area and how it is accessible to water and sunlight. The factors should be properly considered if you want the growth of your grass to be healthy.
* Fertilizers and chemicals - You can fertilize your lawn during fall. This is the time when the soil is best penetrated, making it good for planting. So when spring comes, your grass will grow and will feast on the nutrients that you left on the soil. This is the best grass-growing tip any professional landscaper can give, and this is also why they grow such perfect grass. Avoid using pesticides and other chemicals because these will adversely affect the growth of grass.
* Mowing process - Always watch your grass' height. If you use a lawn mower, set it to at least 3 to 4 inches in height. Remember that the proportion of the blade is the same as the roots. Doing this will be very effective since the cut grass will immediately fall to the ground which will also serve as your fertilizer.
* Soil Testing - Soil Testing should be done so that you will know the type of grass that will be suitable on the kind of soil that you have. This way, you will be sure that the soil and the grass will compatible. After soil testing, experts would advise you to either add more soil to add more nutrients or apply some chemical or fertilizer which can help.
* Variety of the grass - Today, cultured lawn grass are now available. But remember that each of these will have its unique characteristic that you need to ensure soil, humidity and temperature compatibility. If you grow the wrong variety, it will be a total waste of time and money. You need to think about the different considerations the moment you plan to grow grass. Those who don't appreciate grass may find all of these a waste of time. But those who do will find all the reasons to grow the most beautiful and healthiest grass on their lawn for personal satisfaction.
* Watering your Lawn
For lawns on sloping ground, take care that the water does not simply run off or it may wash down all lawn fertilizer that you might have added. You may need to water this area in shorter, more frequent bursts to be sure that the lawn has enough liquid supply.
Or Take a look at the Best Lawn Mowing Tips to find the best way to cut your lawn
LAWN MOWING TIPS FOR A HEALTHY LAWN
Would you like to keep your lawn looking healthy and beautiful always? If yes, appropriate mowing tips and timing is the ultimate secret. Although mowing may seem simple, it’s good to be careful since every time you cut your grass you are creating way for your lawn’s success or failure. If you time the mowing appropriately and mow correctly, your lawn will not struggle to survive. Which is the best time to cut grass?
Best time to mow your lawn:
i. Early morning – Are you thinking of mowing your lawn before leaving for work? This could be an appropriate time especially if you work from morning to evening. However, the sad bit is that the grass is still wet with dew in which case the mower will most likely rip the grass and destroy its beauty as well as its healing process. If you do not want to destroy the grass with diseases, mold and fungus growth, it’s important to avoid this time of the day.
ii. Mid-morning - Many people consider this as the most perfect time for mowing since the morning dew and sprinkled water has already dried off. The perfect cutting time is when the grass is dry and tall for a perfect and clean cut. At such time, the sun is not hot meaning the grass will heal faster unlike when it’s scorching hot.
iii. Mid-day – Cutting grass during the heat of the day is the worst thing you can do to yourself and to your grass. If you are not interested in killing your lawn, then you should avoid cutting the grass when it’s photosynthesizing and utilizing its water supply. Choose the cool hours of the day.
iv. Mid-afternoon – Do you want to scorch and stress yourself in the hot afternoon? Although the temperatures have somehow dropped, mowing at this time will strain your lawn considerably. If you love your lawn, avoid cutting grass at this time of the day.
v. Late afternoon – If mid-morning is not a good timing for you, you should try late afternoon when temperatures have dropped and evening dew has not collected. Again, at this time you will care for your body since you will have some time to recover before sunset.
vi. Early evening – During this time, the temperatures have gone down considerably meaning you nor will the grass be stressed. However, this is not the best timing because your lawn won’t have enough time to heal before the night falls when infections and diseases tend to attack the grass. You should therefore avoid this time at all costs.
Although choosing the right time is highly important for a perfect looking lawn, having these tips will make your work a lot easier.
1. Do not cut it too short
Are you aware that a scalped lawn is vulnerable to weed infestation and diseases? When you cut the grass too short, you expose soil which is a great contributor to weed success. In addition, a sparse lawn gives sunlight an opportunity to reach the weed seedlings and give them a boost. The final result is a spoilt lawn, with a poorly developed root system and more susceptible to damage from high temperatures and drought.
2. Keep the mower blade sharp
How does it feel to work with a blunt knife or object? A sharp blade cuts grass neatly while a blunt blade creates a jagged and uneven lawn. In addition, it tears grass which paves way for pests and diseases to enter the grass blades. As a result, it is very important to sharpen the blades before mowing to avoid destroying the beauty and reduce the chances of pest infestation.
3. Wet or dry grass?
Is it best to mow a wet or dry lawn? Mowing a wet lawn doesn’t yield the best results since wet grass fills and jams the mower deck creating an uneven cut. Mowing in damp soil increases the chances of wheel ruts and torn up grass. In addition, mowing wet grass consumes more battery power. It is therefore best to conclude that one should lawn when the grass is dry or well watered for a clean and neat cut and to save the extra battery changing costs.
4. Don’t mow during the heat of the day
Always ensure that you mow during morning hours, evening hours or during the cooler part of the day. This is because, during hot hours of the day, grass has higher chances of losing more water and recovering much more slowly. Mow grass in the shade because it loses less water. Don’t stress the grass and yourself. Time appropriately!
5. Stick to the 1/3 rule
Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade length at any time while mowing. This helps to keep the grass healthy and well maintained. When you remove more than 1/3, you expose the soil underneath increasing the chances of pest infestation and diseases. Moreover, the top 1/3 of the blade grass is leafy and thin and decomposes fast when cut. In addition, this layer can contribute to some sufficient amount of the nitrogen that your lawn needs.
6. Pattern of mowing
Are you aware that when you mow in the same pattern or direction you risk compacting soil and creating ruts? The sad bit is that, ruts and compacted soil causes unhealthy grass and increases the chances of weed infestation. To avoid this, do not mow in the same direction or follow the same pattern.
7. Mowing on a slope
Do you want to enjoy this holiday season without injuries? If so, then avoid mowing a slope when it is wet. This is because, wet grass creates slippery footing that can cause serious injuries. When mowing a slope, always ensure you mow across and not up and down. If the slope is too steep, consider replacing the grass with an alternative or low maintenance ground cover.
8. Type of mower
If you are looking for an efficient and stress free mower, consider a battery-powered model for fume-free and gas free option. This is simply because; most battery mowers have sufficient power to cut yards at an average height. Choosing the right type of mower makes your job easier and less costly. If you are mowing on extensive yards, consider getting a model that allows you to remove the battery for charging.
These lawn mowing tips coupled with proper timing will give you a perfect and neat lawn. Don’t spoil your beautiful lawn, be responsible.
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Best Lawn Mowing Tips
It is always nice to have a well-maintained lawn. The sight of the neatly mowed healthy grass makes you feel so good. However, as it is said, nothing good comes without a bit of trouble and pain. So, if you want a healthy and beautiful lawn, you need to put in a bit of hard work. The primary thing you need to do is learn how to mow in the right manner. Buying the right lawn mower is not enough to maintain a healthy lawn. Wrong mowing techniques can not only hamper the visual appeal of the lawn but also ruin the health of the grass. Here are some lawns mowing techniques that you can use.
Understand the grass
The time and technique of mowing grass depend on the type of grass in your lawn. So, the first thing that you need to do is learn the properties and characteristics of the grass. Find out whether the grass is cool season grass or warm season grass. The pace of growth depends on the grass species. When you know the peak growth season of the grass, you can plan the mowing schedule accordingly.
Notice grass height
The thumb rule for mowing is to check the grass height. If you see the grass growing more aggressively in a particular season, mow more frequently at that time. This is a very important consideration for lawn care because too much of mowing can put excessive pressure on the grass roots and damage the lawn.
When you learn about the grass, pay particular attention to its optimum height. To maintain a healthy lawn, the grass should be cut at one-third of its maximum height. Keeping the height more or less than this is not recommended.
Do not cut when the grass is wet
Cutting wet grass is not a good practice because of two main reasons. First, since the mud underneath the grass is wet and loose, grass might be uprooted during the mowing process. As a result, your lawn ends up being very uneven and unsightly. Second, when the lawn is wet, the lawn mower might slip and pose risks to your safety. Also, the wet grass blocks the mower and forms a mulch that makes it difficult to operate the machine.
Before mowing what's important is the selection of appropriate mower without which successful mowing can't be gained. One should select a mower with sharp blades so that it could give best results to your lawn grass and doesn't give any unwanted disease also with pest invasion. Be careful while selecting one such device. You can get both Electric and Gas powered mowers.
Do not use a blunt mower
If the blades of your lawn mower are not sharp, they could damage the grass and make the lawn uneven. Before you begin to mow, check whether the blades are blunt. If they are, do not use the machine until you have them sharpened.
How often you should mow your lawns.
While lawn mowing can be a chore for many busy people, and something which we are all guilty of putting off for too long sometimes, regular lawn mowing is also necessary for overall lawn health.
The first reason for maintaining regular lawn mowing is that if we leave lawns to become too long between mowings, then the thatch layer will increase in the lawn. Also, the crowns of the turf will raise higher which when eventually mowed, can easily cause lawn scalping or having the lawn dying off in areas where the crowns of the lawn have been removed when mowing. Leaving lawns too long between mowing is always a high risk of causing lawn damage when the turf is finally mowed.
While the above example is a worst case scenario of leaving lawns for far too long in between mowing, even regular mowing should be given careful consideration as to frequency.
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