25.7 F
Knoxville

Briggs and Stratton Intek and Vanguard Spark Plug Cross Reference

Here is the spark plug needed for Briggs and Stratton Intek and Vanguard engines as well as the spark plug cross references:

 

Intek — single and twin cylinder OHV
Vanguard — liquid cooled three cylinders, single cylinder OHV engines and 31 HP OHV V-twin.

Champion: RC12YC

NGK: BKR5ES

Megafire: SE-12RCY

Torch: K5RTC

The spark plug gap on these plugs should be set at .30.


 

12 Must-Have Garden Tools

12 Must-Have Garden Tools

Gardening will be easier, more productive and, well, just a lot more fun when you have the right tools at hand. Here are a dozen garden tools that every gardener should have.

Clearing Tools

Clearing Tools

These may look like Klingon weapons from an episode of Star Trek, but they’re actually versatile garden tools designed for trimming shoots and stems, cutting vines, severing roots and sawing branches. If you’ve got an overgrown garden—or one filled with coarse ornamental grasses needing to be cut back—try a 13- or 18-in. billhook saw, which has a rust-resistant, curved blade for quick pull cuts and a coarse saw edge for removing tough branches and grasses. Available from Fiskars and local retailers.

Digging Shovel

Digging Shovel

A rounded-blade digging shovel is indispensable if you’re planting anything larger than your fist. Shovels have come a long way ergonomically, and this one is a good example. The D-shaped handle helps gives you two-handed control when digging up and tossing heavy loads of soil. The welded steel construction is more durable than wood and won’t flex under a heavy load as fiberglass would. Meanwhile, the large step plate is wide enough to relieve pressure on your foot when stepping on it repeatedly. Available from Fiskars and local retailers.

 

Edging Spade

Edging Spade

A flat-blade edging spade is a handy friend to have around the garden. It can edge a garden, slice turf neatly, cut roots, or scrape soil or mulch off of a flat surface such as sidewalk or truck bed. You can also use it for general planting or when you’re ‘heeling in’ bare-root plants (putting them in the ground temporarily until a permanent location is found). Like the digging shovel, the D-handle design offers better control. The rubber foot pad reduces fatigue and shoe damage and can fit on either side of the shovel with pre-drilled holes. Available from Corona Tools and local retailers.

Loppers

Loppers

When you’re cutting branches the size of your finger or bigger, bring out the loppers, which offer larger blades than pruners and more leverage as well. These PowerGear loppers can easily cut branches with a diameter of up to 1-1/2 in. The gear technology increases leverage to give you up to three times more cutting power than standard loppers. Available in various sizes, from 18 to 25 in., from Fiskars and local retailers.

 

Pruners

Pruners

Pruners are the go-to tool when you’re deadheading flowers or cutting pliable stems or small woody twigs. Bypass pruners (shown) are a good general-purpose tool for trimming stems of up to about 1/2 in. Ratchet pruners multiply the ratchet action to cut up to 3/4-in. stems. Any bigger and you risk the chance of breaking the pruners. Available from Corona Tools and local retailers.

Pruning Saw

Pruning Saw

Pruning saws are a good all-purpose saw for the garden. Many fold up for safe transport and storage. And all are more adept at working in tight spaces than the larger and more cumbersome bow saws. The razor-tooth blade easily cuts through woody stems the size of an arm. Available from Corona Tools and local retailers.

 

Hori Hori Digging Tool

Hori Hori Digging Tool

This multipurpose gardening tool is more than a trowel. It’s also a knife, saw and even a measuring device for planting bulbs. Use it for planting, weeding, cutting sod, severing roots and dividing perennials. It even comes with its own holster to protect the stainless steel blade. Available from Wildflower Seed & Tool Company.

Garden Rake

Garden Rake

A garden rake usually gets its workout in the spring when you’re cultivating and prepping the soil in your vegetable garden. But it excels at other tasks, too, such as leveling mulch, scratching hard-packed soil to make it more porous or leveling soil before seeding a lawn. You can even use it to remove thatch or moss from your lawn. Available from TruTemper and local retailers.

Leaf Rake

Leaf Rake

While its primary purpose is gathering leaves, a leaf rake is also handy for collecting other garden debris (like grass clippings that accumulate when you’ve waited too long between cuts!). Durable steel-tine rakes are great for smaller yards or when you want to scratch the soil surface while raking. If you’re dealing with a large yard, a poly leaf rake covers more territory in less time. This poly rake features a 24-in. clog-free head that won’t spear leaves. Available from True Temper and local retailers.

Hose and Sprayer

Hose and Sprayer

There’s simply nothing more convenient than a hose for watering. Hoses come in a variety of materials (vinyl, rubber), lengths (usually 25, 50, 75 ft.) and even colors (traditionally green or black, now a rainbow of choices). This heavy-duty rubber hose will hold up for years, especially if stored under cover in cold climates. Although you can always rely on your thumb, the spray attachment gives you more options (for instance, a soft stream of water for watering newly seeded areas or a hard blast for cleaning mud off of tools).

Digging Fork

Digging Fork

A digging fork, sometimes called garden or spade fork, is handy for loosening compacted soil, aerating small areas, incorporating compost into garden beds and dividing perennials. The D handle makes the digging fork easier to use in tight spaces, while the tapered tines penetrate the soil more easily. Available from Corona Tools and local retailers.

Wheelbarrow

Wheelbarrow

There’s nothing like a wheelbarrow for making things easier for the gardener. You can carry soil, compost, firewood and more. Or use it to transport your tools around the yard or soak plant roots before planting. If you’re working with heavy loads, get a steel bin rather than poly. Two-wheel models are the most stable for heavy loads. A standard wheelbarrow is appropriate for most uses, but do yourself a favor and get a never-flat tire. Available from True Temper and local retailers.

Be sure to call ProGreen Plus for all of your lawn mower parts and lawn mower repair services!

Kohler Spark Plug 14 132 11 Cross Reference

Kohler spark plug 14 132 11, 1413211, 14-132-11 cross references and replaces NGK plug DCPR6E, also as NGK3481 3481..

Fits Kohler XT675 engines.

Details about NGK DCPR6E / Kohler 14 132 11:
  • Thread diameter: 12mm
  • Thread reach: 19mm
  • Seat type: flat
  • Hex size: 16mm
  • Tip configuration: projected
  • Construction: Standard construction
  • Terminal type: Solid
NGK_DCPR6E Kohler 14 132 11
Replacement spark plug for Kohler 14 132 11. NGK DCPR6E

 


Also cross references / replaces:

Replacement spark plugs for NGK DCPR6E:

Brand Model
Autolite 4164
Autolite XS4164
Beck Arnley 176-5258
Brisk BR15YC
Champion RA6HC
Champion RA8GHC
Champion RA8HC
Denso 3178
Denso XU20EPR-U
Denso XU20EPRU
Honda 98069-5697Q
Mazda 1A04 18 110
Mazda 1A04-18-110
Mercruiser 33-803507
Mercury 803507
Mitsubishi MS 851 316
Mitsubishi MS 851 396
Mitsubishi MS 851 486
Mitsubishi MS851316
Mitsubishi MS851396
Mitsubishi MS851486
NGK stk 3481
Suzuki 09482-00446
Suzuki 09482-00447
Toyota 90098-70051

 

When Do The Hummingbirds Return In The Spring?

When do the hummingbirds return? Hummingbirds are migratory. They head South for the winter and return every spring. Depending on where you live in the country is when they will return.

 

Here is an easy hummingbird food nectar recipe that is easy to make and the birds love it! This is a great recipe to attract hummingbirds to your yard.

We have also included a few hummingbird care tips.

 

 

 

How to Pick A Perfect Watermelon

Have you always wanted to know how to pick out the perfect ripe, sweet watermelon? This handy chart shows you how to pick out the perfect juicy sweet watermelon everytime!

Tips for Growing Green Lawns

Tips for Growing Green Lawns

Is the Grass Always Greener on the Other Side?

Closeup of lush grass blades with dew on them.

When you look at your neighbor’s yard, perhaps you say to yourself, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Well, don’t despair. Here are some tips for growing green lawns, including how to use lawn fertilizers, that will make it easy for you to get some respect for your own grass.

Of course, assuming that it is only green grass that you wish to see carpeting your yard, informing you of methods for killing weeds is necessarily a part of any lawn-care advice.

Most homeowners who want to have lusher, thicker lawns will not tolerate a dandelion weed or patch of crabgrass, regardless of how green it is. Fortunately, applying lawn fertilizers and practicing weed control can be combined into one job if you play your cards right.

So why do some yards have beautiful green lawns, while, in others, the greenery always seems to lose ground over time to brown spots? All else being the same, the secret of having a green lawn lies in providing enough nutrients, practicing sound weed control, and following the proper mowing routine. But the devil is in the details, which we will get to. Let’s begin, though, with that little clause, “all else being the same.” For it’s important to start out with an even playing field.

First of all, let’s shoot down the idea that grass is simply grass, and that’s all there is to it. In fact, there’s a lot more to it than that.

People grow many different types of grasses in their lawns, and these grasses have different growing needs. Many factors go into the selection of a type of grass for a particular lawn.

One of the biggest factors is your local climate. The so-called “warm-season” grasses are ideal for the southern states in the U.S., whereas “cool-season” grasses do better in the North and in Canada.

In between, for the eastern U.S., lies the so-called “transition zone,” made up of zones 6-7. This is a problematic area for growing grass: too hot for some grasses, too cold for others.

Common cool-season grasses include:

  1. Bent grass
  2. Bluegrass
  3. Fescues
  4. Rye grass

Among the common warm-season grasses are:

  1. Bermuda grass
  2. Buffalo grass
  3. Zoysia grass
  4. Centipede grass
  5. Bahia grass
  6. St. Augustine grass

Note, too, that lawns are not always made up of just one type of grass. Sometimes, they are made up of a mixture, to take advantage of the strengths of each type.

The following are examples of other factors that go into your selection of grass type, in addition to local climate (these examples pertain to lawns in the northern zone and in the transition zone):

  • Shady areas are a challenge to having green lawns. Among cool-season grasses, fine fescues are the most tolerant of shade.
  • Lawn areas with heavy foot traffic need a tough grass. A mix of Kentucky bluegrass and perennial rye will fill the bill here.
  • Some regions are more prone to drought than others. The new, improved strains of tall fescue are not only drought-tolerant, but they also blend in with Kentucky bluegrass better than do older strains.

But, in addition to grass-type selection, there are other factors to consider to ensure that you start with a level playing field as you strive to unseat your neighbor for bragging rights to having the greenest lawn around.

Lawn-Thatch Removal, Watering Lawns

So you’re serious about getting a lawn that’s thicker and greener? Well, in addition to selecting the right type of grass for your yard, you have to deal with two more basic issues: thatch removal and watering your lawn. Let’s consider watering first.

What’s the yearly rainfall to be expected in your region? In dry climates, installing an irrigation system is necessary for growing grass successfully. But, in the misty Pacific Northwest, it is understandable that many choose to let Mother Nature do the watering. For most of the rest of us, the decision of whether or not to have an irrigation system for watering lawns will not be so clear-cut. Cost will be a factor, but keep in mind that, in the long run, an irrigation system may save you money, because it is more efficient than other ways of watering.

One way or the other, your grass must have enough water on a consistent schedule in order for you to achieve the goal of a lush, green lawn. If your neighbors are watering lawns with an irrigation system, and if you aren’t, then you’re not starting out with an even playing field.

Finally, check that your grass does not suffer from a lawn-thatch problem:

  • If your thatch layer is 1/2 inch or less, you may proceed to the tips that follow.
  • However, you won’t get much good from the tips that follow unless you first deal with a thatch build-up that is much worse than 1/2 inch thick. If you fail to remove it, again, you’re not starting out with a level playing field.

Why? The two major reasons for thatch removal are that the thatch layer:

  1. Will prevent water from getting to the roots of your grass.
  2. Will give cover to unwanted insect pests.

If your thatch build-up is right around 1/2 inch, you have a minor lawn thatch problem that is fairly easily dealt with. A thick layer (say, 3/4 inch or more) calls for the use of a core aerator or a vertical mower. Both can be rented from your local rental center.

With these basic issues out of the way, we may proceed to the rest of the tips that you will need to grow grass that will be the envy of the neighborhood. The tips that follow are much easier to put into action than the advice given thus far. With the proper groundwork laid (grass-type selection, watering, and removal of thatch), the rest is a breeze.

Lawn Weed Control

As was stated earlier, the secret of having a green lawn lies in providing sufficient nutrients (lawn fertilizers), practicing sound weed control, and following the proper mowing routine. Since it is sometimes possible to apply fertilizers and practice weed control at the same time, we will deal with these two tips first. Later, we’ll take a look at how to mow properly.

We know we have to fertilize the tomato plants in our gardens, or the houseplants on our window sills. But it’s easy to overlook the necessity of spreading fertilizersover our grass.

Perhaps it is because the individual grass plants work in unison, together forming something we know as “the lawn.” We tend to take the individual blades of grass for granted, other than to mow the carpet that they form once in a while. But it would be more accurate to think in terms of millions of individual plants that need to be fed every so often.

So what’s the best answer? Satisfying their hunger with slow-release fertilizers, which you can buy at home improvement chains. With slow-release fertilizers, you’re extending the feeding period (and you’re also less likely to burn your grass). That means less time spent fertilizing the lawn on your part.

Happily for those of us who like to cut down on yard work, the use of lawn fertilizers can go hand-in-hand with lawn weed control. As your grass takes in those nutrients, its root system will expand and begin to cover any bare spots. Weed seeds count on those bare spots to take hold. When you remove those spots, you’re hitting weeds where it really hurts. Ideally, thanks to your fertilizing and other maintenance efforts, you’ll get to a point where your grass is so healthy that it crowds out most weeds.

Here’s some more great news for those seeking a low-care yard. There are lawn fertilizers that not only feed your grass, but also promote common lawn weed control at the same time. These are the so-called “weed and feed” products. It’s a combination that makes a lot sense, when you think about it. Effective weed control should, after all, go hand-in-hand with the application of grass fertilizers. Because if the weeds suck up some of the nutrients that you’re supplying, those are nutrients that are being wasted, as they are not going to your grass.

Applying Lawn Fertilizers: a Schedule to Follow

The Scotts company recommends applying lawn fertilizers in four stages. The exact dates will, of course, vary from region to region. Another factor is the kind of grass you grow. So always read the package labels carefully before applying, and pick the brains of the staff working at local home improvement stores. As an example, here is how to fertilize a lawn if you live in the northeastern United States and if your lawn is a mix of cool-season grasses:

Begin by feeding the grass in May with a product that also contains a pre-emergent to prevent crabgrass from growing in the first place. Follow that up in June with another lawn fertilizer that performs two jobs at once. In this case, the other job (besides fertilizing) is controlling broad-leaved weeds. For the latter, you need a product that contains a post-emergent herbicide designed to kill weeds that have begun growing in your lawn.

In mid-summer, bugs and drought are two of the greatest enemies of your grass. Scotts puts out a lawn fertilizer called “SummerGuard” to address these issues. It’s designed to fight chinch bugs and many others, including the deer ticks that carry Lyme Disease (note, however, that to kill ticks in brushy areas of your landscaping, you’ll have to spray with other products). According to the company, it also improves the ability of your grass “to absorb water and nutrients.”

Last but not least, when you winterize your yard in autumn, don’t forget your grass. It’s not difficult to remember which fertilizers to shop for at this time, because they will often contain “winterizer” in their names. These products are designed to help your grass build a deeper root system to weather the winter.

But make sure you study the label of a winterizer bag before buying, so that you can learn the NPK content. In The Myth of “Winterizer” Fertilizer, Robert Cox, Cooperative Extension Agent for Colorado State University, warns that such lawn fertilizers will fail to enhance the winter hardiness of your grass unless they are sufficiently high in nitrogen. Suggesting the use of a 25-5-5 or thereabouts, Cox goes so far as to state, “Nitrogen applied in the fall is the most important lawn fertilization of the year.”

For those who prefer to landscape organically, applications of compost will be the answer (or at least a big part of it). If you keep your grass well-fed with compost, it has a better chance of crowding weeds out (and avoiding pest invasions, too). To practice organic lawn-weed control on the weeds that do emerge, you’ll have to resort to good old-fashioned hand pulling. If you choose this route, water the area first, since weeds come out of wet soil more easily than out of dry ground.

What Is the Proper Mowing Height?

Would you be surprised to learn that your reason for mowing the lawn (and doing the job properly) goes beyond impressing the neighbors with that “clean-cut” look? Proper mowing can promote lawn health and give you the greenest lawn possible. The goal is a lawn that looks not merely well-kept, but lush.

One of the best investments you could make to that end would be in a mulching mower. Using mulching mowers can not only cut down on your yard maintenance, but also makes your grass greener. Otherwise, you may end up either raking or bagging your grass clippings, which, in turn, means having to dispose of them or recycle them later. This is all extra work. Besides, hauling away your grass clippings means depriving your lawn of a natural fertilizer that can make your grass greener.

So how long should you wait before cutting the lawn? And how short should you cut your grass? According to the Cornell University Cooperative Extension, cutting the lawn with a mower set at a proper mowing height can save you from having to bag your grass clippings, even if you don’t own a mulching mower. The rule of thumb suggested by the Cornell Extension is, “Mow when your grass is dry and 3 to 3-1/2 inches tall. Never cut it shorter than 2 to 2-1/2 inches or remove more than one third of the leaf surface at any one mowing.”

The point behind this mowing tip is that the valuable nutrients in the grass clippings can do your lawn some good, left right where they lie after cutting, as long as their bulk is kept at a minimum. By following this rule of thumb and cutting only about an inch off the top of your lawn at any one time, the bulk of the grass clippings is kept low.

Following this mowing tip means more frequent cutting, to be sure. But the result will be a healthier lawn, fed by nutrients that you would otherwise be hauling away. Besides, cutting a lawn too short can stress it out, especially during periods of hot weather. In addition, cutting the lawn stimulates growth and increases thickness. You are, in effect, “pinching” your grass plants each time you mow, just as you pinch many houseplants or garden flowers to make them sturdier plants.

Note that with mulching mowers, you don’t need to be quite so careful about the height at which you cut the lawn, since the grass clippings are shredded up more finely. This works much better for those of us who don’t generally walk around with tape measures on our belts.

Mowing Tips: When and How to Mow

  • Be sure to keep mower blades sharp. Sharp mower blades produce clean cuts, and clean cuts promote better grass health. Dull mower blades, by contrast, produce rougher cuts that leave your grass wide open to diseases.
  • When to mow: It puts less stress on the lawn to mow in the evening than to mow when the sun is pounding down in the afternoon.
  • How to mow: Alternate the direction in which you mow each mowing session. If your mower wheels pass over the same area in the same direction each time you mow, they’ll form ruts over time.

Be sure to call ProGreen Plus for all of your lawn mower parts and lawn mower repair services!

Identifying Good and Bad Bugs in Your Garden

Identifying Good and Bad Bugs in Your Garden

When you find insects in your garden, your first instinct might be to destroy them, but that’s not always the best course of action. Some insects are destructive and should be controlled, but of the more than 1.5 million known insect species in the world, more than 97 percent are beneficial to gardens, or simply benign. That leaves less than three percent that are agricultural and nuisance pests.

Beneficial insects perform vital functions in the environment. More than 75 percent of crops and an equal amount of flowering plants rely on animals to distribute pollen, and most that perform this task are insects. Bees, butterflies, moths and even beetles and flies pollinate plants. Every year in the U.S., honeybees alone pollinate about $15 billion in crops.

Insects also perform the important tasks of aerating soil, breaking down dead materials and returning them to the earth, and serving as food for wildlife. Some insects, such as ladybird beetles and green lacewings, also eat harmful pests, which helps to keep the environment in balance.

Identifying and Managing Insect “Strangers”

What should you do when you spot an unknown insect in your landscape? You certainly don’t want to squash a good guy, but it’s not advisable to ignore a troublemaker, either. The next time you see an unknown bug in your yard, follow these three steps to assess whether it’s a good or bad bug.

  1. Observe. Take a close look at the insect and note what it’s doing. Snap a photo, if possible. If the bug is eating, and the result of feeding is causing extensive damage, it’s likely a pest. Also, note if more than one insect is present. A large number of insects congregating on plants may indicate a pest infestation. The sooner you verify this fact, the sooner you can get the problem under control.
  2. Research and Identify. Compare your photo — or an actual bug that you’ve captured and killed —to images of insects on various expert sites, including the The Bugwood Insect Imagesand the Agricultural Research Service Image Gallery. Also look for images on sites maintained by university entomology departments.

If after some research you suspect that you might have an invasive pest in your yard, contact your local university cooperative extension office by mail, or show up in person with your photo or bagged bug specimen. There, an agricultural agent will be able to ID the insect for you.

  1. Use high-quality control products. If you wish to wage battle against invasive pests in your yard, opt for Worry Free® Brand Insecticide and Miticide Ready To Use, which kills more than 250 pests. The active ingredient in this product is pyrethrins, which is derived from chrysanthemum flowers and is quickly destroyed by heat and light, so there are no residual effects. Keep in mind, however, that this product will harm any insect that comes in contact with it.

Be sure to call ProGreen Plus for all of your lawn mower parts and lawn mower repair services!

13 Can’t-Kill Flowers for Beginners

13 Can’t-Kill Flowers for Beginners

Don’t say you have a brown thumb! Try these easy-to-grow, can’t-kill beauties and watch your beginner’s thumb turn green.

Sunflowers

Sunflower seeds are large and easy to handle, so they’re great for children or beginner gardeners. ‘Shock-O-Lat’, shown here, has giant, chocolate-brown blooms with golden tips. You can find sunflowers in many different sizes and colors; they grow happily in sunny gardens.

Zinnia

Look for zinnias in almost every color except blue; they’re also available in a variety of heights. The flowers may look like daisies or dahlias, spiders or pom poms and more. Plant them in the sun and space them as directed on the seed packet or label; good air circulation helps prevent disease.

Marigolds

Cheerful marigolds are easy to grow in sunny spots, brightening your garden with shades of yellow, red and gold as they bloom all summer long. African or American type marigolds grow 3 to 5 feet tall, but you can find shorter and more compact varieties.

Pansies

Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) add color to your garden while the weather is cool, in spring and fall. They’ll even overwinter in some regions if they’re mulched for protection. Give these undemanding little plants sun and soil that drains easily.

Impatiens

Impatiens ask little more than a shady spot and enough water to keep them from wilting. Plant these pretty annuals when the weather is reliably warm. In recent years, many impatiens (I. walleriana) have succumbed to downy mildew. ‘Big Bounce’ (pictured) is a new hybrid for shade to partial sun that resists this deadly disease. You’ll also find disease-resistant impatiens in the ‘Bounce’ series.

Begonias

Tough, can’t-kill summer begonias like ‘Surefire Rose’ are great for hanging baskets, containers or garden beds. Give them sun or shade and they’ll reward you with lots of lush color.

Snapdragons

Bring butterflies to your beginner’s garden with pink and cream snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) like ‘Twinny Appleblossom’. These  plants bloom heavily and stand up to the often harsh weather in spring and fall.

Daffodils

Plant daffodil bulbs and stand back. They’ll burst into bloom each spring, filling your garden with color and fragrance. Give these hardy bulbs a sunny or partly sunny home in the garden or in containers; they’re best planted in the fall.

Cosmos

Add cosmos plants to your garden or grow these daisy-like flowers from seeds. These annuals are so undemanding, they’ll bloom even in poor soils. They like full sun (but appreciate afternoon shade in hot climates) and tolerate drought once they’re up and growing.

Geraniums

Great in window boxes, hanging baskets, pots or the garden, geraniums are low-maintenance plants. Grow these perky flowers for color from spring until frost; they prefer full sun, but may need some afternoon shade in hot regions.
 

Morning Glories

To help morning glory seeds sprout, soak them in tepid water the night before you plant or file the hard seed coat to open it. Once they’re started, morning glories can take care of themselves. But because they drop their seeds and self-sow readily, be careful where you plant them or you’ll be pulling volunteers for years! To help control unwanted seedlings, mow, rake or heavily mulch the ground underneath the plants.

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)

Blanket flowers (Gaillardia) are native wildflowers in parts of the U.S., and they grow robustly in full sun. These butterfly magnets bloom from early summer into fall.

Daylilies

These sun-loving perennials bloom dependably in almost any kind of soil, as long as it drains easily. Best of all, you can divide them after a time and expand your garden.
Be sure to call ProGreen Plus for all of your lawn mower parts and lawn mower repair services!

Flower Beds for Beginners

Flower Beds for Beginners

Improve your yard’s curb appeal with front yard flower beds that deliver a colorful first impression.

Trade front yard turf for beds of blooms. Draft a container, like this one filled with ‘Limelight’ hydrangea, to add a focal point to flower beds.

Welcome guests with front yard plantings that complement your home. Include blooming plants to create an eye-catching display right outside your door that makes coming home a treat. Typically, entry gardens include a mix of foundation plantings, walkway beds and driveway borders. Spice up these practical, needful gardens with clever design elements to make your yard the talk of the block.

Foundation plantings anchor your home to the surrounding landscape and ease the transition from structure to lawn.

Fill foundation beds with plants featuring different colors and textures, and arrange them in layers to create a sense of depth. Always research and position plants based on mature size so they have adequate room to spread, which saves you endless pruning down the road.

Incorporate curving bed edges to soften hard angles between sidewalks, driveways and your house. Test-drive any proposed curves with your mower before actually forming flower beds. Make sure curves and corners are easy to maneuver.

For guaranteed good looks, follow classic design principles when designing front yard flower beds.

For instance, arrange flowering plants by height, with tallest bloomers in the back of beds viewed from one side or in the center of beds viewed from all sides. Don’t place too-tall flowers in front of windows to avoid blocking the view. Keep walkways skirted with knee-high or shorter bloomers to ensure sprawling plants don’t present an obstacle course.

Avoid a stand-alone driveway edging bed, which draws attention toward your drive and garage. Instead, connect a driveway bed with a foundation bed. This beckons the eye to wander along plantings toward your front door.

Design front yard planting beds to usher eyes toward your front door. Flowers play a strong role in this by providing pops of color that the eye naturally spots and follows. Repeat a hue throughout front yard flower beds and even on porch planters or hanging baskets and you’ll subtly direct the eye. Choose that hue based on accent colors on your home, and your plantings will blend artfully with your home’s exterior.

If your front yard is sunny for at least six hours a day, tuck edible crops into planting designs. Blueberries, goji berries and even trellised raspberries can serve as a hedge, and beds of asparagus easily blend into foundation plantings with their post-harvest ferny form. Dwarf fruit trees, including apple, cherry, pomegranate or fig, slip neatly into foundation planting areas, blending seasonal beauty with a tasty harvest.

Choose kiwi, pole beans or grape vines to grace an entry trellis and plantings of multi-hued leaf lettuces followed by chard, red mustard or assorted basils to serve color through summer heat. Tuscan and other types of kale introduce strong architectural leaf forms to flower beds that allow blooming plants to sparkle against the leafy backdrop. Disguise hardworking tomato, pepper or eggplants with flounces of colorful marigolds, dwarf daylilies or cheerful blanket flowers.

The biggest must with edible front yard plantings is maintenance.

Keep plants staked, harvests gathered and fallen fruit picked up to avoid transforming your beautiful spot into a neighborhood eyesore. Many edible crops need to be pulled after bearing. Design your beds with succession plantings in mind. Replace early-season peas or lettuces with colorful annual bloomers or herbs.

In cold-winter areas where snowfall accumulates, select plantings based on snow removal patterns. Beds along driveways and sidewalks may do best with annuals or perennials that melt away after frost and can handle heaps of snow, as opposed to woody shrubs or roses that might break under the weight of shoveled snow.

Be sure to call ProGreen Plus for all of your lawn mower parts and lawn mower repair services!

10 Landscaping Ideas That Will Transform Your Yard

10 Landscaping Ideas That Will Transform Your Yard

 

Check out these tips from the pros to add color, texture, functionality, and points of interest to your yard.

 

landscaping ideas

Create Curved Lines

landscaping

Choose Native Plants

native landscaping

Just like you should plant grass that is specific to your region, pick native plants for less upkeep. By choosing plants that are native or grow well in a specific zone or area, that will keep water and pruning prices down, and the plants will thrive.

Use Potted Plants

potted plants

Incorporating pots into landscaping makes a yard not only more low-maintenance but also more versatile. Potted plants are an easy way to add color to different parts of a yard, and they are mobile. For an added pop of color, coordinate the flowers to the season. Try whites and pinks in the spring and summer; switch to yellows and reds in the fall.

Combine a Variety of Plants

variety

Illuminate Focal Points and Walkways

lighting

Attractive landscaping deserves to be seen after hours, which is where landscape lights come into play. The lights play many roles, from adding to the home’s attractiveness to illuminating steps and sidewalks for safety to showcasing points of interest in the landscape. Placing lights alongside paths and walkways is one of their most common uses, although that doesn’t mean they have to be set in straight lines at prescribed intervals. You can place them on alternate sides of a sidewalk to break up a line.

Plant Lavender

lavender

Lavender adds a relaxing aroma, a burst of color, and it needs to be watered only once or twice a week if you don’t live in a climate with regular rain. It also doubles as a bug repellent, so plant it near your patio.

Add Outdoor Seating

Stone bench

Installing a patio or bench near the edge of your lawn, away from the house, provides an outdoor escape. Concrete will do, or you can use stones or pavers. Building it near trees or tall flowers gives the area some privacy, while chairs or benches let you sit or lie down to read or nap. Keep it 6 to 8 feet from your property line and surround it with flowers.

Make a Natural Water Feature

backyard fountain

A water feature—even a small, self-contained unit that stands alone on a patio—should look like it belongs in its surroundings. You can use natural stone to build it up, or you can use the same stone or material that you find on the house. Do not to use too many materials or the effort may backfire. A good rule is to use no more than three elements in one area, or the area can get too busy.

Connect Points of Interest with a Walkway

garden path

Instead of trampling down the lawn and making a makeshift path of dead grass between your patio, fire pit, and garden, create an attractive walkway using concrete stepping stones, natural flagstone, decorative brick, or crushed stone.

Construct a pathway, walkway, or any other landscaping feature from material that’s the same or similar to what’s used on the exterior of the house, such as a brick or stone, because it will tie the path aesthetically to the home. Or use the material to provide a striking edging along the walkway.

Use Crushed Stone

crushed stone

Use crushed stones in beds because it’s a great xeriscaping technique. Stone is also a nice option in beds because you never have to replace it.

Be sure to call ProGreen Plus for all of your lawn mower parts and lawn mower repair services!