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Selecting the Right Grass For Your Region

5/13/2016 5:00:00 AM

​​​​In partnership with the National Association of Landscape Professionals​, Ariens is providing its customers with a variety of lawncare tips. For more tips and tricks to achieving the perfect lawn, please visit​


Even the best maintained lawns won’t last forever. Wear and tear, hungry insects, weather extremes, and your ever-changing landscape can all take their toll.

If you’ve ever looked for grass seed at your neighborhood hardware store or garden center, then you know that selecting the right g​​rass seed requires a little bit of homework. It’s not as easy as picking a bag off the shelf. There are several varieties and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all that would be suitable for all locations and applications.

Here are some guidelines for selecting the right grass seed for your region and application, one that will deliver years of pleasure for you and your family.​

Match the grass type to your location. Grass types fall into two basic categories: Warm-season and cool-season grasses. Warm-season grasses are adapted to grow in the southern part of the United States. They grow actively during the summer months and then become dormant during cooler, winter months. Popular warm-season grasses include St. Augustine, Zoysia, Bahia, and Bermuda grass.

Cool-season grasses grow actively during the spring and fall months and then slow during hot, summer months. They grow best in the northern regions of the country where winter temperatures fall below freezing. Popular cool-season grasses include bluegrass, ryegrass and the fine fescues.

Match the grass type to your application. Grass varieties share common traits, which help determine their application. Here are a few traits and characteristics to consider: among the cool season grasses, Kentucky Bluegrass features deep-green color, attractive appearance, tolerates foot traffic and cold well. The Perennial Ryegrasses establish quickly from seed, holding topsoil in place. They also have an attractive green color that holds up well to mowing. The fine fescues are among the most versatile of the cool-season grasses. They are the most shade tolerant of all grass varieties but they also do well in full sun, have low fertility and irrigation requirements. With the warm-season grasses, new, improved varieties of Bermuda grass are known to be incredibly tough while some homeowners think Zoysiagrass also has the look of luxury.

Before selecting your grass seed, think about how you use your yard today and how that might change in the future. Children can be tough on lawns so you may want to consider species that are tolerant of high traffic. Also, landscapes change over time and grass plants that were once in the sun may one day find themselves in the shade. Annual over seeding is a great way to introduce new and more competitive grass plants into your lawn that can adapt to changing conditions.

Make the right choice. The type of grass most suitable for your lawn depends on several factors, including where in the country you are located, how you want your lawn to look, and how you’ll be using your lawn. Renovating or over seeding in the spring or fall will help ensure your lawn will stay attractive and healthy for years to come.

A professional may suggest using a combination of lawn seed varieties that will combine different traits and help your lawn fend off adverse weather conditions, insect attacks and damaging diseases. A professional can also offer advice on the best way to renovate an existing lawn and care for new growth to ensure a lush, healthy growth.

Photo courtesy of Hoffman Landscapes, Wilton, CT.

Fertilizing 101: Tips for Achieving a Healthy Lawn

5/9/2016 5:00:00 AM

In partnership with the National Association of Landscape Professionals​, Ariens is providing its customers with a variety of lawncare tips. For more tips and tricks to achieving the perfect lawn, please visit​

Fertilizers contain the three main nutrients necessary for growth: Nitrogen for leaf growth, phosphorus for root growth and seed formation and potassium to maintain overall vitality. There are two basic kinds of fertilizer: natural or manufactured. Natural fertilizer can be a variety of substances ranging from manure to decomposed plant matter from grass clippings while manufactured fertilizer is compri​sed of minerals or synthetics produced in factories.

Lawn fertilizers are applied one of two ways, by broadcasting dry fertilizers or by spraying liquid types. Most dry fertilizers are water soluble and enter the soil over longer periods of time. The impact of liquid fertilizers is felt almost immediately but their results are shorter lived.​​

Here are a few tips for applying fertilizer:

  • Amounts: Most lawns require somewhere between four and six applications of fertilizer annually, depending on the fertilizer, grass type and soil. Cool-season grasses generally require a minimum of four applications; Warm-season g​​rasses usually require m​​onthly applications to sustain growth.
  • Timing: While the conventional wisdom is that spring fertilizing gives your lawns a head start on growth, it’s really the fall fertilizing that is more important. Warm-season grasses need one last application to carry their color and growth throughout the fall. Cool-season grasses rely on this application to develop root systems and store nutrients for growing season ahead.
  • Weed control opportunities: Fertilizing provides an opportunity to apply some weed control. In the spring, fertilizers can be joined with pre-emergent herbicides to kill weed seedlings. In the summer, when combined with a post-emergent herbicide, fertilizing can keep weeds under control.
  • Know your numbers: Three prominent numbers on a fertilizer bag (e.g., 10-10-10 or 20-10-5) represent the amount in percentage by weight of the three primary nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. A soil test can determine the amount of phosphorus and potassium your lawn needs. Nitrogen levels are not determined by soil tests as they fluctuate rapidly in the soil to have any practical meaning.​​

If this all sounds reminiscent of a high school science class, there’s good reason. Lawn care does involve science. There is no cookie-cutter approach to a healthy lawn and there shouldn’t be too much guess work in figuring out what your lawn needs. To ensure your landscape gets the right care to ensure its maximum health, consult a trained lawn care expert who can determine what formulation is best suited for your lawn and soil conditions.

Ariens Donates Zero-Turn Mower to Janesville Rotary Botanical Gardens

4/28/2016 5:00:00 AM

Ariens Company has donated a new Ariens® Max Zoom​ mower to the Rotary Botanical Gardens​ of Janesville, Wis. The zero-turn mower with a 48-inch mowing deck will assist volunteers with lawn upkeep by providing efficient, time-saving mowing.

"We recognize the important work done by the staff and volunteers at the Rotary Gardens of connecting people with outdoor spaces," says Dan Ariens, Chairman and CEO of Ariens Company. "Volunteer time is valuable and this new mower should allow people who donate their time to mow the grounds more efficiently."

Volunteers at the Rotary Botanical Gardens mow six acres of grass on the 20 acre property.  The company also provided a donation of anvil pruners and watering wands through its Ben Meadows®​ brand of outdoor gear and supplies.

"On behalf of the Ariens Company employees in Janesville, we extend our appreciation to the Rotary Gardens and to everyone involved in maintaining this community focal point," says Ginger King, President of Ariens Specialty Brands.

Ariens Company employs 200 people in Janesville who work for the company's direct marketing brands that distribute outdoor supplies and gear to professionals who work niche outdoor segments such as agriculture, horticulture, forest management, and wildland firefighting.

CW Mowers of Janesville provided set-up and delivery of the equipment.​