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Spring Training - For You and Your Lawn

Just as ballplayers use spring training to get ready for the season, so should homeowners – young and the young at heart -- use springtime to tune up their tools (and their thinking) for the long hot days of summer yard work. Here are a few Fast Tips to make sure your lawn, your equipment and – of course – you are in tip-top shape for this mowing season.

1. Tune-Up Time. Your equipment needs to be ready when you are, and spring is a perfect time to make sure everything checks out.

  • Visit a qualified servicing dealer to tune-up your mower, trimmer or leaf blower and spot potential problems.
  • If you do it yourself, follow the owners’ manual carefully and only use factory-recommended parts, oil, spark plugs, pull cords and filters.

2. Safety First. Your tools may be ready, but is your mind? Riding mowers are great resources, but can be dangerous if kids and pets are in the area. So have the right mindset when it’s time to mow.

  • Know where the kids are at all times, and stop mowing if a child approaches the mowing area. 
  • Never give rides, as a child may fall off the mower and into the spinning blades. It may also encourage kids to approach the mower without you – and that’s the wrong message to send.
  • Use extreme caution when mowing in reverse. Just like in your car, carefully look to the sides and behind before backing up.

3. Easy on the Gas. Only buy enough to last 15 days, and keep it in an airtight container. Otherwise, exposure to air – and moisture – can damage or limit the effectiveness of the engine.

  • Use 89-octane gas with an ethanol content no higher than 10 (E10). Gas with higher levels of ethanol can damage engines. 

4. Aerate Your Lawn. Spring is the perfect time to aerate your lawn. 

  • That’s because clay is predominant, and the soil can become compacted at a faster rate than other soil types
  • Annual aeration will help grass roots grow deeper and stronger, especially if your lawn experiences heavy and repeated foot traffic.
  • You can use a spike aerator, which punches holes in the sod; or a plug aerator, which removes small plugs of soil and lays them across the lawn.

5. Take the Field. Getting out in your yard is one of the easiest ways to feel good and get fit.

  • Did you know walking behind your push mower can burn up to 360 calories per hour?
  • Also, you can trim your waist while trimming your hedges, since the rotational movement engages your core muscles to strengthen and tone your midsection.
  • And make sure you use the right equipment, especially ergonomically-designed tools to help prevent joint stress and injury. 

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