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Finishing Touches for Lawn Perfection

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What is curb appeal and how do you get it? Curb appeal—making your home attractive at first glance—is a source of pride for many homeowners. Are you doing all you can to maximize your home’s curb appeal? Here are a few tips for trimming grass and edging grass, creating lawn patterns, and enhancing appeal with landscape plantings.

Curb Appeal: Finishing Touches for Lawn Perfection

Trimming + Edging
How to Edge + Trim Your Lawn

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WHAT IS EDGING?
Edging grass is an essential component of curb appeal. A perfectly manicured lawn cannot have sloppy borders. Even the lushest, deepest expanse of green grass will look shaggy and unfinished if it’s growing out over sidewalks and paths, or if tufts of grass are rising up the sides of planter boxes and terraces. To give your lawn a truly finished, you must edge and trim it properly.

How to edge a lawn comes down to the right tools and the right edging techniques. With the lightweight, adjustable 20V MAX* Lithium EASYFEED String Trimmer/Edger, this task is easy. You do, however, still need to devote a little attention to detail.

When you are using an electric trimmer, it is important to trim at the same level as the mowed grass. When edging your lawn, trim at a slightly downward angle along vertical objects such as walls or planters, but take care not to create a skinned look around tree bases or other slightly raised areas.


EDGING SIDEWALKS
A Quick Job That Goes a Long Way

For a really crisp look, take the time to edge your sidewalks every month or so. Edging sidewalks is a snap with the 20V MAX* Lithium EASYFEED String Trimmer/Edger.

Simply rotate the head and use the metal guide to direct your path along the sidewalk edge. If you haven’t edged before and the grass has crept over the sidewalk many inches, you may need to either manually edge with a garden spade or use a dedicated edger. You can also use the edger for cleaning out the grass and weeds that grow in between cobblestones or sidewalk sections.


WEEDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Creeping Charlie

Some weeds, like creeping charlie (ground ivy) spread by rooted runners called stolons. If you use a trimmer on such a weed, a new plant will grow every place a piece of rooted stem falls, so avoid using a trimmer on creeping charlie.

THE SOLUTION: Trim creeping charlie carefully by hand and dispose of all pieces. Treat the weed patch with an appropriate herbicide, if desired.


MOWING PATTERNS
How to Get Baseball Grass

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Nothing says spring like mowing patterns, especially the pristine look of baseball grass. If you have a large expanse of well-maintained turf and want to give it the ball diamond treatment, you can. All you need is a mower, a drum roller, and a keen desire to show off your precision mowing skills.

Regardless of the mowing pattern you choose —stripes, checkerboard, or diagonal diamond— the idea is the same: mow your lawn in the direction of the pattern you’re trying to create, then roll the lawn in the same directions to bend the grass blades in that direction. The bent blades reflect light as a different color, creating the visual pattern.


LAWN PATTERNS
A How-To Guide to Mowing Patterns

How to stripe a lawn begins by mowing a stripe in one direction. Mow as straight as possible, in the direction you will be viewing the lawn, usually the width of the lawn. At the end of each row, lift the front wheels of the lawn mower up and carefully turn the mower around so the outside wheels are aligned with the inside wheel strip from the previous row. Make a return pass in the opposite direction, keeping the wheels aligned carefully. Continue mowing rows in alternating directions.

When finished mowing, roll each row with a drum roller in the same direction the row was mowed. This will “set” the mown grass to exaggerate the pattern you’ve created. If you want a more subtle effect, you can forego the use of the roller.

CHECKERBOARD LAWN MOWING

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To create a checkerboard pattern, complete all of your parallel rows, then repeat the process by cutting parallel rows that are perpendicular to the first passes. Roll the new rows in the same direction as they were cut.


GARDEN IDEAS

Landscape Beds

Curb appeal goes beyond a great lawn with beautifully trimmed edges. Even if you aren’t a gardener, a few low maintenance plantings, trees or shrubs, and planters can add great impact.

A beautiful flowering cherry tree and flowering ground cover add pop to a yard. A few foundation plantings and a large planter round out the picture. Plantings such as this can also solve lawn problems. For example, people are less likely to walk through a garden bed than over a lawn. If the kids are beating a shortcut across the grass, fight back by placing a few flagstone pavers or planting a landscape bed.

Don’t know where to start? Many nursery catalogs sell groupings of plants to fit a garden plan that they provide. Most are easy-to-grow flowering perennials. Trouble areas, like densely shaded patches under trees, can be planted with a variety of ground covers or shade loving plants.

Flower or landscaping beds should be crisply separated from the lawn. Nearly invisible black plastic edging (use the professional 4” version) will prevent grass from migrating into beds. Install the edging so it protrudes less than an inch above ground level, and you can mow right over it to cut back on trimming time. Hard edging, such as inlaid bricks or a cement, is the most effective, long lasting, and low-maintenance way to keep lawn edges neat and trim.


FLOWER BED MAINTENANCE 101
How to Care for Flower Beds

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Use your 20V MAX* Lithium Garden Cultivator to maintain your flower beds as well as your lawn. This tool is ideal for cultivating garden beds, landscape beds, and weeding. The garden cultivator also preps beds for planting and prepping dry and dead spots for seeding.

After the first fall frost, pull up and dispose of dead annuals. After a hard freeze, you can use your trimmer to cut back perennials. Take care not to cut all the way to the ground— the new growth in the spring will come from the crown of the plant, which is slightly above ground. After trimming, rake up the plant tops and dispose of. Do not use perennial plant material as mulch, as any diseases may carry over in the dead stems and leaves. When it comes to landscape beds and flower beds, a little maintenance goes a long way!



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