Monthly Archives: February 2018

Garden Tractors

The first task in the process of making a used mower purchase is locating several to check out. If you live in a rural area, mowers can frequently be found on local roadsides for sale in the warmer months. You should also check your local newspaper classifieds, Craigslist, and eBay for leads. Commerce for used items such as these is increasingly moving online, and the chances of finding a good deal on the web is really greater than anywhere else.

When examining a machine in person, the primary considerations are the engine, undercarriage, blade, and body. The first and most obvious observation you can make is on the mower’s body. Is it still smooth and new looking? Or is it chipped and rusty? The more visible wear on the outer shell, the more wear you can expect invisible mechanical parts to have. Ragged looking mowers have been used a lot and their lifespan has been shortened.

After a preliminary examination of the body, tip the mower on its side to see the undercarriage. You may need two people to do this, and something to prop the machine with. You usually do not want to lean the mower in a way that allows the seat and hood to contact the ground. This can be damaging, so use a board or other clean object to provide a buffer.

With the tractor on its side, inspect the axle and braking system for corrosion and signs of wear, the less the better. Also, take a look at the blade. Is it dull or sharp? You may be able to buy a new blade, and all mowers periodically need replacements. When looking at used garden tractors, make sure that a particular model’s blade is still available in stores before making a purchase.

To judge the engine’s quality, start the machine up. It is always helpful to have a mechanically inclined friend with you to judge the more complicated aspects of the engine in person. If you don’t have the luxury of one of these, though, listening to the sound of the tractor can give you a lot of information. How does it sound? Is the hum smooth and constant? Or is it inconsistent and sputtering? If the machine starts right away and hums smoothly, the engine is probably decent. Used garden tractors that sound choppy are usually approaching the end of their engine’s life.

Of course, you will always want to take your potential purchase for a test run before buying. Ride it around. Test the blade mechanism to make sure it functions properly. Raise the blade up and down, and take note of any non-functioning controls. Most mowers will have one or two controls that are no longer in stock condition.

Big Landscape for Small Gardens

Gravel – crushed brick or gravel is a wise paving option that can certainly improve the outlook of your garden. It is easy to maintain and much cheaper than bricks or flagstones. However, you should spread a layer of landscape fabric underneath the gravel. That way you will save your garden from any weeds.

Walkway – another element that can refresh the garden. It is better to have a curved walkway because it gives guests the feeling of walking through a larger landscape. You only need to be sure that the walkway is wide enough for two people to walk side by side. Otherwise it may be a little uncomfortable.

Fire pit – a feature like this always creates such a cozy atmosphere. Fire pits bring more warmth and light to the garden. You can choose just the right one for you, because they are sold in many and different shapes and sizes. Adding one fire pit is a great way to start designing your garden.

Bamboo shelter – that is a very original and creative idea for small gardens. A rustic bamboo and metal frame shelter brings a little exotic feeling to the garden too, which is always nice. Also, a shelter guarantees enough shade in the hot summer days and protection when harsh winds occur. Modern and practical, isn’t it?

Pond – why not make a pond in your backyard? You do not need a lot of space to do that. In fact, the process is not very complicated either. What do you have to do? Well, just dig out the chosen area, add a pond liner and a pump, and you are ready to go. The biggest advantage of the pond is that it brings wildlife in your garden. Some tiny birds and colourful butterflies will surely make the atmosphere more pleasant and enjoying.

You just have to decide which one of these six ideas would best suit your garden. After you make the choice, use all your inspiration and creativity to make some wonderful improvements. Do not forget very important factor: not everyone can be a landscape expert, and they really do not need to. If you have any trouble setting up the new garden design, call a landscape gardening company to take care of it for you.

All about Landscape Rake

1. For anyone who has a large field or pasture, you know how challenging it can be to keep the debris and weeds under control. A wide toothed rake can help make the job much easier. There are many models that can be towed behind a tractor.

2. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, like I do, there are long handled rakes that make it possible for you to safely remove the snow from your roof.

No climbing up on a slippery, wobbly ladder. Just reach up with the rake and pull the snow off.

3. If you live near a shoreline such as at a beach or on a river or lake, you can get a rake that will help you control the weeds. You can also get rakes that make it easy for you to groom the sand and remove debris.

These rakes are great for sand traps on golf courses too.

4. Many people have gravel drives or gravel roads that they must keep maintained. A rake can make that job much easier. Whether you are just fixing a spot here and there or if you are completely redoing the whole drive, having the right tool for the job will make it easier and faster.

5. If you are putting in a new lawn you can find rakes for that too. You will need to remove all the rocks and get the soil as smooth as possible before you seed.

Info of Landscape Drainage

The consequence and try to avoid them First and foremost you must have positive grade on your property meaning that if you are putting a drainage system in your backyard then the backyard must be higher than where you want the water to drain (most of the time the street). How much higher the backyard needs to be depends on the length of the drain system because to have proper slope you must have one inch of drop per ten feet of drainage pipe so if you are installing a hundred foot of drain pipe than you need the street to be ten inches lower than where you place the first drain box (Catch Basin). If you do not have the slope needed than this is when you must look in to other options such as, bringing in soil and raising the backyard (only when you have enough foundation showing, you do not want to raise the ground higher than the foundation you need at least one inch showing at all times), draining into a sump pump box and pumping the water out (this option requires electricity and a much larger drain box where the pump will be located), and the final solution that I will mention is installing a series of 30 gallon landscape drainage basins and having the drains throughout the yard drain into them. The last option requires a hole twice the size of each drain basin that you will be installing because to ensure proper landscape drainage you must install pea gravel around the drain basin so the water can seep out.

These solutions are usually only used in worst case scenario situations but I wanted you to know the true options that are available that work. In most cases where there is a landscape drainage problem and let’s say there is only five inches of slope when you need ten inches a good drain expert can install a drain that will work by creating slope from the back yard to the front then leveling out to the street because water that is level still flows but not as fast. They will also be able to incorporate your downspouts from your gutter into the system so that the head pressure (the water pouring down the downspout from the roof) will help push the yard drainage water out. These are options that a good drainage contractor will be able to see, and then he will be able to let you know which drainage option will work best for you.

Now let’s say you have enough slope to do a regular drainage system in your yard. The question than is what does a regular drainage system consist of? A regular drainage system consists of catch basins, fittings and pipe. Let us look at drainage catch basins first there are many type of catch basins that drainage contractors use and all but a few are in accordance with good landscape drainage practices.

One approved type is concrete basin which these are used in residential and commercial applications the residential will usually start out as 10 inches by 10 inches and normally have metal grates. They are well constructed but can be an eyesore in a beautiful landscape. Next you have the plastic drainage basins these are made by a number of different companies and most of them are built to last a lifetime. These Drainage basins come in many different shapes and sizes but we would not suggest you go any smaller than 9 inches by 9 inches for the yard drainage basins and 6 inch round for the garden drainage basins. This type of landscape drainage basins are normally the ones used by the drain experts because they are more versatile and easier to work with. These drainage basins come with different grates (Tops) for different applications flat green grates for the grass and black flat grates for others in stone or flower beds. The grates also come in atrium grates which are grates that are built higher like a dome shape to allow water to flow if the bottom of the grate gets clogged. If you clean around the grates after each storm there will be no need to install atrium drainage grates as they are unsightly in the landscapes because of domed shape but you might want to consider them if using them directly in the flower beds to keep mulch from clogging drains. Some drainage experts but very few prefer to build their own catch basins out of brick and mortar this too is an acceptable practice and sometimes can be used to get slope on the pipe in cases where every inch counts because the slope of the land is very minute because this will allow the pipe to be raised to where they need it and a few inches at this point can mean the difference between a successful drain or unsuccessful drain. Always make sure that the drainage contractor is using actual drain catch basins and not sticking a four inch grate on the end of a fitting.

This brings us to proper fittings to be used in backyard drainage systems. The more fittings used in a drainage system or as many know as French drains (which we will discuss in this article and more in-depth in a future article soon to follow) will slow down the water so an ideal system is using the least amount of fittings as possible. The fittings used in a drainage system include a 90° long and short, 45°,22½°, Y’s, and T’s all these fittings come in different material for the different types of pipe which we will discuss next. Even though they sale short and long 90°’s the long 90° is the only one that should be used and is the only one a drain expert will use. I myself prefer to use two 45° separated so to slow the water flow as least as I possibly can. The suppliers also sell T’s but they are not an approved fitting in a lawn drainage system unless they are being used as a clean out access which is only needed if you have an extremely long run without a drainage basin for access. The Y’s are the only proper fitting to be used by the drain expert to connect another pipe into the main drainage system. All of the other fittings can be used but always try to find the straightest route possible.

Front Yard Landscaping

Front Yard Landscaping History:

Alone, sitting in my lawn chair admiring my front yard I started thinking about this landscaping phenomenon and how did it all begin. It ends up that front yard landscaping has been around since the late Middle Ages. This crazy fad started with a rich English nobleman probably gone away from his castle on a nice Sunday drive in his horse and buggy and came across a beautiful lush, green, grazing meadow.

“How can I obtain this as my front yard?” the nobleman thought. Thinking further of grass seeds or digging up this pasture and delivering it to his estate. Were not totally sure which method he chose but apparently some sheep herder got rich and moved to a little castle of his own away from his worthless piece of sandy land. Not realizing it, this rich English nobleman just developed the first front yard landscaping company.

After some time of trial and error the lawn had fully grown in. A problem arose that even with the grazing sheep, the grass was still growing out of control. So this nobleman brought in rabbits, horses and goats. The lawn was trimmed nicely and fertilized well, but now his front yard was looking like a farm instead of the lush green lea he was hoping for.

The Scythe:

Distraught about the lawn-farm situation the nobleman one day was looking out at his wheat field and noticed his workers reaping his crop with scythes. Scythes have been around since 500BC. Those clever Romans. Suddenly a candle lit above his head and he called the workers over. That’s around when the scythe was introduced for lawn care.

The front yard lawn care providers had to be good with lots of finesse in using a scythe. The grass blades had to be at a strict two inch length. How else are the rich going to entertain their guests with lawn bowling(1190), tennis(1500) and croquet(1856).

The Push Reel Mower:

The push reel mower came to the rescue from the tedious scythe in 1830. This mower was invented by Edwin Beard Budding, an English engineer who in a fabric factory saw a machine that could be adapted for cutting grass. The environmentally friendly push reel mower is still highly used and sold in present day.

Rotary Mowers:

Unsuccessfully many inventors experimented with rotary mowers in the late 1920s and early 1930s. This front yard landscaping tool was not commercially produced until 1952 where finally a small and powerful enough mowing product was found.

Finding Shed For Yard

• Look for a local company: There may be some local companies that offer sheds for a reasonable price, and having one shed locally is better because the shed can be taken home right away, or delivered within a day or two.

• The materials that are available: By using a local company, there may be more choices to offer for someone who is looking for a good shed. There may be some choices for material that is only available locally, which can give someone people looking for a shed and advantage over people who buy a shed over the internet. Local materials can offer a strong shed that is going to be exactly what someone is looking for that will complete the yard and offer that desperately needed storage space that will help them get the garage cleared out.

• The use of a cement foundation: Some local companies can offer the choice of a foundation that is made of either wood or cement. The difference between the two foundations is the fact that the cement foundation is more permanent. If the person buying the shed has no plans to ever move the shed, then the cement foundation is best because it will give the shed a strong floor that can even handle the heaviest of items.

Ready for Green Space when Spring

Getting them work ready will save you time when you actually want to get to work in the garden. Rubbing mineral spirits on wooden tool handles will reduce splitting which may just save you from the dreaded splinter.

Get that soil ready before you start to plant. That is, you’ll want to clean up any leaves or debris that has settled there over the winter, but you also want to rake it and get some air into it. This is a great time to add compost for extra nutrients, mix it in well and you’ll be good to go once planting season is here.

If you have a new garden, if you want to re-do your garden or if you’re starting from scratch the best thing to do is draw up a plan. What do you want your garden to look like when you’re done? Do you want big items like trees in there or will it be an annual bed? Most will go with a combination of the two so they have something pretty to look at all year round, evergreens keep their colour all year, some perennials bloom in the fall after the annuals have been pulled, etc.

It may be intimidating to go into a nursery because you may get waylaid looking at all the beautiful plants and end up with nothing that you went in for. Best to arm yourself with a list. Take along your garden plan to remind yourself what will go where and once you see all the plants together you can make your final choices. Remember to keep tall things to the back so you can still see the short things and don’t crowd the garden, everything will grow bigger year after year.