Category Archives for "Lawn and Garden Tips"

How to String Trim Grass Around a Chain Link Fence.

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Have you ever have had problems trimming the grass under a chain link fence after mowing? This is a very important step in making your yard look nice. There is nothing worse than looking at a nicely mowed lawn and then seeing tall grass growing up the side of a chain link fence. Lazy. Stick around and I will show you a great way on how to weed eat/weed whack/string trim around a chain link fence. This is a great way to get rid of grass under a chain link fence.

Click Here To Check Out Our Top Pick for Best Weed Eater

How To Weed Eat/Weed Whack/String Trim Grass Around a Chain Link Fence

Today, I am going to show you how to trim the grass that is growing under and around your chain link fence. It is for grass that is just long enough to be an eyesore. Around 5-7 inches. You could use a hand trimmer and go all along your fence and trim by hand. But that would take a long time and be really hard on the joints. So, here the steps involved in trimming 5-7 inch grass around a chain link fence.

  1. Get your self a nice weed eater that fits your height. If you have a lot of fencing to trim, you want to make sure you are not bending over the whole time. A gas or electric weed whacker will do fine.
  2. Make sure you have plastic trim line. Do not get the metal trimmer for this.
  3. Always wear eye and ear protection when you are weed eating. Especially if you have a gas powered weed eater. They are very loud! Also, wear old pants and long sleeve shirts when string trimming. The string from the weed eater breaks some times and may hit you. Also, debris such as rocks and dirt may fly up during weed eating.
  4. Check to see if your string trimmer head spins either clockwise or counter clockwise. If it spins clockwise, you want to trim from left to right and if it spins counter clockwise, you want to move right to left. This keeps you from going against the direction of the head and makes weed eating easier.
  5. After you have mowed your yard and it looks great, you want to start up your weed eater. Moving in the direction I have stated in step 4, you want to walk slowly and trim as close to the fence as you can. This will take some practice and you may have to go over it again at first. If you are hitting the fence, just back off a bit with your trimmer.
  6. After you have trimmed one side of the fence to your liking, go to the other side of the fence and do the same thing. Make sure you go slow. Obviously, if it is your neighbor’s property, you need to get his/her permission first. Note: I have heard of people using a leaf blower and blowing the grass so it leans to the other side and then trimming it. I have not tried this method.
  7. This next step is very important, so please pay attention. After you have done both sides of the fence, you will notice that there will still be grass in the chain link fence. Going in the opposite direction as you did in step 5, you are going to just barely accelerate the string trimmer and actually hit the chain link fence, trimming the rest of the grass. Again, this will take practice and you may have to go over it a couple of times.

Here is a great video showing this process.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYLDfe0jwJY]

That is all there is to it. Your lawn should look great!

Best Trimmer Head/Line for a Chain Link Fence

I have been asked by one of our readers what is the best trimmer head/line for a chain link fence. Well, that really depends on what string trimmer you have. Some of the trimmer heads only fit curved shaft string trimmers and some trimmer heads only fit straight shaft string trimmers. You would need to check your manual on what string trimmer heads fit your string trimmer. However, if I had to pick the best trimmer head/line for a chain link fence, I would have to go with the Echo 99944200907 Speed-Feed 400 Universal Trimmer Head

What I Like About The Echo 99944200907 Universal Trimmer Head

  • Fits both straight and curved shaft string trimmers
  • Heavy duty string
  • Bendable string-perfect for trimming grass around/under a chain link fence
  • Just tap the trimmer head to get more string length
  • Easy to load

As I have said before, you need a good, bendable string to cut around a chain link fence and the Echo Universal Trimmer Head is perfect for the job.

Click Here To Check For Price and Availability on Amazon

Other Options to Getting Rid of Grass Under a Chain Link Fence

If you are not interested in this way, there are other options to getting rid of grass under a chain link fence.

  • Like I said above, you could use a hand trimmer and trim the whole fence by hand!
  • You could use a weed/grass killer like Roundup and kill the grass under the fence.
  • You could use a product called Mowstrip or an edging weed strip
  • If the grass is really high, you could use a power washer.

If anyone has another idea, please feel free to leave comment. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my post on how to string trim grass around a chain link fence.

How To Edge A Lawn By Hand-Your Grass Will Love It!

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If you love your lawn, like I do, you want it to look it’s best at all times. Sometimes it becomes a little shaggy and needs some work. Hiring a landscape company to work on your yard is a great idea, but a lot of people (like myself) like to do it themselves. It saves money and gives you a great sense of accomplishment. Today, I am going to show you how to edge a lawn by hand.

Benefits of Edging Your Lawn

Edging your lawn is something that everyone should do. It may take some time out of your day, but it really is an easy job. Your lawn will love it. Here are some benefits of edging your yard:

  • It looks great- A yard that has just been edged really looks great. It offers great curb appeal in case you are looking to sell your house. One of the first things a potential buyer sees is your yard. A well kept yard goes a long way for a potential buyer driving by your house. It can increase the value of your house without costing a lot of money and without a lot of effort.
  • It creates a barrier between your lawn and garden or other areas- If you have a garden, flower bed or other area, the last thing you want is grass and weeds invading it! Proper edging provides the barrier that prevents this so you are not constantly weeding your garden or flower bed around the edges. It also prevents the mulch, seeds and soil in the garden from spilling over into the lawn.
  • It makes it easier to mow or trim- Having a nice, clean edge on your grass makes it easier to mow or trim. It gives you a nice visual line so you know where to mow or trim up to. The last thing you need to do is mow or trim over your garden or flower bed!!

Tools Needed To Edge Your Lawn

Here are the tools needed to edge your lawn by hand. Some of the tools can either be replaced with other tools or not used. This is just how I do it.

  • Spray paint- use this to mark where you want to edge. This gives you a great guide to use.
  • Square garden spade or a half moon edger- you can use either one of these to do your edging. Some people like the square garden spade like THIS ONE. A lot of people use a half moon edger like THIS ONEEither one will work to give you a clean, straight edge.
  • Wheelbarrow- Some people like to toss the grass and dirt back in the garden or other area. I like to put the dug up dirt, grass, sticks or rocks into a wheelbarrow and discard it somewhere else.
  • Gloves- make sure you have a good pair of gloves. Especially if you have a big edging job. They really help prevent blisters.
  • Heavy Duty Shoes or Work Boots- you need a good pair of work boots because it makes it easier to push the edging tool down into the ground.

How To Edge A Lawn By Hand

Now that I have talked about the tools needed and the benefits of edging your lawn, it’s time to get down to the actual edging. Here are the steps on how to edge your lawn by hand.

  1. First spray a line that you want to edge. Please make sure you think this out before hand. Don’t keep changing your mind and have spray painted lines all over your yard. Put some thought into it before you start.
  2. Take your edging tool, put it on spray painted line, and push it down with your foot. Ideally, you want a 90 degree angle down about 4 inches. Please be careful of electrical wires or anything else underground!
  3. After you push the edging tool in the ground, rock the tool backwards to pick up the dirt and grass. I like to throw the dirt and grass in the wheelbarrow at this step. Some people leave it in the garden or other space for later.
  4. Repeat step 3 all along your spray painted line until you are done. You will have to clean up some excess dirt, rocks or grass out of your edge with your tool.
  5. If you haven’t cleaned up the excess dirt, grass or rocks from step 3, this is a good time to do it. Either pick up the excess grass, rocks or dirt by hand or with a shovel and put it in the wheelbarrow.
  6. Admire your work!!!

That is basically how you edge your yard by hand. Here is a great video showing you how to do it.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwlEqjlEPQw]

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article on how to edge a lawn by hand. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Best Ways To Clean Up Acorns From Your Yard-Best Rake or Yard Vacuum For Acorns

If you are asking the question "What are the best ways to clean up acorns ?", I am guessing that you have a few oak trees in your yard that are raining acorns at the moment.

Oak trees are magnificent specimens. Once planted they can stand for generations and give a property a signature look. In fact, entire ecological systems develop around healthy middle-aged oak trees.

Oak trees provide favorable conditions for beneficial insects, migrating birds, and local wildlife to thrive. Unfortunately, oak trees can end up producing too many acorns for pets and wildlife to feed on. The leftover acorns end up becoming a nuisance if they are not dealt with.

My Top Picks For the Best Ways To Clean Up Acorns From Your Yard

I know firsthand that cleaning up acorns from your yard can be a long, time-consuming task without the right tools and or approach.

Below is a list of the best methods and tools I've employed over the years to get rid of leftover acorns in my yard. I can only hope that they make your life living with these majestic trees a lot easier!

A lot of you have raked up the acorns from your yard and scooped them into some kind of container to get rid of them. That is the way it's been done in the past and that way still works. That is one way to pick up acorns from your yard. 

I am going to give you some other options for raking up acorns. I am going to show you some other ways that may be faster and easier, but you still may come back to raking.

It is up to you to choose what method will work best for you. So let's get to the best ways to clean up acorns in your yard.

Rake Them!-Best Rake for Acorns

63 Inch Adjustable Garden Leaf Rake - Expanding Metal Rake - Adjustable Folding Head from 7 Inch to 22 Inch. Ideal Camp Rake

Well, the most popular method to clean up acorns in your yard is by raking. As a lot of you know first hand, you really need a rake that is not flimsy at the end.

Those rakes are great for cleaning acorns off your driveway, but they do not work in your yard. For yard raking you need a rake that has a sturdy end so you can pull the rake through the grass and get the acorns that are buried deep in the grass.

After using and trying many rakes to clean up acorns, I find that the best rake for acorns is The Gardenite 63 inch Adjustable Garden Leaf Rake

Here are some of the features that I really like about it.

  • The head adjusts from 7 inches to 22 inches. This makes the space in the head of the rake narrower and stronger to pick up acorns and other nuts. It also makes it easier to get into smaller areas to rake when the head is adjusted to 7 inches.
  • At 63 inches long, it is one of the longer rakes on the market.
  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to store when adjusted down to 7 inches.

Use The Bag-a-nut 18 in Push Pecan/Large Acorn Picker Upper

Bag-A-Nut 18” Push Pecan Harvester – Also Picks up Large Acorns, Hazelnuts/Filberts, and Almonds – Nut Picker Upper

This is one of the best ideas I have seen in my 40+ years of yard work. You roll the picker upper around your yard and it picks up acorns and other nuts and puts them in a large basket.

You then empty the basket into a container when the basket is full or you are done picking up acorns. Brilliant. The only drawback is that it is a bit pricey, but this will last you a long time.

Here is a video of the picker upper in use along with other products from Baganut

Vacuum Up The Acorns-Best Yard Vacuum for Acorns

Craftsman XSP 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Blower

Vacuuming up your acorns from your lawn is a great way to save on the joints.

You can even sit down and do this. Although it is still very time consuming, it is still a great way to clean up acorns. I would recommend at least a 6 horsepower shop vac with a 2 1/2 inch hose attachment, like the Craftsman XSP.

This is our top pick for the best yard vacuum for acorns. If you are going to have to clean up acorns every year, you want to buy a decent shop vac like the craftsman XSP.

Some tips for using a shop vac to vacuum up acorns:

  • Make sure that the grass is cut as low as you can get it. This makes it easier to vacuum up the acorns.
  • If you get a shop vac with a big capacity, it may be too heavy to empty. This is something you are going to have to experiment with
  • Also, I would empty them into a large, plastic garbage can with wheels. This makes it easier to move to the side of the road or your garage.
  • Be careful stepping on acorns. You could slip and fall.

Here is a video of cleaning up acorns with a shop vac:

Use a Power Broom to Sweep up the Acorns 

Makita SW400MP Couple Shaft Paddle Sweep Attachment, Black

This is another great way to clean up acorns out of your yard. A power broom is just what the name says. Its a sweeper with a lot of power behind it. 

You could purchase one of these, but from my experience, it is easier to just rent one from Home Depot or Lowes and let them handle the maintenance. All you do is power sweep the acorns up in a pile and them scoop them up into a large, plastic garbage cans with wheels.

Here is a nice video on cleaning up acorns with a power broom.

Well, there are my best ways to clean up acorns. If you still want to rake them up, that works too. Thanks for stopping by.

How To Rake Leaves Without a Rake!

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Even though I really, really enjoy yard work, raking leaves is not one of my favorite things to do. The older I get, the less I like it. However, today I am going to go over how to rake leaves WITHOUT a rake. Most people know how to rake leaves with a rake, but if you are in a pinch and don’t have a rake, please keep reading.

How To Rake Leaves Without a Rake-My Favorites!

Why would I make an article on raking leaves without a rake? Well, there are certain scenarios that come up that may require you or a helper to rake leaves without a rake. For instance, someone wants to help you rake leaves, but you don’t have a spare rake. Maybe you are raking on a Sunday afternoon and your rake suddenly breaks. Or you have a big blister on your hand and it hurts too much to continue using a rake. Any of these things could happen and you need a fallback plan. So here are my favorite ways:

Use a Leaf Blower-My Top Choice

By far the easiest and probably fastest way to rake leaves without a rake is to either use an electric or gas powered leaf blower. When you are using a leaf blower to rake leaves, there are a couple of things to consider.

Tips on Using a Leaf Blower

  • Always have the wind at your back when blowing leaves. This makes it much easier to blow the leaves and not have them blowing back at you. This way you can blow them into a nice pile to either put them on a tarp or burn them.
  • Always use ear protection. Although the leaf blower is small in stature, it can be really loud. That constant, loud noise can be damaging to your ears. Wearing ear protection can prevent hearing loss or hearing damage in the long run.
  • Always use eye protection. Most leaf blowers are pretty powerful. If you are blowing the leaves correctly, you are blowing the leaves with the wind at your back. But what if the wind shifts? The leaf blower will blow up dirt, sticks, small rocks, pricker weeds, dog do-do, and even glass. If the wind shifts, these things could blow back into your eyes and that would not be good. So please, protect your eyes with eye protection when you are blowing leaves.
  • Always wear protective clothing. As I said above, if the wind shifts when you are blowing leaves, a lot of debris could fly back at you. Wearing eye and ear protection is great, but there is other parts of your body that you may need to protect. I never wear shorts or short sleeve shirts when I leaf blow. Please make sure to wear long sleeves and pants when leaf blowing.
  • Always be courteous to your neighbors. Because the leaf blower is so loud, please make sure that you don’t do your leaf blowing early in the morning or late at night. Some of your neighbors have small children that go to bed early. Some of your neighbors may work weird hours and need sleep at different times of the day. The neighborly thing to do is make sure you know your neighbors schedules when blowing leaves. Also, please don’t blow leaves or other debris into your neighbors yard. Be courteous!

Use Lawn Mower

Using a lawn mower to pick up leaves is another great idea. There are two ways to use your lawn mower to pick up leaves.

  1. The first method involves using a lawn mower with a bag attachment to catch the leaves. The advantage to this method is that you can mow your lawn and pick up leaves at the same time. A drawback to this method is that you have to keep stopping and emptying the leaf bag.
  2. The second method is to use the lawn mower to mow the lawn and basically mulch the leaves that the same time. It basically chops the leaves down into the grass which gives you a healthy, thick lawn.

This is another great way to rake leaves without a rake.

Use Cardboard-Really!

Of the 3 methods I am talking about today, raking your leaves with cardboard is the craziest one of them all! It is pretty simple and ingenious. First, you want to get a large, sturdy piece of cardboard that you can control. Then, start on one side of the yard and use the cardboard to scoop/push the leaves to the other side of the yard. Kind of like a snowplow!

Here is a great video on how to rake your leaves with cardboard:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GMICfSUA5Q]

Well, I hope you enjoyed my article on how to rake leaves without a rake. I know that this situation may never come up, but in case it does, you are prepared!!!

How To Stripe Your Lawn Without a Striper

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Have you every been driving around and saw a lawn with cool looking stripes in it? Or have you been to a baseball field or golf event or were watching the event on TV and wonder how they make it look so nice? They could have had it professionally done like the baseball fields or golf courses or they could have bought their own lawn striping kit and did it themselves. Well, there is a way to achieve lawn stripes without having it professionally done or buying a lawn striping kit. Today I am going to show you how to stripe your lawn without a striper.

What Causes The Stripes In Your Lawn?

When you come across a lawn with stripes in it, do you ever wonder what causes the stripes? It almost looks like you need a special kind of grass to achieve the striping. Well, actually, the stripes in the lawn are caused by sunlight! The grass in each stripe are pushed over in a different direction than the stripe next to it. The sunlight reflects off of the blades of grass and because they are pushed in a different directions, it looks like stripes. That is all that causes those sweet looking lawn stripes.

Benefits to Lawn Striping

Not only does lawn striping look cool, it is also very good for your lawn. Why you ask? Well, if you continuously mow your lawn in one direction, the taller grass bends over and covers up the grass underneath it. This causes the grass underneath to not get enough sunlight and potentially kill the grass. This is a great reason to not only stripe your lawn, but also to alternate the stripes and the direction of your lawn regularly.

Best Grass Types for Lawn Striping

Because not all grass is created equally, some grass types stripe better than others. Do an experiment once. Take a look at the striping at a baseball field in the south like Texas or Florida and compare it to the lawn striping at a baseball field in the north like Milwaukee or Minnesota. You will notice that the lawn striping at the ballparks in the north are much nicer than the ballparks on the south. Why? Well, the grass down south are more warm season grass types like Bermuda and they have more of a stem than a blade. It doesn’t lay down as nice. On the flip side, the grass in the north is more of a cool season grass like fescue, which has more blade then stem and lays down much nicer.

How To Stripe Your Lawn Without A Lawn Striping Kit

Like I said above, you could hire a professional, purchase a lawn striping kit or even make your own lawn striper, but today I am going to tell you how to make the stripes with just your lawn mower!!! This works with a push mower or a riding mower. Here are the steps:

  1. Mow your lawn to about 2-3 inches long. The longer the blades of grass are, the better they will lay down.
  2. If you have a big lawn, you may want to rig a guide to make the stripes straight. I use a string/rope tied to ends of a stake or stick. If you have a smaller lawn or you trust your accuracy, you could skip this step.
  3. This next step is very important. You need to lower the lawn mower deck to it’s lowest setting to the ground. Make sure you lower the front and the back of the mower deck.
  4. If you have a push mower, do not start it or if you have a riding mower, start the mower, but do not engage the mower blades. You are not cutting the grass doing the striping this way!
  5. Using your guide if you made one in step 2, just push your mower with the motor off or drive your riding mower with the blades not cutting in a straight line from one side of your yard to the other creating your first stripe.
  6. Now, if your are using a riding mower, you may want to raise the mower deck up before you hit a concrete street or driveway. Or if you are using a push mower, you may want to push on the handle lifting the mower deck off the concrete when you turn the mower around.
  7. Keep rotating direction and stripe your lawn!! Remember to alternate your stripes every so often to let all of the grass get sunlight!

Alternate Ways To Stripe Your Lawn Without a Striper

If you have a really, really small lawn and don’t use a lawn mower, you can still create lawn stripes. Here is a list of other things you could use. Just make sure your are going in different directions with each stripe

  • A large broom
  • A floor squeegee
  • A two by four or bigger
  • A table tipped over

Well, I hope I have helped you with your lawn striping. Please feel free to leave a comment if you liked this post.

 

 

 

How Long Can I Keep Grass Seed and Does It Ever Expire?

How Long Can I Keep Grass Seed?

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So you notice in the spring that your lawn needs some work. You remember that you accidentally bought too much grass seed last year. Sound familiar? You also want to know if these seeds are good or not. Well, today I am going to go over this topic in detail.

How Long Can I Keep Grass Seed?

Grass seed, like most things (except wine!), gets less and less effective as it ages. As the grass seed ages, the percentage of seeds that will germinate goes down. So, how long does it last? According to Scotts, if it is stored in a cool, dry place, the seeds can last up to 2-3 years. If I am just going to seed patches on my own lawn, I wouldn’t have any problem using aged grass seed, but if I am having my lawn professionally done or if I am treating lawns for a living, I would have a big problem using aged grass seed.

Also, different grass seeds will keep longer than others. For instance, an unopened bag of rye grass seed can keep up to 5 years if stored in a dark, cool and humidity free area. If you have more questions on this, please contact the company of the grass seed you purchased.

Does It Expire and How Do I Check?

Like milk, bags of grass seed have an expiration date on them. The older the bag gets, the less effective it is. If you look at the back of most grass seed bags, you will see a section that says Date Tested and Sell By Date. You have to make sure you are looking at the right Sell By Date because a lot of times it has different dates for different states. Make sure you take time out to look at this carefully. If your bag is past the Sell By Date, it is expired.

How Do I Store My Grass Seed?

If you buy too much grass seed and you want to keep it for next year, storing it properly is key. I also want to stress that using grass seed that is aged may not give you the same results and new grass seed. Don’t think that just because you store the grass seeds properly, it will yield ideal results. That said, storing grass seeds in a temperature controlled, humidity free, dry place is ideal. I would not keep them in outdoor shed unless it is temperature controlled and humidity free. Also, make sure that rodents and insects can’t get at the grass seeds. And make sure you keep your pets away from the grass seed!

What To Do With Expired Grass Seed

If you find yourself stuck with an expired bag of grass seed, here are some options for you.

  • Like I said earlier in this article, you could still try and use the seeds on a big area. The older seeds may not germinate very well, so you may have to use more seeds than you normally do. However, you are risking doing all of that work and not having anything grow very well.
  • You could use the expired seeds just for patches of your lawn that need it. That way, you won’t waste a lot of time and money if the seeds don’t work.
  • Check with your neighbors and see if they need any seed for lawn patches. You can get rid of your seeds and also help a neighbor.
  • Throw them away.

Well, I hope I have answered some of your grass seed questions. I hope you enjoyed my article on How Long Can I Keep Grass Seed and Does It Ever Expire? Thanks!