4 Ways to Dispose of Leaves

4 Ways to Dispose of Leaves

When fall rolls around, sometimes it’s hard to decide the best way to dispose of the leaves scattered across your lawn. Is it better to bag or mulch? Leave leaf piles for curbside pickup or compost them? No one method is correct because every leaf removal situation is different. Our experts discuss the different ways to dispose of leaves to help you decide which method is best for you.

Method 1 – Bagging

For areas that do not offer open curbside pickup, bagging is a popular and eco-friendly alternative. Using a leaf blower or rake, gather leaves into piles and dispose into paper lawn and leaf compost.

Unlike plastic trash bags, compost bags will decompose over time. You can also maximize bag space by shredding leaves before disposing of them, compacting yard debris down to a fraction of its original size.

Method 2 – Curbside Pickup

Many cities offer curbside leaf pickup during fall months. Research your city’s guidelines to learn if seasonal leaf pickup is available in your area. If it is, use a powerful leaf blower to blow leaves onto a large tarp. Drag the tarp to the curb, and then wait for your local collection service to show up and take the leaves away.

Method 3 – Mulching

Mulching is another great way to rid your lawn of leaves.  You can even use with your lawn mower to do so. Simply mow your lawn as you normally would, and chop leaves as you go. Along with grass clippings, finely-chopped leaves will naturally decompose, returning nutrients to your soil and improving the health of your lawn.

Keep up with leaves as they fall, or you may end up with leaf piles that contribute to thatch and do not break down as easily. If this happens, you should consider an alternative cleanup method mentioned here.

Method 4 – Compost

If you’re looking for a way to speed up leaf decomposition in your own yard, you may choose to add shredded leaves to your compost bin. Use leaves over time as needed to mulch your flower beds for the winter, or fertilize your gardens in the spring.

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5 Fuel Tips for Your Outdoor Power Equipment

5 Fuel Tips for Your Outdoor Power Equipment

Using the correct fuel in your outdoor power equipment is very important. If you do not use the proper fuel or change it in the proper time, your machine will suffer. Read on to learn what our experts have to say about fuel and how it affects your outdoor power equipment.

1 – Only purchase the amount of fuel that will be used in 30 days

After 30 days, the volatile compounds in the fuel start evaporating, and this occurs whether the gas is in your outdoor power equipment or in the gas can. As fuel sits and grows older, it evaporates and forms brown sticky deposits that eventually turn into a hard varnish. Deposits and varnish can plug passages in the carburetor, preventing the engine from running properly.

2 – Purchase gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher

Standard 87 octane gasoline is perfect for small engines. However, mid-grade or premium gas with an octane rating of 89 or higher can be used for engines that require the higher octane. Read your owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your outdoor power equipment.

3 – Don’t use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol

Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol. Using higher ethanol fuel blends can lead to engine damage and performance issues.

4 – Use gasoline without any ethanol

Ethanol-free gas will reduce the amount of moisture the gasoline can absorb from the atmosphere. Many areas carry ethanol-free gas. Visit https://www.pure-gas.org/ to locate ethanol-free gas stations near you.

5 – Use fuel stabilizer

When stabilizer is added to fuel they separate and create a thin film on top of the fuel to keep out air and moisture. These stabilizers also reduce the rate at which the fuel’s volatile compounds evaporate.

Try adding a stabilizer to your fuel the day the it is purchased to help it stay fresh longer.

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High-Lift Blades and Mulching Blades

High Lift Blades and Mulching Blades

The most important function of your lawn mower is to cut your grass and the biggest factor in achieving a quality cut is your lawn mower blade. While all blades cut the grass, not all lawn mower blades are created equal. Different types of lawn mower blades function differently, and there are two styles of blades you should be aware of – high-lift blades and mulching blades.

High-lift blades

High-lift blades are also referred to as 2-in-1 blades. These blades aid in assist in cutting grass and discharging the grass clippings out from the deck to fall back onto your lawn. High-lift blades are designed to create higher-lifting airflow. These blades can be identified by a drastic upward angle on the back end of the blade, which helps to propel the clippings through the discharge chute to the back of the bag, reducing clogging.

Mulching blades

Mulching blades are also referred to as 3-in-1 blades. They cut the grass into extremely small particles, eliminating the need to frequently unload heavy bags or pick up clumps of grass clippings. This method of cutting has a positive effect on the health of your lawn. The mulching blades chop grass clippings into small particles that can become a natural fertilizer. That fertilizer replenishes the soil with nutrients that your grass has absorbed over the season.

Mulching blades are designed with a more curved style surface. They frequently include extra cutting surfaces along the blade edges and may also come in a “+” design. The “+” design is two individual blades arranged in a perpendicular manner to enhance mulching.  Usually older style mowers utilize this blade design.

Mulching blades are used with mulch kits. Mulch kits generally consist of mulching blades, a mulching plug which closes off the discharge opening to keep grass clippings contained under the deck for re-cutting, and any necessary hardware for installation.

There is a different lawn mower blade for different situations and each one serves a very specific purpose. There isn’t one lawn mower blade that can do it all as effectively as the lawn mower blade specifically designed for the method you wish to use.

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How to Change the Deck Belt on a Cub Cadet Riding Lawn Mower

How to Change the Deck Belt on a Cub Cadet Riding Lawn Mower

Staying on top of maintenance and repairs will extend the life of your Cub Cadet riding lawn mower and keep it operating like new. Small repairs, like changing the deck belt on your lawn mower, are imperative and aid in your mower’s ability to cut grass efficiently. Here’s how to change the deck belt on a Cub Cadet riding lawn mower.

Before performing any maintenance on your Cub Cadet lawn mower, refer to your operator’s manual. It lists required maintenance, safety information, and instructions for your machine. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your riding lawn mower model our instructions may vary slightly.

First, position your lawn mower for deck belt replacement by parking the mower on a flat, level surface. Turn off the engine, remove the ignition key, and disconnect the spark plug ignition wire to prevent accidental starting.

Raise the deck height to the highest position and place wooden blocks under each side of the mower deck. Lower the deck height to the lowest position, lowering the mower deck onto the blocks. Pull the J hooks from the left and right side to release the deck from the hangar brackets. Remove the wooden blocks from under the deck and pull the click pin out of the front deck hanger rod.

Remove the belt keeper rod and the deck belt from around the mower’s engine pulley. Raise the deck height to the highest position, this time turning the front wheels to the left. Slide the mower deck out from under the machine.

Remove the belt cover from the outer pulleys and unlock the idler spring. Remove the nut and bolt that secure the deck’s idler pulley with the belt keeper. Use a 3/8 drive ratchet in the square hole of the right idler bracket and separate the idler pulleys. Then remove the left pulley.

Replace the old mower deck belt with a new Cub Cadet deck belt.

Reassemble the mower deck. Attach the nut and bolt that secure the deck’s idler pulley with the belt keeper. Re-hook the idler spring and put the belt covers back on the outer pulleys. Slide the cutting deck back under the mower.

Route the deck belt around the engine pulley and secure the belt keeper rod. Insert the click pin into the front deck hanger rod and the J hooks into the hanger brackets.

Lastly, reconnect the spark plug ignition wire and start the mower.

The deck belt on your Cub Cadet riding lawn mower connects the crank shaft to the mower blades, which causes them to turn. Replace your mower belt if you notice cracks forming in the rubber. Replacing the mower belt before it breaks will help you avoid interruption during mower operation.

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Cub Cadet Seasonal Lawn Care Tips

Cub Cadet Seasonal Lawn Care Tips

Lawn care is a never-ending job. For many of us, sunshine and warm temperatures indicate that it’s time to make our lawns healthy and beautiful. However, you should take care of your lawn throughout each season, even if ice is thawing and leaves are falling. Whether or not you live in an area that experiences all four seasons, these lawn care tips will help keep your lawn looking its best whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter.

Lawn Care Tips for Spring

In the spring, there is a list of obvious maintenance to perform on your lawn from watering the grass to fertilizing to mowing. There are also a lot of not-so-obvious things to handle once the winter snow melts. For starters, remove leaves, sticks, twigs, and any other debris that accumulated during the winter. If your lawn suffered damage from cold temps, snow, ice, snow blowing or shoveling, you should replace the divots and place down new seed.

Many people know the importance of applying fertilizer to your lawn. In spring, applying herbicides to grass is beneficial as well. However, don’t apply both fertilizer and herbicide at the same time because herbicides will restrict grass growth.

Lastly, spring is the best time to get your equipment ready to work. Make sure your lawn mower and other equipment has had basic maintenance and is working properly. If not, you will still have time to perform repairs or buy new parts before too much grass has grown.

Lawn Care Tips for Summer

During the summer you should focus on mowing your lawn and watering it. With the high temperatures that summer brings, the best way to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful is to keep the grass a little long. Do not cut your grass to less than two inches in height because when grass is cut too short it is more likely to dry out and become damaged since the mower’s blades can’t shade the soil and roots from the sun.

If you’re using a sprinkler to water your grass, make sure you move it every half hour to ensure even watering. When watering during the summer, it’s best to do so early in the morning or in the evening. When the temperature is cooler, this prevents searing or scorching your grass when the sun is at its hottest.

Lawn Care Tips for Fall

To prepare for the fall and winter, fertilize your lawn one more time. Applying nutrients before the cold months will keep your lawn healthy and recuperate quicker in the spring. During the fall, it’s fine to mow your grass shorter than normal. This shorter grass won’t get as damaged by snow during winter. Fall is also a great time to put down new grass seeds in any dead areas.

Lawn Care Tips for Winter

During the winter, you’ll want to prevent damage and breakage to your grass, trees, plants, and shrubs. To do this, shovel your walkways to keep visitors off your lawn, which keeps the grass blades from flattening or breaking. Removing snow from shrubs and tree branches will also prevent breakage.

Winter is also a good time to trim branches, if needed. When tree limbs are dormant, the plant sustains less damage than when in full bloom.

Your yard will look its best if you utilize these seasonal lawn care tips. Well-maintained outdoor power equipment and parts are also essential to a great looking lawn. Just like your lawn, inspect your lawn mower and other equipment on a regular basis to make sure it’s ready to work when you need it.

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Cub Cadet Single-Stage and Double-Stage Snow throwers

Cub Cadet’s snow throwers  come in single-stage 200 and two-stage 500, 700, and 900.  The single-stage snow thrower is best for walkways and driveways, while the two-stage snow throwers are recommended for larger spaces.  However, both of Cub Cadet’s snow throwers feature the following:

  • zero-turn posi-steer power steering
  • fingertip steering controls for precise turning
  • no rust
  • single-hand operation for chute
  • high-impact, clog-resistant chute

The Cub Cadet two-stage 500, 700, and 900 snow throwers also include the following:

  • more durable for use in extreme conditions
  • cast-iron engine construction
  • scratch-resistent cool blue skid shoes