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 comprised 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 grasses usually require monthly 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 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.
At Ariens, we like to consider ourselves experts in manufacturing zero-turn lawn mowers. In fact, we were one of the first in the industry to embrace zero-turn technology. And even though we've been living and breathing zero-turns for the past few decades, we know that some of our consumers are still unsure about making the switch from their current lawn tractor to a new zero turn.
Are you wondering if you should make a change? Keep reading.
Cut your mowing time in half with the infinite maneuverability of a zero-turn mower.
The maneuverability of zero turn mowers allows you to easily mow around trees, flower beds and other obstacles in your yard more easily than with a steering wheel vehicle such as a riding lawn tractor.
Zero turn mowers are designed to cut grass nearly twice as fast as traditional lawn tractors so your straight line mowing speed is improved. A typical lawn tractor cuts at a speed of 3-4 mph while a typical zero turn mower cuts at a speed of 5-8 mph.
When you get to the end of your yard and have to turn around and come back, you literally can spin 180 degrees and come straight back without having to back up and cut the strips of grass you would miss when making the turn with a lawn tractor.
With an unobstructed view of the cutting deck, zero turn mowers make it easy to cut very close to your trim edges – you can nearly eliminate the need to trim hard-to-reach areas with a push mower or a string trimmer after you've finished mowing.
Easy to drive.
No steering wheel? No problem. If you can drive a shopping cart, you can drive a zero-turn. Here's how:
Forward: Push the handles forward.
Reverse: Pull the handles back.
Right Turn: Push the left handle forward.
Left Turn: Push the right handle forward.
Stop: Bring the handles back to neutral.
The key to driving in a straight line is to assure that the same amount of pressure is applied to each lever.
Need a mower that can do more than just cut grass? There are a number of different attachments that add to the versatility of zero turn mowers.
Bag or mulch clippings.
The most popular attachment is a bagging system that allows you to collect grass clippings. There are many bagger options available for zero turn mowers including two- and three-bucket designs. Ariens and Gravely offer powered and non-powered baggers. Powered baggers have a belt-driven powered blower that forces grass into the bags. Commercial-quality baggers dump from seat using a lever to tilt the collector so you don't have to get off machine to dump clippings.
Zero turn mowers can accommodate a variety of rear attachments, including a dump cart, spreader, plug aerator, lawn dethatcher, roller or sprayer.
Some zero turn mowers can accommodate a front-mounted blade or even a snow blower or brush for clearing snow or debris.
Most attachments can be installed with the accompanying instructions, but it is generally recommended to have them installed by a professional power equipment dealer. Some zero turn mowers may require you to add a hitch for rear attachments while others may come standard with a hitch. In some cases, front attachments may require an adapter kit or weight kit. "Quick hitch" mechanisms may also be available for fast and easy changeover.