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Mowing Tips That Will Keep Your Lawn Looking Good All Year


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very homeowner dreams of that perfect lawn, but the fact is maintaining a green and lush carpet of grass takes some


work. One of the easiest ways to keep up the appearance of your lawn is to mow it in a way that promotes optimal lawn health. In fact, mowing frequently is one of the


best ways to maintain the health of your lawn according to the U.S. Natural Resources Con- servation Service. Ideally, you should own a mower that allows you to mow frequently and efficiently. If you have a smaller yard, a walking


mower may do the trick, especially if you can get the job done in a half hour or less. If you measure your lawn in acres, as opposed to square feet, a riding mower is probably more appropriate. But most people have a lawn that fits somewhere in between, in which case, there’s another option. Cross mowers are smaller riding mowers that are designed for yards up to one acre. With a compact design, these mowers offer increased maneuverability, as well as easy storage. Among the companies offering cross mowers is Weed Eater, which features a SmartCut model. Whether now is the time to rightsize your


mower or not, here are some other mowing tips to keep your lawn looking good all year: * Keep your blade sharp. A dull blade can damage your grass, hampering healthy and even growth. Mower blades should typi- cally be sharpened once at the beginning of spring and once in the summer. Examining your grass after you mow can help determine whether your blade is producing a clean and even cut.


* Spread clippings evenly throughout your


Five Weekend Projects to Spruce Up Your Home This Spring


Pelham - Windham News


April 29, 2011 Page 14


Area News Group


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fter a long, hard winter across most of the country, people are looking forward to the rites of spring. And one of those cherished activities is the great American remodeling project.


Joe the Pro (Joe Sainz), a building expert with Bosch Power Tools and Accessories, suggests


five DIY projects to add to your to-do list that will help improve the beauty of your home. * Update flooring: If you just bought a home or you’re looking to update your current


floor, you may face the task of removing old linoleum. To tackle the job, consider an oscil- lating multi-tool that includes a scraping blade accessory. Use the oscillating tool to scrape


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linoleum from the subfloor; use your free hand to peel back the old floor covering. Try to collect large strips. * Add remodeling electrical


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boxes: The home theater room is a great place to gather the family. For a professional look with telecom or media wiring, outline and cut holes for remodel- ing boxes that can be placed in cabinets or walls and finished with an appropriate trim plate. To avoid studs, use a hammer to tap lightly on a wall to locate hol- low areas between wall supports or use a high- quality stud finder. * Remove trim,


baseboards or molding: Removal of trim is a tough job if you want to save it for future use. The oscillating tool does a nice job removing caulk and old adhesive, then allows the user to slide a


To help improve the beauty of your home and give your rooms an updated look, Joe the Pro recommends weekend


DIY projects, such as removing old trim, baseboards or molding


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blade accessory between the trim and the wall to cut nails and remove trim intact. * Replace broken tile: Broken tiles happen - in foyers, kitchens and bathrooms. Spring is a great time to finally remove these long-broken pieces to have complete, perfect alignment again. Use a grout saw to remove grout from around the chipped tile. From there, you can use a pry bar or chisel to remove the old tile. If you can’t remove it as a whole piece, put a towel over the chipped tile and use a hammer to break it up. Remove the old adhesive to ensure the new tile can be placed level with adjoining tiles. Use a quality adhesive to place the new tile and apply grout, being careful to match the original grout’s color and texture. * Repaint exterior trim: Now that the snow and cold temperatures


have receded, it’s time to clean up your window and door trim. Scrape and refurbish paint and stained surfaces, checking for any loose or missing nails, screws or splintered boards. In addition, use a power washer to remove dirt and debris from porches or concrete surfaces. Joe the Pro always advises professionals and DIYers alike to use eye protection and leather or construction-grade gloves. He also reminds experienced and novice builders to use quality tools and accessories for better results. You only want to do the job once, so make sure your first effort is your best effort. For more details about these projects and additional tips from Joe the Pro, visit his blog at bethepro.com and click on Idea Box. You can also visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/bethepro.


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yard. Grass clippings are your best form of fertilizer—and they’re free. Throughout the year, your clippings will provide the equiva- lent of one or two applications of fertilizer, according to the Natural Resources Conserva- tion Service. If your mower discharges clippings to the side, mow the outer edge so clippings are thrown toward the middle of your yard, and as you move toward the center, change your direction so they are thrown outward. Sweep- ing any clippings that ended up on your driveway or sidewalks back onto the lawn both promotes the health of your lawn and prevents them from entering local water- ways—grass clippings can contribute to toxic levels of phosphorus in lakes and rivers. * Don’t mow in the same direction every time. Mowing in different directions will pre- vent your grass from becoming matted down and instead keep it growing upward, where it can receive the most sunlight. * Cut your grass between 2 and 3 inches.


Keeping it longer than 2 inches can help pre- vent weeds from receiving the necessary sun- light to take hold. It also can prevent scorch- ing during warm and dry weather. For optimal growth and regeneration, never remove more than one third of your lawn’s length during one mowing session. * Mow only when your grass is dry. Mow-


ing when your yard is wet can cause your mower to leave tracks. It can also cause your discarded clippings to clump together, provid- ing an ideal breeding ground for bacteria that can cause disease in your grass.


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Home Improvement


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