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Q: Where is the best place to buy powered garden machinery?

A: Like so many products, lawnmowers and other garden machines are widely available. However, your best bet is your local garden machinery dealer. There are a number of reasons, first you'll be able to see a full range of products year round, second the types of lawns vary, so you'll need someone to talk through the options so that you buy the most suitable machine. Third, and probably most important, the after-sales care. You'll want to buy in the knowledge that whatever your problem, there's someone who understands and can do something about it. And in case you are worried, survey after survey have confirmed that your local dealer is as competitive, if not more competitive, than the supermarkets across many products. Go to our Dealer Finder to find the name of your nearest garden machinery dealer.

 

Q: How do I judge what size mower to buy?

A: The best way is to visualise the size of your lawn in comparison to a tennis court. SMALL-SIZED LAWN (up to half a tennis court) 12-16" (30-41cm). MEDIUM-SIZED LAWN (up to one tennis court) 17-21" (43cm-53cm, LARGER SIZED LAWNS (greater than one tennis court) 21" and over. Pedestrian mowers (eg those you can walk-behind) are rarely available over 22", for larger areas, consider a ride-on mower or lawn tractor.

 

Q: I have heard a lot about recycler (or mulching mowers), what are they?

A: Mulching mowers are designed to cut and re-cut grass clippings into fine particles that fall back into the turf, virtually unseen. These reduced particles provide moisture and nutrients that help keep your lawn looking great, without creating thatch. Mulching mowers come basically in two forms: dedicated and convertible. Dedicated mulching mowers will only mulch, while the convertible mowers allow mulching as well as conversion to rear bagging or side discharge type mowers.

Grass clippings returned to the soil contribute to a healthy lawn. Grass clippings are 85% water, and as they break down they provide valuable nutrients to the soil. In fact, a season's worth of mulching can actually provide about 25% of your lawn's fertiliser requirements.

 

Q: I have heard that some pieces of outdoor power equipment use 2-stroke engine. What is the difference between a 2-stroke and a 4-stroke engine?

A: 2-stroke engines require that special oil be mixed with petrol in exact quantities. This mixture is added to the engine to provide lubrication. 4-stroke engines use separate compartments for petrol and oil and thus the oil and petrol are not mixed. 2-stroke engines are small and lightweight and are used on hand-held type equipment such as blowers, trimmers, and chainsaws. 4-stroke engines are used on other types of outdoor power equipment such as walk-behind mowers, ride-on mowers etc. Small 2-stroke engines as used on hand-held equipment couldn't be used on larger equipment because they generally do not provide enough power or torque to turn a lawnmower blade or other device.

 

Q: Can the petrol in my mower go stale?

A: Yes, ordinary petrol is notorious for the way it can go stale, and this is particularly true of unleaded petrol. Fuel in mowers has been know to 'go off' or oxidise over the course of a month. If you have to leave fuel in the mower unused for 30 days or so, you can buy bottles or sachets of fuel additives from your local dealer that contain anti-oxidants which will prolong the life of the petrol.

 

Q: Is it possible to cut my grass too short? If this happens, what should I do?

A: Cutting grass very short, especially in hot and dry weather can burn your lawn. It is recommended that you cut no more than the top third of the grass blade at each mowing, usually before the grass reaches three inches tall.

 

Q: What is aeration, and what does it do for the turf?

A: Aeration is a process of punching holes into the turf to a depth of 1 1/2" to 2 1/2". These holes allow water and air nutrients to more easily reach the grass root zone. This stimulates root development and healthier turf. Scarifying (eg raking) can also help the condition of your grass by pulling out dead grass that is growing laterally (to form a 'thatch') and therefore preventing air and moisture reaching the healthy grass leaves.