MILWAUKEE (April 13, 2016) — The beginning of spring is the ideal time for lawn care and lawn mower maintenance, but for many homeowners it can be overwhelming. As the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, Briggs & Stratton® (NYSE: BGG) knows how important lawn care is and wants to make it easy to understand and perform for everyone. By following these six steps, anyone can ensure their equipment lasts long, and achieve a healthy lawn that looks great.
1. Rake the Yard
Raking the yard in spring helps remove any leftover autumn leaves, dead grass from winter and excess thatch. Depending on where you live, raking can begin as soon as snow has melted or temperatures have started to increase.
2. Aerate the Soil
Compacted soil can occur in yards from heavy foot traffic and lead to water runoff, resulting in a tired-looking lawn. To solve this problem, aerate the soil by poking holes in the ground, either using a lawn aerator which can be rented from a local rental center or manually using a pitchfork or other tool. Aeration will lets grass “breathe” better and allows the proper amount of moisture to grow.
3. Control the Weeds
Not only are weeds unattractive, they can crowd grass and plant seeds and steal nutrients from the grass and plants. Address the issue right away in spring by spraying a pre-emergent herbicide that will prevent the weeds from even starting to grow. For stray weeds that are still able to pop up after spraying, pull them by hand or use a post-emergent herbicide.
4. Fertilize the Grass
To attain a lush, green grass fertilization is recommended. There are many chemical fertilizers available at local home improvement stores. Talk to a lawn and garden associate or research online to choose the best fertilizer based on grass species, geography and desired results. For organic fertilization, use compost or a mower that mulches.
5. Water the Seed
After fertilizing, water the seed to help jumpstart the growth of new grass. However, refrain from overwatering or watering during the hottest part of the day. Only water when rainfall is minimal, and be sure to never water between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Applying a half an inch of water approximately one to two times a week will be enough to encourage healthy growth of new seeds.
6. Get Ready to Mow
Prior to mowing, for optimum performance, complete an annual lawn mower tune-up. For easy how-to instructions on performing a tune-up, see Briggs & Stratton.com. Before mowing the grass, wait until is at least 2 inches tall. Once ready, remember only to cut the top one-third of the grass blade. If cut too short, the grass becomes susceptible to insects and disease. Be sure to adjust the height of the mower deck accordingly. And finally, alternate mowing patterns to help grass grow naturally straight and healthy.