Adventures in Lawn MaintenanceJune 18, 2014
This last weekend, my family and I visited our beautiful lakeside cabin to do a little maintenance and get some R&R. Because the cabin is located in mountainous valley of higher elevation, summer tends to break a bit later there. Even in mid-June we were still getting night-time temperatures in the high 40’s and the days were in the low 70’s. So while this may not translate perfectly into what much of the rest of the country is experiencing, we still did have to do some lawn maintenance and thought I’d share a few quick tips—many of which you may be aware of—just so you can get that perfect lawn.
The first thing was the sprinkler audit. Our cabin does have an underground sprinkler system, but because it was put in nearly twenty years ago, a lot of the parts are starting to show their age. Most are still in perfect working order, so there’s no need to change them out, but every once in a while there’ll be a problem. So each time we’re up there we like to run the sprinklers for a few minutes each station and make sure it’s all running well. Turns out there were a few problems. One head wasn’t working and just dribbled water. Using the medium area sprinkler wrench, we removed the sprinkler, finding it was clogged. We cleaned it out and it was running perfectly.
An ugly dry spot was developing and we wondered if the weed killer we’d sprayed a few weeks earlier had trickled to the grass. But when we ran the stations we found the two heads meant to water this area were being blocked by tall, thick grass and thus not spraying the full distance. The simple solution to this was a couple spray guards. And we noticed our old impact heads weren’t getting the distance we were used to. We made some quick cleaning and things seem to be running okay.
Another thing we did was put down some combination weed killer and fertilizer. Many around the country are doing the same right now and it’s good to remember that your lawn needs plenty of water after you put that down or else it could burn up, even in cooler climates.
Our lawn mower blade also needed attention, as it had dulled over the previous year and was causing split ends. Shredded, split end grass looks brown on top and is more prone to contract disease. Professionals can do the best job, but we just used a sharpening file and were able to get the blade like new, with great, clean cuts. We’ve made a goal to stay on top of this and perform the manufacturer recommended three sharpening’s this season.