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15-0-15 Fertilizer: What’s It All About?

One of the most thrilling things about gardening is having a lush, green lawn to complement all your plants and flowers.

In addition to a sensible watering regime, you’ll also want to get yourself the best fertilizer for the job.

Today, we’ll take a look at what the numbers like 15-0-15 displayed on the packs of fertilizer mean along with some general tips and guidance on fertilizing your lawn the right way.

The right nutrients are paramount if you want to get the very best out of your lawn.

What Do The Numbers Mean On Fertilizer Packs?

fertilizer

Source: Woerner Landscape Services

When you look at packs of fertilizer, you’ll see 3 numbers quite prominently displayed.

These numbers refer to:

  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium

Your lawn needs plenty of nitrogen so that you’ll get proper growth, a perfect color and overall health to your grass. Warm-season and cool-season grasses both respond well to a slow-release fertilizer rich in nitrogen.

Phosphorus helps to kickstart early growth. This is crucial for your seedlings to develop correctly. If your lawn has been freshly seeded, you should opt for a mix heavy in phosphorus.

You’ll want potassium in your fertilizer to help build up resistance to disease and to add strength to the root structure.

The numbers will always be listed in this order (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) and illustrate the percentage of each component found in the pack.

A 10-10-10 mix is a very common all-purpose garden fertilizer. To break it down, if you got a 50-pound bag you would have 5 pounds (10%) of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The remaining 70% of the bag is made up of inert filler to help get the chemicals circulating efficiently.

Using 15-0-15 Fertilizer

fertilizer

SourceWoerner Landscape Services

If you go for a mix of 15-0-15, you’ll have nitrogen and potassium but no phosphorus.

Warm season grasses like Bermuda and St Agustine respond well to this mix. From shrubs and trees through to ornamental gardens or vegetable patches, 15-0-15 has a range of applications.

The ideal time to apply this fertilizer is from the middle of spring on through the summer. You can use it year-round with no problem at all.

Apply it with a spreader, mix lightly and water thoroughly.

Types of Fertilizer

You have a choice of several different types of fertilizer over and beyond the mixes listed above.

Slow-Release

This type of fertilizer does not need to be used as frequently. The trade-off is that it’s usually much more expensive.

Fast-Release

If you want results in a hurry, fast-release fertilizer will deliver.

You’ll need to apply this fertilizer more often and using lesser amounts. Be very cautious not to use too much or you might burn your lawn.

Liquid Fertilizer

These are tough to apply evenly and need to be regularly re-applied so are best avoided.

Organic Materials

Compost and manure are not as concentrated as chemical fertilizers so you’ll need to use a great deal more.

Be very careful with horse manure as it can contain weed seeds.

When To Fertilize Your Lawn

lawns

Source: Pike Nursery

You should ideally fertilize your lawn three times a year.

It’s absolutely essential to feed your lawn while it’s still activelt growing and never during a period of drought.

Start off in early spring as the grass starts to get green.

From that point, your fertilizing schedule will depend on 3 main factors:

  • Climate
  • Type of grass
  • Type of fertilizer

Most lawn seed that you get is a mixture of a few types of grass so fertilizing in spring and fall is advisable.

If there is any kind of drought, either stop using fertilizer or cut it right back. In these conditions, you want to lessen the amount of nutrients your lawn gets so growth will slow back. Reduce watering too if things are too dry for comfort.

How To Fertilize Your Lawn

fertilizer

Source: Curbed Seattle

You can fertilize by hand but the results are questionable. You risk burning the grass if you apply it in too concentrated a manner. If you miss covering other areas adequately, you’ll get pale patches.

The best option is to buy yourself a fertilizer spreader. We reviewed some of the best fertilizer spreaders here.

  • Apply your chosen fertilizer to freshly mown grass. Make sure there is no wind although a fine dew is OK
  • For best results, use only half the suggested amount in your spreader
  • Remember to start working before you turn on your spreader and to shut it down before you come to a stop
  • Make sure you wash your spreader after use
  • Water the lawn for optimum effect. It’s perfect if you can fertilize just before it starts raining but if not then just thoroughly water instead

Is It Possible To Use Too Much Fertilizer?

Yes!

While making sure your lawn gets the added nutrients it dearly needs is wise, being heavy-handed with your fertilizer can lead to problems.

Using too much feed will mean you need to mow your grass far more often.

The grass also tends to grow back quickly so, if this happens, make certain to obey the one-third rule: don’t cut off more than one-third of the leaf blade in one session of mowing. If you end up scalping the lawn, you’re inviting the weeds in.

Also, over-fertilizing can lead to turfgrass diseases setting in. Both pythium and brown patch take root in warm and moist conditions where over-fertilization has occurred. You’ll need some fungicide to fight back if these diseases take hold.

If you go totally over the top and grossly exceed the recommended application rate, you’ll finish up with scorched yellow grass and a ruined lawn.

The key? Less is more with fertilizing.

Wrap-Up

Well, hopefully you have enjoyed our explanation of 15-0-15 fertilizer and you now have a clear idea of what the numbers on fertilizer packages translate to.

Please feel free to share any of our articles on your social media if you think they would be of interest.

Contact us at any time if you have any questions or there’s anything you’d like to know about any aspect of gardening.

Now get that fertilizer spreader going!

1

Best Fertilizer Spreader Reviews and Buying Guide 2017

A sprawling green lawn in perfect condition sets off any garden, large or small.

Keeping your grass in peak condition is not easy, though. You will need the best fertilizer and a solid spreader in order to make light work of the job at hand.

Everyone needs food in order to survive and thrive. Your lawn is no different. Although the process of photosynthesis will result in most of the sustenance being provided, it never hurts to give nature a helping hand.

And if you want to fertilize your garden properly, you’ll need to get yourself a good spreader unless you want to invest a great deal of effort into performing this task manually.

Our Pick For Top 5 Fertilizer Spreader

Product Name

Type

Broadcast or Drop?

Coverage in square feet

Price

Our Rating

Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader

Push

Broadcast

5000

$

#1
Editor Choice

Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader

Tow-Behind

Broadcast

25000

$$$

#3

Earthway 2150 Commercial 50-Pound Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader

Walk-Behind

Broadcast

15000

$$$

#2

Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader

Handheld

Broadcast

2500

$

#4

Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, (Up to 10,000-sq ft)

Push

Drop

10000

$$

#5

Continue reading

Best Fertilizer For Grass 2017

If you properly fertilize your lawn then you’ll enjoy a vibrant, healthy and deep green landscape.

A proper feed schedule means that your grass will grow back rapidly after mowing as well as growing better.

The cornerstone of maintaining a lush lawn, in addition to mowing regularly, is the upkeep of a proper fertilizing regime. Giving the soil a helping hand and adding nutrients as required boosts color and also sees off any intruding weeds.

The critical ingredient is nitrogen although carbon and oxygen also play their role along with other minor nutrients.

Different types of grass require different proportions so it pays to do your homework.

One knock-on effect of a regular fertilizing routine is that you will subsequently need to mow your lawn more frequently. Look at this in a positive light: anything worthwhile demands a certain level of effort.

We will look today at some of the best fertilizer for grass reviews.

These 5 products are all quite widely recommended and are sure to help your lawn to flourish.

1) Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food

Miracle-Gro 1001233 All Purpose Plant Food - 5 Pound

This universally renowned and versatile fertilizer comes packed with 36% nitrogen. A healthy dose of potassium is included to give your lawn the extra boost it needs to realize its full potential.

You can easily dissolve this all-purpose food in water. Be careful to get the correct mixture or you run the risk of burning the grass.

Miracle Gro is equally useful for indoor and outdoor plants.

When you plan to fertilize, you will need a decent window of time before, during and after. Once you are done, make sure that pets and kids stay off the grass for at least 24 hours.

As well as a highly competitive price tag, you’ll also only need to apply this fertilizer once or twice a year. You’ll cover around 5000 square feet with a 5-pound box so it’s cost-effective as well as great at its job.

Take note that this is not an organic fertilizer. This does not detract from its ease of use and affordability but you will need to call for the disposal of any unused feed.

The beauty is that with Miracle Gro, if you have given your lawn enough attention, you can also use the plant food on trees, plants, flowers or shrubs.

2) Scott’s Natural Lawn Food

Scotts Natural Lawn Food - 4,000-sq ft

The beauty is that with Miracle Gro, if you have given your lawn enough attention, you can also use the plant food on trees, plants, flowers or shrubs.

This turf-building natural lawn food is reasonably priced and packs a high nitrogen count. It poses no problems to children or animals so you can use it worry-free.

You will need 12 pounds of this fertilizer to deal with 5000 square feet so bear this in mind when calculating the value for money.

The recommended application is every 6-8 weeks throughout the growing season so you will not only need more initially but will need to fertilize more often than with some alternative plant feeds.

This flexible fertilizer will trap water in the soil to aid the optimum hydration of your lawn.

As with many lawn fertilizers, care needs to be taken when disposing of waste and adequate precautions taken.

With Scott’s, you’ll get no unpleasant smells and can enjoy using a product which is far safer than chemical fertilizers.

3) Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer

Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer, 36-Pound

As outlined above, chemical fertilizers are not without their drawbacks. Many people are deciding to move away from this method of lawn care.

The immediate advantage of this organic option is that you will not experience your lawn being burned. OK, when that happens the grass recovers soon enough but it’s handy not to be inconvenienced by this at all.

The heat-dried organic formula poses no threats to people or livestock. This is always important when considering fertilizers. Safety is paramount.

If your grass is tired and needs a real kickstart then Milorganite is a smart choice. You’ll notice a rapid and tangible benefit within weeks of fertilizing.

You can dole out nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous to your grass with some iron thrown in to extract maximum greenness. Sulphur, copper, manganese and zinc are also included and valuable nutrients for your lawn.

Milorganite responds well to application at any time during the growing season. It also copes admirably in most climates.

The 36 pound bag will cover 4000 square feet if used 4 times so it’s a budget-conscious and ecologically-sound feeding method.

Milorganite can also be pressed into action for plants, flowers or shrubbery so it’s well worth popping on your shortlist.

4) Humboldt’s Secret Golden Tree

Humboldts Secret Golden Tree

This liquid solution from Humboldt’s Secret is a fantastic consideration for the best lawn fertilizer.

You can benefit from a range of different nutrients in one useful product. Everyone likes to save time and money. With Golden Tree you can do both while treating your lawn in the manner it deserves.

There are no miracle cures for most things but this plant food comes close with results noticeable within a day or two at most.

You can watch your lawn grow more rapidly with lasting results and added strength.

If you go for the 8 oz bottle you can extract 125 gallons of the feeding solution. It’s a professional grade fertilizer which stimulates the development of your plants. Basal metabolism will be increased while nitrogen will be encouraged to assimilate better.

Golden Tree is ruthlessly effective on other garden greenery as well so if you are looking to overhaul your entire yard with a much-needed shot of varied nutrients, this liquid could be just what you have been looking for.

5) Safer Brand 9333 Ringer Lawn Fertilizer​

Safer Brand 9333 Ringer Lawn Fertilizer - 25 Pounds

A final option for you to think about is this efficient plant fertilizer from Safer Brand.

You can enjoy an odor-free nutrient session to promote quick growth with no danger of damage to lawn in the case of over-application.

The nitrogen here is obtained from feather meal while bonemeal acts to aid slow release. Soybean works as a great filler to help balance things out. Not only will this cause the grass to grow nice and thickly, you’ll get the fringe benefit of killing weeds.

There are no manures of other smells to contend with so fertilizing time will not menace your family or neighbors.

With 25 pounds you can cover 5000 square feet. Keenly priced, Safer Brand offers quality without overcharging.

It’s a fertilizer which works very well on all types of grass so if you have been let down with other attempts at feeding your lawn, consider this plant fertilizer. Safer Brand might just deliver where you have been previously let down.

Conclusion

We will look at more facts about fertilizing in a coming article.

Hopefully you can analyze your needs and preferences. One of the above 5 best fertilizer for grass should solve your maintenance needs once and for all.

Once you have found the feeding program that gives best results then stick with it. The only challenge is making sure that you keep to the schedule and in turn mow the lawn regularly to really get the very most from your garden.

Explore the rest of our site for many handy pieces about all aspects of gardening.

Bonsai Tree Care

The art of bonsai continues to be a popular form of gardening all around the world.

Check out our bonsai tree series for a snapshot at several different types of bonsai.

Today, we’ll take a look at bonsai tree care so you can cut through the confusion and confidently take on what can be a very rewarding project.

bonsai

Watering

You’ve got to keep your bonsai properly watered. Dehydration can kill your tree so get this part right.

In general, make sure the soil never gets dry.

Check the soil daily to monitor things.

For a variety of reasons, watering early in the morning works best.

Bear an old Japanese saying in mind when it comes to watering your tree…

“With the bonsai, it rains twice.”

This means you should water until it runs from the holes in the pot. Hold fire for 15 minutes then repeat.

You can mist your leaves to help keep them breathing and free of dust.

Never water your bonsai with a hose that’s been laid in the sun. Let the water run through for a few minutes so it cools down.

If your bonsai has flowers, do not water them.

In summary, you should strike a delicate balance and give your bonsai just enough moisture for its needs without going over the top.

Feeding/Fertilizer

Feeding your bonsai on a regular basis is essential for healthy growth.

Bonsai fertilizer contains the following:

  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium

These elements will have numbers to indicate the proportion of each in the fertilizer. There will also be some inert filler.

With bonsai, you’ll want a balanced fertilizer.  Whereas for some plants and trees a 15-0-15 fertilizer works wonders, bonsai call for a 20-20-20 mix. This has even amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium with 40% filler.

Always water your bonsai thoroughly before applying your fertilizer. Never feed it when it’s dry.

Do not fertilize your bonsai if it’s in poor health. Rather than overcompensating with feed, wait it out until your tree improves before fertilizing.

Don’t keep using the same brand of fertilizer. They all contain slightly different nutrients so it’s worth mixing it up.

Always exercise a light touch. Over-reliance on fertilizer can be damaging for your tree.

Soil Mix

bonsai

 

Bonsai trees have different needs. It pays to be familiar with the type of soil preferred by your bonsai.

Some people swear by pre-mixed soil but this is an expensive approach. Mixing your soil at home is a far more economical solution.

It’s crucial that the soil has good aeration. The roots of your bonsai need to breathe easily and produce food.

The soil must also be able to drain effectively. Too much water not draining can lead to suffocated roots.

You also need to be sure that the soil can retain enough moisture so it’s a fine line to tread.

There are 2 principal types of bonsai soil:

  • Conifer mix
  • Tropical/Sub-tropical mix

As long as your soil has the attributes above, you can then tweak and fine-tune it to your requirements.

Location

bonsai

You owe it to yourself to choose the best environment for your bonsai to grow in.

They need to receive plenty of sunlight and air with a well-maintained temperature. It should be between 50 and 70 degrees at all times. Monitor this with a small thermometer.

If you are growing your bonsai indoors, place it in the brightest window as long as it’s not next to the fireplace.

Grow lights are a great solution if you can’t provide your bonsai with the natural light it demands.

As well as lighting, you’ll also need to think about proper air circulation. Poor quality air can lead to the photosynthesis process in the bonsai being messed with. Sufficient movement of the air can also help keep pests away. Good air circulation also helps transport essential moisture to the leaves and promotes the evaporation of surplus water.

Take action to crack the windows and door allowing some breeze through. Consider purchasing a fan if necessary.

Pots and Containers

bonsai tree care

When you are re-potting your bonsai, opt for a pot that’s slightly wider than your tree. Smaller pots force you to prune more frequently and you will need to re-pot more often. With larger pots, the soil might not dry out properly and in turn the roots can rot. Take your time and get the size right.

There are 2 main styles of bonsai pot:

  • Training pots
  • Display pots

Training Pots For Bonsai

While your tree is in the training phase, keep it in a special training pot made from mica, wood or plastic. You need adequate room for the roots to take and the trunk to settle. Large drainage holes ensure there’s no saturation of the roots leading to rotting.

Display Pots For Bonsai

Once you are up and running, you can re-pot to a ceramic display pot.

These pots are much easier on the eye and come with a variety of finishes. They are available in a wide range of colors and often feature striking designs.

Bonsai pot selection is all part of the fun so embrace it and make sure you get the best pot for the job.

Re-Potting

It’s crucial to re-pot your bonsai. The roots grow and need increasingly more space. The soil also hardens so it’s a smart move to replace it.

Failure to re-pot your bonsai at the right time can cause it to wither and subsequently die.

When you’re re-potting, it’s a good chance to prune the roots and conduct some general reshaping.

If the roots of your tree are outgrowing the pot, it’s time to give it a new home. Another sign is water remaining on the surface of the soil. This shows that the soil has hardened and the water is not permeating properly.

Young evergreen conifers should be re-potted every 2 or 3 years. This can slide back to once every 5 years for adult trees. With young deciduous trees, re-pot annually. When they are adult, you can move them every 2 to 3 years.

Re-pot either in spring before the buds start growing or in early fall when they have matured. Carrying out your re-potting at these times will help with rapid root growth.

In the lead-up to re-potting, allow the soil to dry out somewhat. This helps lessen the chance of root damage.

  • Remove and replace some of the old soil. With conifers, replace half the soil for young trees and one-third if they are fully grown. Young deciduous trees need two-thirds of the old soil removed while you can take away half with older trees
  • Clean the old soil from the roots
  • Prune the roots next to stimulate growth. Prune the thinner roots first then the taproot
  • Cover the drainage hole and add wire
  • Put down a layer of coarse soil then some planting soil
  • Place your bonsai tree on top of the planting soil and fix in position with wire
  • Add planting soil until level
  • Flush your soil with water
  • For 2 or 3 weeks, keep your bonsai in a light but shaded area. Keep it clear of wind or direct sunlight
  • Do not let it dry out
  • Do not fertilize until the roots have taken

Tools and Bonsai Supplies

You don’t need much by the way of tools to enjoy the art of bonsai.

Bonsai Wire

Bonsai wire is available in an assortment of shapes and sizes.

Copper is extremely strong but can be unwieldy to use.

1-2mm wire is a sensible starting point. As you practice, wiring becomes easier.

Bonsai Wire Cutters

These cutters are expressly designed for cutting bonsai wire. Don’t be tempted to use regular wire cutters instead. With proper bonsai cutters, you can prevent any damage to the trunk or branches while still enjoying enough jaw pressure to cut evenly.

Consider a good pair of bonsai wire cutters as a sound investment.

Bonsai Shears

These large-handled shears are a fundamental tool for bonsai growing.

You can trim roots, branches, buds or leaves. These shears are very versatile. The blades are sharp and tailor-made for dealing with bonsai.

Japanese Saws

These saws are the size of a large knife with handles for precise movement.

They cut effectively but using relatively little force. Use these saws on branches but not on the roots of your tree.

Root Rake

This is superb for disentangling roots. You can use a root rake safely without worrying about damaging the rest of the true while rescuing the roots.

Pests and Diseases

Bonsai trees are liable to be attacked by a fairly wide number of pests and diseases.

  • Powdery Mildew: This often happens if you water your tree in the evening. If you notice any tiny white granules, remove them. Switch to watering in the morning
  • Thrips: These tiny pests feed on woody plants including the bonsai. Use traps or insecticide depending on what plants you have nearby
  • Spruce Spider Mite: These mites bite into bonsai trees and eat the sap. Although the mites are usually too small to be seen with the naked eye, check for any signs of yellowing on the needles. Spray with insecticidal soap to get rid of the infestation
  • Red Spider: This common pest also eats the foliage of your tree. Since they are resistant to insecticides, introduce predatory mites to kill them off
  • Root Aphids: These aphids attack bald cypress bonsai. Check the outer branches for any signs they are dying off. If these attacks are left untreated, the entire branch can die
  • Caterpillars: Several types of caterpillar feed on various bonsai trees. Remove by hand where possible
  • Snails: Snails can plague tropical bonsai. Use predators rather than chemical treatment. Try to remove them by hand if you catch them early enough

Wrap-Up

We hope you’ve enjoyed this glance at bonsai tree care.

If you have put off taking on a bonsai for fear of it being too complicated, hopefully now you’re ready to give it a try and armed with plenty of valuable information.

Please contact us any time with your queries or feedback. We love to hear from our readers.

Go and try a bonsai for size. They make a perfect conversation piece either indoors or in the garden. Keep coming back as we will continue our bonsai tree series over the coming months.

Now happy planting!

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews

Rolling green lawns set off any garden perfectly.

Keeping up with the maintenance can seem like hard work, though.

Once the seed is sown, you need to make sure you give your grass plenty of water. Whether you use a hose or a sprinkler, adequate moisture is absolutely essential.

Fertilizing is also key. You can choose to do this by hand or with a spreader. Whichever method you use, take steps to feed your grass regularly.

How about mowing? Does it have to be such hard work?

Today, we’ll look at some self-propelled lawn mower reviews.

These nifty appliances don’t cost as much as a full-blooded riding mower but they will save you a huge amount of effort.

So…

Before we walk you through 5 of the best self-propelled lawn mowers, we’ll take a look at what they are and what to look out for when buying one…

What Is A Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?

A regular gas mower simply generates the power to cut your grass. It does one job and it does it well.

With self-propelled mowers, as the name suggests, the mower will also power itself around your yard. Where a standard mower only powers the blades, these models divide the power between the blades and the wheels.

Rather than a vertical shaft over the blades, with self-propelled mowers there is a drive train and gearbox so each wheel is powered while the remainder affects the blades.

If you struggle with mobility or lifting heavy weights, this is a superb way to take the sting out of garden maintenance. Self-propelled mowers also work well on any uneven lawns or in gardens set on a slope.

Why Choose a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?

These mowers are not for everyone.

It pays to take a look at the good and bad points before launching in. You can then decide whether or not you would benefit from one of these nifty labor-saving appliances or if an alternative would better suit you.

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: Pros

  • Weight: When buying a normal mower, the weight is important. Will you be able to manage it? Although heavier than a regulation gas-powered mower, self-propulsion renders the weight irrelevant
  • No pushing required: All you need to do is guide your mower. No real effort is involved
  • Great for beginners: Mowing the lawn can be tough when you are just starting out. Self-propelled mowers are so user-friendly, even a kid could use them with proper supervision
  • Perfect for hills and slopes: If your yard is hilly, mowing can be a real grind. A gas-fueled mower is too heavy and a zero-turn mower can be volatile, even dangerous. Opt for a self-propelled model and it’s a win-win!

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: Cons

  • Extra maintenance required: More moving parts leads to additional maintenance. Expect this before buying a self-propelled unit. With the clutch and gearbox, brake and drive train, there’s more to keep on top of
  • Cleaning the deck can be awkward: Where these mowers are very weighty, lifting them can cause problems. Make sure that you’ll be able to cope with cleaning the deck when you need to
  • Handling issues: Depending on the model, self-propelled mowers can be less than smooth. This is why it pays to take your time researching. Don’t end up buying a mower that will be more hassle than help
  • More care is needed in operation: While there are safety measures in place – the drivetrain needs to be engaged via a handle – you must exercise extreme caution when using a self-propelled mower. Don’t let it run away and cause mayhem

OK…

You should now have a decent idea whether or not this type of mower would make a good fit for your needs.

What about the different types of self-propelled mower?

Gas or Electric?

While self-propelled mowers differ in many ways, there are 2 main choices:

  • Gas Self-Propelled Mower
  • Electric Self-Propelled Mower

Gas Self-Propelled Mower

Gas-powered self-propelled mowers are heavy and feature-rich.

Most of these mowers come with 4-stroke engines. These deliver enough power for both the blades and wheels. You do come across some 2-cycle engines. These are noisier and less efficient. You will also need to add oil to the fuel.

All gas models come with a clutch and brake.

On the plus side, you’ll get ample power, a mower that’s built to last and with the ability to cut large gardens fuss-free. They also maintain a consistent blade speed.

The principal drawback of gas-powered mowers is the noise coupled with the fumes it gives off. You also be limited by the amount of gasoline you have to hand. You’ll also need much more maintenance. Winterizing it for the first year is sufficient. From that point on, service the drivetrain, gearbox and blades regularly to avoid problems.

The benefits outweigh the disadvantages with gas self-propelled mowers. For this reason, our self-propelled mower reviews focus entirely on this type.

Electric Self-Propelled Mower

Electric self-propelled mowers are powered either through a cord or by battery. They are quiet and come with either single-speed or variable-speed transmission.

Operating in silence and requiring no fuel, you can cut your grass without disturbing the neighbors. There is almost no upkeep required. You can stash your mower away in a limited space with ease.

Whether it’s the length of the power cord or the run-time of the battery, you will be rather restricted with an electric mower. They are also more expensive than gas alternatives.

So…

Now you have a good overview of these awesome assisted machines, it’s time for our self-propelled mower reviews so you can choose the best mower for your circumstances…

5 Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews

First up in our look at the best self-propelled mowers is a rugged and affordable 4-stroke from the industry titan Husqvarna.

The 22-inch steel deck boasts 3-in-1 functionality. You can choose to mulch or bag your grass clippings. You can also opt for side discharge. For most reasonable cutting, a single pass is all that’s required.

The capable 4-cycle motor displaces 160cc. There’s no messing around with oil and it fires up immediately thanks to the automatic choke.

Although it’s a hulking beast at 100 pounds, the self-propelled system means you can work for hours without straining yourself. Since it’s rear-wheel drive, it works brilliantly on slopes and inclines. The large wheels cope with uneven terrain admirably.

You can flick the handle through 3 different positions to find one that works best for you.

Height adjustment is where the Husqvarna really scores. There is a single lever rather than the pair featured on many models. This makes life easier. With 9 cutting heights varying from 1 to 4 inches, you’re spoiled for choice.

If you want a durable and affordable self-propelled mower that offers outstanding cutting power with minimum effort, the Husqvarna 961450023 is a smart choice.


Pros

  • 160cc 4-stroke motor is extremely powerful and easy to start
  • Self-propelled mowing so you can cut large areas without undue effort
  • Adjustable ergonomic handle to take the sting out of mowing
  • Jumbo wheels handle all terrain with ease
  • 22-inch deck offers wide cutting path
  • Totally flexible: side discharge, bag or mulch your grass as you see fit

Cons

  • Extremely bulky at 100 pounds

Next up in our look at the best self-propelled mowers is a consistent best-seller from Lawn Boy, the 17732.

Although the 144cc engine is not the most powerful on the market, it copes well with most normal gardening duties. Since it’s rear-wheel drive, you’ll have no snags working on a slope or even a steep hill.

You won’t get the same degree of height adjustment as you find on the Husqvarna. Nevertheless, you can tweak the cutting height from 3 ¾ inches right down to a close 1 ¼ inches depending on your needs.

A superb touch with the Lawn Boy is the innovative Tru-Start guarantee. If you can’t get your mower fired up first or second time, you can get it fixed courtesy of the manufacturer without spending a dime.

Whether you roll with side discharge, bagging or mulching, you’ll enjoy a commendable cut quality even if the grass is wet.

For a cost-effective and environmentally sound cutting solution, think long and hard about the Lawn Boy. It’s a rising start in the world of self-propelled mowers. Snap one up before the prices increase!


Pros

  • Lightweight for a gas self-propelled mower at just 66 pounds
  • 21-inch cutting deck is long-lasting and gives you a wide cutting path to lessen your workload
  • Rear-wheel drive system works well on steep hills
  • Fantastic 3-year Tru-Start guarantee: if you fail to start your Lawn Boy by the second pull, get it fixed free of charge
  • 144cc engine has plenty of torque and enough power to churn through even large lawns
  • Adjust cutting height from 3 ¾ inches down to as close as 1 ¼ inches for complete flexibility
  • CARB-compliant and eco-friendly

Cons

  • Some users complain that there’s not quite enough power so make sure this size engine is a good fit before buying
  • Maintenance can be tiresome: be prepared

Honda has a reputation for first-class products in many different industries. From cars to motorbikes and through to lawn mowers, this Japanese multinational rarely disappoints.

While this mower is not cheap, you get a winning combination of performance, longevity and ease of use from a brand you can rely on.

With a solid 22-inch cutting deck, you can mulch, bag or discharge as with most self-propelled mowers. You’ll be able to work on larger areas of grass without needing to make constant return passes. The dual blades deliver an incredibly close cut. Choose from 6 cutting heights to get the job done right every time.

With a patented Start Safety System, you can lessen the chance of any accidental fire-up.

Although gas-powered mowers have a heavier environmental footprint than electric models, the Honda complies with both CARB and EPA so it’s a notch above most of its competitors.

At 84 pounds, this is not the lightest mower on the market but the self-propulsion makes it seem light as a feather.

For a dependable and precise self-propelled lawn mower that punches above its weight, pop the Honda on your shortlist. It might not be cheap but the best things in life seldom are.


Pros

  • Extremely user-friendly unlike some self-propelled models
  • Potent 160cc motor equipped with variable speed for your convenience
  • CARB and EPA-compliant so do your part for the environment as well as your lawn
  • 6 cutting heights from 4 inches down to 1 1/8 inch allows for maximum versatility
  • Start Safety System kills the engine as soon as you release the flywheel so very little chance of an accident
  • Adjust cutting height from 3 ¾ inches down to as close as 1 ¼ inches for complete flexibility
  • Mulch kit and rear bag thrown in free of charge

Cons

  • More expensive than much of the competition

As we near the end of our look at the best self-propelled lawn mowers, up steps a superb 21-incher from the highly reputable Snapper.

Powered by a potent 163cc engine, you can work quickly without any drop in cutting quality. You can choose between 6 different heights so you can get precisely the finish you want.

With 8-inch wheels out front and 11-inch wheels behind, you can maneuver over even rough and hilly terrain in complete comfort and safety. At just over 85 pounds, it’s reasonably lightweight for a self-propelled model.

When it comes to washing the deck, a port is included to make this super-simple.

The superb 3-year limited warranty means you can buy without the headache of wondering what happens if things go wrong.

For a powerful and reliable mower that will keep your lawn looking immaculate, test-drive the Snapper today. It might be just what you were hunting for!


Pros

  • 6 cutting heights so a highly adaptable mower
  • 163cc Briggs and Stratton engine extremely powerful with no need for choke or priming
  • Perfect for small or large gardens: copes with up to 1 acre with ease even if it’s hilly and uneven
  • 3-in-1 cutting deck is 21 inches to give you a nice wide cutting path
  • Handy port to enable you to easily wash the deck
  • 3-year limited warranty for peace of mind

Cons

  • No electric start
  • Can be slightly jerky as with most self-propelled units

Finishing up our self-propelled lawn mower reviews is the TB330 from the heavyweight Troy-Bilt.

Powered by an outstanding 163cc Briggs and Stratton engine, you can take advantage of the single lever to mix up the speed. Some users have reported build quality issues with the plastic lever so use a light touch.

As with almost all self-propelled mowers, you have a 3-way choice… You can discharge the clippings out the side, mulch or bag them instead.

Comfort is uppermost with the Troy-Bilt. The wheels are designed to handle questionable terrain. The handle is exceptionally comfortable. Troy-Bilt even has you covered when it comes to washing your deck. There’s an integrated cleaning system so you can keep things looking tip-top.

Weighing in at 80 pounds, although the Troy-Bilt is reasonably lightweight for a self-propelled mower. Guiding the mower around on its high-performance wheels is a breeze.

For a solid and efficient self-propelled mower that’s built to stand the test of time, you could do far worse than the Troy-Bilt TB330. The 2-year limited warranty is the finishing touch.


Pros

  • 163cc Briggs and Stratton engine packs a real punch
  • Variable-speed control thanks to 1 simple lever so versatile and user-friendly
  • 21-inch deck with deck wash built in
  • 3-in-1 discharge with a large bag included if you prefer to bag your clippings
  • Superb wheels and an adjustable handle so you can work in comfort for prolonged periods

Cons

  • Plastic rear-wheel drive levers are flimsy
  • Does not work well if the grass is wet

Wrap-Up

We trust you found some useful snippets in these self-propelled mower reviews.

Rather than looking at garden maintenance as a chore, try to focus on the relaxing benefits instead. If you invest in the best self-propelled mower, you can take the strain out of cutting the grass without necessarily spending a fortune.

Feel free to share any of our articles on your social media.

Contact us any time with any queries or feedback. We are always delighted to hear from our readers.

Happy mowing!

Japanese Maple Bonsai

Gardening takes on many different forms.

From raising strawberries or potatoes in your vegetable patch through to pretty flowers in the garden, you are spoiled for choice.

Bonsai trees are an interesting way to inject a bit of variety into your foliage.

We have recently examined the rosemary bonsai, juniper bonsai and Jack pine bonsai. Today, we’ll continue our look at these miniature trees with a glance at the Japanese maple bonsai.

First thing’s first, a few simple facts about this striking tree.

Some Japanese Maple Bonsai Basics

 

Japanese Maple Bonsai

Acer palmatum, the Japanese maple, is a deciduous tree native to Asia.

The leaves on this beautiful tree turn magnificent shades of red, orange and gold during the fall. If you want a wonderful injection of color into your garden, think seriously about one of these maples.

These bonsai require very little by the way of care and maintenance. They make a great starting point for anyone interested in the art of bonsai but concerned about the difficulty level.

You can keep your Japanese maple indoors if you have an apartment in need of livening up.

With over 300 types of Japanese maple tree, you really are spoiled for choice.

How To Choose a Japanese Maple Bonsai

There are a few simple things to take into account when looking for a Japanese maple bonsai…

  • Climate: When you are choosing a bonsai, you should opt for one that can tolerate 2 zones colder than the one you live in. It pays to be cautious. The Japanese maple works best in USDA zones 5 and 6
  • Position: Think about where you will be planting your tree. Will there be plenty of direct sunlight? How about shade? The ideal set-up for these bonsai is a burst of sun in the morning followed by a shaded afternoon. They do not respond well to full days in the sun
  • Size: These Japanese maple come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. If you are committed to pruning perhaps twice a year, keeping these bonsai down to size is not a hassle. If you prefer a less hands-on maintenance routine, go for one that will grow to the space provided
  • Coloring: One of the key attractions of the Japanese maple is the way in which the leaves are colored. If you live in a hotter climate with lots of direct sun, the green leaved Japanese maple would be the best fit. Those with red or variegated leaves will  be far less tolerant of prolonged heat and uninterrupted sunlight

Caring For Your Japanese Maple Bonsai

 

Caring For Your Japanese Maple Bonsai

Where To Put Your Japanese Maple Bonsai

Japanese maple prefers to be positioned in plenty of sun and air.

Be careful, though. These trees are intolerant to direct sunlight during the hotter summer months.

The occasional touch of frost won’t be a disaster but protect your tree when the temperatures start to dip below -10 degrees.

Fertilizing

Solid organic fertilizer works best with the Japanese maple. This is slow-release and contains all the valuable nutrients your bonsai needs. If you want to encourage more vigorous growth, introduce a liquid fertilizer alongside.

You should feed your tree every couple of weeks through spring and summer. When fall comes around, switch to a liquid fertilizer. Cut the feed entirely in winter. Your bonsai will be dormant.

You should steer clear of fertilizer that’s too rich in nitrogen. This causes the leaves to grow excessively.

Watering

The Japanese maple cries out for soil which is nice and moist.

Over the course of the growing season, you’ll want to water pretty much daily. It’s not a disaster if you skip a day but you should stick to a regular schedule as much as possible.

During the hottest months, you might need to water your tree several times a day. This is particularly true if your soil drains well and your bonsai is in peak health.

When the tree goes dormant over winter, water just often enough to keep the soil sufficiently damp.

Potting Medium and Repotting

Japanese akadama clay is the best bet when it comes to growing medium. You can mix in some lava rock or pumice if you like. You want a mixture that will drain effectively.

With younger trees, you should re-pot them each year. Drop this to once every 3 years once your tree hits the age of 10.

Re-pot in spring just before the buds start opening.

Pruning

pruning bonsai

Source: Garden Walk Garden Talk

Root growth is strong with the Japanese maple so you should keep on top of pruning roots. Consider this ongoing maintenance.

You can also trim the twigs and shoots around the year.

Pruning leaves during the period of active growth will help to reduce their size. Pruning like this will also enhance the colors when fall comes around.

The main branches should be pruned in winter. Attack strong branches in the fall.

It’s a smart idea to use cut-paste after pruning. This tree can be prone to fungal diseases entering through any cuts.

Wiring

The best time to wire your tree, if necessary, is during the summer when all the leaves are in place.

Restrict any wiring to a maximum of 6 months.

Raffia is a neat way to safeguard the bark.

Pests and Diseases

Although the Japanese maple is quite a resilient tree, aphids can become a menace. Use a regular insecticide to kill them off.

Verticillium wilt can be catastrophic for these bonsai. If you see black spots on fresh cuts, your tree is probably infected by this nasty fungal disease. Destroy your tree and sterilize all your bonsai tools. The wilt can easily spread through contaminated tools.

Wrap-Up

We hope you have found this glimpse at the Japanese maple bonsai to be interesting and informative.

Get in touch any time if you have any feedback or any questions at all. We’re more than happy to help you and love hearing from our readers.

We’ll continue our journey into the world of bonsai with a look at how to care for your bonsai.

Come back next week for some handy hints!

Juniper Bonsai Tree

The art of bonsai continues to grow in popularity.

Check out our previous article on the rosemary bonsai for some background information on the history of the intriguing art of growing miniature trees.

Some Juniper Bonsai Basics

Scientifically known as Juniperus chinensis, the juniper bonsai is a member of the Cypress family.

These coniferous trees vary greatly in terms of growth. They range from pretty low-slung shrubs through to 15-foot trees.

The hardness of the deep red wood makes it ideal for cabinet making.

Juniper berries are used for spices and also for gin.

The Benefits of The Juniper Bonsai Treejuniper bonsai

Source: Pinterest

Bonsai in general can be pretty tricky to grow. Fortunately, juniper bonsai are one of the easiest types to bring on successfully.

They are highly durable in the sunlight and extremely versatile. Unlike most other bonsai trees, the juniper bonsai can grow equally well indoors or outside. They favor outdoor conditions.

If you take them out in the garden, it’s best to just plant them in regular garden soil. If you use containers, you are likely to restrict growth.

One of the key advantages of the juniper bonsai is that it can cope with neglect. It’s not going to die off if you forget to water it. Indeed, over-watering can be fatal so go sparingly.

Your juniper bonsai will be dormant over water. You can go easy on the watering during these months but don’t forget to give it some sunlight. If you live somewhere with a particularly cold climate, you’d be advised to bring  your tree indoors over the winter months.

Caring For Your Juniper Bonsai

juniper bonsai tree

Source: Bonsai Empire

Where To Put Your Juniper Bonsai

Place your juniper bonsai anywhere it will get at least 4 hours of sunlight.

Opt for soil that is slightly dry if possible. Your tree will appreciate it.

Fertilizing

You should use a half-strength liquid fertilizer on a monthly basis in fall and spring. Look for a fertilizer that is particularly rich in nitrogen in spring. Use feed with lower nitrogen levels in the fall.

There is no need for any kind of feeding regime in the summer.

Your tree will be dormant over winter. All it needs is water and a little light.

If you re-pot your juniper bonsai, leave it a while before introducing fertilizer.

Watering

Many bonsai trees are thirsty. The juniper bonsai can tolerate being fairly dry in between watering. They actually prefer drier soil but don’t overdo it and keep them too dry.

It’s good practice to monitor the soil daily so you can add moisture when it’s called for.

Make absolutely certain that the water is able to drain. If not, the roots are prone to rotting.

Keep a spray bottle handy to mist the leaves. Spraying the leaves helps them to breathe. This is doubly important for any re-potted juniper bonsai. The roots will need to settle in. Misting keeps dehydration at bay without menacing the roots as they adjust.

How Do You Tell If Your Juniper Bonsai Needs Watering?

Simply stick a chopstick a couple of inches into the soil. Leave it for 10 minutes then remove it. If the chopstick is damp, you’re all good. A dry chopstick means it’s time for watering.

Potting Medium and Repotting

Growing juniper bonsai directly in the soil is by far your best bet. They will perform in containers but they are likely to be stunted and retarded.

If you choose to use pots, make sure you re-pot every other year. Follow the guidance above regarding watering and fertilizing as your tree gets used to its new home.

Once your tree hits 10 years old, you can dial back the re-potting. For these older trees, changing pots every 3 to 4 years is about right. It’s a smart idea to prune the roots each time you re-pot.

Humidity

All bonsai thrive on humidity. It forms an important part of their growth cycle. Indeed, if the environment becomes too moist, they will wither up and potentially die.

Take steps to ensure that humidity levels are sufficient for your tree’s needs. If you don’t, you could end up disappointed.

Sunlight

Although you can keep juniper bonsai indoors, they would rather be outside enjoying natural sunlight.

They can deal with direct sunlight but it’s advisable to position them somewhere tht benefits from afternoon shade.

If you do choose to keep your tree indoors, opt for somewhere light with plenty of air.

Pruning

If you need to do any pruning, take care of it during the spring or summer. Pinch any new shoots back as soon as they get an inch long.

Tail off with the pruning in September.

Wiring

bonsai

Source: Pinterest

You’ll have no problem at all wiring your juniper bonsai.

You should always use wire cutters and work with care to avoid damaging the tree.

What To Do With a Sick Juniper Bonsai

bonsai watering

Source: Dengarden

One problem with juniper bonsai is that can appear outwardly healthy when they are, in fact, struggling. Often, by the time you notice that something is amiss, it’s too late.

If your tree is looking a little brown and withered, there are a few things you can do to step in…

  • Scratch your fingernail on the trunk. If it’s green, there’s still some life left in your tree
  • Check the roots. They should be firm and white. Any sign of mushy or darkened roots suggests rotting
  • Trim away any potentially rotted sections of root
  • Make sure the soil is sandy enough and that it’s draining properly
  • Monitor the way you care for your bonsai. Avoid overwatering and use an appropriate fertilizer. Those fertilizers meant for evergreen trees are ideal
  • Prune any areas of dead foliage

Wrap-Up

We hope you have enjoyed this look at the striking juniper bonsai.

Please feel free to contact us any time if you have any questions. We are more than happy to help.

If you fancy getting started in the world of bonsai, the juniper bonsai makes a very wise starting point.

Give it a go!

Best Riding Lawn Mower For Hills Reviews

Proper lawn maintenance requires a great deal of effort and time.

First, you need to sew your grass seed then make sure it’s properly fertilized and watered.

Once things are looking nice and green, you then have to keep on top of the mowing. As if that’s not enough, you then need a weed eater to finish off the edges nicely.

So much work!

How about if you live somewhere with rolling slopes and hills in the area?

We’ll look today at some riding lawn mower for hills reviews.

Using Riding Lawn Mower For Hills

First, though, we’ll walk you through the options available when you need to cut grass on an incline.

What To Think About If Your Garden Is Hilly

When it comes to mowing on a slope, you have 4 main choices:

Walk-Behind Mower

If you can manage to cope with the physical demands, a walk-behind mower makes great sense. For those who are less able, you can get some wonderful self-propelled models if you have the budget to spare.

Look for a high quality motor and enjoy a safe, therapeutic way to mow your hilly grass without spending a fortune.

Riding Mower (Rear-Engine)

Rear-engine riders make for a relaxing and comfy experience.

These scaled-down riding mowers have smaller decks making them ideal for gardens with lots of obstacles. You can maneuver these mowers around in tight spots fuss-free.

Storage is simple since they don’t take up the space required to house a garden tractor or a zero-turn mower. They are also much more affordable.

These rear-engine riding mowers work brilliantly on hills.

The deck will pivot along with the front axle giving you a superior cut through turns. Less obstruction means you’ll get a better view while the exhaust fumes are safely expelled behind.

Cutting width is determined by the size of the deck. The larger the deck, the more grass you can cut in a single pass. Smaller decks are wise if you have to think about gates and other tight spaces. The more grass you can cut with your mower, the less you’ll need to trim manually. Get the right size deck for your circumstances.

Hydrostatic transmission gives you a nice gentle ride with no hassle of changing gears. These models are correspondingly more expensive. The other option is a disc drive manual transmission which is probably most common.

On the downside, rear-drive riding mowers are slightly sluggish topping out at just 5mph. Also, you won’t be able to drag any heavy attachments like you would with a tractor.

Lawn and Garden Tractors

If you have more garden duty in mind than just mowing, a lawn or garden tractor is the logical solution.

For a multi-purpose workhorse, these powerful units with very capable engines – usually 420cc -750cc – hit the spot.

Although they are not the quickest at 6-7mph, if you want to perform lots of pulling and grunt work alongside regular mowing, tractors are a smart bet.

Lawn Tractor

A lawn tractor is best if you are looking to cut your grass and carry out very light yard duties. These are lighter than garden tractors although still substantial vehicles. They have less horsepower and torque along with smaller tires in back.

From advanced lawn care like aerating and spreading through to towing light carts, lawn tractors are very versatile.

For gardens with hills, look for a tractor with locking rear differential. You’ll lose a little speed but gain plenty of traction.

Garden Tractor

For heavier earthmoving, whether it’s cultivating or tilling, a garden tractor is the most suitable option.

If you need to tow heavier loads or start in with some serious earthmoving, a garden tractor takes some beating.

The minimum size engine for a garden tractor is 24HP. With beefed-up back tires, you’ll get more ground clearance and stability.

With welded steel frames, super-strong axles and potent engines, garden tractors might not be cheap but they certainly represent great overall value.

Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers

The final option when it comes to riding mowers is a zero-turn mower (ZTR).

While these are certainly not cheap, they are generally used for commercial projects or for houses with several acres of garden so think of it as an investment.

The innovative steering system means you can turn on a dime with these variants.

There is a whole range of ZTRs from entry-level and mid-grade on through commercial machines for the very heaviest work.

While a ZTR certainly means business, this is absolutely not the best approach if you have a hilly garden to mow. Having an accident with one of these beasts rolling over could result in serious injury or death. ZTRs are awesome pieces of equipment but save them for flatter terrain.

So…

Now you have a solid grasp of the different options at your disposal, it’s time to check out some riding lawn mower for hills reviews.

If you take the time to think carefully about exactly how you will use your mower and what you expect from it, getting the best riding lawn mower for hills is really not rocket science.

5 Best Riding Lawn Mower For Hills Reviews

First up in our riding lawn mower for hills reviews is a powerful but compact model from the legendary Troy-Bilt.

The 382ccc engine offers you all the power you need if you are mowing on hills. The Powermore OHV plant is rugged and built to last. You’ll fit 1.3 gallons in the fuel tank. There’s a handy sight window so you can easily see when you need some gas.

While larger cutting decks have their place, the 30-inch Troy-Bilt is much easier to store away and allows you much more mobility than you’d get with a larger mower. The turning circle is impressive at 18 inches. It’s not quite zero-turn but it’s getting there!

Engaging the blades is a breeze. You’ll be able to choose from 5 settings for the cutting height allowing you great freedom when you’re cutting.

The wheels perform best on level terrain. If your garden is rather uneven, think about a different mower. It always pays to think about what your requirements are so you can get the most suitable option for what you have in mind.

Troy-Bilt offer a comprehensive 2-year limited warranty. Riding mowers are not cheap and a sound guarantee gives you the peace of mind you need when making a substantial purchase.


Pros

  • Capable 382cc engine gives you plenty of power and torque
  • 30-inch cutting deck perfect combination of speed and maneuverability
  • Simple to engage blades with manual power take off
  • Tight 18-inch turning radius ideal for efficient mowing in restricted spaces
  • All the benefits of a riding mower but the size of a regular walk-behind
  • 5 height adjustable blade for total flexibility

Cons

  • Not great on uneven terrain

Next up in our lawn mower for hills reviews is an innovative and multi-tasking vehicle from Raven.

You’ll get more than just a lawn mower with this hybrid. It’s an MPV, mower and generator in one devastating package.

The gas-fuelled motor displaces 420cc. As well as powering the mower, it also juices up the on-board generator. This powers up both the blades and the outlets. It also charges up the batteries.

There’s an extremely tight 14-inch turning circle so if you have a smaller garden or need to get in and out through gates or around obstacles, the Raven is tailor-made.

The 46-inch deck means you can cut through wide swathes of grass in next to no time. Usually, larger and bulkier mowers lose out on maneuverability but the Raven gives you the best of both worlds: power in a nimble unit.

Riding the Raven is fun while the front shocks and suspension help to dampen it down for you. You’ll make light work of any hills and you can tow up to 550 pounds so you’re all set for even heavy chores.

If you want an entertaining and adaptable vehicle offering far more than just mowing, take a good hard look at this Raven MPV. It’s a great deal of bang for your buck and it cuts the grass beautifully too!


Pros

  • Outstanding 420cc engine serves double duty powering generator
  • 46-inch deck for wide cutting path and speedy mowing
  • Generous towing capacity of 550 pounds
  • Shocks and suspension on front for cushioned ride
  • Climbs hills with ease but need to ride brakes on way down
  • Highly maneuverable so great for smaller yards

Cons

  • Shipping costs are high

Another contender for the best riding mower for hills is this automatic from the well-respected Poulan Pro.

The 42-inch deck allows you to make great progress when you’re mowing without losing out on maneuverability. You have 6 cutting heights to choose from so you can get the very best from your mower.

The Briggs and Stratton engine common in riding mowers kicks out almost 16HP and lets you move up hills without a hitch. The air filter is very easy to clean and maintain.

With an oscillating deck, you can get a crisp, even cut whatever the ground is like underfoot.

The driving experience is straightforward. With an automatic hydrostatic transmission, you’ve got no clutch or gears to worry about. Just hop on and hit the lever to move forwards.

If you are not so practical, you can opt in for the expert assembly option. Your Poulan Pro would ordinarily be delivered in pieces. It takes around 3 hours for a skilled professional to get things up and running. Be realistic about your abilities and take this option if you need it.

For a formidable riding lawn mower that won’t let you down on a slope, give some serious thought to the Poulan Pro.


Pros

  • Single cylinder OHC Briggs and Stratton engine develops 15.5HP and gives you the torque you need on hills
  • Automatic transmission makes mowing a breeze
  • Adjust cutting deck through 6 positions for complete flexibility
  • Floating deck helps deliver smooth cut even on rough terrain
  • Oscillating front axle for performance and comfort combined

Cons

  • Need to pay extra for expert assembly

Husqvarna have a hard-won reputation for producing first-class appliances of all natures. Their yard tractor is no exception in this tradition of excellence.

Although this yard tractor has a generous 48-inch cutting deck, it’s still relatively compact so you can zip around in confined areas without too much problem.

With a 24HP Briggs and Stratton engine equipped with cruise control, riding the mower is much more fun than using a hand mower. The hydrostatic automatic transmission takes all the sting out of driving and you can travel forwards or in reverse.

You engage the blades electronically so there’s no messing around.

If you want to tow anything behind this tractor, there are plenty of accessories to enable this. There’s also a useful mulching kit available.

For a reliable and adaptable riding mower for hills, pop the Husqvarna on your shortlist. This tractor delivers admirably and will last for years and years.


Pros

  • Wide 48-inch cutting path makes light work of even large lawns
  • Engage blades electronically for your complete convenience
  • Powerful V-Twin engine works well on flat ground and hills so highly versatile
  • Quick and easy automatic transmission
  • Cruise control comes in handy in big areas

Cons

  • Not the cheapest mower on the market

Finishing up our hunt for the best riding lawn mower for hills, here’s a neat 42-incher from Yard Machines.

It weighs in at just under 500 pounds and has a generous cutting path but this mower is not too awkward to move around either. It’s a real win-win with the Yard Machines 420cc.

There’s a 7-speed gearshift meaning you can cope with all your cutting needs and maximize performance.

The mower arrives practically assembled so it won’t take much effort to get it running straight out the box.

With a comfy seat, you can work for extended periods without straining yourself.

You’ll get a 2-year limited warranty so you can buy this mower without worrying about any problems down the line.


Pros

  • Outstanding Powermore engine will serve you well on the flat or on a slope
  • Efficient 42-inch cutting deck for speedy results
  • Very quick and easy to assemble
  • 2-year warranty for peace of mind
  • Total versatility with 7 speeds available

Cons

  • Reasonably expensive

Wrap-Up

How did you find these riding lawn mower for hills reviews?

Drop us a line if you have any questions or if there is anything that you would like us to cover here at IGardenPlanting. We are always delighted to hear from our readers and more than happy to help.

Now take care on those hills!

1

Best Corded Electric Lawn Mower Reviews and Buying Guide

There’s no need to strain yourself when it comes to garden maintenance.

Today, there is an enormous range of tools and appliances to take all the sting out of grunt work in the yard.

The best log splitter or a chainsaw for firewood will save you hours with the axe. If watering tires you, it’s easy to pick up a good lawn sprinkler to take care of business.

Keeping that grass neatly trimmed means you’ll need to invest in a decent lawn mower.

We’ll look later at some corded electric lawn mower reviews so you can make the right choice.

First thing’s first, though…

Why go electric?

The Benefits of Corded Electric Lawn Mowers

Using an electric mower has a number of key benefits…

  • Electric mowers are extremely lightweight and you can fold them up for storage. These units are compact so if you need to pop the mower in the car and take care of your parents’ lawn, away you go
  • Starting up is as simple as pressing a button. There’s no cord you need to keep tugging on
  • Electric mowers are completely fume-free
  • Most electric mowers have plastic decks which will never rust
  • There is almost no noise with an electric mower. Cut your grass without disturbing your neighbors
  • Electric mowers are the most cost-effective cutting solution by far
  • Multi-purpose models offer mulching and bagging alongside mowing

How To Effectively Use a Corded Electric Mower

Mowing your lawn is not rocket science but with a few simple pointers you can enjoy superior results.

Keep The Blades Sharp

Getting the very best out of your lawn mower means making sure the blades are sharp.

If you try to mow your lawn with blunt blades, you’ll regret failing to break out the metal file. You risk giving your grass a very patchy haircut.

Replacing blades is straightforward.

Call in professional help if you can’t attend to these tasks. However you achieve it, make absolutely certain that your blades are razor sharp.

Avoid Mowing Wet Grass

Mowing when the grass is wet is not a smart idea.

Although it’s critical to keep to a regular mowing routine, safety comes first. If you have no choice but to cut damp turf, try to use a cordless rather than your best corded electric mower.

If you must mow in the rain, you’ll find it harder going. The grass also tends to clog up on the blades.

Get The Right Cord For The Job

Using a corded electric mower in the garden generally means you’ll need an extension cord. This will give you the freedom to cut far larger areas without being tethered to a power outlet.

Take great care to check that the gauge of your extension cable is man enough for the current your mower kicks out. This is an issue of both safety and optimum functionality.

Also, it pays to stick to outdoor extension cords. Your best option is a GFCI outlet. These comes with jumbo reset buttons. In the event of anything going amiss, they will trip the circuit and prevent any nasty accidents.

Think About Cord Management Before Buying

Considering the size of your garden and where you will need to mow is not something to leave until after purchase. The last thing you want is to spend your hard-earned cash on a mower with a cord cut too close for comfort.

Take all obstacles into account. Think about how far the extension cable will stretch and if you will have enough scope to take care of all your cutting needs.

Be honest with yourself. If a manual or cordless electric mower would better suit your needs, don’t force yourself to go corded.

Maintenance

You should check the wheels of your mower every month or so.

Clean it regularly and avoid letting leaves or grass clippings accumulate. Little and often saves you plenty of effort down the line.

Blade maintenance is ongoing. Replace them as necessary. Buying replacement mower blades is not expensive and essential for best cutting results.

Check with the user’s manual. You can break out a hose with some models where others are not so keen on water!

How To Pick The Best Corded Electric Lawn Mower

Size Matters

While budget and length of warranty as well as the level of customer service all come into play, the issue of size is where you want to focus your research.

For most small, regular gardens, the best corded electric mower is the smartest option. You can keep your lawn in check while doing so in the most cost-effective manner.

Either corded or cordless mowers work well with medium-sized gardens to about 7000 square feet.

If you have a much larger area of 10000 square feet or more to deal with, a cordless offering at least 45 minutes of run-time is probably your best bet.

Anything over this size and a garden or lawn tractor makes sense.

Extra Features

Every mower will eject the grass clippings but how about mulching and bagging?

Mulch is simply grass clippings cut down into smaller pieces. If it’s left on the lawn, it can help with fertilizing. Mulching is handy way to sidestep needing to rake after mowing.

You can also bag the mulch. Either throw it in the compost or dispose of it in line with your local regulations.


Pros and Cons of Electric Lawn Mowers

Pros

      • Save money in the long-term with no significant running costs
      • No fuel filters to change
      • Not dependent on fuel for power
      • Quick and easy to start
      • Cope well with even thick grass
      • You won’t need to change the oil either

Cons

      • The smaller cutting path means electric mowers can be slow
      • An extension cord is generally essential
      • You are limited to the area covered by the cord

You should now have a decent overview so it’s time for our corded electric mower reviews.

Time spent at this stage can prevent money wasted on an inappropriate mower for your situation.

5 Best Corded Electric Lawn Mower Reviews

First up in our look at the best corded electric lawn mowers is a rugged, 20-incher from the highly reputable GreenWorks.

This is a walk-behind model so be sure you can handle the weight and that you’re up to the effort required.

The durable steel deck driven by a powerful 12-amp motor means that you can scythe through even the thickest and most stubborn grass. At 20 inches, you’ll be able to cut quickly and efficiently.

You can use a simple lever to flick through 7 different height settings. This allows you to cut from 3 ¾ inches through to as close as 1 ½ inches.

Power, construction and a substantial deck all combine to deliver outstanding cutting results. You’ll need fewer passes and your grass will be trimmed neatly and evenly in no time.

There’s effectively zero maintenance required with the GreenWorks. It’s also extremely user-friendly.

For a comfortable electric mower that offers a versatile solution to keeping your garden tip-top, the GreenWorks 20-incher is tough to beat.


Pros

      • Highly capable 12-amp motor gives you all the power you need
      • Adjust cutting height through 7 positions for total flexibility
      • 3-in-1 functionality: mulching, side discharge, rear bagging
      • Durable 20-inch steel deck built to go the distance
      • Superb combination of performance and build quality

Cons

      • Single lever for height adjustment
Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe 14-Inch 12 Amp Electric Lawn Mower With Grass Bag

You can take a look here:                                                                   https://www.amazon.com/Joe-MJ401E-14-Inch-Electric-Mower/dp/B0029TLUOA/

Next up in our corded electric lawn mower reviews is a 14-inch classic from Sun Joe, the snappily-named Mow Joe.

Not everyone wants an enormous mower. If you have a smaller, tighter garden with lots of obstacles, this 14-inch deck is ideal. You might take a little longer on open expanses but overall you’ll save time. At just 29 pounds and equipped with durable, all-terrain wheels, put the fun back into mowing!

On paper, the 12-amp motor is industry standard and should provide sufficient power. In reality, you’ll find cutting down long or thick grass a slight struggle. The answer? Keep on top of things and mow regularly.

When it comes to disposing of grass clippings, the catcher will detach so you can ditch them quickly without any mess.

With no gas, oil and tune-ups required, starting is as simple as hitting the button.

One thing to watch out for… Sometimes, the Mow Joe is bundled with an extension cord that’s not fit for purpose. The 12-amp motor required a heavier-duty cable or it will rapidly burn out.

For an inexpensive and highly versatile mower that’s built to last, Sun Joe’s Mow Joe is well worth popping on your shortlist.


Pros

      • Get rid of clipping with ease using detachable grass catcher
      • Alter cutting height through 3 positions
      • 2-year limited warranty so buy with complete confidence
      • 14-inch deck combines respectable cutting path with ultimate maneuverability
      • Extremely affordable without sacrificing quality
      • Multi-purpose models offer mulching and bagging alongside mowing

Cons

      • Lacks a little power
      • Wheels are flimsy

When it comes to producing first-class garden tools without breaking the bank, Black + Decker is a brand you can rely on.

This 20-inch model weighs in at just over 50 pounds and comes packing a 13-amp motor capable of delivering the performance you need when you need it.

Tweaking the cutting height through 7 possible settings lets you cut as close as 1.5 inches or up to as high as 4 inches depending on your needs.

Thanks to the EdgeMax design, you can cut up extremely tight against any flowerbeds and fencing. This reduces your need for a weed eater while still delivering a smooth finish.

The 2-year limited warranty provided by the manufacturer shows the trust they place in this mower.

For an able, long-lasting mower that will work well on small or medium-sized lawns, think long and hard about the MM2000. It will not disappoint.


Pros

    • 13-amp motor gives ample power for a corded electric mower
    • Large grass collection bag for your convenience
    • 1.5 – 4 inch cutting height through 7 position settings so cut all types of grass the right way
    • Brand heritage at an affordable price point
    • Tough 2-inch plastic cutting decks gives you a wide cutting path for swift results

Cons

    • Needs more than one pass on dense patches of thick weeds

As we near the end of our look at the best corded electric lawn mowers, here’s a compact yet capable 14-incher from Earthwise.

If you have a smaller garden, this neat little unit gives you the power you want without going over the top. The 8-amp motor also consumes very little electricity so saves on soaring utility bills.

It weighs in at only 26 pounds so you’ll be able to move the 50214 around with absolute ease. The handle folds up so it’s even easier than ever to stash away.

This mower is very simple so there’s no collection bag. You can either mulch and leave the clippings where they fall or discharge them sideways.

As with most comparable electric mowers, you can fine-tune the cutting height between 1.5 and 4 inches for optimum results.

For a highly affordable mower from a brand you can trust, the Earthwise 50214 is a solid option.


Pros

    • Very cost-effective without losing out on quality
    • 14-inch cutting deck lets you work quickly and efficiently in smaller areas
    • Quiet and fume-free operation
    • Get the power you need without a bulky mower
    • Lightweight and portable at just 26 pounds

Cons

    • Check for the quality of the wheels
    • Not suitable for larger lawns


Last on our list of the best corded electric lawn mowers is a large, powerful beast from Worx, the WG719.

This mower comes on locking caster wheels. You can get surprising mobility from a bulky unit. With the Worx, you don’t need to compromise speed for maneuverability. You get the best of both worlds.

Although it’s not cheap, you get 3-in-1 functionality with the WG719. You can mulch the clippings, bag them or have them expelled sideways.

The 19-inch steel deck lets you cut large areas quickly and is built for even heavy, sustained use.

With a choice of 7 height adjustment settings, you can cut to your precise requirements.

The Worx is a big, heavy-duty mower but takes up relatively little space when not in use. You can hit a switch and collapse the handle then tuck it away easily.

For a rugged and dependable electric mower that deals with even large lawns fuss-free, the Worx WG719 is worth further investigation.


Pros

    • Very comfy to use with nicely padded handle so work for hours without straining yourself
    • Simple to store standing up with collapsible handle to save space
    • 3-in-1 versatility: bag, mulch and side discharge
    • 7 height settings for the finish you desire
    • Caster wheel design means that this big mower is highly maneuverable

Cons

    • Expensive

Wrap-Up

Hopefully, these corded electric lawn mower reviews have come in handy.

Buying the best lawn mower for the job needn’t be overwhelming. Focus on your precise cutting requirements and budget then fire away and get cutting.

If you need any guidance on any aspect of gardening, you’re always more than welcome to get in contact. We respond promptly and we’re happy to help in any way we can.

Happy mowing!

Best Weed Barrier Reviews

One of the drawbacks of having a large garden is what seems like endless maintenance.

A lawn is perhaps the most labor-intensive and demanding part of the yard. From making sure the grass is properly fertilized and watered through to mowing it regularly, keeping on top of the lawn is hard work.

Today, we’ll look at some weed barrier reviews to help you in the constant fight against these menacing garden invaders.

If you want your vegetables to retain all their nutrients and your flowers to look their best, the best weed barrier is a smart investment. They are not expensive and will minimize the time you need to spend manually pulling weeds.

This month, we are working on a detailed lawn care guide so you can get the very most out of your garden. For now, though, our focus is purely on those weeds and getting rid of them the easy way…

What Is a Weed Barrier?

If you want to avoid using chemical weed killers, a weed barrier is a worthwhile alternative. Not everyone wants potentially dangerous chemicals leeching into their soil.

The purpose of a weed barrier is to prevent sun, air and water from reaching and nourishing the weeds. You can kill off their life source without needing to resort to chemicals.

Weed barriers generally come as lengthy rolls of fabric. Whether you choose to buy your material at the garden center or online, it needn’t cost the earth to keep those pesky weeds at bay.

Look out for dark material which better blocks the sunlight while at the same time darkens your soil. Most barriers are made from a synthetic geotextile. Some are laminated with polyethylene. Mesh allows the air and water your plants need to seep through without benefiting the weeds.

Plastic barriers are highly effective. By warming up the soil, the plants will be encouraged to grow while the weeds are efficiently strangled. UV-resistant plastic is available at a premium.

Most weed barriers will last for a year, perhaps even longer if you’re lucky and there’s not too much traffic on the lawn that might split the barrier.

Why Use a Weed Barrier?

Before spending your hard earned money on this equipment, take a look at a handful of reasons why it makes sense…

  • Barriers encourage other plants to grow. Weeds suck away the vitamins intended for them and, once they are gone, the plants will flourish. You should also enjoy stronger yields from your vegetables
  • Chemical weed killers are not environmentally friendly. At all. From spoiling the water in your soil through to harming vital microorganisms, chemicals wreak havoc. Go green with the best weed barrier
  • Do you have dogs at home? Using a weed barrier discourages them from digging up your garden. They will find the fabric too difficult to puncture and your lawn will thank you!
  • The permeable fabric used for weed barriers means that the plants and vegetables you want remain vibrant. The oxygen, water and nutrients they need can wick through to the roots and soil. Overall, your soil will remain nicely moist. This can save you from needing to constantly break out the hosepipe
  • Mulching is a neverending battle. Using a weed barrier helps your mulch to last longer so it’s a win-win. Simply pop it on top of the barrier and enjoy superior performance with less effort
  • If your garden is set on a hill, a weed barrier is a wise choice. Rather than soil slipping downward after heavy rain, the barrier will keep things in check nicely

What To Look For When Buying a Weed Barrier

Although they are extremely simple products, there are a handful of things to be aware of when you are looking for the best weed barrier…

Environment

Choosing to use a weed barrier rather than weed killer is half the battle won when it comes to considering the environment.

The last thing you want is to select a harmful weed barrier so make certain you buy carefully. It’s the resilient weeds you want to kill not your plants and vegetables so make sure the fabric is suitable. Any old roll of black plastic is not good enough.

Installation

The best weed barrier should be easy to install. You don’t want to be forced to call in a contractor and face added expense.

With many barriers, all you need is a pair of scissors and some patience. Don’t get this wrong and go for something that’s a grind to set up.

Permeability

Whether or not you have plants under the barrier, protecting the soil is still crucial. You want the air and water it needs to get through. This is why the fabric on the weed barrier is breathable.

The whole object is the complete destruction of weeds with no damage done to the rest of your garden.

Durability

If you are taking the time, trouble and money to get yourself a weed barrier, you don’t need a cheap piece of junk you’ll need to replace every other month.

Look for a barrier that receives positive reviews and is built to last the distance.

Budget

Every buying decision involves price. You should think not only of the bottom line but of value for money in overall terms.

A cheap barrier that falls apart and needs replacing after a matter of weeks is false economy.

Buy the best weed barrier you can afford without compromising your budget.

So…

Now it’s time to move on to our weed barrier reviews. If you take a little time and trouble, getting the best barrier is really not so difficult.

5 Best Weed Barrier Reviews

Product Name

Image

Size (feet)

Durability (years)

Price

Our Rating


Scotts 25-Year Pro Fabric

3 x 150

25

$$

#1
Editor Choice

Dewitt 12-Year Weed Barrier Fabric 12YR450

Dewitt 12-Year Weed Barrier Fabric 12YR450

4 x 50

12

$$

#2

Easy Gardener 21041MJ 15 Year Landscape Fabric

Easy Gardener 21041MJ 15 Year Landscape Fabric

3 x 50

15

$

#3

Mutual WF200 Polyethylene Woven Geotextile Fabric

WF200 Polyethylene Woven Geotextile Fabric

6 x 300

Not rated

$$$$$

#4

Dewitt SBLT3300 Sunbelt Ground Cover Weed Barrier

Dewitt SBLT3300 Sunbelt Ground Cover Weed Barrier

3 x 300

5

$$$

#5

If you check out any list of the best weed barriers, this offering from Scotts is always at or near the top.

When it comes to lawncare and gardening supplies, it pays to buy into a brand you trust. Scotts are a true industry heavyweight so you know you’ll be getting top quality at an affordable price.

You can buy this barrier in a number of configurations. The one we are reviewing gives you 3 x 150 feet of fabric so represents outstanding value.

This fabric from Scotts is incredibly durable. It’s 1.5 ounces in weight and has a feeling more of cloth than plastic.

Installation could not be easier. There’s no need to call in the professionals or break your back, just lie down your fabric and start kissing goodbye to the nuisance of weeds.

This barrier also works well on any patios, walkways or retaining walls so it’s truly multi-purpose.

The one thing to be aware of with this weed barrier is that it doesn’t quite let enough water through.

For a no-nonsense and affordable weed barrier that will not let you down, Scotts 25-Year Pro is a best-seller with good reason.

DeWitt have a deserved reputation for producing first-class products at very reasonable prices. This weed barrier is no exception.

This rugged fabric is rated to last 12 years. Much like Scotts 25-year material, it makes sense to focus on barriers that will last the distance.

Much more durable and heavier than much of the opposition, this makes perfect sense if you want to put down any mulch or gravel.

In terms of the fabric, this actually beats the Scotts barrier. It’s not woven and will allow all the moisture and air your plants need to pass through while suffocating the weeds. It is dense enough to prevent too much light getting through which in turn helps to kill weeds off.

This barrier is a cinch to install. The design stops the fabric from continually rolling up. It’s super-simple to cut and measures 4 x 50 feet.

If you want a really hard-hitting weed barrier without needing a bank loan, pop this great DeWitt barrier on your shortlist. It will deliver in fine style.

Another strong contender for the best weed barrier is this superb fabric from Easy Gardener.

If you are on the hunt for a cost-effective and capable barrier for the price of a couple of beers, this landscape fabric hits the spot.

The rolls are fairly light so unraveling them and installing the barrier is a piece of cake. Since it is a bare 3 feet wide, you’ll probably need some degree of overlapping if you want to treat a larger garden.

Although it feels lightweight, the fabric is surprisingly thick. It will not get ripped by stones and the right amount of water and air will make it through to the soil.

For dealing with smaller gardens or lining plant containers, this excellent barrier makes a smart budget choice if you want to see off the weeds while revitalizing your flowers and vegetables.

For anyone looking for the very best weed barrier money can buy, this awesome geotextile fabric from Mutual Industries is a must-see.

The roll is a generous 300 feet long and 6 feet wide. It’s not cheap but considering the amount of fabric you get and the quality, it’s actually not bad value at all.

Made from durable woven polyethylene, you can hold the soil in place nicely. These geotextile fabrics are also a wonderful alternative to using aggregate or sand as filters.

You can get up and running in no time with this barrier. Simply trim to fit and you’re good to go. Plain scissors will be fine. There is very little fraying which is reassuring.

As with all the best weed barriers, the mix is just right so that your soil gets all the nutrients it needs while the weeds are properly stifled.

If you have a little spare cash and you don’t mind spending out on a first-rate solution for getting rid of weeds, don’t overlook Mutual Industries.

Rounding out our weed barrier reviews is another offering from the ever-reliable DeWitt, the SBLT3300 ground cover.

For a cheap alternative to harmful herbicides, this weed barrier will not disappoint.

The air and water you need can permeate the fabric and it’s treated to be UV-resistant into the bargain.

Rated for 5 years assuming it’s in direct sunlight, you won’t need to worry about continually replacing the barrier.

Made from woven polypropylene, it’s dark enough to starve the weeds of sun without hurting your plants.

Note that when you cut the ends, it tends to fray and unravel slightly. One way to combat this is to use a lighter to singe the tattered ends.

For a heavy-duty weed barrier that will not let you down, this 3 x 300 feet roll from DeWitt might come last on our list but it punches above its weight.

Wrap-Up

We trust you’ve found our weed barrier reviews helpful in your quest for a beautifully manicured lawn.

While keeping weeds away can be tiresome, getting the best weed barrier certainly makes life easier.

Feel free to reach out with any queries or feedback. You are always welcome to share our articles on your social media.

Now banish those weeds!

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