Posts Tagged With: Lawn mower

Winterize & Store Your Lawn Mower in 8 Simple Steps

How to Winterize Your Lawn MowerProperly maintained yard equipment can extend the life of your tools. Winterizing your lawn mower takes only minutes and will pay off tenfold come spring. Next year, at the first sign of warmer weather, you will be ready to venture out and tackle that unruly lawn.

8 Easy Steps to Winterize & Store a Lawn Mower

  • Empty the gas tank – Unused gas can become stale and gum up the carburetor. If you prefer to leave gas in the tank, you should fill it up completely to avoid moisture accumulation and add a fuel stabilizer. This will prevent the gas from degrading. Be sure to run the mower long enough to let the stabilizer get into the carburetor.
  • Disconnect the spark plug – This will allow you to work underneath the lawn mower safely. When you remove the plug, pour an ounce of motor oil into the cylinders and crank the engine a few times. This will help lubricate the engine. Another helpful tip: spark plugs should be replaced after every 100 hours of operation.
  • Remove the blade – By removing the blade from underneath, you are able to clean out any remaining grass or mud, as well as have easier access for changing the oil.
  • Sharpen the blade – Lawn professionals recommend that you sharpen your blade monthly during mowing season to avoid damaging the grass with a dull edge. Learn more by reading our blog on how to sharpen your mower blade.
  • Drain and change the oil – Routine oil changes will help extend the life of your motor. You can dispose of the old oil by taking it to a service station or to a repair center.
  • Clean the undercarriage – This will help prevent rust and clear any blockages from the chute. After cleaning, spray it with a silicone spray like Lube-a-Boom Clear to help prevent future build-ups.
  • Change the air filter – A dirty air filter keeps the engine from burning gas efficiently. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual on how to clean or replace your filter.
  • Charge the battery – If you have a battery-powered starter on your mower then you will want to charge it periodically over the winter. This will help the battery retain a full charge come spring.

Find the Perfect Spot for Your Mower

Store your lawn mower in a dry, well-vented area (especially if you are leaving gas in the tank). Keep it away from heaters or furnaces. Consider removing the newly sharpened blade and storing it separately to avoid injuries. Finally, if you are going to charge your battery over the winter, either remove it for easier access or store the mower near an outlet.

To Cover or Not to Cover – Your Choice

Covering your mower is a matter of personal preference. Putting a tarp over it will keep it clean, but it can also attract some unwanted guests. Sprinkle a few moth balls around the outside of the motor to ward off any rodents that might want to build a nest inside.

A Little TLC Goes a Long Way

With a little TLC in the fall, you and your favorite lawn companion can rest easy over the cold months. Caring for your lawn mower now will allow you to hit the grass running come spring. Once again man and mower will be ready to tackle the green monster that is your lawn. Long live the mower!

Expert Advice

From pressure washers to jacks, our expert staff is always on hand to help you with winterizing your lawn and garden equipment. We service a wide variety of Honda Power Equipment including mowers and tillers. For more helpful tips on how to get ready for the cold weather, check out this post: Winterize and Maintain Your Outdoor Power Equipment. As always, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

Categories: Choosing Equipment, Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Tackle Your Lawn in Less Than an Hour

How to Tackle Your Lawn in an Hour or LessHaving a lush, green lawn is every homeowner’s dream. It’s a badge of honor the whole neighborhood can see and it means something because it is not at all easy to achieve. The weekends already pass by too quickly and the thought of spending your entire weekend doing yard work can be infuriating. Don’t give up your sanity or your weekends to have an enviable yard. This one hour plan will change your views on yard maintenance and have your neighbors asking for your secrets.

First 15 Minutes: Master the Art of Watering

Get a jump start by beginning in the yard early. In the first 15 minutes, master the art of watering. If you water too much, your lawn will have deep, but few roots. Water too little and you will have too many shallow roots. Early morning waterings will have less evaporation and your water will go straight to the grass. You want to water deeply, though infrequently. You should use a rain gauge to determine exactly how much you need to water each week.

Mother Nature is your friend, so embrace the natural moisture that is provided by rainfall. Most grass types need about 1 inch of water each week. You can use sprinklers for between 5-15 minutes, depending how much your lawn needs to reach the 1in mark.

Next 30 Minutes: Make the Most of Mowing

For the next 30 minutes, make the most of mowing. Mowing the lawn is a notorious chore, but done correctly it can save you time and stress. Invest in an efficient lawn mower to cut your mowing time in half. Find a machine that works with you, instead of against you. Popular Mechanics compiled a list of the best choices – be sure to read the comments to discover real people’s opinions.

Have your blades sharpened at the beginning of every season so that you can get the most from your effort. [Runyon can sharpen your blades for a small fee, so bring in your mower and the service department will fit you in.] While you mow, try to take off just ⅓ of the grass’ height at a time. You want the plant to be able to continue photosynthesis. By not taking off too much, you keep enough plant tissue on the blade to do so.

Final 15 Minutes: Hand Weed Your Lawn

A lawn free of weeds is a true prize, and can feel far away. Most homeowner’s first response to the appearance of weeds is to seek out a chemical herbicide. This is often a big mistake. These weed killers can be dangerous to humans and pets and often weaken the grass you favor along with the weeds. The strongest combatant to weeds is a healthy, thick lawn. If your lawn grows strong, it can defeat pesky weeds in the war for space. A dense lawn blocks out the sun needed for their seeds to sprout.

For the final 15 minutes, hand weed your lawn and take note of the different types of weeds you see. These can be signals to other issues in your soil that can be corrected. Certain weeds grow only where the soil is damp, some only in over fertilized areas. Learning to identify the types of weeds that plague your garden can help you eliminate them and save more time.

In just an hour, you’ve made huge improvements to your yard. Follow this quick plan each week and your yard will be the talk of the neighborhood. Finally, you can stop worrying about your lawn and get back to enjoying your summer.

Guest Author: Jane Blanchard

Jane Blanchard is a writer at Modernize. For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com. And to purchase or rent lawn equipment in the Indianapolis area, visit Runyon Equipment Rental in-store or online.

*Photo Courtesy of rockymountaintrees.com
Categories: Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3 Options for How to Replant Grass in Your Yard

If looking out over your yard at the brown patches left by winter’s brutal temperatures isn’t enough to make you throw in the towel on growing a lush lawn in Indiana, then we may have some tips that can help.

At this time of year, DIY-gardeners have three options for replanting an existing lawn and giving it some love.

  • Over-seed
  • Plug it
  • Start over in the fall – the best time to replant grass in your yard

Although there’s no guarantee your lawn will improve if you engage one of the spring options instead of waiting until the fall, each one is worth a try. 

Climate Zones Determine Grass Growing

Climate Zone Map

In Indiana, climate zones 7 and 8 help determine what types of grass you should grow.

  • Cool weather grasses – the top third of the state falls into this category. These are grass types that grow better in areas that have cooler summers and winters. Some grass types in this category are Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Rye and both Tall and Fine Fescue. You primarily plant these type lawns in the early spring or the late summer/ early fall since they take time to germinate.
  • Warm weather grasses – the bottom third of the state falls into this category. These are grass types that grow better in areas with warmer summers and winters. Some of these are Bermuda grass and Zoysia. These grasses can be planted in the late spring as long as they have enough time to establish before the summer heat comes on.

1. Over-Seeding

If you want to over seed an existing lawn, be prepared to put in the time it will take to maintain it until the seed establishes. On an existing yard of Kentucky Bluegrass try seeding with a mixture of Bluegrass and Fine Fescue. The Fescue will establish faster and give the Bluegrass seed time to germinate. Here are a few basic steps to over-seed any type of lawn:

  1. Set your lawn mower at the lowest setting to remove most of the vegetation from the lawn. It will make it easier for the seeds to reach the ground.
  2. Rake the grass and top ¼-inch of soil underneath it and dispose of debris.
  3. Add fertilizer – apply per manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Broadcast seed over lawn in parallel lines – first in north/ south direction and then in an east/ west direction to avoid missing any areas.
  5. Use backside of rake to spread about ¼ inch of dirt over seed.
  6. Cover the ground with a thin layer of mulch made from wheat straw. You can rake straw away once grass starts to appear.
  7. Water lightly each day until grass is 2 inches tall.
  8. Best to wait to mow until grass has reached about 3 inches in height.

2. Lawn Plugging

If seeds are too slow for you then lawn plugging is the way to go. A “plug” is a 2 x 2 inch piece of sod that you can use to fill in bare spots on your lawn. You will need to till up the area you wish to plant, amend the soil with compost, and then create holes using a hand held grass plugger or an aerator/plugger. Place the plugs in a checkerboard pattern and fill the holes with lawn starter fertilizer. Insert the grass plugs and pack down the ground around them to eliminate air pockets. Give the entire area a thorough watering. Check out our blog, How to Plug Your Lawn in 3 Easy Steps, for additional details.

3. Great Grasses for Indiana

Whether you over-seed, plug or wait until the fall, here is some information on the different grasses that work well in our area. We have listed which are cool season grasses and which are warm season grasses. Depending on how you plan to proceed with improving your lawn one of these grass types may offer you a solution.

Kentucky Bluegrass – This is a cool season grass

  • Performs best in full sun
  • Slow to germinate
  • Winter hardy
  • New varieties are more disease resistant
  • Will need more fertilizer and water than other types

Fescue – This is a cool season grass

  • Drought, heat and shade tolerant
  • Requires less fertilizer
  • Grows deeper roots
  • Different varieties – Tall (broad leaf, clumping) and Fine (thin leaf,non-clumping)

Bermuda grass – This is a warm season grass

  • Best in full sun
  • Medium to fine texture
  • Drought resistant
  • Turns brown in winter when temperatures drop to point of frost
  • Can be aggressive and will take over flowerbeds
  • Need to keep in check with trimming or use of organic herbicides like vinegar

Zoysia – This is a warm season grass

  • Spreads and forms dense sod
  • Slow upward growth so needs less mowing
  • Low water consumption
  • Good for high traffic areas
  • Somewhat shade tolerant
  • Needs no pesticides or weed killers since it chokes out pests and weeds
  • Thrives in heat, goes dormant in cold weather

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with your yard and garden projects. From seeders and tillers to aerator pluggers and more, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week. To learn more about your lawn, check out our helpful how-to guide, How Well Do You Know Your Lawn?

Categories: Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Winterize and Maintain Your Outdoor Power Equipment in 6 Simple Steps

It is probably a no-brainer that with the chilly weather setting in maintaining your outdoor power equipment is crucial, but here is your checklist all the same! Not only does winter mean you have a few months off from using outdoor equipment, but winterizing, repairing and storing your equipment ensures efficient use come spring when you can dig it all out again. There are some simple measures you can take to accomplish the task, so read up and then get to work marking “winterizing outdoor equipment” off your to-do list this weekend.

Winterize Your Outdoor EquipmentTools Needed:

  • Fuel stabilizer – to winterize the engine
  • Engine oil – to refill oil tank if low
  • Sponge or other scrubber – to clean the equipment
  • Air pump – to air up tires
  • Wrench – to tighten bolts

1. One of the most important things you can do for any outdoor equipment is winterizing it. Fuel stabilizer is your best friend in this step. Pour it into your fuel tank, top it off and then run the engine until the fuel runs out.

2. While you’re checking liquids, also make sure you have enough oil in each machine. Add more if the dipstick is below the suggested line.

3. Then, clean any air filters and other caked-on dirt or grime. It will be harder to clean your equipment if the dirt freezes on, not to mention dirt can really muck up performance once you use the equipment again.

4. Other check-ups: make sure all your bolts are tightened, tires are inflated, cords are in tact (not frayed) and spark plugs are disconnected.

5. Another key element of outdoor equipment maintenance is sharpening blades and chains. This is not as easily done at home, so stop by our store and we will do it for you!

6. Lastly, hang or store all your equipment inside. Inevitably, anything left outside may be damaged by snow, wind, hail, etc. Trimmers for instance are best suited hanging on a wall hook, while lawn mowers just need to be parked inside your garage or shed.

Maintaining your outdoor equipment for the winter months is really not a difficult task to accomplish, and when done properly it is well worth the time spent. So get out your lawn mower, weed eater, tiller, trimmer, hedge shears, chainsaw, etc. and get to work – you’ll be done in no time! If during the process you have any questions, please feel free to contact us – we are more than happy to help. And if you’re feeling ambitious after finishing these six steps, and would like other project ideas, find our checklist here.

About the Author

Jack Runyon is the president of Runyon Equipment Rental. He has 21 years of rental experience, as the 3rd generation son to carry on the family tradition and his grandfather’s vision. He prides the company for its devotion to ethics, quality products and customer service. Jack is known for his passion and vast expertise.

Categories: Fall Checklist, How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

[INFOGRAPHIC] Prepare Your Lawn for Fall and Winter

With winter coming up, it is important that you consider the best ways to prepare your lawn for the harsh weather – you want it to thrive again in the spring, and there are several ways to ensure that it does. Dethatching, plugging, bark blowing and lawn vacuuming are four suggested autumn lawn applications. The infographic below outlines what each one is, why to use each machine, when to use it and important tips. Feel free to use this as a guide for your lawn this October. Happy yard-working!

Fall Winter Infographic

About the Author

 is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. She graduated from Butler University in the spring with a double major in International Business and Marketing, a minor in Spanish, departmental honors distinction and cum laude. She specializes in all things internet marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, website maintenance, blogging, social media, lead tracking and marketing strategy.

Categories: Choosing Equipment, Gardening and Lawn Care, Infographics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Choose the Perfect Lawn Mower

Though you might think that all there is to mowing the lawn is switching the lawn mower on and pushing it across your yard. There are several things to keep in mind about the kind of mower you use on the lawn. What type of grass is your lawn and how low should it be cut, as well as, should you mulch or bag the grass clippings? Below we try to help you make the right decision.

Grass Cutting Height:

With the general thumb rule being never cut off more than one-third of the grass blade in the morning, the actual cutting height depends on the type of grass you have planted on your lawn, the season of the year and how well the lawn has been maintained thus far. This could range between 2-3 inches for Kentucky bluegrass and 0.5-1.5 inches for Bermuda grass.

Mower Features:Lawn Mower

According to The Lawn Institute, there are more than 25 million acres of tended lawn in the United States. This means there are nearly a million families who search for the right lawn mower every year. There are two basic features that you need to look at when getting your lawn mower:

  • Speed is of the essence. Decide what speed controls you prefer, whether the exercise-free, self-propelled mowers or the push models. Try out a few mowers to see what works for you.
  • Mulch, bag or shred. While lawn clippings degrade when left on the lawn and can be recycled in place, you also have an option of choosing mowers which mulch, bag, discharge or shred leaves. Most mowers come with two or three options, making cleaning up after mowing so much easier.

Choose your mowing accessories cleverly, deciding on whether your mower is gas or electric operated, and choosing whether you will use a walk-behind lawn mower or riding lawn mower. All these decisions should be based on the type of lawn you have and the mower that will suit you best. Once you have yourself a suitable mower, frequent, correct mowing and sensible lawn care is sure to give you that green ball park-like lawn you’ve been aiming for. Happy mowing!

About the Author

Tempe Thompson is a sales and inventory expert at Runyon Equipment Rental. She has over 35 years of experience and has accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise. She could talk for hours about how to use all of Runyon’s tools and equipment, in addition to suggesting which type corresponds to a certain application.

Categories: Choosing Equipment, Gardening and Lawn Care | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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