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Do You Really Need to Fertilize Your Lawn?

October 20th, 2016
Finished Lawn

Fertilizing your lawn should be part of your regular, comprehensive lawn maintenance plan.

If you care about keeping your lawn looking lush and green for as long as possible, you’ve probably used (or considered using) fertilizer. After all, when things start to look patchy and dry, it’s an issue of not enough nutrients in the soil, right?

Not necessarily. Although there are times and situations when fertilizing your lawn is the right choice, it’s not a universal cure-all. Instead, it should be used as part of a regular, comprehensive lawn maintenance plan that takes all parts of the grass life cycle into account.

Types of Grass

The type of grass in your lawn of will be the number one indicator of when and how you should fertilize. Because the best time to fertilize your grass is during its peak growing season (in the same way animals and people need extra nutrition during their growth spurts), it’s important to know when your lawn is expected to put in the most work. Cool-season grasses (typically found in northern states) tend to grow most in the early spring and fall. Warm-season grasses (typically found in the South) will do more of their growth in the humid heat of summer.

Things start to get tricky when you have a mixture of both these types of grasses, so it’s important to tailor a fertilization schedule to your exact lawn.

Fertilizer Contents

No two fertilizers are created equally, so it’s important to know what’s going in yours. Most fertilizers are composed of some combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—as well as a few other nutrients like iron that grass needs to stay healthy. However, too much of one ingredient (especially nitrogen) at the wrong time, and you could end up damaging the grass. Because nitrogen stimulates top growth, it can end up taking nutrition away from the roots or causing off-season growth.

Fertilizer Alternatives

Another issue to take into account are other, more natural alternatives to fertilizing a lawn. For example, the mulch left in grass

clippings contains natural nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. By allowing grass clippings to remain on the lawn, you can re-introduce these minerals without resorting to fertilizer.

Exmark core aerator

Core aeration can be beneficial for most lawns if performed at the right time for the type of turf grass you’re working with.

Other options include aeration, over-seeding, and timing your water cycles. Aeration, which perforates the soil with small holes, helps introduce oxygen, water, and fertilizer nutrients into the lawn. Over-seeding gives your lawn a chance to appear more lush and thick. Watering the lawn can also make a big difference, especially when it comes to cool-season grasses, which often go dormant in the heat of summer.

Depending on your lawn goals, any and all of these efforts can make a difference. With the right planning, a fertilizer can be used alongside other types of lawn maintenance to create the most desirable, green finish possible.




October 20, 2016

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Rear Discharge Decks

October 18th, 2016

There are times when you want to bag the mulch you mow, and there are times when discharging off to the side is preferable. There are also times when neither of these choices are ideal. For commercial mowers, certain locations come with side discharge difficulties. Medians, road sides, campgrounds, parking lots, cemeteries, and areas with heavy landscaping all require that you discharge to the rear or not at all.

Lazer Z X-Series

Exmark’s most powerful, productive mower, the Lazer Z X-Series, with the awesome UltraCut Rear Discharge cutting deck.

Mowers with rear discharge cutting decks also have the benefit of providing more efficient and sound-controlled mowing—two factors that play a big role when commercial mowing is your business. Everyone wants the perfect, well-manicured look of a freshly cut lawn, but few people want to be put out by lengthy mow times, and unsightly clumps.

The Exmark Solution

If you want controlled, uniform clipping distribution that both looks great and is healthy for turf, rear discharge decks are a great option.  With a full suite of rear discharge cutting deck options for our top-selling models, including select Radius and Lazer Z models, you can increase your productivity without sacrificing cut quality.

Rear discharge cutting decks provide distinct advantages to the modern landscaper, including:

  • Counter rotating blades for more efficient processing
  • Fuel savings of up to 20 percent
  • Uniform distribution in tight spaces
  • No overprocessing of clippings
  • Molded bumpers on both sides of the deck for easy maneuverability

These features are offered in addition to the standard high-power motors and quality construction you’ve come to expect from an Exmark mower.

Why Choose Rear Discharge Decks?

Controlled clipping discharge is ideal for populated or restricted areas, especially when used as part of a regular maintenance schedule. These mowers can also be used in rough-cut situations (like ditches), as each blade has more capacity and can handle larger jobs without damaging the equipment. And because the mower doesn’t overprocess the clippings, you can get faster results without putting too much strain on your team.

When used as part of a fleet of Exmark mowers, all of which are designed for commercial-quality cutting and seamless results, a rear discharge zero-turn mower is one of the most valuable pieces of equipment you’ll own.

Get great looking results, high efficiency, and rely on the signature high-strength alloy steel and durable construction Exmark is known for. With a rear discharge deck, you can expand your services and get more done in a day.




October 18, 2016

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Fall Lawn Care Schedule

October 13th, 2016

If you’re lucky, you’ve spent most of 2016 enjoying a beautiful green lawn rolling off in every direction. If you’re not so lucky, and your lawn is less like a rolling landscape and more like a DIY project, there’s still good news—fall is the perfect time to start a new lawn care schedule.

You don’t have to buy tons of tools or lawn care equipment (though it helps!), as long as you follow a few suggestions on timing for making the most out of your yard.

Early Fall

Exmark 30inch Stand On Aerator

By aerating your lawn and loosening the soil, you can better prepare the grass for a healthy lifecycle.

Early fall is an ideal time to tackle those bare spots, thin patches of grass, and dead areas in your lawn. If you have warm-season grass, you’ll want to do this while temperatures are high; for those with cool-season grass, it’s best to wait until the weather isn’t so hot.

Start by loosening the soil in the patchy areas either by hand or using an aerator. From there, you can remove the dead grass and add rich compost to create the best growing bed. Sprinkle grass seed, moisten the area with mulch, and be sure to apply water to help the grass seeds take root.

Early fall is also a great time to take care of any lingering weed problems. New compost and heavy water applications aren’t just ideal for grass growth—they also promote the development of weeds. By taking the time to get rid of any weeds now, you can tackle the rest of your lawn care without worry.


The middle of fall is when you want to aerate and over-seed your lawn for next year’s growth cycle. To take care of a full yard, you’ll want to use equipment from our Exmark aerator line and lawn spreader sprayer equipment, as these tools are designed to get beautiful results over a large surface area.

Exmark commercial-grade lawn sprayer

Seeding is important during mid-fall as the fall burst of growth in cool-season grass is some of the most natural and easy to take care of.

By aerating your lawn and loosening the soil, you can better prepare the grass for a healthy lifecycle. Seeding is also important during this time, as the fall burst of growth in cool-season grass is some of the most natural and easy to take care of.

Although you may be tempted to fertilize and mow at this time, it’s important to give your new fledgling grass a chance to take root. Stay away from the fertilizer altogether, and focus instead on things like edging and trimming.

Late Fall

As the cool weather continues, you’re going to start seeing a lot of debris and leaves falling from nearby trees and bushes. Your main job now is to keep that debris from covering your lawn and preventing sun and water from getting to the grass and roots.

A mulching mower will go a long way in breaking up the leaves and organic matter without damaging the grass below. This mulch is also a great way to put nutrients into the soil without introducing fertilizers, so take advantage of as much (or as little) of it as you want.




October 13, 2016

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UltraVac Accessories: Get More Out of Your Mower

September 20th, 2016

If you own an Exmark mower, you already know what it’s like to get a clean, precise finish on every lawn you mow. Exmark has long been considered one of the leading providers of both commercial and residential mowing equipment, allowing you to invest in machinery that can stand up to all the rigors you demand.

There’s no reason why the benefits should stop at superior comfort, precision, and results.

The UltraVac Bagger Collection Series

UltraVac 3-Bag Collection System

When you prefer the crisp, clean look of a freshly-mowed lawn without mulch, the UltraVac system has everything you need to create that perfect finish.

There are times when you want to mulch a lawn, and there are times when the debris left behind from mowing is both an eyesore and a nuisance. Many homeowners and businesses prefer the crisp, clean look of a freshly-mowed lawn without mulch, especially in the fall when debris and leaves can cause heavier than normal amounts of residue.

The answer to this problem is the UltraVac system, which provides a bagging option you can turn on and off with the switch of a button. Designed for both heavy commercial use and private residential mowing, this series has everything you need to create that perfect finish.

UltraVac Options

For our smaller zero-turn riding mowers, you can opt for the non-powered collection system, which offers twin bags that hold up to six bushels of clippings. Because this is designed mostly for personal use, you won’t find any complicated bearings or impellers that need to be replaced.

We offer both the UltraVac collection system and the UltraVac QDS collection system. Accessories in these series include features like:

  • Rear-discharge hoppers
  • Commercial-grade cloth bags with reinforced bottoms and capacity of up to eight bushels
  • Commercial-grade impeller turbo system, which chops the debris with five abrasion-resistant blades and sealed bearings
  • Easy hopper removal to transition between mulching/bagging and reduce the amount of dust/debris

Because these features are customizable to your equipment and your needs, you can handle different jobs easily. The UltraVac system is also easy to remove for transport and for use across different mowers.

Why Make the Exmark Choice?

When you want the industry standard in durability, great construction, high performance, and seamless results, Exmark mower accessories provide the answer. Achieve a perfect lawn without the mess—and do it with equipment that will continue to work as hard as you do.




September 20, 2016

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When to Lease and When to Buy Lawn Care Equipment

September 14th, 2016

Rotating and maintaining your mowers is an essential part of all good lawn care companies. Any piece of equipment that gets regular use is going to experience wear and tear—and when that equipment literally is your business, it’s important to stay on top of repairs and the latest mower upgrades.

As an Exmark mower user, you already know that we offer a full suite of commercial mowers. However, you don’t have to purchase these mowers in order to include them in your personal fleet. Depending on your situation, you may find that it’s better to lease than to buy.

Here’s how you can tell what’s right for you.

Leasing Lawn Care Equipment

Is Leasing Right For You

Depending on your situation, you may find that it’s better to lease than to buy.

When cash flow is a factor, leasing might be the best option for your business. Because you make regular monthly payments instead of paying in full for the equipment, you don’t have to tap into your capital or take out a loan in order to access the best-quality lawn care equipment you can.

This is especially true if you’d like to access the newest and latest in lawn care technology. When you purchase a mower, you’re typically tied to that equipment for several years in order to make the most of your investment. With a lease, you may be able to trade in and upgrade to newer models.

Because leased equipment is traded in and upgraded regularly, it tends to stay under warranty until you’re ready to move on. Not only does this mean there’s rarely a chance for the equipment to become so worn down it stops being effective, but the added benefit of manufacturer warranties means you don’t have to worry about spending huge amounts of money on repairs.

Buying Lawn Care Equipment

Of course, even with these benefits, leasing isn’t for everyone. When you lease a piece of equipment, it becomes a tool you use rather than an asset to your business—something that can make a big difference when you’re a small company or just starting out. A mower you purchase can not only be used every day, but it can also be sold off when you’re done with it.

Lawn care equipment you own is also yours to do with what you wish. Upgrades, repairs, maintenance… all those things that are part of your daily business can be accomplished without going through the manufacturer or taking lease agreements into account.

There may also be tax benefits to owning your equipment rather than leasing, so it’s important to talk to your financial department or accountant before you make a decision.

Here at Exmark, we want you to feel good about the equipment you use every day. We make the mowers Landscape Pros purchase 2 to 1 over the next best-selling brand — it’s up to you to decide how you want to access them. Learn more about Exmark’s Lease Program on the Special Offers page.




September 14, 2016

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Announcing the Exmark Radius

September 6th, 2016

Radius zero turn mowers are the next great professional grade lawn mower from Exmark.

Here at Exmark, we’re pleased to be launching a new zero-turn mower that combines everything you love about our existing models with increased comfort and a lower-cost design. Exmark has long been known as a company for great quality, durability, and productivity in yard design—with this new launch, we’re also reaching out to provide a simpler and more affordable lawn care solution.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a homeowner with acreage and you’re looking for a higher-quality solution to your regular lawn maintenance, or if you’re a landscaping company in search of a versatile, affordable solution for your fleet—when you rely on the Exmark brand, you get quality equipment in a package you know and trust.


Exmark Radius Models

The new Radius is being released in three models: the E-Series, S-Series, and X-Series. In all three models, you can expect a low center of gravity, increased ergonomics, adjustable ROPS, and vibration controls—just to name a few of the features. The improved handling capabilities are ideal when you want a more precise cut, while safety interlocks and easily accessible control panels make it easier for you to manage your operations.

Perhaps best of all, we allow the three different models so you can match your individual needs to a price point that makes sense for you.

Radius E-Series:

Exmark Radius zero-turn rider

The Radius is being released in three models: the E-Series, S-Series, and X-Series.

  • 5-inch cutting deck
  • Ground speeds of up to 8mph

Radius S-Series:

  • Operator seats with adjustable isolation technology
  • 5-inch cutting deck
  • Ground speeds of up to 9mph

Radius X-Series:

  • Full suspension seat
  • 5-inch cutting deck
  • Ground speeds of up to 10mph

And because you’re purchasing equipment from the trusted Exmark brand, you also get the commercial engines and warranties we’re known for on all three of the Radius series mowers.

Why Radius?

With each new design and model of mower, we strive to create the balanced, comfortable ride you want with the precise cutting capabilities you need. To this end, we’ve worked hard on the Radius series to isolate just what it is that provides this perfect balance.

For comfort, the answer is in our seat isolation, specialty foam design seats, and Elastomeric Vibration Control. For precise and professional cutting, our Ultracut decks play a large role. Either way, you can look forward to better mowing capabilities at a lower price point than you’re used to.

Join the ranks of Exmark owners everywhere with the new Radius zero-turn series. When you want professional comfort and a professional finish—but you don’t want to pay the professional price—this mower provides the perfect solution.




September 6, 2016

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Fixing Bare Patches in Your Lawn

September 1st, 2016

Few things are more frustrating than to seed, water, mow, and maintain your lawn only to have bald patches ruining the overall effect. These dead, dry brown spots tend to crop up during the summer months, which is why now is a good time to take care of them.

Don't mow when grass is wet, or in the midday heat.

Take care of lawn patches now to keep your lawn at its best.

Causes of Lawn Patches

In order to get rid of your problem for good, it’s important to identify what caused the bare spot. The most common (and easiest to repair) reason is high foot traffic. Paths for humans or animals can wear down over time, and until you create an alternate walkway or put up a barrier, the grass isn’t likely to come back.

Other causes of bare patches in your lawn may include:

  • Drought
  • Under-watering
  • Disease
  • Pet waste
  • Chemical burns
  • Excessive weeds
  • Insect Infestation
  • Fungus

If necessary, treat the underlying cause of the problem first. Depending on your situation, this may require that you apply chemical treatments, hire an exterminator, or wait until water restrictions in your area are lifted.

Conditions for Re-Seeding

Late summer/early fall is a good time to fix bare spots, but if you’re doing this later in the fall or early in the spring, remember that ground temps need to be at least 52 degrees for seeds to sprout. Grass also prefers a clean slate on which to grow, as it’s not great at competing with weeds for space. Most experts suggest that you take the following steps to prepare the spot in your lawn:

  • Remove the dead turf and other plant life. Depending on the size of your patch, this can be accomplished with a spade or a larger shovel.
  • Clear any large rocks or clumps. The smoother the soil, the better the chances that your new grass will take hold.
  • Add topsoil. Because you’re likely removing an inch or two of dead turf and debris, you’ll need to add fresh topsoil to keep your lawn smooth and level.

Re-Seeding Your Lawn

Always choose a grass seed mixture that matches your existing lawn or that thrives in your area. Different grasses need different conditions, and you’ll get the best results by keeping your local climate conditions in mind. From there, you’ll want to:

  • Generously seed the area. You can sprinkle seeds by hand, or use an applicator for larger patches.
  • Apply a mulch. Grass seeds tend to be delicate in their early stages, so you’ll want to help keep it moist and prevent birds from eating it. Many grass seed brands come with mulch included, or you can use a material like straw.
  • Water twice a day until the seeds sprout. Morning and evening are the best times to water. After the seeds sprout, reduce the watering to once a day.
  • Fertilize the grass. Most fertilizers are too strong for new grass, so you’ll want to wait until you have a healthy growth before you fertilize.

Because you want to give your new grass a chance to thrive, it’s also a good idea to restrict walking and mowing/lawn care in the area. By the time fall arrives, you should have a nice, strong, consistent lawn and you can resume regular lawn maintenance.




September 1, 2016

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How to Get Rid of Common Lawn Pests

August 30th, 2016

Few things are worse than putting time and effort into trimming, mowing, and maintaining your lawn only to have it overrun by common pests. Part of any good lawn care routine will include a plan to reduce and/or eliminate the insects and rodents most common in your area.

Keep your lawn looking its best!

Eliminate the insects and rodents most common in your area to keep your lawn looking its best!

Depending on where you live and the type of lawn you have, you may encounter any of these destructive beasts.


Although there are technically dozens of different kinds of grubs (the larvae of beetles) that vary by region and climate, they all tend to operate the same way when it comes to damaging your lawn. They feed on the nutrient-dense roots of grass, which causes the grass blades to die and create large brown patches. You can typically tell when grubs have taken over your lawn because the dead patches will lift from the ground like a carpet.

When grubs are large enough, you can actually pick them out from underneath the turf and remove them. However, most people turn to pesticides, which provide longer-term treatment to stop the cycle of reproduction. Dry grass (due to drought) and predatory nematodes can also help control grubs, as these will cause them to die naturally.


While moles might help with grub control, there’s no denying they’re one of the fastest ways to destroy a lawn. Not only do they burrow under the ground, causing holes and damage to the physical structure of your grass, but they feed on earthworms, which are needed to help aerate the soil, keeping your grass lush and green.

Getting rid of moles almost always requires the help of a professional. Because these are larger mammals, they must either be physically removed from the area or have baited traps set out to capture or kill them. Although you can try pouring chemical deterrents in their mole hills, many of these substances end up hurting your lawn more than they help them.


Grasshoppers might not seem like a huge nuisance, but anyone who’s had them descend on their lawn en masse knows how quickly they consume everything in sight. They love dry areas with lots of overgrowth, which means they’re especially damaging in areas that may have undergone neglect recently. From there, they move from yard to yard, eating all that they see.

Because of their love of dry areas, a well-watered lawn is actually a grasshopper deterrent. So is a well-mowed lawn, as the shorter grass doesn’t give them (or their eggs) a safe place to hide. These natural ways of controlling grasshoppers are better than pesticides, because by the time you apply them, the damage may already be done.

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs like sunny patches of lawn, where they bite into individual grass blades, sucking moisture from the plant and injecting toxins that cause it to come loose. Because they hide in the thatch layer, dethatching is good at preventing them. Pesticides and insecticidal soap can help eliminate them once they’ve taken hold in your lawn.

Other insects that damage lawns include mole crickets, beetles, aphids, cutworms and more. As is the case with most lawn care efforts, prevention is your best cure. By taking good care of your lawn and paying attention to any new or growing dead areas, you can control most pests before they get out of hand.




August 30, 2016

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Keeping Track of Hours Mowed

August 25th, 2016

A lot of lawn maintenance companies start out as just one or two guys with a lawn mower and a desire to set their own hours. Although you can begin a landscaping company with a more concrete business plan (and many people do), it’s not uncommon for businesses to start out small and grow much larger as demand increases.

This kind of growth is exciting, but it also means you’ll have a lot more paperwork and maintenance to do. That’s why we suggest tracking hours mowed from the very start. It doesn’t matter whether you have two clients or two hundred—this kind of smart record-keeping will help you with billing, lawn mower maintenance, legal settlements, and more.

Hours and Billing

The reason most landscape companies keep track of hours is for billing and invoice purposes. Some companies charge their clients by the hour, which means you need to know exactly how long your team spent at the work site. Other companies bill at a flat rate, but only know what to pay their own employees based on the hours they put in.

By keeping careful logs that include time spent on maintenance, loading and unloading equipment, drive times, lawn care, and regular breaks, your whole company can run on a tighter schedule. You’ll make better business decisions when you have data to base them on. Additionally, a log of times and places worked will be helpful in case of disputed payroll or complaints about work.

Methods for keeping these kinds of records depend on your business style. While you can opt for keeping paper logs or designing your own spreadsheet, more and more companies are choosing automated GPS systems and apps that allow remote employees to log their activities from their smartphones.

Preventative Mower Maintenance

We all know that mowers need regular maintenance and tune-ups the same way a car does, but not everyone remembers that total hours of run time and heavy usage impacts longevity of your equipment. Unless you keep exact records of when, where, and how long each mower was used, chances are you’re greatly underestimating the usage it undergoes.

Although these estimates vary depending on the make and model of the mowers you use, most maintenance schedules follow these general guidelines.

Oil and Oil Filters: Most mowers need an oil change every 50 to 100 hours. Filter replacement can be done less frequently, at about every 100-150 hours.

Air Filters: Because large amounts of dust, dirt, grass, and other debris are kicked up when a mower is in use, air filters need to be replaced fairly often. Depending on the type of air filter, this may need to be done as often as every 25 hours, or as infrequently as every 100 hours.

Spark Plugs: Most mower manufacturers recommend new spark plugs every 100 hours of use.

Blade Sharpening/Replacement: Mower blades take some of the biggest hits when it comes to commercial lawn care, with sharpening and/or replacements required every 8 to 20 hours. For those who perform lawn care full time, this may mean daily maintenance.

With all of these varying maintenance schedules, tracking hours mowed will help you keep on top of whether your machines need just an oil change, or a couple of different types of maintenance. Since proper maintenance is key to keeping mowers running, the benefits to your business will outweigh any hassles.

These logs also let you know when your mower might be approaching the end of its warranty or when it’s time to purchase new equipment. This can be a great help as you budget for the new equipment, since you’ll have a firm idea of what your average cost per hour is—and what you can spend to improve that outcome even more.




August 25, 2016

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Get a Distinctive Cut with Striping Kits

August 23rd, 2016

A lawn that has been perfectly striped is one of the most serene sights in the world. There’s something about the neat lines and trim edges that makes baseball fields to private lawns look incredible. If you want to create a highly professional finish in your lawn care, striping the grass is the best way to do it.

The look of striping is caused by bending the grass at opposite angles. While this can be accomplished simply by mowing in a careful pattern (as the act of mowing naturally causes the blades of grass to bend), the long-lasting, deep colors of professional striping can only be accomplished with the right tools.

You don’t need a brand new mower in order to achieve these results. With an Exmark striping kit or lawn striper attachment that mounts onto your mower deck, you can achieve stripe perfection while going about your regular mowing routine.

Lawn Striping

Striping the grass is the best way to create a highly professional finish to your lawn.

How Our Stripers Work

Most lawn stripers and rollers, including those offered for your Exmark mower, are designed to be attached or removed, depending on the job you’re preparing to tackle. They’re constructed of the same steel-welded parts and high-grade bolts as the rest of your equipment, which means you get a professional fit and finish. They’re offered in a versatile range of sizes so you can attach your striping kit to everything from a push mower to our top-of-the-line Lazer series.

Once the roller is attached, it automatically presses the grass further and deeper in the direction you’re moving, which means you get more visible results as you mow. You don’t have to adjust the length of the cut—just your movement pattern, as you’ll want to keep your lines straight and your turns tight.

Considerations When Striping a Lawn

While the right equipment will go a long way in helping you achieve the results you want, it’s also important to prep the area accordingly. Grass that is too short won’t bend as well, and your stripes will be difficult to see. Your look will also depend on the type of grass. For example, warm-season grasses, like those you often find in warmer, wetter areas of the South, tend to be more rigid and stripe better.

It might also take some practice before you’re able to get the results you want. Basic stripes are the easiest finish to accomplish, though you may encounter obstacles like trees and shrubs that you have to work around. Over time, you can work up to diagonal lines, criss-cross patterns, or even a checkerboard.

It’s also a good idea to remember that lawn striping is about more than just making things look good—it can also be an invaluable tool as you prepare to continue your lawn maintenance. The straight lines can help guide you as you fertilize and seed. The stripes can also be used to cover bare patches or imperfections in a lawn. You can also step your landscaping up to the next level by using the lines to accentuate a focal piece such as a fountain, outdoor structure, or other lawn showpiece.

Find the striping kit or striper for your Exmark mower




August 23, 2016

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