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Leaf Blower Repair and Maintenance

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Monnick Supply, Marlborough, Framingham, MA

Fall is right around the corner. Pretty soon the yard, driveway, sidewalks and walkways will start to get their fair share of leaves and fall debris. A leaf blower is the perfect way to do your fall clean-up without using elbow grease. But most leaf blowers have a hard time starting up when you want them to. At Monnick Supply leaf blower repair is a specialty.

Back-pack leaf blowers and electric or gas-powered leaf blowers make life easier year round. Who wants to sweep or rake when a leaf blower can move leaves and other debris far more easily? But, when your leaf blower doesn’t start, the broom or rake can really take the enjoyment out of the gorgeous fall weather.

If you are having trouble staring your leaf blower bring it in for small engine repair and maintenance. Sometimes new gaskets, new air filters, fuel stabilizer, or new spark plugs are needed. No matter what the problem is, we will do our best to fix the leaf blower and make it run smoothly and reliably again. If you just want a new leaf blower, we sell them too-gas, electric or battery powered.

Monnick Supply in Marlborough and Framingham, MA specializes in sales and service of all power tools. Contact us for more information.

Prepare your Snowblower for Winter

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Monnick Supply, Marlborough, Framingham, MA

The last thing anyone wants after the first major snowstorm of the year is to take the snowblower out of the garage and discover that it doesn’t work.

Having simple annual snow blower maintenance performed can save you from the aggravation of this scenario.

In general, these tasks should be done either at the end of the season in preparation for the following year or in the autumn before winter starts.

Much of the basic maintenance for a snowblower is the same as that needed by automobiles and includes the following:

  • Changing the oil (drain the old oil before adding new oil)
  • Installing a new spark plug
  • Replacing oil, fuel, and air filters
  • Inspecting the belts for wear and replacing them as necessary
  • Checking the tires for proper pressure and punctures
  • Filling the tank with fresh gasoline (siphon off old gasoline first)
  • Lubricating the snowblower drive and chassis can also improve efficiency and increase the life of the snowblower. Different snowblowers require different lubricating agents.

One part that can wear down over time is the rubber on the auger. If a finger fits between the rubber and the snowblower’s housing, replacement rubber is needed to optimize performance.

The scraper bar (the bar that scrapes the snow into the blower) can also experience some wear and should be carefully examined each year. A worn scraper bar can cause damage to the snowblower’s chassis and this generally requires professional repair or even replacement of the unit.

Even if the above maintenance is done at the end of a snow season, you may wish to purchase new gasoline at the beginning of each winter. In Massachusetts, with wide climate variations, gasoline is reformulated every few months for maximum effectiveness in for the current season. This means that gas bought in spring is not the same as gas that is bought in the fall, and the fall formula is better suited for winter use.

Adding methanol to the gasoline once a year can also be useful to prevent condensation in the gas tank and icing of the carburetor. This can be done at any time and is not technically part of an annual maintenance checklist, but adding the methanol when you fill the tank for the first time can ensure it’s done at least once per year.

For more information, or to make an appointment for snowblower maintenance, contact Monnick Supply.

How to Get Rid of Crabgrass in the Summer

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Monnick Supply, Marlborough, Framingham, MA

Kill crab grass and be one step closer to having a perfect lawn.

Crabgrass is a tough opponent, but with a lawn spreader, a pump sprayer and a few turf products you can get rid of crabgrass in the spring and control it throughout the summer.

OK, your lawn has been growing for a couple of months and you notice light green blades thickening up your Kentucky Blue. Before you think your lawn is having an exceptional season, think again: It’s likely to be young crabgrass.

Pulling, at this early stage, is a surprisingly effective way to get rid of crabgrass. But if the weed has pushed up three or four rows of leaves, inspect it carefully before you snatch it. If you spot a slender, green seed head that is still closed and folded up against the leaves of the plant, go ahead and pull it, too.

However, after the seed head tines have spread out like a fork, leave it alone. Otherwise you’ll scatter scads of seeds right over that nice big hole you’ve just created by removing the mature weed. You might as well be trying to cultivate new crabgrass!

Come fall, seed bare and patchy areas. With good lawn care practices, you’ll soon crowd out those fallen crabgrass seeds.

Spraying

Lightly mist masses of immature crabgrass with a postemergence herbicide. Usually it’s too embedded to pull without yanking lots of your desirable grass with it.

Spray postemergence herbicide directly on crabgrass after it has sprouted. Pulling is equally effective, but if the roots are deeply embedded in your lawn, it may be tough to pull them out without pulling grass chunks too. It’s not worth spraying a postemergence product on crabgrass that has gone to seed. It takes about two weeks for the herbicide to work, which is about how long it takes the plant to finish its seeding process. If it has gone to seed, you’re better off waiting for next spring and applying a preemergence product then.

Post-emergence herbicides are most effective when the soil is moist and the plants are dry. Read the label for specific instructions. Typically you apply it with a hand pump sprayer. It’s best to apply it on a hot day when there’s low wind. If temperatures are too low, the product may be ineffective. Unless the crabgrass is young, you’ll probably have to reapply the product a few days later (according to the label) to kill the plant.

After postemergence application(s), keep an eye on the treated area. In extremely dry conditions, water two days after the application to aid absorption. If your grass near the treated area is turning brown, you probably were a little heavy handed.

Soak the damaged area with water to dilute the chemical and avoid further damage. Also be on the lookout for new crabgrass sprouts. These will require another herbicide treatment, or if there aren’t too many, simply pull them. Be sure to seed these areas in the fall.

Don’t waste your money on a postemergence herbicide in the fall as a route on how to kill crabgrass, when the temperatures are falling. The herbicide won’t be effective and the plant will soon die anyway.

Fight Crabgrass With a Healthy Lawn

The best way to stop crabgrass is to shade it out with a thick, healthy lawn. A thick lawn provides a dark canopy of grass blades over the seeds, so they won’t sprout. Follow these good grass-care practices.

Watering: A thorough watering once a week will encourage the grass’s root system to go deeper, making the whole lawn more hardy and heat tolerant. Avoid short, frequent waterings. These “sips” will promote a shallow, weaker root system in your lawn.

Mow: As a rule, grass should be mowed to a height of 2 to 3 in. Mowing it shorter than 2 in. will reduce the grass’s vitality and give weeds a chance to move in. Be sure to keep your lawn mower blades sharp so they won’t tear the grass. Leave grass clippings on the lawn as a natural fertilizer.

Reduce compaction: Weeds thrive in areas where compacted soil deprives the grass roots of the air and water circulation they need. If your yard is prone to compaction, rent and run an aerator over it every other year, especially if your soil contains a lot of clay.

Fertilize right: Avoid lawn fertilizer that say “quick green-up” on the label. These have excessive nitrogen ingredients that will actually weaken your lawn over time, making it more susceptible to weeds. Instead, select a fertilizer product with half of its nitrogen in a slow-release form. For a 1,000-sq.-ft. lawn, use less than 3 lbs. of nitrogen annually.

Reseed: Weed-damaged or thin areas should be seeded (sometimes called “overseeded”) in the fall, when the days are warm, the nights are cool and you have dew in the mornings.

Apply a double dose near hot spots

Some spots need special attention

Lawn near driveways, sidewalks and curbs or on south-facing banks absorbs a lot of heat during the summer months, which makes it more susceptible to crabgrass. Limit crabgrass growth in these areas by doing a targeted double treatment. After you’ve treated your entire lawn, go back and make another pass, as one option on how to kill crabgrass, about 6 to 8 ft. wide, along these areas (and make sure to sweep it off hard surfaces afterward). This will help keep crabgrass from taking hold along these heat absorbers.

Kill it all and start over!

How to Get Rid of Crabgrass

Expose bare soil

Kill off patches of lawn with nonselective herbicide in the fall if more than half the area is weeds. When it’s safe to replant (check the herbicide label), soak the patch with water and rake off dead grass and thatch to bare the soil.

While we all admire those who relentlessly defend their turf against crabgrass, there comes a time when the best strategy is to give up. That time is when your lawn only has 30 to 40 percent desirable grass left in a given area and the rest is lost to crabgrass and other weeds, and all options on how to kill crabgrass have been exhausted.

Begin by killing all the vegetation. On a low-wind day, apply a nonselective herbicide that is approved for lawn use, like Round-Up or Kleen-Up. Follow the label directions exactly. Depending on the product, weeds and grass will die and dry up in five to 14 days following application. Then renovation can proceed.

Thoroughly soak the area to give your new grass its best chance for a good start. Check your watering depth by pushing a spade into the ground and pulling it back to get a deep view of the soil. If the soil is moist to a depth of 6 to 8 in., you’re ready. For patchy bare areas and turf-free areas up to about 8 ft. square, use the spade technique for seeding. It’s effective, although it would be slow and tedious on areas that are much larger. Scuff up the dead vegetation with a rake and, using a spade, make 1/4-in.-deep furrows about 2 in. apart. Broadcast your grass seed, then flip a rake upside down and knock the seeds into the furrows. These furrows ensure that the seeds will make good contact with soil; they provide some moisture-retaining shelter as well. Then be sure to keep the seeds and soil moist. Continue to baby your new grass until after its first mowing. Do not apply crabgrass preventer to freshly planted areas.

Consider Chemical-Free Control Methods

Pre-emergent herbicides are the most effective and economical way to control crabgrass. But if you’d rather not use herbicides, you can try hand-weeding individual crabgrass plants in late spring before they get too big. They pull easily in soft ground after a rain. 

Learn more on how to eliminate weeds in your yard, contact Monnick Supply in Marlborough and Framingham, MA.

Source: familyhandyman.com


OUR STORE LOCATIONS

Marlborough Store

135 Maple Street,
Marlborough, MA
Call (508) 318-4788


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759 Waverly Street,
Framingham, MA
Call (508) 386-9876


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Monnick Supply $$
135 Maple St.
Marlborough MA 01752
United States
(508) 318-4788
Mon-Fri 7am - 6pm
Sat 7am - 5:30pm
Sun 12pm - 4pm
Monnick Supply $$
759 Waverly St.
Framingham MA 01702
United States
(508) 386-9876
Mon-Fri 7am - 6pm
Sat 8am - 5:30pm
Sun 10am - 4pm