Archive for ride-on-lawnmowers

Tips and advice on mowing the lawn for the first time this spring

Spring has arrived, meaning that it’s time to dust off your lawnmower and gardening tools to prepare for the season ahead.

Garden lawns play an important part in our outdoor summer enjoyment – they host parties, provide a space to play, relax and read, and el fresco dining.

Therefore, it is important to get the first mow of the year just right to set your lawn up for a summer of use. Here are some practical tips for that first cut.

  1. A pre-cut tidy

After months of bad weather and lack of sunshine, your lawn may look a bit sad. Time to clear any mess including dead sticks, leaves and any rubbish that may have gathered.

Check to see what is hiding in the grass; stones and thick branches may have made their way into the overgrown lawn and the lawnmower blade can be damaged if the lawn mower catches these. Keeping the mower blade sharp is important as a blunt blade can cause damage to the new grass, opening up space for pests and diseases to enter.

  1. Don’t leave it too late

Although the difference in climate can vary depending on where you live in the country, usually the first two weeks in April is the best time to dig the lawnmower out and give the garden a good trim.

  1. Use the one third rule

When cutting your lawn for the first time, always follow the one third rule: never cut more than a third of the blade of grass in one go. The reason: cutting more than this can stress the grass.

Gradually reduce the grass length over a number of weeks to reach the desired length. Cutting the grass too short, too quickly, can lead to disease and weed infestation.

  1. What if your grass is really long?

If your lawn has been a little unkempt throughout the colder months and has grown longer than you would like, still follow the one third rule but take it in stages over a number of weeks. Gradually decrease the cutting height on your lawnmower each time until you reach your preferred grass length.

  1. Contour your garden

The edges of your lawn are important too when cutting your lawn for the first time. Overgrown edges can look messy and can mean time and effort spent working in the garden has been in vain. Trim the edges straight after mowing.

  1. Don’t water immediately after mowin

Don’t water your lawn immediately after mowing. There is no specific point in the month to give your lawn a hose down – it should simply be done if and when it needs moisture which is usually after a long period of drought – if you do chose to water then there are a few guidelines on what time it should be done during the day:

• Watering late in the evening or at night can lead to fungal problems as the grass doesn’t dry out as the sun has set.

• The middle of the day is when the sun is at its hottest. This leads to the water evaporating instantly or the droplets acting as a magnifying glass, burning the blades of grass.

• So the best time is first thing in the morning as the air is cool and the water can travel to the roots before drying up.

  1. Don’t forget about new grass seeds

If you have repaired your lawn in the autumn the new grass that has grown from the seed will be noticeably weaker than the rest of the lawn and can be easily damaged if cut incorrectly. Wait until the grass has grown over three inches in length before mowing for the first time to allow it time to build up strength.

  1. Make mowing your lawn a habit

Following your first cut of the season, you should consider mowing your lawn once or twice a week to maintain the desired length. This is due to the warm weather encouraging your grass to grow.

  1. Choose your equipment carefully

It’s important to remember that no two lawns or gardens are the same even if they are side by side. Take into consideration the condition and size of your lawn, and your gardening needs when choosing the best lawn mower for the job.

Preparing a petrol lawnmower for winter storage

With the growing season coming to a close, you should be looking forward to putting your lawnmower away for the winter. The best time to service your lawn mower is immediately after the last cut of the season. By doing this you will miss the mad rush next spring when everyone else has left it to the last moment to get their lawnmower or ride-on-tractor serviced. Also it is not good to put the mower away for the winter if it is wet and caked in grass clippings as it will cause it to rust and deteriorate.

Have your lawnmower serviced

At WG Gardencare Machinery Ltd we specialise in servicing and repairing all types of professional and domestic garden machinery including mowers, four and two stroke machines and commercial diesel tractors.

When we service a lawnmower, ride-on-mower or tractor we will look at a whole host of things. For a full list of what is included in our winter service click here. We will collect your mower and return it to you at home once the service is complete. Our Collection and Delivery Service covers West Sussex and Surrey.

So once spring arrives you will be ready to go with only a few spot checks needed.

Check the oil level before use

Once any faults have been repaired as part of the annual service, all you’ll need to do before use is check the oil level using the dipstick and top up if needed.

Clean after use

After use, clean the underside of the mower with a damp cloth to prevent a build-up of grass and rusting. Be sure to tip the mower toward the back of the sump, rather than toward the carburettor. Consult the manual if you’re not sure.

Consider a conditioner

If you’re storing more than one can, you can prolong the life of fresh fuel by adding an ‘additive’ or ‘conditioner’.

Servicing your lawnmower with WG Gardencare Machinery

Our comprehensive workshop facilities offer a service – second to none. Our service price is carried out at an hourly rate with free estimates. Please call us on 01403 700743 or email us for a quote. And from the 1st November 2017 until the 1st April 2018 we are giving 10% off our winter service.

Lawns: autumn care

Autumn is the time to examine lawns for signs of summer wear-and-tear, and treat if necessary. At this time of year, any treatment has time to take effect before temperatures fall and growth stops.

One or more of these tasks may be required:

Scarifying

Regular raking (or scarifying as it known) keeps levels of thatch (old grass stems, dead moss and other debris) at an acceptable level. Layers of thatch greater than 1cm (3/8in) deep can impede water and the penetration of any fertilizer that you use.

To remove thatch, rake vigorously but carefully with a spring-tined rake. For larger areas powered tools are available as single units or mower attachments. Contact us if you need further advice on the different kinds of mower attachments available.

Be aware, turf is damaged if scarified too deeply. Do not scarify in spring – a light raking is all that is needed, as the lawn may not recover in summer conditions.

Aerating (spiking)

Aerating (or spiking) lawns allows better movement of air and water in the root zone. A well-aerated lawn will manage better in periods of drought or prolonged rainfall. For an average lawn, aeration every two to three years should be enough, concentrate on areas that receive the most wear and those that are compacted.

Small areas can be spiked with a garden fork, spacing holes 10-15cm (4-6in) apart and deep. On clay or waterlogged soils use a hollow-tine aerator every three to four years. This extracts plugs of soil from the lawn. Hand held and motorized hollow tiners are available. After hollow-tining, sweep up the plugs and then rake a top-dressing (see below) into the holes to improve air and moisture penetration.

Top-dressing

Top-dressing is the application of loam, sand and well-rotted organic matter to a lawn in order to correct surface irregularities and improve the texture of difficult soils. This encourages greater rooting and thickening of turf.

The top-dressing mix is three parts sandy loam, six parts sharp sand and one part compost or leaf mould. Apply 2-3kg per sq m (4.4-6.6lb per 10 sq ft), working the dressing in well with the back of a rake.

Flattening

To correct bumps and troughs, use an edging iron or spade to slice through the turf and roll it back. Fork over the underlying ground and add or remove soil as needed. Replace the turf, pressing the edges together, and water thoroughly.

Mowing

The autumn rains make the end of August and September a good growing time so mow your lawn frequently. You can lower the cut now if you raised it during the summer. Whether you use a cylinder or rotary lawn mower or a ride-on-lawnmower the principle is the same, never remove more than one third of grass on any one cut. If you need any advice on servicing or repairs to your lawnmower or ride-on-tractor then call 01403 700743 or contact us and we will be happy to help.