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Put Your Lawn On a Diet

Those wonderful green lawns many homeowners care about so much can be made much more healthy if we put them on a diet. Overfeeding causes as many problems with lawns as it does with people. Fat lawns are not healthy lawns. Rather than go on about this problem, let me simply tell you about the research at the University of Guelph.

Researcher Christopher Hallfound there was a way to promote health in the lawn by the frequency of the fertilizer application and the amount of fertilizer applied. According the Hall, fertilizer for lawns should be applied three times per year. One quarter of the fertilizer being applied should be applied in early summer, (not early spring) when the ground warms up and the grass is beginning to really grow.

Another quarter is applied in late summer, around the middle of August when the fall rains are promoting growth, and the last half of the fertilizer is applied at the end of November to fatten up the roots for winter survival. This application rate was found to create a much denser turf than applications at other times all species and cultivars of grass. It was particularly effective on perennial rye grass and tall fescues.

The next question is how much food does the lawn need? Chris Hall at Guelph found that the turf did better if only 2 pounds of Nitrogen per 1000 square feet was used over the whole season. From the above paragraph, it can be seen that 1/4 pound is applied in early summer, 1/4 pound in late summer and 1 full pound in late November for the healthiest, thickest lawn.

Overfeeding produces thatch and weakened grass that is susceptible to pests and disease. It is also more costly. So, put your lawn on a diet for a better lawn.

Are Robotic Lawn Mowers Safe?

You’re standing in your front yard minding your own business when a robot with three razor sharp blades spinning at 5,800 rpm starts racing toward you. What do you do?

Is this some kind of nightmare? No, you’re awake and this is really happening, so once again, what do you do?

The answer is nothing. It will just bounce off you and go another direction. Rather anti-climatic ending wasn’t it? That is just the way the robotic lawn mower companies want it to be.

The greatest concern most people have about robotic lawn mowers is safety. Bots with Blades just cant be safe. According to Ames Tiedeman, National Sales Manager for Systems Trading Corp., the US distributor for the Friendly Robotics Robomower, over 72,000 emergency room visits involved lawn mowers in 2005. ZERO involved robotic lawn mowers.

These mowers have so many safety features and shut-off triggers that it is amazing that they are actually functional.

The Friendly Robotics Robomower turns the blades off at 16 degrees, not even high enough to get a hand under. Even if a small hand could get under, the blades are far back and recessed into a chamber in the body. It would take creativity, not stupidity, to get to the blades while they are still turning.

Unlike push and riding lawn mower safety devices, robotic lawn mower features are not easily disabled. The tilt detection devices are soldered on to the main boards. Even the resistance against the blades and the ability of the software to stop them is measured in thousandths of seconds.

Since these robotic lawn mowers are designed to mulch there is no easy outlet for flying debris. Pebbles and pine cones do not get tossed very far and at low velocity.

Some robotic lawn mowers have sonar detection systems that if any moving objects get close theyíll slow down and at another point stop the blade before even being touched. All have some sort of touch sensors that when they lightly bump into a stationary object that they change direction. So actually getting run over is unlikely.

Another big concern is pets getting chopped to bits, again, no reported accidents involving robotic lawn mowers. Dogs have a tendency to chase and bark, but not attack. A dog actually chewing up a robotic lawn mower is more feasible than a robotic lawn mower chewing up a dog.

Robotic lawn mowers move relatively slow, people and animals can easily move out of the way. Although it takes a lot longer to mow, if everyone used them there would be 72,000 fewer hospital visits this year.

This article was written to educate people that robotic mowers under intended circumstances are safe. There has been a great deal of thought and engineering involved to make robotic lawn mowers safe for public use.

Lawn Care Maintenance For Mere Mortals

Though everyone likes to see their lawn in an enviable condition few are aware of the basics of lawn preparation and maintenance. Planting the seeds, spraying for the weeds, and watering your lawn, all look simple but proper maintenance of a good lawn is no simple task. To some, lawn care is serious business – reading every bit of the literature that they come across and going for a serious lawn building exercise that may make this interesting past time a rudimentary daily routine.

Lawn care and maintenance is more of an enjoyable past time rather than a core activity. Consider these basics of healthy lawn care. While talking about lawns the first thing to consider is mowing. The frequency of mowing, the growth of the grass, and the lawn movers are all integral part in deciding a good mowing habit. Quite often small opening up of the soil leaving more space for the lawn to breathe would accelerate healthy growth of the grass. The lawn is to be sufficiently watered especially during large dry spells of summer to sustain the growth of the grass. Lawns need a good supplement of a proper mix of fertilizers with adequate nitrogen phosphate and potash.

If we go a bit technical, lawns require more than one annual feed. The feed for the summer need contain a nitrogen rich fertilizer where as an autumn feed should be rich in phosphate and potash with an adequate supplement of worm killers and disease resistance. For watering, the coolest time of the day, either in the morning or in the evening is advisable, the frequency being once a week.

A good lawn care management program includes proper weed control besides appropriate mowing and application of fertilizers. The basic mowing lesson includes use of sharp blades and regular mowing from March to October. Care should be taken not to move the mower backwards and forwards. In the case of new lawns, the first thing to be considered is to prepare a smooth and level ground by a tractor and box blade. As regards sowing the seeds they need spread in two directions preferably with a rotary spreader. The seeds are to be planted around thirty days in advance. Depending upon the temperature the seed suitable for hot season or for the cold spell may be selected. A healthy lawn requires more or less an inch of water during a week. Further aerating in spring is considered best for the lawns. The recent trend in the lawn care is the use of the organic fertilizers. These are environmental friendly and harmless to the plants. Literature on organic fertilizers is plentiful on the market. The cost of the organic fertilizers is almost the same that of the chemical fertilizers but the benefit stays longer.

The type of lawn care depends on oneís budget. One can afford to spend thousands of dollars should the lawn making is taken as a serious hobby. If, on the other, hand one needs a well maintained lawn to spend a few hours with family and friends the same may not cost much.