mowing the grass

Our (Professional) Lawn Care Tips!

EASY Lawn Care & Maintenance Tips

Mowers, edgers, leaf-blowers. Sod, plug, aerate, de-thatch. Irrigate, seed, fertilize, weed.

Phew! Makes my head spin just thinking about the stuff you’re supposed to do to maintain a lawn, at least according to certain yard-care experts. If you follow the recommendations of lawn-care service companies, you can spend hundreds of dollars each year on your lawn.

Many people do exactly that, just because they think it’s necessary for a nice lawn.

Well, guess what? It’s not necessary. Okay, if you must have a picture perfect lawn that’s smooth, flat and green year-round like a golf course… well, that’s going to require some work.

However, if you’re like me and just want some nice, healthy grass, then the trick is to work… less. Yes, less!

In fact, everything you really need to know can be simplified down into three tips: 1. Mow less. 2. Lay off the chemicals and 3. Opt for low-maintenance landscaping.

Need more detail? Read on!

Lawn-Care: Why less is more

Like the soldier who opts for a buzz-cut because he needs a no-maintenance routine, many people mistakenly think that buzz-cutting their grass really short will make for a low-maintenance lawn.

Now, I know it seems tempting, but the secret to a low-maintenance lawn is to let it grow longer. Yes, really.

When grass is cut super-short, the thousands of individual little grass plants making up your lawn get stressed. They start working overtime to grow the blades back to a normal height.

If the blades are repeatedly mowed short, the plant eventually devotes all its resources to blade growth.

This makes for a weakened root system that’s too weak to withstand normal environmental stresses like periods of drought.

Unfortunately, this is the point at which homeowners can inadvertently make matters worse.

Seeing that the lawn is beginning to appear yellow or patchy, many reach for the weed-and-feed-type products.

However, a good dose of fertilizer forces the lawn into yet another growth surge, exhausting it even further.

At this point, it’s easy to get stuck in a never-ending — and costly — cycle of mowing and fertilizing, mowing and fertilizing.

Want to stop the madness?

Here are some simple lawn-care hints:

1. Mow less

Mow less often, maybe every couple of weeks in summer instead of every week. Second, mow high — set the lawnmower blades to the highest setting you can live with.

The rule of thumb is this: cut no more than one third of the leaf blade when you mow to avoid stressing the grass.

This should guide you in choosing a blade height, depending on which type of grass you have.

For example, my lawn here in north Florida is St. Augustine grass, which should be mowed high at three inches or more.

My neighbors all have St. Augustine grass lawns or Zoysia Grass too, yet many of them cut much lower than three inches, stressing the lawn and creating bald, yellowing patches that become very visible when it’s hot and dry.

In comparison, my lawn looks fine year round and I do absolutely nothing to it other than mowing every couple of weeks during the summer months.

Can you live with a longer lawn? It takes a little getting used too, especially if you’re concerned about bucking a neighborhood trend.

That’s because a longer lawn looks lush and lovely on its own, but when it’s surrounded by ultra-clipped lawns it can look…well, a bit shaggy and unkempt in comparison.

Keeping the edges neat goes a long way, as does mowing the grass verge closest to the street a little lower than the rest.

One task you should not neglect is lawnmower servicing. Get your mower serviced regularly to ensure you’re mowing with a nice sharp blade. (Or sharpen the blade yourself if you know how.)

This produces a clean cut on the leaf blade, which is good for the health of the lawn. Dull blades, on the other hand, shred the grass blades, stressing the lawn.

2. Lay off the Chemicals

Many suburbanites are guilty of over-fertilizing their lawns, which contributes to the pollution of our waterways.

Please, please use fertilizer on your lawn only occasionally (once every one or two years is fine), and apply it conservatively.

Fertilize only during the early growing season. Finally, use a slow-release product for maximum long-term lawn health.

Skip the giant sacks of “weed and feed” products, which are a blend of fertilizer and herbicides. Herbicides should be used sparingly, on affected areas only. It’s a poison — why spread it all over your property?

Just because your lawn mower came with a clipping catcher doesn’t mean you have to use it! Leave grass clippings where they fall.

The blade tips will will break down and fertilize your lawn naturally. Why go to all that trouble of hauling and bagging clippings when they can do so much good for your lawn?

Another handy hint: make peace with the weeds, and don’t go looking for problems.

A few weeds here and there are not as noticeable to the neighbors as you might think. In fact, they are invisible from a distance. A few dandelions here are there aren’t going to kill you.

Focus on encouraging healthy lawn growth. Weeds will never really take hold in a healthy lawn.

3. Low-maintenance Landscaping

Know when to give up on grass. Lawns will become high-maintenance when they’re planted in unsuitable locations. Lawn grasses typically need bright light and great soil.

Some areas of your yard may just not be the right place for lawn. If that’s the case, consider simply replacing some of it with something else.

In shady areas, such as under large evergreen trees, opt for shade-loving groundcovers.

What’s not to like about English Ivy or Liriope?

They’re pretty and never, ever need mowing! Clover is an option, too, if you’re okay with lots of bees! You could also try turning part of your lawn into a wildflower meadow.

Hot, sunny slopes can be replanted with drought-hardy groundcovers like ornamental grasses, which come in many sizes from ankle-height (dwarf bamboo) to knee-high (fountain grass) to head-high (pampas grass).

Ornamental grasses are highly drought-tolerant, love sun, and look fabulous planted in clusters. Another sun-loving, no-maintenance groundcover is juniper. Once established, it looks great and stays green through the worst droughts.

Here are a few more tips that reduce the need for mowing: First, replace lawn in high-traffic areas with paths , mulch, stepping stones, or a combination of all three.

Second, mulch around trees to reduce the total area that needs mowing and raking, and to protect trees from mower collisions.

Third, create rounded edges on your garden beds to make mowing less labor-intensive. Fourth, edge your garden beds and paths, so you won’t need an edger.

Finally, remember that your county extension service may be able to offer free advice if you’re having problems. Enjoy your low-care lawn!

How To Tune Up A Lawn Mower

How To Tune Up A Lawn Mower

How To Tune Up A Lawn Mower Step by Step

If you’re like most people who have a decent sized yard, you probably own a lawn mower. Whether it’s a standard push mower, riding mower, or zero-turn; you’ll definitely have to maintain it to keep it in good working condition. Though most people aren’t necessarily certified mechanics, there are some basic tune-ups that can be performed by the average person.

Without these tune-ups; repairs are sure to follow. Lawn mower repair can be somewhat expensive, depending on the problem, but with just a few maintenance tricks you’ll be able to keep your mower in tip-top running conditions. Here are a few ways for maintaining or increasing the efficiency of your home mowing machine.

Changing The Oil, Filter, and Spark Plug

This is one of the most basic maintenance tips you can do yourself without having much stress. People are so focused on getting the job done as fast as possible that they tend to forget about adding oil to the mower. Oil is just as important, if not more important than the gasoline you put in it. Without oil your lawn mower’s engine will literally explode.

Make sure you dis-connect your lawn mower battery before ever working on your mower!

First thing you want to do is to loosen the air filter cover, which can be on the top or side depending on what brand you’re using. The cover should drop down and now you can pull the used air filter out. Before putting in the new one is to make sure the pleats/grooves is facing outward. Now just replace the cover and tighten up the cover screws. That’s it!

With a new filter in your mower it’ll run more efficiently because the air filter helps the engine breathe much better. Next tip is to change the oil. Though this may not be the cleanest job in the world, changing the oil is vital and if you don’t do this your engine will become a ticking time bomb. The first thing you want to do is to start the mower and let it run for a few minutes. This warms the oil up which will help it drain better.

Now you need to stop the engine so that you can remove the mower’s drain plug. The engine should be expelling the old oil and if necessary; tilt the mower back or to the side for expelling every drop. It may take a few minutes or so, but afterward you should replace the drain plug, then you should begin filling the mower with fresh, new oil. Last, but not lease; check your oil levels with a dipstick. Some mowers have oil fill holes that allows you visibility for checking oil levels.

Another great way to keep your mower running at full efficiency is to install new spark plugs. With so much commotion going on around you, most people often forget about the spark plugs.

With the engine turned off you should pull off the wire of the spark plug and remove the used plug. Tools needed can be a (deep socket 13/16 inch or 3/4 inch). If you have one, try using a standard spark plug wrench. Next you can hand turn the new spark plug until the threads catch within the grooves. Now you can use the ratchet/wrench to further plug in down, but don’t turn to hard. Turning or cranking down too hard causes most spark plugs to break.

*Tips and Ideas*

  • If the spark plug’s rusted tight, you can spray it with some penetrating lubricant. (WD-40) or (JB80) or (Liquid Wrench)
  • Before trying to loosen the rusted plug, let it soak in the penetrating liquid for about 10 minutes
  • Make sure that there is a gap between the overhanging arm and electrode.
  • Necessary tools for completion are 4-in-1 screw driver or ratchet/socket set

Every Spring you should do this. Tune-ups will extend your engines life, gives you better fuel efficiency, reduces repair costs, and is better for the environment as it reduces emissions as much as 50%. Most people do tune-ups about twice per year so it’s a good idea to buy an extra spark plug, extra air filter, and more engine oil. And keep your mower clean and blades sharp as well. Like the old saying goes:

An Ounce of Prevention Is Better Than A Pound of Cure

How To Use A Zero Turn Mower

How To Use A Zero Turn Mower

One of the most popular ways of doing landscaping in the 21st Century is with a Zero Turn Mower. These mowers are bigger, stronger, and more efficient than a standard lawn mower. Also known as zero turn radius, these mowers are very agile and decreases the total amount of time while working which is a big plus. They’re commonly operated for commercial use, but many people happen to own these special pieces of equipment.

Here’s a shortcut to Amazon’s most popular ZTR mowers

The main thing about zero turn mowers is that in order for them to be as efficient as they can be, they must be properly operated much more so than a standard riding mower. This is a large piece of equipment and can be very dangerous if used in a naive manner. If you own a zero turn mower or you’re thinking of purchasing one, there are some rules and regulations you’ll need to follow for achieving that lush, golf course lawn look.

1. Comprehending What Zero Turn Radius Really Means: For starters this could be like trying to learn a new language. Unlike you’re regular riding mowers, a zero turn mower’s drive wheels turn independently giving them a much wider range of motion. It’s kind of like an elbow joint compared to a shoulder joint.

Standard mowers have more of a hinged back & forth motion while the shoulder zero turn has a shoulder’s round & round motion. Each axle is powered by a hydraulic motor which allows each side of the unit to turn in opposite directions. This action truly causes the mower to spin.

2. Select The Proper Mower: This couldn’t be more practical and if you have a really small yard that’s probably less than a few hundred square feet, a zero turn mower would be a waste of hard earned money.

If you have a medium to large sized yard, an 18 horse-power torque mower with at least a 40 inch cutting path is big enough.Unless you’re trying to portray a certain image or ” trying to keep up with the joneses, ” stick with a standard mower which will take care of all your landscaping needs.

3. Read Your Owner’s Manual: Even though some mowers come with a quick start guide for cutting right out of the box, you’ll definitely have to learn the basics and features of this machine. Quick Start Guides will not cover a large enough portion of material to firmly get a grip with this unit.

4. Read and Get Familiar With The Operational Controls: It’s like the old saying, “never bring a knife to a gun fight” rings true in-a-sense. No amount of studying can properly school you for what you’ll be using. Hands-on training is much better and easier than a paper manual though each ways are extremely better than jumping on the zero turn with your eyes wide shut. Check out some of the main control of a zero turn:

  • Fuel and Oil Gauge
  • Ignition Switch For Starting The Mower
  • Mower Clutch For Engaging The Blades
  • Deck Adjustment For Raising and Lowering The Blade
  • Examine The Tires ( Critical of The Mowers Turning Ability)
  • Steering Arm -Which Replaces The Steering Wheel
  • Check The Belts and Pulleys

5. Find An Open Location To Practice Your Movements: This action is to not actually cut the grass, but more so just for practicing and getting familiar with the movements. Gripping the handles, steering, backing-up, adjustments for your body type, engaging the clutch, and brakes. It’s very important to take your time and practice for a few days before beginning your lawn work.

6. Cut Your Own Lawn First: It’s just proper etiquette and also common sense to experiment on your own yard first. Do it multiple times before attempting to tackle someone else’s residence.

Now you should have everything down to a science. Respecting this machine and it’s capabilities will help you to become the most efficient landscaper you can be.

Clean lawn mower

How to Clean a Lawn Mower

Lawn mowers are expensive machines that need careful maintenance in order to keep working over a long period of time. Use the steps mentioned below to give your lawn mower a thorough cleaning and help prolong their work life:

Preparation:

Bring the mover out into an open, clean and dry area. Wear old or second hand clothes that won’t be ruined by dirt and grease. Make sure you have all the tools handy such as a hose, buckets, brushes, screwdriver, pliers as well as any spare parts that need to be replaced or cleaned and put back in the mower.

Execution:

1. Unplug the mower from its electrical outlet and drain the fuel out of the machine. Make sure the water does not reach the outlets to avoid short circuits.

2. Use a broom to brush the motor at the start. This won’t remove the hardened grime, but will loosen most of the surface dirt, which can be swept away and disposed of right from the beginning. Use a smaller brush to attend to the inside of the mower from various angles.

3. Use your gloved hand to examine the machine’s crevasses more closely, and brush or rub away the harder sticking dirt clumps with your hand. Your hand will allow you to have a far more intimate understanding of the nature of dirt that surrounds the mower and which needs to be removed.

4. Turn the mower on its side and remove any grass, leaves and other debris that can be found wrapped around the blade.

5. Scrub the visible portions of the machine with a soft brush using soapy water. Take care not to scratch the surfaces by applying too much pressure on the brush.

6. Hose the lawn mower down thoroughly and allow the water to reach the difficult spots inside the machinery that need to be cleaned.

7. Bring out the air filer attached to the machine and give it a thorough cleaning. Make sure you remove all the dust particles by using a blowing machine or using your mouth.

8. Replace the spark plug at regular intervals of using the machine, since it gets worn out quickly.

9. Take out the blade of the mower and get the blades sharpened, since dull blades do not allow the mower to do it’s job properly.

10. Take out the catcher and give it a good hosing to remove leaves and grass particulate.

11. Oil the parts of the machine that need oiling and ensure that the entire system functions smoothly.

Tips:

1. Keep checking the blower and muffler areas of the lawn mower for collecting dirt and grime.

2. Keeping mowers in storage often leaves rodents and other small animals to build nests inside that can cause problems.

3. Perform a quick cleanup for the mower after every cutting session to reduce extra work during extended cleaning sessions.

4. Keep a brush and cleaning cloth close to the place where the mower is stored to encourage future use.

5. Always wait till the engine has cooled down before beginning cleaning operations to avoid getting burnt.

Precautions:

1. Take great care not to cut your hand while cleaning the blades.

2. Make sure the machine is disconnected before cleaning it.

3. Keep track of the smaller parts of the machines and keep them in a box to keep from losing them.

4. Wear old clothes or overalls to avoid getting oil on new clothes.

5. Make sure any cleaning fluids you use do not cause corrosion of the metal.

6. Avoid storing the mower in an open space where it can be attacked by the harsh forces of nature.

boy pile of leaves

Best Backpack Leaf Blower

Finding the BEST Backpack Leaf Blower for Any Use

Backpack leaf blowers can be easier to use than handheld leaf blowers as they will reduce stress on the body and allow you to get more work done providing you with more control.

With comfortable straps around the shoulders and hip it will make it easy to get a lot of work done within a short period of time without putting stress on the body. Here are some of the best backpack leaf blowers you will find.

Strongest Motor for A Long Lasting Blower

The Husqvarna 965877502 Backpack Leaf Blower is carb compliant and is sold in all 50 states. It comes with a 50.2cc 2.1hp XTorq engine for added power. It weighs 22.5 pounds and you can set the speed in accordance to the amount of work that needs to be done up to 180 mph.

It operates quietly at 104 dba and it produces 60 percent less emissions than other leaf blowers. It comes with a two year warranty. With a ventilated and load reducing harness you get less stress put upon your shoulders and hips. Consumers like how there is no vibration and how quiet it runs. They feel it is well made and will last a long time. This is definitely one of the best leaf blowers for home use available today.

Quietest Backpack Blower

The Echo PB580T Backpack Blower is lightweight at 23 pounds and is among the quietest on the market at 70 dba. It has an air volume of 510 cfm and its maximum air speed is 215 mph. It comes with a 58.2cc engine for added power.

It’s easy to maneuver with its straps and hip belt. Consumers like how effective it is in removing leaves and its high quality.

Easiest Start Up Blower

The Troy Bilt TB4BPEC Backpack Blower has a jumpstart technology that delivers an easy start up process. It operates at 150 mph and has padded shoulders straps and a hip belt that is able to reduce most of the stress put on your body. Its air volume is 500 cfm and it has a long tube that is flexible allowing easy maneuvering.

It’s lightweight at 22 pounds and it comes with a two year limited warranty. With its quick start technology you don’t have to ever worry about it not starting. It is ergonomic and compact in size for easy moving around with it strapped on. This blower distributes the weight evenly and it comes with a 32cc 4 cycle engine. Consumers like its easy set up and operation.

Most Environmentally Friendly Gas Blower

The Makita BBX 7600N Backpack Blower comes with a strong 75.6cc four stroke engine and runs quietly at 74 dba. It’s lightweight at 23 pounds and has an air volume of 526 cfm. It runs 195 mph and is considered fuel efficient. With padded shoulder straps and a ventilation, this backpack is comfortable to wear.

It meets both the EPA and carb compliance for it to be sold in all 50 states. Its emissions evaporates and is good for the environment. It comes with a one year warranty. Consumers like how fuel efficient and powerful it is. They feel it is well worth the money.

High Powered Air Speed Leaf Blower

Best Backpack Leaf BlowerThe Husqvarna 150BT Gas Powered Backpack Blower is lightweight at less than 23 pounds and is carb compliant so it is able to be sold in all 50 states. It’s environmentally friendly and comfortable to wear with its ventilated backpack.

It comes with a 50.2cc 2 cycle XTorq engine and operates at up to 250 mph to remove some of the toughest stuck on leaves with ease. Consumers love the power behind this backpack and how easy it is to use.

All of these backpack blowers satisfy the average person’s needs with various features from being quiet to delivering high air speed or a strong motor. It’s important to get a blower that is environmentally friendly while being able to remove stuck on leaves with ease.

There’s a wide variety of commercial backpack leaf blowers on the market. Before you purchase, take a moment to learn what options are available and compare them to your needs. Backpack blowers offer the advantage of being able to carry it around on your body rather than having to hold the entire machine.

See more popular backpack leaf blowers here

You’ll want to make sure the blower you choose is powerful enough to handle anything you plan to throw at it. With so many choices available, remember to keep an eye out for things such as safety, weight, economy and power.

Feature of the Best Commercial Backpack Blowers

  • Easy to reach on and off switch. This not only adds to convenience it’s also a wise safety feature that will enable you to cut the power off in a hurry if needed.
  • Easy to fill gas tank. The tank should have a wide opening to reduce spills when you’re refueling. A clear tank or easy to read indicator can save time by letting you know when gas is low at a glance.
  • A choice of nozzle attachments. A machine that comes with a flat tip for sweeping leaves and a round tip for dislodging stubborn ones is a good choice.
  • Variable throttle for adjusting the power output. You want a blower that lets you lessen the power of the blower when you’re cleaning around flower beds and increase the power for clearing lawns, driveways or roofs.

By carefully comparing features to your needs, you’re sure to make a wise purchasing decision.  Here are two of the best commercial backpack blowers.

Best Commercial Blower under $500

With a 4 stroke 75.6cc fuel efficient engine, this Makita BBX 7600N Backpack Blower it gives excellent commercial-duty performance. The blower utilizes a clear-burn 4-stroke motor that delivers long runtimes while producing less noise/vibration for quiet operation.

The BBX7600 is capable of heavy-duty air velocities up to 195miles-per-hour and can deliver superb air volumes of up to 526 cubic-feet-per-minute.  It is a super-lightweight backpack only 22.6 pounds and comes with wide straps for complete user comfort.

Users were impressed with the decompression system, so start-up’s a breeze while the easy access to oil fill port and drain plug made maintenance hassle-free. Many customers agreed it exceeded their expectations and was worth the price for a monster of a blower.

Best Value Commercial Blower

This Husqvarna XTorq 560BTS Gas Powered Backpack Blower is commercially designed with a 65.6cc 2-stroke X-torq, gas-powered engine. It is capable of an astounding 232 miles-per-minute airspeed while minimizing exhaust emissions and maintaining overall fuel-efficiency.

Additional features include the 2-stage intake air filter and a side-vented frame, so the operator can have long runtimes despite dusty environments. The ergonomic handle makes for smooth and versatile movement while the comfortable shoulder straps make it easy to carry for long periods.

Users called this commercial backpack blower a workhorse, saying it outperformed their previous packs and completed their jobs in record times. Customers said the assembly was quick and painless, getting setup completed in as little as 15 minutes.

When searching for a commercial backpack blower, the best qualities usually include dependability, durability, and great performance.

Best Weed Wackers for the Money in 2019

Who wants weeds sticking up around a nicely groomed green lawn? No homeowner wants to deal with that. It can ruin the entire appearance of the home with just a few weeds here and there. To prevent this from happening it’s time to get a handy tool in your home with a weed wacker.

More popular top value weed trimmers on Amazon, here

Choosing the best weed wacker for the price, will include what you decide is a good feature to have in a machine while making your work a lot easier. Consider the two in one option, a long lasting machine, a battery operated or gas powered weed eater, and one that is easy to handle. Here are some of the best weed wackers for the money.

Easy Conversion for Two in One Weedeater

Toro 51487 Cordless String Trimmer is 12 inches and comes with a 24 volt Lithium Ion battery. It’s lightweight at 7 pounds. It alerts you when the battery is running low with its check battery life indicator and you get an extended run time with its power saver mode. It has an automatic feed trim line system and it can automatically adjust to the right length according the level of grass.

It can be easily converted to an edger and you can adjust the cut from 12 inch to 10 inches depending on the amount of weeds and how large they are. It comes with a two year warranty and its battery has no loss of memory.

With a soft grip handle this machine reduces fatigue while working and it has a wall mount that allows you to store the weed wacker easily on a hook. Consumer like its easy conversion and how powerful it is.

Long Lasting Durable String Trimmer

Hitachi CG22 EAP25L Gas Powered String Trimmer has a solid steel drive shaft that is 60 inches long. It comes with a 7 year warranty which is one of the longest for consumers and with its anti vibration system you don’t have to worry about fatigue. It is lightweight at the same time at 11 pounds and it is well balanced.

As it comes fully assembled you don’t have to put the machine together to get started. It has a Walbro carburetor with a purge bulb that provides an easy start up process. It has a 13 foot long .095 inch polymer cutting line and a four inch slim trimmer head that is automatic.

You get a hassle free operation as this weed eater is capable of easy use through its powerful Pure Fire two stroke 21.1cc engine. Consumers like how light and quiet it runs.

Easiest Weed Wacker to Handle

Greenworks 2101602 Cordless String Trimmer is lightweight at 10 pounds and has an electrical start for an easy start up process.

There’s no gas or maintenance required and it comes with a strong 40 volt Gmax 2ah battery that is two times more powerful than 20 volt batteries. It has a 12 inch dual line that provides an automatic feed that is capable of whipping through tough weeds faster.

It reduces vibration and noise by 50 percent in comparison to the traditional weed eater and the battery provides up to 30 minutes of run time on one charge. It comes with its own charger. Consumers like how easy it is to handle and feel it delivers impressive power.

Weed Eater with Long Lasting Battery

Black and Decker LST 136W String Trimmer comes with a 40 volt Lithium Ion battery offers a maximum run time along with maximum power. It’s light and well balanced for easy control and maneuvering.

It also converts easily to an edger with a simple turn of the staff. It has an automatic feed spool that allows you to continuously work without bumping. Its battery charges within one hour and it has a shaft that is 13 inches long. Consumers like the amount of power you get from this machine and its easy conversion process.

Check out more of the best value weed trimmers on Amazon, here

All of these weed wackers are great choices when searching for the ideal machine to remove the weeds from your lawn. They remove them quickly and efficiently while providing you with a number of features that makes work more fun.

best snow blowers

Snow Blower Buying Guide

Our Snow Blower Buying Guide

Buying a snow blower makes life a lot easier when you live somewhere where it snows a lot. Our buying guide reviews different blowers so you can quickly find the top one or two to choose from.

With so many snowblowers to pick from you can choose the one that fits your needs the most with specific characteristics that you prefer. Finding the best deal would require you to determine what you want in a snowblower and if you feel it is worth the amount you are paying for it. So we here at Yardomatic have written some helpful tips on choosing the best possible snowblower for your specific needs.

Search for items that are able to make removing snow fun rather than hard work. Is it able to remove a large amount of snow quickly and easily? Is it able to move easily without sliding? You may prefer some of these characteristics about the snowblower and would need to purchase the one that fits your needs. Here are some of the best deals for snowblowers.

Lightweight and Easy to Maneuver

The Worx WG650 Electric Snow Thrower can throw snow up to 30 feet away and has an adjustable chute of 180 degrees that allows you more options to throw the snow. With a collapsible handle it’s easier to store the machine away.

There are quick clamps to adjust the handlebar that makes it easy to maneuver the machine and it is lightweight at 26 pounds.

It has rubber tipped steel augers that reduces rust and with a compact design it is easier to move the snowblower. Consumers like how fast and agile this machine. They appreciate its easy assembly and how well made it is.

Powerful Engine with Plenty of Force

The Briggs and Stratton 1696619 Snow Thrower has a dual stage 250cc engine that has earned a reputation of being long lasting. This snowblower is built to last and has a friction disk drive system. With an electrical start up process it is easy to start it every time. There are five speeds forward and two reversed speeds.

It comes with a three year limited warranty and has 12 inch steel augers. With reversible skid shoes you don’t have to worry about the snowblower sliding and it has a dash mounted chute control where you can determine where to throw the snow easier. It digs up a 20 inch deep and 27 inch wide pathway in one passing.

It weighs 189 pounds and has two 14 by 4 inch tires for easy maneuvering. With an LED light you get better viewing opportunities. Consumers like its good traction and easy assembly. They feel this machine works like a beast.

Capable of Throwing Lots of Snow

The Snow Joe Ultra SJ621 Electric Snow Thrower has a 13.5 amp motor that adds power and comes with a two year warranty. It creates a 10 inch deep and 18 inch wide pathway in one passing. With pivoting wheels you get an easy glide through the snow without much effort.It has a 20 watt halogen light that helps you see better in darker areas.

The machine weighs 33 pounds and it has four steel blades. You can throw the up to 650 feet of snow per minute and 2150 square feet of snow per hour. With an electric engine you don’t have to worry about using gas or oil.

It has an ergonomic grip that reduces the stress on your body while working. Its chute turns 180 degrees for easy direction. Consumers like its easy assembly and its ease in operation.

All of these snowblowers are excellent choices when looking for the best deal. They provide you with a variety of benefits that include removing a lot of snow, easy maneuvering and a powerful motor.

Best Snow Blowers for Home Use

Removing snow can be a difficult process if you live in an area that tends to get a lot of it each year. You want to be prepared with a snowblower that can quickly remove the snow from walkways, driveways, and anywhere else you tend to walk. Using a snowblower will help save you a ton of time and energy as it will remove the snow a lot easier than a shovel.

To help determine which snowblower may work better for using at home, choose from a variety of features that include how far the snow can be thrown, how deep and wide are the paths, and if they have lights. The following are among the best snow blowers that you can use at home.

Remove a Ton of Snow with the Snow Joe

The Snow Joe Ultra SJ621 Electric Snow Thrower can make a pathway of 18 inches wide and 10 inches deep in one passing. It comes with a two year warranty and has an ergonomic grip that makes it easy to control the machine without causing stress to your body. It has easy gliding wheels that allow you to easily maneuver the machine.

It comes with 20 watt halogen lights to see better in the evening. Its four steel blades are capable of cutting through some of the toughest situations and its able to move up to 650 pounds of snow per minute. It moves 2150 square feet of snow per hour as you can adjust its chute 180 degrees.

The machine weighs 33 pounds so it is light enough to handle throughout the day and it comes with a 13.5 amp motor. With an electric start you have an easy start up process. It doesn’t need gas or oil which makes it easy to maintain. Consumers like its easy assembly and ease in operation.

Best Value for Your Money

The Powersmart DB7651 Two Stage Snow Thrower comes with an electric start up process which makes it easy to get started each time you use the snow blower. It has 12 inch serrated steel augers and four joysticks that allows you to control and adjust the direction and height of the discharges.

It weighs 180 pounds and is carb compliant, allowing it to be sold in all 50 states. It comes with a one year limited warranty. For easy maneuvering the machine has 13 by 4 inch tires and a 6.5 hp 212cc two stage engine for added power.

It can remove 24 inches wide and 20 inches deep of snow in one passing. Consumers like how powerful this machine is and how well it works. They feel it is of excellent value.

Most Simple and Easy to Control

The Toro 38381 Electric 1800 Power Curve Snow Blower has a quick lever chute that allows you more control on where to throw the snow. It comes with a two year warranty. It is lightweight at 25 pounds and can make a 12 inch deep and 18 inch wide pathway.

It has a full ergonomic ball handle that reduces stress and it has a zip deflector along with an easy assembly for you to get started using it right away. It comes with a 15 amp motor and an electrical start up process that makes it easy to get going each time.

With a power curve technology you are able to maneuver the machine a lot easier than the traditional snow blower. Consumers like how simple it is to operate and how powerful yet small the Toro is.

All of these snowblowers are among the top choices to use at home. They all provide various features that make them easy to use and maneuver.

how to sharpen a reel mower

How to Sharpen a Reel Mower

How to Sharpen a Reel Mower

Reel mowers are as eco-friendly as they can get, but the blades can still get dull. So knowing how to sharpen a reel mower if you have one can be a really smart skill to have. They are better than their gas-powered counterparts that pollute the environment, and you get some exercise too. Additionally, they are small, easier to store and need very little maintenance.

However, mowing a lawn with a reel mower can become a strenuous task after some time. Over time, pebbles or rocks rub against the blades, due to which they wear out and become dull. Though reel mowers need to be rarely sharpened, they must get their regular sharpening so that you can mow a lawn with minimum strain to your body and the unit.

Now, there are many ways to sharpen a reel mower, with each technique having its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some techniques that you can explore to sharpen you reel mover.

Back Lapping Technique

The back lapping technique is the most efficient and safest way of sharpening a reel mower. To implement this technique, you will need to buy a back lapping sharpening kit.

This kit consists of a crank to turn the blades and a lapping compound which is nothing but an abrasive mixed in a thick goo. Once you have the kit, you are ready to start “back lapping”.

Step 1: Remove The Wheel And Gear

Place the reel mower on a work bench and stand behind the mower. Remove the side cover of the left wheel with a screw driver when standing behind the mower. This reveals a ring, nut or a pin that holds the wheel to the mower. Remove this attaching mechanism with a flat head screwdriver, and take the wheel off and keep it aside. Remove the gear that is now visible.

Step 2: Prepare The Mower For Cranking The Blades

Once the gear has been removed, you will see the shaft that runs the blades. Use the crank from the sharpening kit and attach it to the metal shaft. At this stage you would want to adjust the blades so that they are uniformly in contact with the bed knife.

Step 3: Apply Lapping Compound And Start Cranking

Use a small paint brush to apply an even thin layer of lapping compound on all the five blade edges. Use the crank to move the blades in a backward direction. Doing this causes the lapping compound to sharpen the blade edges.

Crank the blades for about ten minutes and reapply the lapping compound if needed. Continue to crank till you see a flat shiny surface at the edge of all the blades. You may get tired while doing this, so take frequent breaks. You can also use a powered drill instead of a crank to save time and energy. Make sure that the drill is on low and running backwards.

Once the shiny edges are visible on the blades, clean the compound and check for any area that is left out and that needs some more lapping compound and cranking. Repeat the process until you are satisfied.

Step 4: Readjust The Blades And Reassemble

If you are satisfied with the sharpness of the blades, readjust the blades such that they are marginally away from the bed knife.Test the sharpness of the blades by mowing a piece of paper and adjust the bed knife until it does this successfully. Next, attach the gear and the wheel back to the mower. Don’t forget to grease the components if they need it, while attaching it back.

Manual Sharpening

This technique involves the use of a sharpening file, metal finishing sandpaper or an angle grinder that you would generally use for sharpening knives. First, disable the machine, and make sure that the blades don’t rotate if they are not detachable. Some mowers have gears to lock the wheel preventing it from rotating. If this mechanism is not present, use wooden blocks to jam the blades and prevent them from moving.

Once the mower is safe to work on, rub the tool of your choice against the angle of the blades around seven or eight times to sharpen them to the desired sharpness. Use gloves to protect your fingers and knuckles while doing this. Alternately, the sandpaper can be attached to the bed knife and the blades can be rotated backwards, causing the sandpaper to sharpen the blades. After sharpening, apply a coat of vegetable oil to the blades to prevent it from rusting and to increase its lifespan.

Manual knife sharpeners are risky compared to the back lapping technique. There is always a possibility of ruining the blades with over grinding and you may also hurt your fingers.

To summarize, use the technique that you feel is simpler and that suits your needs. Follow safety procedures and protect your fingers and hands from potential accidents. Maintain your reel mower and keep the blades sharp to enjoy mowing your lawn.

How To Fix A Smoking Lawn Mower

How To Fix A Smoking Lawn Mower

How To Fix A Smoking Lawn Mower

Lawn mowers are one of those pieces of equipment that are a great return on investment. Meaning that the amount you spend for the mower will end of saving you money down the line because you won’t have to pay a landscaper every month. This type of equipment is one of the most common products found in mostly everyone’s home. The importance in this piece of equipment can’t be denied and is worth it’s weight in gold, unfortunately this device is prone to breakdowns depending mostly by how individuals use it.

Smoke is a common and a sure sign that something in the engine isn’t working properly. Yes, it may look very bad seeing your motor smoke, but it really isn’t a very serious issue most of the time.

But if you ignore the signs and leave the engine untreated, it will definitely become a big issue that will end up costing you money on repairs. There are different types of smoke and this article is written to help you recognize and control the issues at hand.

 

 

Black Smoke

This type or color of smoke usually caused by with the mower’s fuel system or carburetor. One of the most common causes is that there is an unequal balance of fuel and air in the lawn mower’s system. Too much gasoline isn’t a problem for most people but it actually floods the engine in this case.

Some probable causes can be from a dirty carburetor that needs some cleaning and tuning or the air filter is too clogged up. The first and easiest thing to do is by checking the air filter. A high percentage of this very issues is generally from dirty air filters.

All you have to do is remove the mower’s air filter and clean. Some people do this by using their mouths and blowing or if you have an air compressor, use it for a more thorough cleaning. If your air filter is clogged then the best thing to do is to remove and replace it with a new one. Clogged air filters are extremely hard to fully clean so replacing it is the way to go.

After doing this action try starting the engine to see if the problem is fixed. If your mower’s engine is still producing black smoke then you need to adjust the carburetor. This step will produce a more balanced air-to-fuel mixture. This really isn’t too hard and can be done done twisting a screw.

Depending on you make and model, you should take a look at your owners manual for complete information, but if this doesn’t work you definitely should have it professionally repaired.

White or Blue-White Smoke

Unlike black smoke that is caused by the unbalanced burning of more fuel to air; white smoke signifies the burning of excess oil. Yes, having too much oil is a bad thing as with too much gas. Many times with this issue is that you can start the engine and just let the mower run for a while. This is effective for burning off too much oil.

Leaked oil can be a result of the mower being turned over or tilted to one side causing it to leak fluids. Every engine has it’s own tolerances, but don’t turn the engine off because this action further delays the issue.

Over filling the oil reservoir will result in your mower’s engine producing white smoke so just closely monitor the amount of oil or fuel you put into the engine. If this isn’t the case and the smoking persists, you can have a more in-depth issue with the crankcase. Check the crankcase for any leaks and if there is too much air in the crankcase, the mower’s breather won’t be able to handle it.

Unfortunately if you can’t detect any air leaks; the best thing to do is take your mower in for professional service. In addition to these issues any worn out rings or cylinders, blown head gaskets, or an ineffective breather will produce white smoke. These issues require a skilled mechanic for service.

Smoke is usually a precursor to an issue and not necessarily the issue itself. Always closely monitor the amounts of gas and oil fluids put into the engine and try to keep the mower sitting on a balanced level ground.

boy pile of leaves

Best Leaf Blower

Every fall it’s the same old thing, leaves, leaves and more leaves! And it’s for a month or two rather than just one day. So you go out, rake them up, then the next day you do the same, grrrrrrr!

Grab the best backpack leaf blower and your life will instantly become easier. And that’s what Yardomatic.com is all about, making yard work easy. So that’s why I have included this review of the best leaf blowers. These machines can really save you a ton of time. I can blow around the leaves on my lawn in a fraction of the time it would take to rake them.

Plus the backback is easy to handle, they don’t weigh a lot, and I don’t even need to touch a leaf if I have somewhere to blow them to. Just don’t try blowing your leaves onto your neighbors property. I’m sure that wouldn’t earn you any gratitude!

But seriously, if you have some woods on your property line, just blow them into the woods. It’s good for you and good for the Earth. Or better yet, use them for your garden. Or mulch them and spread them on your yard. Leaves make a fantastic natural fertilizer. And they give your lawn grass’ roots something they can latch to.

But whatever you choose to do with those leaves, using a blower can greatly reduce the time it takes to do your yard clean up work. And I’ve put together a list for any budget or requirements you may have for noise, power, whatever. So let’s get started with the reviews…

Strongest Motor for A Long Lasting Blower

Husqvarna 965877502 Backpack Leaf Blower

This machine is carb compliant and is sold in all 50 states. It comes with a 50.2cc 2.1hp XTorq engine for added power. It weighs 22.5 pounds and you can set the speed in accordance to the amount of work that needs to be done up to 180 mph.

It operates quietly at 104 dba and it produces 60 percent less emissions than other leaf blowers. It comes with a two year warranty. With a ventilated and load reducing harness you get less stress put upon your shoulders and hips. Consumers like how there is no vibration and how quiet it runs. They feel it is well made and will last a long time.

Echo PB580T Backpack BlowerGas Powered Backpack Blower

The Echo is lightweight at 23 pounds and is among the quietest backpack blowers on the market at 70 dba. It has an air volume of 510 cfm and its maximum air speed is 215 mph. It comes with a 58.2cc engine for added power.

It’s easy to maneuver with its straps and hip belt. Consumers like how effective it is in removing leaves and its high quality.

Troy Bilt TB4BPEC Backpack Blower

has a jumpstart technology that delivers the easiest start up process of any of the other units we’ve tried. It operates at 150 mph and has padded shoulders straps and a hip belt that is able to reduce most of the stress put on your body. Its air volume is 500 cfm and it has a long tube that is flexible allowing easy maneuvering.

It’s lightweight at 22 pounds and it comes with a two year limited warranty. With its quick start technology you don’t have to ever worry about it not starting. It is ergonomic and compact in size for easy moving around with it strapped on. This blower distributes the weight evenly and it comes with a 32cc 4 cycle engine. Consumers like its easy set up and operation.

Makita BBX 7600N Backpack Blower

This is without a doubt the most environmentally friendly blower on the market today.It comes with a strong 75.6cc four stroke engine and runs quietly at 74 dba. It’s lightweight at 23 pounds and has an air volume of 526 cfm. It runs 195 mph and is considered fuel efficient. With padded shoulder straps and a ventilation, this backpack is comfortable to wear.

It meets both the EPA and carb compliance for it to be sold in all 50 states. Its emissions evaporates and is good for the environment. It comes with a one year warranty. Consumers like how fuel efficient and powerful it is. They feel it is well worth the money.

High Powered Air Speed Leaf Blower

 

Husqvarna 150BT Gas Powered Backpack Blower

Husqvarna 150BT Gas Powered Backpack Blower

This blower is lightweight at less than 23 pounds and is carb compliant so it is able to be sold in all 50 states. It’s environmentally friendly and comfortable to wear with its ventilated backpack.

It comes with a 50.2cc 2 cycle XTorq engine and operates at up to 250 mph to remove some of the toughest stuck on leaves with ease. Consumers love the power behind this backpack and how easy it is to use.

All of these backpack blowers satisfy the average person’s needs with various features from being quiet to delivering high air speed or a strong motor. It’s important to get a blower that is environmentally friendly while being able to remove stuck on leaves with ease.

Each Fall it is time to rake the leaves off the lawn and gather the leaves from the driveway, walkway and patio. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to do back breaking work to get this done? With leaf blowers you don’t have to. By simply blowing the leaves into a pile you can put them in a bag or mulch them. Cut the time in half and spend less time doing strenuous work with a leaf blower.

You want to search for items that are capable of providing plenty of air volume that will remove all types of leaves whether they are wet or dry. You may want to consider blowers that convert into mulchers and vacuums so you don’t have to bag the leaves. Other features you may consider are a strong motor, environmentally friendly, electrical or gas powered. Here are some of the best rated blowers you will find on the market today.

Toro 51619 Ultra Blower Vacuum

Toro 51619 Ultra Blower Vacuum

This powerful yard tool is lightweight at nine pounds and has a three in one option with a vacuum, leaf blower and leaf shredder. It easily converts, allowing you to get a lot of work done with one machine. It has a top rated air horse power with its variable speed.

You can get up to 250 miles per hour with this blower which can remove some of the toughest stuck on leaves. It has an extension cord along with other tools including a power import, vacuum tube and a bottom zip bag. You get a nozzle concentrator and a cord storage hook to make storing easier.

It has a quick release latch for the power cord and large metal wipeller driver power. Consumers like how great it works and how economical it is. They appreciate how easy it is to use.

Go Eco-Friendly with Greenworks

Greenworks 24012 Single Speed Electric BlowerThe Greenworks 24012 Single Speed Electric Blower provides users with 50 percent less vibration and noise than other blowers. It reduces energy by 35 percent and is lightweight at five pounds. Blowing at 160 mph you can remove a lot of wet stuck on leaves. It uses 120 volts of power and comes with a 7amp motor for added power.

It has a safety cord lock to prevent the power cord from releasing from the socket. It has an ergonomic design that reduces stress on the upper body and comes with a four year warranty. With a 20 inch long blower tube you can reach closer to the stuck on leaves to remove them without much effort.

It requires little maintenance and runs quietly. Consumers love the power of this blower and how easy it is to use. They feel it is of great value and is easy to carry around because of how light it is.

 

Quietest Blower

The Black and Decker BV5600 High Performance Blower has a three in one capability with a blower, vacuum and mulcher. You get several tools that allow you to perform several duties including a leafblaster nozzle, pivoting turbo nozzle, and a vacuum and blower tube.

With an easy conversion you don’t need tools to get the job done. It has high impact metal fan that helps prevent clogging. With its 12 amp motor you get more power and it delivers up to 250 miles per hour pressure to remove some of the toughest stuck on leaves. It runs on 120 volts of power and runs quietly at 68 dba.

It’s lightweight at eight pounds and has a mulch ratio of 16:1. You save a ton on bags as it is able to grind up to 16 bags of leaves into one. It comes with a two year limited warranty. Consumer like how easy it is to convert and its power.

All of these top rated leaf blowers are ideal choices when searching for items that are able to provide you with multiple tasks in one, remain quiet while doing it and reduce any environmentally damaging fumes.

Best Commercial Backpack Blowers

There’s a wide variety of commercial backpack leaf blowers on the market. Before you purchase, take a moment to learn what options are available and compare them to your needs. Backpack blowers offer the advantage of being able to carry it around on your body rather than having to hold the entire machine.

You’ll want to make sure the blower you choose is powerful enough to handle anything you plan to throw at it. With so many choices available, remember to keep an eye out for things such as safety, weight, economy and power.

Feature of the Best Commercial Backpack Blowers

  • Easy to reach on and off switch. This not only adds to convenience it’s also a wise safety feature that will enable you to cut the power off in a hurry if needed.
  • Easy to fill gas tank. The tank should have a wide opening to reduce spills when you’re refueling. A clear tank or easy to read indicator can save time by letting you know when gas is low at a glance.
  • A choice of nozzle attachments. A machine that comes with a flat tip for sweeping leaves and a round tip for dislodging stubborn ones is a good choice.
  • Variable throttle for adjusting the power output. You want a blower that lets you lessen the power of the blower when you’re cleaning around flower beds and increase the power for clearing lawns, driveways or roofs.

By carefully comparing features to your needs, you’re sure to make a wise purchasing decision.  Here are two of the best commercial backpack blowers.

Best Commercial Blower under $500

With a 4 stroke 75.6cc fuel efficient engine, this Makita BBX 7600N Backpack Blower it gives excellent commercial-duty performance. The blower utilizes a clear-burn 4-stroke motor that delivers long runtimes while producing less noise/vibration for quiet operation.

The BBX7600 is capable of heavy-duty air velocities up to 195miles-per-hour and can deliver superb air volumes of up to 526 cubic-feet-per-minute.  It is a super-lightweight backpack only 22.6 pounds and comes with wide straps for complete user comfort.

Users were impressed with the decompression system, so start-up’s a breeze while the easy access to oil fill port and drain plug made maintenance hassle-free. Many customers agreed it exceeded their expectations and was worth the price for a monster of a blower.

Best Value Commercial Blower

This Husqvarna XTorq 560BTS Gas Powered Backpack Blower is commercially designed with a 65.6cc 2-stroke X-torq, gas-powered engine. It is capable of an astounding 232 miles-per-minute airspeed while minimizing exhaust emissions and maintaining overall fuel-efficiency.

Additional features include the 2-stage intake air filter and a side-vented frame, so the operator can have long runtimes despite dusty environments. The ergonomic handle makes for smooth and versatile movement while the comfortable shoulder straps make it easy to carry for long periods.

Users called this commercial backpack blower a workhorse, saying it outperformed their previous packs and completed their jobs in record times. Customers said the assembly was quick and painless, getting setup completed in as little as 15 minutes.

When searching for a commercial backpack blower, the best qualities usually include dependability, durability, and great performance.