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7 Tips to Preparing Your Lawn for Spring

3/14/2018 5:00:00 AM

By: Katie Kuchta, LawnStarter,

​The good news about preparing your lawn for spring is that it isn't nearly as time-consuming as mowing it all summer. Some spring lawn care preparation can be done in the fall if you want to get a jump on it. But, preparing your lawn in spring is essential for a healthy lawn all summer.

Here are some tips to get your lawn into shape:

1. Rake up the winter debris

Even if you raked a couple of big piles of leaves in the fall, you’re still going to have to rake in the spring. There are several reasons for raking in the spring besides compiling stray leaves. It's for thatch build-up which is more than a half-inch high. Spring raking will remove any dead grass which didn’t make it through the winter. Plus, you can check for snow mold, which is matted patches of grass stuck together. New blades of grass can’t break through snow mold, but raking will solve that problem.

2. Check for compacted soil

If your lawn has been trampled on throughout winter because of foot traffic, then you could have compacted soil. For snow prone areas, substantial snowstorms and piles of snow can also compact your soil. Experts don't recommend aerating your ground in the spring, but instead recommend doing it in the fall. If you check your lawn thoroughly, you'll know where the compacted areas are for fall aeration. 

3. Liming your lawn

Moss in your yard could mean that your lawn is very acidic. Acidic lawns are considered unhealthy because grass likes to grow in a soil pH level​ that is neutral. You can use lime on your soil, but remember that liming effects take a while to balance the pH level back to neutral. What you need to do first is send a sample of your lawn and soil to your local county extension. They will be able to tell you how much lime you’ll need per square foot. You can apply lime by using a fertilizer spreader.

4. Overseeding your lawn

Bare or yellow colored patches can signify neglect or potentially pet damage. To fix this problem, you can apply grass seed to the bare spots. We call this process overseeding. When you overseed, you will need to use a slow-release fertilizer. Then, after about five weeks when the new grass comes up, you'll need to apply a quick-release fertilizer. Overseeding - an important lawn care staple - is usually done in the fall, but if you have a lawn full of bare patches, go ahead and overseed in the spring.

5. Fertilizing your lawn

In the spring, a lighter application of fertilizer is recommended, and in the fall, a more substantial application is applied for cool-season grasses. If you use too much fertilizer, you can end up with weed and disease problems. If you have fertilized heavily in the fall, then your lawn is still enjoying the benefits of the fall fertilization.

6. Weed control

The headache of every homeowner is weeds in the lawn. You give them an inch, and they take over the yard. So, if you know that you're going to be battling crabgrass and annual weeds, you will need to apply pre-emergent herbicides​. This type of herbicide controls the weeds before the seedlings even come up out of the ground. It works by forming a shield of sorts which keeps the seed from germinating. One thing you shouldn’t do is to core aerate after applying the herbicide because it could puncture the shield and decrease the effectiveness of the herbicide.

7. Mower maintenance

Last but not least – lawnmower maintenance, which is extremely important. You need to go over your mower to tune it up and sharpen the blades. If you don't know how to perform maintenance on the mower, we suggest visiting your local Ariens or Gravely dealer for seasonal maintenance. 
Preparing your lawn for spring is an important part of lawn care. A beautiful green lawn is only possible if you do maintenance in the fall and follow through in the spring.

The Importance of Using Pure Gasoline

3/13/2018 5:00:00 AM

By: Aaron Abler, Technical Writer,

​Trips to the pump are a lot different now than they were 20 years ago. Up until about the turn of the millennium, we had choices of regular, super or premium. Different octane levels, but all 100 percent gasoline. With the integration of ethanol into our fuels, we now have to be more careful about which button we push, especially when filling a fuel tank of a small engine on our lawnmower, snowblower and log splitter. Ethanol blends, even in small concentrations, have the potential to cause some bothersome problems for our customers.

Ethanol is corrosive

Ethanol absorbs moisture like a sponge. Even blends as weak as E10 have the ability to retain up to 50 times more water than pure gasoline and carry it through your fuel system. After prolonged use, that water corrodes parts like an engine's fuel line and carburetor that can't withstand a little extra H2O until, eventually, enough rust forms in those narrow passageways to restrict fuel supply to the cylinder.

Ethanol deteriorates plastic

According to Consumer Reports, ethanol affects more than just metal. Rubber and plastic are also highly susceptible to ethanol corrosion, but in a different way. While composite parts like fuel pumps and hoses can't form rust, they can be dried out and hardened by ethanol, causing them to crack and fail.

Ethanol is a solvent

Sounds great for cleaning, but not so great for the fine art of internal combustion. When used in older engines that have varnish buildup, ethanol can dissolve those varnish deposits and the deposits can clog fuel lines and carburetors.

Ethanol decays quickly

Ethanol contains a higher oxygen content than pure ga​soline, meaning ethanol-blended fuels can deteriorate more quickly. When left untreated for long periods of time, oxidized fuel can leave gummy deposits in your fuel system and clog it.​

While ethanol use in small engines can be damaging, consumers have the choice to purchase a variety of fuel blends, including 100 percent gasoline. But with those choices, awareness of the labels on the pump as well as the actual type of fuel pump used to supply that fuel is a requirement. Single-source pumps, or pumps with several fuel blend options but only one hose, can hold up to one gallon of fuel in the hose alone, meaning you could be getting whatever the last person pumped, regardless of your selection. A gallon may not seem like much, but if the last purchase at that pump was E15 or E85 and you're filling a small tank, you could be purchasing a risky ethanol concentration. Best practice is to always fill at pumps with dedicated hoses for each fuel type.

According to the U.S. government, gasoline with an ethanol content of 10 percent or less is technically acceptable for use in small engines. Key word there is, "technically," And while The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) agrees, we think it's better to be safe than sorry and to use 100 percent gasoline in all gasoline-powered Ariens® and Gravely® equipment, every time. The majority of customer calls into our support line result from fuel-related issues, and we don't want yours to be next.

Behind the Scenes Footage: Snow Product Photoshoot in Wyoming

2/27/2018 6:00:00 AM

​This month, Ariens employees travelled to Grand Teton National Park for a three-day photoshoot of the newest Ariens snow equipment. The team was onsite in the National park for three days and spent time photographing the RapidTrak™, Ariens Professional 32 Sno-Thro®, Deluxe EFI Sno-Thro series and the new Pro-21 single stage snow blower.

The location was picked because of the pristine mountain landscape, which served as the backdrop for this snow campaign, and because of the deep snow available to show off the machines' capabilities.

Below are a few behind the scenes photos, as well as a few final shots, which were the outcome of the shoot. Tell us, where do you think we should have our next photo shoot? for more information on our snow products, please visit​.


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