Page 26 PONOKA NEWS
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Landscaping requires upkeep By Amelia Naismith Grasses and lawns may not always be considered garden, they more often fall under landscaping, however sod can require just as much work when planting. Sod, especially in new subdivisions, sometimes needs extra attention to grow into a lawn to be proud of. “In new subdivisions they don’t always put in a lot of good quality soil,” said Carmen Sim, owner of Country Gardens and Greenhouse. To make the sod grow better, add nutrients to the soil as well as seed. “Like with any planting, it starts from the ground up,” said Sim. “Add organic compost onto it in the springtime. “It (compost) really makes our soil richer,” said Tine Roelofsen, owner of Bobtail Nursery. Composting is also a good way to recycle. While composting may smell, Ro-
elofsen says if it’s handled properly it won’t be enough to bother neighbors. “If rototillered and worked under it shouldn’t bother anybody.” For mature sod of three or four years, aeration and watering is a good weed deterrent. Sod requires even more upkeep as it can become uneven. “If your sod is uneven you could add top soil to it and reseed,” said Sim. When sod begins looking tired the best ways to rejuvenate it are power raking, aerating, composting and fertilizing. The largest challenge when it comes to sod is matching existing sod with new material. For every sod there’s a grass mix landscapers could use to match it. Sod farms and other sources can be contacted for the formula. However, Sim says starting over is sometimes easier. “Matching sod is really hard.”
Injuries caused by riding mowers
Carmen Sim and Alana Overeem of Country Gardens and Greenhouse offer landscaping advice and options. Photo by Amelia Naismith
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Riding lawn mowers are tailor-made for people who have large expanses of property to maintain. Though such mowers initially may have been created for commercial landscapers, eventually private citizens realized the benefits of owning a riding mower for the maintenance of their own properties. A riding mower can considerably reduce the time and effort that goes into mowing the lawn. Today’s riding mowers can do everything from cutting to mulching to blowing leaves and snow. Despite their convenience and availability, riding mowers are not a piece of machinery that should be taken lightly.
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Various health statistics point to riding mowers as a major cause of injury and emergency room visits each year. A Johns Hopkins University study found more than 80,000 Americans are injured every year while mowing, and around 95 annual deaths can be attributed to riding mower accidents. To ensure safety to yourself and others, heed these tips for operating your riding mower correctly. • Look for a mower where the blade turns off if the machine tips or if the driver leaves the seat. • Wear goggles and earbuds when operating the mower to avoid eye and ear injury. • Remove sticks, toys, rocks, and other items from the lawn before mowing. • Operate the mower up and down a slope instead of sideways to maintain stability. • Never fuel a hot engine. • Do not let children ride the mower alone or in tandem with an adult.
April 24, 2013 edition of the Ponoka News