Although lawn care may not be top of mind for people in the Spring, it’s important you complete some annual tasks for your lawn to reach its full potential. As well, the Summer is a season of upkeep. There are many things you can be doing for your lawn throughout these two seasons. In fact, without completing some of these activities your lawn will most likely deteriorate quite quickly.
"According to manufacturer Briggs & Stratton, a tune-up can increase fuel economy by a third, extend the life of the engine, reduce repair costs and decrease emissions by up to 50 percent," from the Family Handyman.
The spark plug should be replaced every 25 hours of use, or once per season
The air filter should be replaced once per season
The oil in your lawn mower should be replaced every 50 hours
Who honestly thinks about tuning their lawn mower up until the mower doesn’t start or you encounter engine problems? That’s right, no one. Putting money into the lawn mower isn’t top of mind when spring rolls around. However, it’s actually fairly important you pay it some attention or else you risk causing significant damage to your engine.
The “Family Handyman” blog gives straightforward instructions on how to replace the oil in your mower, abbreviated: To change the oil, run the engine for a few minutes to warm up the oil. This will allow the oil to drain better. After stopping the engine, remove the drain plug and empty the oil. After tilting the mower to ensure all the oil is out, replace the drain plug. Fill the engine with new oil until its visible through the oil fill hole. Or you can check the dipstick if your lawn mower is equipped with one.
If your lawn mowers air filter isn’t replaced as often as it should be, particles will reach the engine and slow it down or damage it permanently. To replace the air filter:
First, turn the mower off
Find the spark plug wire and disconnect it
You’ll find a cover on top of the air filter, remove this and take out the filter
Insert a new air filter and replace the cover
Reconnect the spark plug wire and you’re finished
To replace the spark plug you’ll want to begin by:
A spark plug replacement requires a bit more time and attention. The Auto Zone has in-depth instructions for completing the spark plug replacement each season. Additionally, Briggs & Stratton has a video on ‘How to Change a Lawn Mower Spark Plug’.
Just as your home needs a spring cleaning, as does your yard. You want to remove debris and prep your lawn and garden for the warmer summer months. To tackle your outdoor spring clean up you first want to begin by removing the litter, dog feces, and other garbage that you’ll find on your lawn after the snow has melted. This also includes leaves, twigs, and pinecones on your lawn and in your garden beds. You’ll want to wear gloves for this task as you never know what may have accumulated under the snow throughout the winter months (i.e., glass).
Instead of power raking in the spring, your lawn will require a light hand rake to get rid of the thatch build up. Don’t get over ambitious and start raking up too much grass. This would be as detrimental as a power raking service, because not only would the thatch get ripped up, but also the crown and healthy parts of your grass.
Begin by removing any weeds you find in your garden beds, and work in some compost to the soil. The trees, shrubs, and other plants in your yard will benefit from a compost deposit in their soil. You want to prepare the soil for plant growth when you begin planting. Add mulch to your garden beds once your plants begin growing a few inches, so you can best prevent weeds.
The best time to plant will wholly depend on what flowers you want to grow in your garden. In early spring you can plant perennials, but for annuals and more tender perennials you won't want to plant until after the last frost date. Plan your garden ahead of time, and perhaps consult a colour palette before you begin planting. Even if you don’t plan to cultivate them throughout your garden beds, planning your garden ahead of time will lead to better success when growing (such as knowing how much sun certain plants will get, how much they grow, etc.)
Any dead limbs should be removing from your trees and shrubs, so you avoid disease, and your yard looks more aesthetically pleasing. Pruning off dead limbs is easy because you can’t destroy something that’s already dead. However, pruning healthy plants can go wrong because timing is certainly a factor. The Spruce has a blog that illustrates the best time to prune flowering shrubs.
Overseeding is meant to repair the bare spots in your lawn, and the process is fairly simple. Yard Dawgs even supplies some packages with complimentary spring and fall seed bags. We provide a special blend of seed specially created to work throughout Alberta weather. This means it maximizes water absorption and is resistant to drought and disease. To seed your lawn:
Watering your grass, especially after overseeding, is crucial to your lawn’s development. If you’ve over seeded certain areas of your lawn, we recommend watering for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening each day until you begin to see seed germination. In any other circumstance, water your lawn about 1-inch each week.
Consistency and commitment to your watering schedule is key! You must water your grass for your lawn to grow, especially because Calgary is so dry.
The best time to control the weeds in your lawn is before they germinate. That’s why a full and healthy lawn makes it harder for weeds to grow and, therefore, easier for you – the homeowner – to control them. With fewer weeds in your lawn, your grass has more of a chance to receive the nutrients, sunlight, and water that it needs. So, when the weeds begin appearing in your lawn, make sure you have a plan for weed control. You want to deal with them as soon as possible.
Although you may have left the weed control and fertilization to a lawn care company you trust, there are still some tasks you should complete. Annually, you need to complete these tasks for your lawn to succeed throughout the year. Especially throughout the summer, and throughout heat waves, watering your lawn regularly is crucial - it can't be emphasized enough. With these in place and completed, your lawn is sure to succeed this season!