lawn mower was left in rain and wont start

Just like any other vehicle or piece of equipment, you have to take particular care of your lawn mower. There are certain things that will shorten its lifespan and many lawn mowers are quite the investment.

That’s why it can be so anxiety-inducing when you accidentally leave your lawn mower out in the rain. That anxiety gets even worse when you realize your lawn mower won’t start now!

Don’t worry just yet, though. There are a few different problems and remedies that you can go through to try and start your lawn mower again.

A Note on Slightly Damp Lawn Mowers

If you only left your lawn mower out in a spring shower, you might have a bit of an easier time. After all, your lawn mower won’t get as waterlogged here compared to a summer thunderstorm.

If you aren’t sure what the problem is, you should try this quick fix first. It will let you know if you need to delve deeper for answers.

In this case, just remove the spark plug, completely dry it, and then reinstall it into the lawn mower. You can try to start it now but may need to repeat the process a few times for it to work.

Try to Dry Your Lawn Mower Out

The first thing to try here is to make sure your lawn mower dries out. Unlike your phone, though, you won’t have the chance to put your whole lawn mower in a comically large pile of rice.

While you can let your lawn mower parts dry as they are, it isn’t the most reliable option. Instead, you should take the time to disassemble your lawn mower partially to let internal parts dry out.

This includes pieces like the carburetor, air filter, fuel filter, crankcase, spark plug, and combustion chamber. Depending on how wet the lawn mower got and your lawn mower model, the steps to this can vary.

Contaminated Oil and Gas

The liquid components of running your lawn mower are important as well. If they get diluted, you may run into problems.

For instance, leaving a lawn mower out in the rain can contaminate the oil or gas. As such, you’ll need to know how to handle the problems.

For contaminated gas, start by removing both the spark plug and filters. Then, drain the gas from your fuel tank and carburetor and dry both components out.

Now is also a good time to both take a moment to disconnect your fuel hose and replace your fuel filter. You can help dry these out by using a can of compressed air.

Contaminated oil is particularly a risk in four-stroke engines. This can cause the engine to seize and incur damage if it isn’t properly lubricated.

In this case, start by draining and drying the crankcase. Refill the crankcase with fresh oil and drain it again to get rid of water and refill it again before replacing it.

You can go the extra mile and remove the spark plug and put a teaspoon of oil in the space the spark plug goes. Now, rotate your engine manually to lubricate it before trying to start it again.

To rotate the engine, throw on a pair of thick gloves and turn the cutting blades carefully.

Try each of these steps to try and kickstart your lawnmower that you left in the rain!

garden tractor working and cutting grass

If you want your garden and lawn to look manicured and perfect, you’ll need to look for the right tractor. For the best results, you’ll need the best garden tractor of all time.

Unfortunately, not every garden tractor is the same quality as the last. That’s why you need to know what to look for.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure where to start, though. We’re here to help you learn what you need to know to choose the right garden tractor.

What Is a Garden Tractor?

When most people think of a tractor, they think of the riding lawn mower they use on their lawn. These tools are made to help cut your grass and maybe even finish light yard chores.

A garden tractor, on the other hand, is a bit more heavy-duty. It’s meant to help you handle more intensive care tasks like cultivating or tilling the soil.

Looking at the Engine

Since garden tractors are more heavy-duty than lawn tractors, they need an engine to match that. Like most vehicles, engine power in a tractor is measured in horsepower.

Garden tractors have a minimum horsepower of 24. This helps them to run as well as tow attachments that you might need.

Wheels, Slopes, and Inclines

Garden tractors should have a larger back tire than a lawn tractor. This is what helps increase their ground clearance and increase stability on inclines and slopes.

That being said, sometimes that larger wheelset isn’t enough. For inclines of 15% or more, look for a garden tractor that has a locking rear differential or traction control.

Bark mulch area

Mulching vs. Bagging Your Clippings

With any tractor, including garden tractors, you’ll have to decide what you want to do with your clippings. While you mow your grass, where will all of those grass clippings go?

You have two primary options to choose from. This includes mulching or bagging your clippings.

Bagging your clippings will keep them in a closed container. These are usually attached to the back of a garden tractor in a rear-mounted bagger.

If the rear bagger comes with the garden tractor, it’s likely relative to the tractor size. If you’re buying a new one, it’s worth sticking with the same brand to ensure compatibility.

On the other hand, you could rely on a mulching kit. As the name suggests, this is made to turn your grass clippings into a nutrient-rich tool.

Garden tractors with mulching kits plug the chute that grass clippings would come out of. This keeps them under the deck of the tractor and continues to cut them.

After this process is complete, you can use these fine clippings as nutrients for your garden.

Considering Size

Last but not least, make sure to pay attention to the dimensions of your garden tractor. It isn’t always the bigger, the better: you should make sure it fits where you need to go.

When you’re in the market for a garden tractor, you’ll want the best option available to you. Use these tips to evaluate your options before making a final decision.

hand and garden hose

Lose hoses are an eyesore. On top of that, a hose that isn’t properly stored is more prone to knotting, kinks, and even lasting damage.

To keep things tidy and protect your hose from potential damage, it’s best to rely on a garden hose holder. However, these aren’t foolproof either.

In addition to using one of these, you have to make sure that you’re using the garden hose holder properly. If you aren’t sure how to do so, follow these steps to get the best possible results.

Disconnecting an Old Hose

If you have your hose on an old hose reel or you want to add a new hose to the reel, start by disconnecting it. Luckily, this step is fairly easy.

Start off by disconnecting the hose from the faucet. It will likely have a vacuum breaker to remove as well.

Now, it’s best to move the reel and hose to somewhere that you have space to spread out. It’s a good idea to pick somewhere you don’t mind getting wet.

You can now fully extend the hose and remove the coupling. This can usually be done by hand but if not, adjustable pliers will do the trick.

If you’re adding a new hose, take the time to straighten it out to reduce the bends. If you have a new reel, take this time to build and set it up.

Preparing the Hose

If you’re preparing a new hose, the next step is to place the vinyl or rubber washer. This will help create a seal that will prevent your hose from leaking while it’s in use.

This goes on the female end of the hose. This is also the end you’ll want to place in the guide opening on your hose reel if it has one.

Putting the Hose in Place

If you look closely, you’ll notice that your hose reel has a water coupling on its inner drum. You’ll want to tighten the female end of your hose that you prepared in the last step to the coupling.

You won’t want to do this with your hands alone, though. Use channel lock pliers and don’t tighten it too much to avoid breaking something or stripping the threads.

Specifically, pay close attention to the plastic component which can crack or break with too much force.

Feeding the Hose Onto the Reel

To feed the hose onto the reel appropriately, you’ll need to be careful to feed it through in even coils. You can help this process by rotating the handle of the reel clockwise.

If the reel is electric, you can speed this process up by pushing the retraction button. This will wind the hose onto the reel.

You’ll want to finish off by checking the process over. More than just looking at how even the hose is on the reel, check the couplings.

Here, you’ll want to look for any kinks, cracks, or even just loose couplings. Otherwise, you risk leaking water when you use the hose.

dark green grass

If you have a traditional lawn, you probably want it to look healthy and vibrant. The sign of health in the average lawn is thick, dark green grass.

So, how do you improve your lawn and make sure you have the dark green grass that you want? There are actually a few helpful tips to help you out!

Use the Proper Watering Schedule

Without the right amount of water, grass will wither and die like any other plant. If your lawn isn’t getting enough water, your grass will pale and show brown patches.

Firstly, don’t just rely on what nature does to water your lawn. The storm that you thought was a torrent of rain may not be enough to soak into the roots of your lawn.

Most people forget to water their lawns manually, leading to underwatering. Your lawn will need around one or two inches of water each week to fully thrive.

Choosing a Fertilizer

Another important aspect of making sure your lawn thrives is to use the right fertilizer. This will give your lawn the boost it needs to reach that beautiful deep green color.

One thing that you can look for in fertilizer is the ratio of nitrogen and phosphorus. To improve the shade of your grass, choose a fertilizer with a lower percentage of phosphorous and more nitrogen.

You can even go a step further and look for a fertilizer with slow-release, at least for the nitrogen. This will increase the longevity of the fertilizer and will feed your grass over time.

Pay Attention to How You Mow

Mowing your lawn is part of proper lawn maintenance. Without it, you risk your yard overgrowing and losing its manicured appearance.

However, how you mow your lawn matters when you’re trying to preserve its health. All mowing puts a strain on grass, unsurprisingly, so taking the wrong steps can cause lasting damage.

For one, never mow your grass with dull blades. This is more likely to tear your grass rather than slice it cleanly.

You’ll also want to keep your lawn at the ideal height of 3.5 inches or 8.89 centimeters. You should also take care to only remove one-third of your blade at a time.

Considering Turf Disease or Infestation

Turf diseases come in many forms and some of them can pale the color of your grass. You’ll particularly want to keep your eye out for fungal diseases.

You can also see lightning grass when you have an infestation. Particularly, chinch bugs, sod webworms, and grubs can yellow your lawn before turning it brown.

This is why it’s a good idea to treat your lawn for insect infestations. This is the best way to avoid the damage to your lawn that these pests can cause.

If these things are potentially the culprit, the best thing to do is to talk to a professional. They’ll be able to tell you what the problem is and how to fix it.

It’s a good idea to consult a professional anytime that you aren’t sure why your lawn isn’t dark green. Yet, these problems are a great common ground to start investigating.

potting soil checking with hand

When you want your potted plants to thrive, you need the high quality and minerals rich potting soil. This will help to give your plants a healthy and strong foundation to grow from.

However, not all potting soil is made the same and equally high-quality. Here, we’ll help you break down all the basic features you need to look for in the best potting soil.

Knowing the Ingredients

The first step to knowing what you need to know to choose the right potting soil is understanding the ingredients. Of course, there are a variety of ingredients that could be used in potting soil.

Most often, the primary ingredients of potting soil include calcined clay or peat moss. These are included to absorb water in the potting soil.

On the other hand, to balance that out with water drainage, most potting soils use perlite or vermiculite. The latter holds more water and is thus used in heavier potting mixes.

There may also be ingredients included for nutrients. Organic soils, which we’ll cover, have natural nutrients given their composition.

Finally, you’ll want to keep an eye out for ingredients to balance the pH. It’s best to do your research to learn the best pH for the particular plants you’re growing.

natural and organic soil

Organic and Non-Organic Potting Soils

There are two main categories for potting soil: organic and nonorganic soils. Both are suited to potting soil but which one is better for your plants?

The main difference between these two options, in this case, is how long you want the potting soil to last.

Organic potting soil is nutrient-rich and will feed your plants for a long time. This makes it a great choice over multiple seasons as the organic compounds break down.

If you’re only worried about a single growing season, a non-organic potting soil will do the trick. These potting soils don’t have organic components breaking down but usually include fertilizer suited to a single season.

Water Retention and Water Drainage

What you’ll need varies depending on the plants you’re trying to grow. After all, there are some plants that prefer moist soil while others only thrive with dry soil.

This is why a lot of potting soil uses perlite in the formula if they cater to improved drainage. You may also see options that use expanded shale or slate to create the air pockets perlite is known for.

You can also tell something about water retention from soil weight. If soil is tightly packed or dense, it will hold water longer while light soils don’t hold water quite as wrong.

There are also potting soils that have granules meant to absorb water and release it slowly. This is a great choice if you aren’t going to be able to water your plants for a while.

Generally, most potting soil is valued for how light and fluffy it is but individual houseplants have different needs.

By paying attention to the individual features of a potting soil, you can narrow down what you need. Understanding what a potting soil offers is the key to choosing the right potting soil for your plants.

By keeping the tips above in mind, you’re ready to find the best foundation for your potted plants!

Soil sterilization with hot water

Sterilizing the soil for your houseplants is important. By using unsterilized soil, you risk introducing your plant to a number of pests and diseases.

Unfortunately, pests specifically are great at spreading to your other houseplants. This makes the sterilization of soil important for any plant in your home.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to sterilize the soil for your houseplants. We’ll break down how to do this so you can help your houseplants thrive.

Sterilizing Your Soil with Microwave

One of the easiest ways to sterilize soil is in the microwave. That being said, because of the size of an average microwave, this is better for smaller projects.

Make sure, before you start, that you’re using a microwave-safe container. Fill these containers with moist soil and cover them.

Remember, you shouldn’t put foil in the microwave. Instead, opt for a lid that you know is microwave-safe and add some ventilation holes.

Each container will need to heat for 90 seconds per a couple of pounds of soil. After you’ve done this, set them aside, put tape over the vents, and let it cool before using it.

Sterilizing Your Soil in the Steam

You can quickly sterilize soil with steam as one method. The easiest way to do this is to employ the use of the steamer.

The general rule is that you want to heat your soil for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can also measure by temperature rather than time and aim for 180 degrees Fahrenheit (82 degrees Celsius).

For a pressure cooker, start by adding several cups of water. Then, add your soil in pans no deeper than four inches (10 centimeters).

Each of these pans should be covered with foil for the best results. You’ll want to close the lid but leave the steam valve slightly ajar to let steam escape.

After that, you can close your steamer and heat the contraption to 10 pounds. Leave it there for 15 to 30 minutes.

This is a method you should only use when you’re positive nothing in the soil could become explosive under pressure.

soil sterilization on fire

Sterilizing Your Soil in the Oven

To sterilize your soil in the oven, you should start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius).

While it preheats, you can prepare your soil. To do this, spread the soil out in a disposable vessel or a pan that you don’t mind not using again for food.

You’ll also want to lightly water the soil so it’s moist. Finally, tightly cover your pan of soil with aluminum foil and push a food thermometer through the foil for monitoring purposes.

You should bake the soil until it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit (82 degrees Celsius). Continue to bake it for about 30 minutes but don’t let the temperature reach higher than 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once it’s done, remove it from the oven and let it reach room temperature before use.

By following the steps outlined in any of these methods, you can prepare your soil for use on houseplants.