on Friday, June 15, 2018
Keep Your Lawn Healthy and Happy in the Michigan Heat
With summer here, it’s prime time to get your hands dirty with yard projects of all sizes. To make a little effort go a long way, you’ll want to have the right mix of lawn mower implements and attachments for your John Deere Riding Lawn Mower and even your Gator Utility Vehicle. When you’re deciding what you need, it’s easy to feel like a kid in a candy store: overwhelmed by all the amazing choices! Here to guide you in your decisions are our five favorite implements from our own equipment experts.
1. Utility Cart – Because hauling is easier than carrying
No matter what project you’ve got on your list this summer, chances are good you’ll wish you had a utility cart on the back of your riding lawn mower or Gator UTV to help get it done with minimal sweat and strain. Forget pushing the wheelbarrow full of mulch or carrying materials by hand; just load up the cart and motor ahead.
Starting a garden? Haul your soil and your garden bed material. Doing some landscaping? Load up your mulch. Planting some flowers? Stack your flower boxes and plants. Setting up a game of horseshoes, bags or softball? Throw in the gear and away you go.
Beyond being practical, utility carts are super strong and durable because they’re made of molded polymers and have a ¾-inch diameter axle. Their sloped design allows for easy, complete emptying without having to unlatch or remove a tailgate.
2. Dethatcher – For a healthier lawn with greener grass
When your grass is growing quickly during spring and summer, it’s a great time to check your lawn’s thatch to see how it could impact your yard. Wait… what’s “thatch”? We’re glad you asked. It’s the layer of roots and organic matter between your soil and green grass. If you find a brown mat ½-inch thick or more it can block water and air from getting to your soil and it can harbor pests.
So, what should you do? Well, you could dethatch by hand with a power rake, but that backbreaking work would take forever, especially if you own a few acres! Instead, connect a dethatcher to your John Deere equipment, set the depth of the teeth down to the thatch (but not so deep that they damage the soil). Then, go over your yard as if you were mowing it, letting the implement loosen the thatch.
When you’re done, you can rake old thatch and add it to your compost or just leave it to decompose. You can also dethatch for preventive lawn maintenance as often as after each mow.
3. Tow-Behind Sprayer – For watering, fertilizing and more
Sprayers seriously fly under the radar as the most underrated of implements. They’re simple tools but they do so much to help you care for your lawn. Why do our experts love sprayers? Let us count the ways:
- Less wear and tear on your body. If you’ve been using a backpack sprayer, get ready to do yourself a huge favor by offloading the weight to your lawn equipment and letting the horsepower of your Gator or riding mower do the work for you. It’s also a heck of a lot faster than going by foot.
- Less maintenance than sprinklers. Sprayers are a fine alternative or complement to traditional watering systems. They’re great for watering out-of-reach spots or areas that need extra hydration. And, if anything ever does go wrong with your sprayer, it’s much cheaper to repair than a sprinkler system.
- More uses mean more savings. You can forget about hiring someone to treat your yard when you can also use sprayers to apply stuff like liquid fertilizer, weed killer and even tree spray.
- Fewer untreated areas. Most sprayers come with a spray wand and long hose for spot-spraying any out-of-the-way places.
4. Spreader – A lawncare expert’s version of “summer fun”
While spreaders will save you time and money, they’re also just fun to use. Our experts think there’s something soothing about the sights and sounds of a spreader being towed behind John Deere equipment while shooting seed or fertilizer in every direction.
Their primary uses are for throwing seed, dispersing fertilizer and applying dry insecticide—all stuff that makes the most sense to do throughout the warmer months. Spreaders are super durable because they’re made out of polyethylene so the hopper won’t dent or rust. Critical components are made of stainless steel or high-impact plastic, leaving no room to worry about dents, rusts, repairs or replacements. And, there are dozens of settings on the applicator so you can tinker to your heart’s content deciding how much material you want to spread and how fast.
5. MulchControl™ Kit – Give your lawn back its nutrients
Our experts definitely saved the best for last. Since you’ll be mowing more during the summer, you’ll be mulching more, too. Or, at least you should be. John Deere introduced a MulchControl™ Kit which means you can switch from side discharge to mulch at the push of a button. It literally can’t get any easier than that. Why should you care? Because your lawn needs the nutrients it loses when you mow. Mulching returns grass clippings to the soil, giving your lawn back its nutrients.
Mulching finely chops your clippings and deposits them back onto your lawn where the nutrients are easily absorbed by your lawn’s root system. John Deere’s exclusive technology keeps the clippings directly under the mower deck. Because of this, it can be safer to mow and mulch (especially compared to mowing without a bag) since your mower will not be shooting grass clippings and other debris out the side. We’ve heard a few stories where side discharge caused unexpected damage – like mowing over a pebble, which can shoot out and damage a window or glass door.
Why would you turn MulchControl off? Maybe you missed a week of mowing and your grass is taller than usual; longer grass clippings don’t get chopped up as well for mulch. Or, if you have to mow when the grass is still wet. These are conditions when our experts recommend using side discharge.
Now that you know our favorite summer lawn care implements and what they do, stop by any Tri County Equipment store near you in Michigan today to ask one of our experts about adding the right implements to your riding lawn mower or Gator UTV.