Gathering info on lawn products (and related equipment) from people that have actually used this stuff is important when trying to do anything new in the yard.
You may know exactly how to do something but if you don’t know which product to use (and why) then your job becomes many times harder regardless of what it is you are trying to accomplish.
Here on the Turf Mechanic website I’ve published a bunch of different articles on product specific topics.
Some are guides on how to use a type of product, others compare one product against another. Still others help you find the best piece of equipment or product for your needs and your budget.
Many of these articles are linked below and some include embedded videos direct from the super-popular Turf Mechanic YouTube channel.
My Buyer’s Guides
Below you’ll find links to the types of product-centric articles I have on this site.
Hopefully some of these product centered articles will help you get something done in your lawn this year.
The best lawn-owners don’t wait for weeds to emerge before killing them off, they actually prevent them in the first place by applying pre-emergent herbicides at the right times of the year. This article compares the best pre-emergent herbicides for the majority of lawn owners and directs you to all of the related educational material on this site that has to do with weed prevention.
When seeding a new lawn starter fertilizers are used to provide comprehensive support to baby grass seedlings as they mature. New grass needs Nitrogen to put on leaf growth, Phosphorus to grow substantial root systems, and Potassium for durability and overall plant health. Most starter fertilizers include ample amounts of all of these macro-nutients but in different concentrations and using different ingredients. This is my guide to choosing the best options on your lawn.
The lawn mower is the work-horse of your yard. I use my mower more than any other tool I have other than maybe the refrigerator. Buying a mower can be expensive and nerve racking but it’s very important. If you need to buy a mower start here to learn how I recommend my friends, family, and readers to start the process. I believe you need to choose styles and sizes of mowers based on your terrain and grass types first. Then after considering budgetary constraints you will finally start looking at the models on the market that will meet your lawn care needs.
Buying a trampoline can be as simple as heading down to your local big box store in the Spring and picking up whatever they have in stock but there’s so much more to getting the right trampoline for your yard than taking the only option available. Size matters as does the safety netting, the weight limits, the springs and pads, and so much more. Check out our guide to finding the trampoline and learning how to maintain it and stay safe on it!
Garden hoses are simple to imagine but once you start thinking about the specifics of their use, durability, size, and material then they can start to get complicated. Some hoses are perfect for use right next to thee house but if you want to run a sprinkler system off of one or want to hook one up to the veggie patch then things get a bit complicated.
If you are looking for a specific type of hose (or for the best hose for a specific purpose) then check this guide out. I’ve outlined everything you need to know about hoses and in this guide I point you to specific pages where I help you find the perfect hose for your needs.
If you have ever considered setting up a timer on your hose to get any kind of routine job done in the yard then you are not alone. There are a bunch of different timers that connect to hoses that are made to varying degrees of fanciness. This is our buyers guide to hose timers. It should help you decide what features are important and help you find the best timers for your needs.
If you let weeds get away from you this year and are battling an infestation of crabgrass then there are lots of options available to kill crabgrass from your lawn without damaging the grass. Some options are better than others though and depending on your grass type some options are not advisable at all. In this article I explain what the best crabgrass killers are for most lawns while also describing the alternatives and when they should be used instead.
A winterizer for the lawn is a fertilizer application that feed the grass just prior to winter dormancy or a soil building application that is added to a lawn just as or just after the grass has stopped growing or gone into dormancy. In some cases a winterizer can be a mid-fall application of fertilizer designed to push plant health and resiliency over growth. In this article I discuss your best options for choosing a winterizer product for your lawn.
Nutsedge is not a grass…it looks like a grass but it’s in a different category and won’t be killed off by any grass killers. Obviously non-selective herbicides will kill sedges but there are special herbicides that will target sedge plants without killing grasses or even many broadleaf weeds. For nutsedge control see this article for your best options.
Battery powered leaf blowers are perfect for pushing leaves around the yard or for cleanng up sidewalks and patos after mowing, trimming, or edging. They are also super good at clearing dustings of dry snow off of cars and sidewalks and drying out small patches of wet grass. Whatever you need a blower for all the battery blowers are better than their gas powered counterparts for homeowners IMO. See this article for guidance on choosing the best one for you and your home.
Amending your lawn soil with Biochar is worthwhile even though it’s expensive and messy. The biochar provides microscopic spaces in your soil for mycorrhizae to live and access water and nutrients that are then passed along to grass root systems via symbiotic relationships between the fungi and the grass plants. Although amending garden or potting soil with biochar is easy amending lawn soil is not. If you’d like to add biochar to your lawn see this article; I’ve tried many brands and have a lot to say about them all.
This is the product line we specialize in. Sprinklers are our bread and butter and they make or break any lawn care program because even the worst sprinkler system beats hand watering every time. Want to know the difference between different types of sprinklers or which sprinkler is better than another? We’ve got you covered in our buyers guide to lawn sprinklers and sprinkler heads.
Thatch is a normal part of many lawns but when the layer gets too thick it can be a detriment causing more problems than it alleviates. Instead of ripping into a lawn all the time with a verticutter and mechanical dethatcher, the regular application of liquid thatch decomposers is one of the best ways to decrease thatch over time or stop it’s formation. There are lots of different formulations of dethatchers so I’ve compared many of my favorites here.
One of the most popular semi-organic lawn fertilizers for many years now is Milorganite, mostly because it was a cheap source of slow-release nitrogen that wouldn’t burn the lawn. Recently however prices have increased, and many people have become less interested in fertilizing with biosolids…and many lawns don’t need the volume of Phosphorus that accompanies Milorganite so I’ve prepared a list of excellent alternatives available to most yard-owners.
In my opinion a sprinkler control box is a lot like an automatic garage door opener. They are vitally important for the operation of the automatic sprinkler system and modern controllers are so much better than their older counterparts but they are a pain in the rear to swap out. It’s worth it though so we’ve got a guide on the products you should be looking at along with tutorials on how to swap yours out.
There are few things as satisfying as running an electric dethatcher or scarifier blade over a lawn surface and watching the huge amount of dead grass and debris emerge from the lower portion of the leaf canopy. Not only do electric dethatchers score the true thatch layer allowing for more oxygen flow to the soil but they actually remove so much dead material that entire lawns can look greener in a single afternoon just by using one of these machines. I’ve owned and tested a number of these units over the years and prepared this comparison of many different popular machines right here.
Ice melts are not typically considered tp be related to lawn care but I contend that they are because the salts in most ice melt products go into the soil and affect the grass at the start of Spring. Some products are better than others at melting ice and keeping a paved surface clear for longer periods of time while others are safer for the soil around the sidewalks and driveways. I even have my own special technique of making my own ice melt that can be applied to a surface using a lawn sprayer.
Soil tests are not just for gardeners, depending on what you have in your soil already should alter the way you fertilize your lawn or amend it. A quality soil test will be easy to use and provide easy to understand results that are appropriate for regular lawn owners as opposed to agronomists. All lawn owners really need to know is what their soil is naturally high or low in and what their pH is. Here are my thoughts on a handful of the best residential-grade mail-in soil test kits.
One of the biggest struggles many homeowners face is dealing with the shade from a north facing lawn or the shade from a large tree covering only a portion of the lawn. In the northern climates there are a variety of shade tolerant grasses that be used that blend fairly well into the rest of the yard while southern lawns can find it harder to match shade tolerant grass seeds to the rest of their warm-season grasses growing in full sun.
Back when I was a kid I’d just put my thumb over the end of the hose and make whatever kind of spray I wanted. These days there are a dizzying array of nozzles that you can attach to your hose end that do everything from create a super jet to a fine mist. The next time you are looking to tweak your water spray check out this guide and see what crazy hose-end nozzle attachments are available.
I don’t know a single person that enjoys a messy pile of twisted hose piled up in the lawn or near the spigot. That’s why lawn and garden companies have come out with so many different types of hose reels for you to use in your yard. Some are light duty for use around the garden and others are heavy duty for use in large irrigation systems. Whatever you are looking for I’ve got you covered in this guide.
I have more equipment guides that I’ve put together for my readers and viewers over on the YouTube channel. You can see the playlist for equipment reviews here.