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A Seasonal Guide: Fall Lawn and Landscape Care

11/4/2016 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​. ​​

Fall is the forgotten season when it comes to caring for your lawn and landscape. Many people just focus on cleaning up leaves and don't realize that their yard still needs care in order to keep it in good health for the next spring. Here are some tips to keep your yard healthy.​
  • Pull weeds - Do it now and you'll have fewer weeds next seaso​​n.
  • Rake and remove the leaves in the yard to avoid damage to the grass so you can enjoy a healthier lawn next summer. Doing so also can protect water quality. In winter, freezing and thawing can cause leaves, dead grass plants, and other organic debris to release soluble forms of phosphate (and nitrates). If these chemicals run o​ff frozen ground during spring snow melt and early spring rains, they can end up in surface water. Consider composting the leaves.​​
  • Seed and fertilize – Fall is the ideal time to give your lawn the TLC it needs after the heat and activity of summer and before the harsh winter months. Generally, cool-season grasses should be fertilized September through November and warm-season grasses should be fertilized a bit earlier.  Seed dead or bare spots and overseed the full lawn to get dense, plush grass, rich in color.
  • Keep your grass at 2 to 2½ inches tall throughout the fall. If your grass gets much taller (more than 3 inches) it will mat, and this could lead to winter lawn disease problems such as snow mold. If you cut it shorter than 2 inches, you'll severely limit its ability to make and store food for growth in the spring and encourage weed growth.
  • Give trees and shrubs a deep watering​ after the leaves on the trees drop and just before turning the outside water off for the season.
  • Cut most perennials back close to the ground.
  • Shut off water lines to the outside. If you have an automatic irrigation system, avoid damage by having it blown out with compressed air before the water freezes in the pipes.​

While not an exhaustive list, following these seasonal recommendations will help ensure the health of your yard. Your landscape professional can offer additional ideas an​d suggestions to make the most of your outdoor living space.   

Winterize Your Grass Without Harmful Chemicals

10/27/2016 5:00:00 AM

Written by: Erin Vaughan,​

Fall is in full swing, and that means plenty of crisp, beautiful days, amiable weather, and a chance to get outdoors before chillier temperatures arrive. And it's the best time of the year to set yourself up for a luscious carpeting of grass throughout the colder weather and into the spring.​

Unfortunately, winterizing fertilizers and other non-organic products contain dangerous chemicals, like ammonium sulfate, ammonium phosphate, and ammonium nitrate, which can boost the acidity in your lawn to harmful levels. And when over-applied, inorganic fertilizers can burn or damage plants—just when they need your help the most.

There are other options, but you'll need to use them with caution. Organic fertilizers, like manure, can't match the precision of processed fertilizers, so you'll have to be prepared to do a little homework before putting them down. Here's what you need to know.

Understanding Your Grass: Cold-Season Versus Warm-Season

A lot of homeowners new to lawn care make a fatal error in their winterizing. The source of the problem lies in not understanding the kind of grasses they have in their lawn, and how their needs differ.

It's all too easy to go to the nursery or hardware store and just pick out the first bag with a "winterizing" label on it. But if you live in the South, where Bermuda, Saint Augustine, zoysia, and centipede grasses flourish, these products may contain the exact opposite of what you need for your lawn. Specifically, they leave out the nitrogen so necessary to productive grass growth, and boost potassium, which usually isn't required at this part of the growing season.

Test Your Lawn: A Must for All Grasses

Putting down any sort of nutrient without testing your soil first is sort of like playing Russian roulette with your lawn. In fact, if you've been applying nutrient-dense compost all growing season, you may not even need to do much of anything at all.

And soil composition is a finely tuned science—so if you go overboard on one mineral or the other, you can end up burning your grass or harming your lawn. The big three required by lawns are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium—all of which you can get from organic sources like bone meal, chicken manure, or kelp meal. A soil test kit, which can be purchased from a local hardware store, can let you know both the pH of your lawn and what nutrients it may be lacking.

For Cold-Season Grasses: Add Nitrogen to the Soil with Bone Meal

Bring up the merits of either inorganic or organic fertilizers, and you're sure to hit a nerve among growers in the know. Even expert horticulturalists disagree about which is really better for your soil.

However, according to the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, the problem seems to lie in a misunderstanding about commercial test results. Fertilizer manufacturers perform trials almost exclusively on warm-season grasses, which means many fertilizers get billed as "winterizing" when they may contain few to little of the nutrients cold-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, and fine fescue, need throughout lower temperatures. They have high proportions of phosphorous and potassium, which helps older plants flourish, but doesn't do much to nourish tender young sprouts, which require more nitrogen to do well.

A nitrogen-rich organic fertilizer, such as bone meal, blood meal, or even just plain manure applied to your soil will do your cold-season grasses good. These kinds of slow-release nitrogen fertilizers are especially useful if you have very sandy soil in your area—fast-absorbing inorganic nitrogen can leach through soils and get into drinking water. Always read the instructions when you apply any fertilizer, and make sure not to overdo it. Organic fertilizers may be less processed, but they can still be harmful to your plants in high doses.

For Warm-Season Grasses: Add Compost in the Late Spring

Unless your tests produce results to the contrary, most warm-season grasses do not require extra fertilization to winter over. These species become dormant in the winter, so they do not need to be encouraged to send up new growth at this time of year. A better option is to wait until warmer weather arrives, then spread nutrient-dense organic compost on your grass regularly throughout the spring and summer.

Soil composition can be tricky sometimes, even for advanced ecologists. But the more you study your lawn, educate yourself, and observe the effect your efforts have on your grass, the better prepared you'll be to survive the cooler weather. Bring on the winter!

About the Writer


Erin Vaughan is a blogger, gardener and aspiring homeowner.  She currently resides in Austin, TX where she writes full time for, with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.​​

For more information about Ariens Company, please visit or visit our corporate site at 

A New Look for Ariens: Behind-the-Scenes with the Ariens Industrial Design Team

10/25/2016 5:00:00 AM

​​​​The new visual brand language for the Ariens brand was designed with the intent of creating a premium, upmarket product that would cater to the American homeowner. Creating a brand language that would be recognizable, timeless, and approachable was crucial to the evolution of the Ariens brand.


The scope of the VBL started extremely broad and encapsulated many different looks. In the end, we created a look that stands out aesthetically and really highlights the engineering and componentry that our product is comprised of. The diversification of the Ariens brand from Gravely is something that is being pushed to the forefront in our overarching product portfolio. We wanted to offer a completely different looking Ariens ZTR that could be sold next to a Gravely ZTR with the same performance and underlying frame/features. The differentiation of Gravely and Ariens was key to this re-energizing of the Ariens brand.



The inspiration for Ariens’ new look is two-fold. First, we looked towards what our end-users were purchasing for vehicles. For the new Ariens ZTR line, we wanted to create a product that wouldn’t feel out of place in the home owner’s garage, and one that would be just as visually intriguing as their latest truck purchase. We took inspiration and cues from vehicles that were distinctly American. Ones that were simple, yet had enough visual intrigue to appear modern and relevant. The new surfacing is coined “Rectilinear Tension” and is comprised of strong shapes and silhouette delineation, with full and robust surface transitions. We aimed for continuous transitions where metal parts interacted with plastic parts. Surfacing on the plastic is more rigid and structural where is intersects or encompasses with metal components. This visually unifies the two elements, and creates a more holistic look for the overall vehicle. As the fenders transition to the front we start to incorporate a softer yet defined surface transition for a more refined looking product.

The second cornerstone of the new Ariens VBL is showcasing underlying metal brackets and structural pieces as parts of the overall aesthetic. All of these parts are integral to the machines overall strength and construction. From mounting brackets to reinforced rear wrap, we pushed the boundaries of our in-house metal fabrication techniques for the new Ariens line-up. This growth in creating progressively more complex metal parts will help push the Ariens brand into creating very refined products. Finally, the introduction of multiple textures on our plastic parts considers the heaviest wear points and increases the protection and durability with added texture depth.


Overall, we acted on feedback received from the dealer channel as well as consumers, which called for less plastic, more tire reveal, easier entry into the seat, and a refined product sure to make a splash. We hope you’re as excited about the new Ariens products as we are.