October Landscape Maintenance Tips

Happy Autumn! A very special thanks goes to this month’s guest writer, Matt from kebony.com, a Norwegian company which aims to be the “leading wood brand and technology organization.”


From Lawnaholic: Some people think that it’s not important to maintain your lawn during colder months, but that is absolutely not true. Being able to keep many aspects of your yard in tip-top shape will help ease into Spring with better soil and growth.

The content below is all about October (and other fall months) Landscaping Tips —

Spring and summer are naturally the busiest months for landscape care but don’t stop regular maintenance and lawn care just because fall has arrived. It is all too common for novice homeowners and property managers to become lax on fall maintenance which only leaves more work to be done come spring.

Remember – the work you put into your landscape in the fall will pay off come spring when the snow has melted. Most of normal fall maintenance involves simple, but important, care that will help ensure your property comes through winter looking great.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind while caring for your property in early to mid fall:

Don’t Stop Mowing Just Because Grass Growth Has Slowed

Grass growth slows down quite a bit in the fall but that doesn’t mean you should completely stop mowing. While you won’t need to mow very often you should mow if the length of the grass gets too long. There is a bit of a sweet spot for grass length in the fall. To ensure the grass survives and regrows you’ll want it to be at least 2″ tall. However, once you get to 3″ or more you risk the grass matting together which can mold once snow falls.

Don’t forget to check grass length around decking as well. You should mow here or weedwack if you find the grass or weeds are touching, especially if you have a wood deck as they are more sensitive to pest and moisture damage.

Stay on Top of Leaf and Debris Removal

Raking up leaves is the most obvious fall landscaping chore, but it’s important to routinely rake up leaves as they cover the ground rather than allowing them to sit until the last minute. Leaving leaves and other debris to sit can kill grass and groundcover fairly quickly. Wet leaves and debris can also potentially cause mold or fungus growth under the pile.

Be sure to safely dispose of leaves, branches, and other organic debris safely. In some areas it’s customary, and even somewhat traditional, to burn leaves. This can potentially be unsafe, not to mention it is a waste of a potentially useful organic matter. A better idea is to compost the leaves. If you live in a rural area, go the eco-friendly route and move the leaves on the outskirts of your property for insects and wildlife to use.

Use This Opportunity to Reseed or Start a New Lawn

Early fall is a great time to reseed your lawn or rip out your old lawn to start a new one. Many people make the mistake of reseeding in the spring, which often isn’t the most effective time to be replanting. Reseeding during the fall helps ensure that the seeds themselves can properly take hold in the soil and not be disrupted by family activities on the lawn or heavy snow. Come spring time you will see more growth and healthier grass.

Keep in mind that if you live in a very cold climate you may need to reseed fairly early on in September. Those in more regions with mild winters may be able to reseed as late as November.

Deep Water Shrubs, Hedges and Trees Right Before First Freeze

Depending on your gardening zone there is going to be a “sweet spot” of time between the time deciduous trees or shrubs go dormant and when the ground begins to freeze. This period of time is ideal for deep water around any trees, shrubs, hedges, etc. Thoroughly saturating this foliage will help them get through winter more easily. Just be sure to do this deep watering before the ground begins to freeze as watering combined with freezing ground may have the opposite effect.

Drain Water Systems and Irrigation Hoses

Late October, or earlier depending on when your region hits freezing temperatures at night, is a great time to drain out any irrigation hoses or watering systems around your landscape. You should also shut off outdoor water lines at night. This is a common practice in cooler climates but may not be common sense for everyone. Clearing out irrigation lines and watering systems may need to be done with compressed air to ensure all water is out.

Water trapped in hoses can freeze, expand and bust the lines, leaving you with a mess to clean up in the spring. Failing to shut off outdoor water lines in outbuildings can also cause pipes to break. To be safe, whenever your forecast shows freezing temperatures at night it’s time to consider draining hoses and turning off outdoor water lines.

Clean Off Walkways and Tidy Around Outbuildings

Part of landscaping maintenance includes caring for boardwalks, pathways, gazebos, and any other outbuildings. Allowing leaves or dirt to sit on walkways, especially on wood, can lead to algae or fungus growth and staining. If you live in a region that gets snow, the combination of snow (and ice) on top of loose debris on walkways is potentially a very dangerous slipping hazard as well. Ensure pathways are clear and outbuildings are prepared for winter.

When you properly maintain your landscape throughout fall you are ensuring that all the hard work you put into your property will once again pay off come spring.


Ryobi Electric Riding Mower: Yep, Cell Phone Charger On-Board

Moving over to the Greenworks 40-Volt push mower has really shown me the wonders of using electric equipment around the yard. Finding an affordable rider like the new Ryobi electric riding mower was not even in the cards it seemed. Until now.

Meet the Ryobi RM480e. It’s an all electric machine that will mow up to 2 acres or 2 hours, depending on which way you want to look at it.

Ryobi RM480e Electric Riding MowerConsidering my electric push mower journey, it’s exciting to go cut the lawn now because there are no more trips to the gas station, oil changes, spark plug testing, or other common routine maintenance. Combine all of those things with the ability to start my mower with the push of a button and it’s definitely worth the cost.

Fully Electric 48-Volt Riding Lawn Mower

ryobi rm480e electric riding mower electric charging

Think about the class of a Nissan Leaf, but for riding lawn mowers. The all-electric car runs on nothing but pure batteries, is the best-selling electric car, and boasts it’s “super quiet and efficient”. I feel like this mower will meet all of the same criteria, but will also be a best-seller.

With the reputation of Ryobi and their selection of electric push mowers, this riding mower could effectively be the new, go-to electric pick for yards that aren’t huge, but require a rider to get the job done.

Let’s Talk About Clean, Electric Mower Power

ryobi rm480e electric riding mower all electric powertrain

No Gas, Zero Emissions

For Ryobi, they have been in the industry for a very long time. They have really worked to get their electric tools and equipment fine-tuned and fit for an average consumer. That being said, it’s nothing new that this mower uses no gas and has zero carbon emissions.

LED Headlights

One of the reasons an electric riding lawn mower has become a reality is because of lighting technology. If the mower batteries have to power two 30-watt bulbs, it [obviously] takes away from the energy source. You’ll get less mowing time because power has to go to the bulbs. However, with LED lighting, you’ll have the longevity of the low-energy bulbs as well as remaining power.

Low noise/no heat

Since the Ryobi riding mower doesn’t use gas power, the noise is significantly cut down. Plus, an added benefit is that the only heat being created is from the batteries, not from a combustible engine.

High Torque Powers Blades and Drivetrain

There are 3 brushless motors that run the blades and drivetrain of the mower, so you’ll be getting a longer lifespan from the motors themselves. A distinct advantage of a brushless motor is that there are no brushes to wear out. That advantage in turn creates low maintenance of the brushes. There is a high initial cost for these types of motors, but the benefits outweigh that cost.

If Ryobi decided to use brush motors, the disadvantage would likely be more electric noise and have a much shorter lifespan on the motor and overall the mower itself.

Safety Features to Consider: Reminders and Operator Presence

ryobi rm480e electric riding mower safety features

The following features for safety come with the RM480e model:

  • Beeper Indication for Parking Brake Reminder
  • Operator Presence Control
  • Key Removal Reminder
  • Reverse Reminder
  • Parking brake
Beeper Indicator for Parking Brake Reminder

One aspect that’s really fascinating about what Ryobi did for this equipment was add safety features that don’t normally exist on a typical riding mower. One of those being a beep reminder for your parking brake. That way, a reminder will be given if you happen to be on a hill or in an area where you may have thought you set the brake.

Operator Presence Control

For those out there that have experience with a riding mower, you are probably aware of an operator presence control system that is usually in place to shut off the riding mower blades within three seconds. There’s actually a safety standard implemented by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) that suggests manufacturers to stop the blade(s) of the mower if the operator does not disengage the drive.

Unfortunately, this standard is not required, but merely recommended. It’s really an option that should be a requirement for any riding lawn mower.

Keep an eye out for a label on the machine stating it meets the ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2003 standard for safety.

Key Removal Reminder

This is pretty self explanatory, but if you leave the key in the ignition when leaving the seat of the mower — a nice, friendly reminder toner will remind you to take the key with you. Except for the people out in the country that leave the key in all the time, this will be helpful.

Reverse Reminder

In addition to the ANSI B71.1-2003 standard was a safety feature labeled NMIR (No Mow In Reverse). This states that the blades will not continue to rotate once the riding mower is shifted into reverse.

The Ryobi RM480e implements a reminder about reverse driving. I hate to mention it, but many riding mower accidents happen from reverse incidents.

Parking Brake

Set this and the mower won’t move. Pretty simple.

Other Sweet Features: Yep, Cell Phone Charging Enabled

ryobi rm480e electric riding mower usb phone charger

When is the last time you (or someone you knew) rode on a riding lawn mower with a smartphone charging option?

It comes standard on this mower. Such a great feature; although I do wonder how much time your phone charging capabilities will take away from your mowing time frame.

One of the features that definitely stood out to me was that this thing offers cruise control! Yep, that’s right. You can drive it like a car. Tie the cruise control feature in with a cup holder and it’s a sweet right through the yard, cold drink on board and tight turns.

It Comes With Lithium-Ion Batteries, Right?

ryobi rm480e electric riding mower batteries

One of the greatest technologies right now that is accelerating rapidly is lithium-ion batteries. And, while many of us are used to having them in our smartphones, power tools, and other pieces of tech, they aren’t quite compatible with what an electric rider needs to operate.

The type of batteries Ryobi decided to use are lead acid. Inside the mower are four 75Ah 12V batteries (hence the 48-Volt total). After they are depleted, you’ll have to wait about 10-12 hours for recharge on a typical 120V outlet.

Plus, regular lithium-ion batteries aren’t air breathing batteries anyway.

Virtually Maintenance Free and Easy Operation

For the same reasons of moving to an electric string trimmer, an electric riding mower is no different. You get all of the benefits from using electricity instead of gas and super low maintenance. That means no belts, no spark plugs, and no filters! Who doesn’t get excited about that?

With a 3-year warranty, if the minimal routine maintenance does not cover a problem, it will be repaired or replaced without charge for parts and labor by an authorized service center for RYOBI. As the owner of the equipment, shipping costs (if needed) will have to be paid by you.

What Are Ryobi’s Electric Mower’s Specs?

ryobi rm480e electric riding mower deck

12-Position Deck Height

With 12 positions to adjust for the deck, there are plenty of options to make your lawn down to less than 2″ (1 1/2″ min.) or if you have a longer cut, the deck can be raised.

Side-discharge, Mulching or Bag

Options still exist for your preference of how to contain the grass clippings. If you do want a bag, you’ll have to purchase a similar bag like this one separately.

16 inch Turning Radius

A comparable gas model to the Ryobi RM480e has an 18″ turning radius. A smaller turn radius means tighter corners. With a 16″ radius, that means making turns more efficiently around the yard.

Reinforced 12 Gauge Deck and Steel Blades

Precision cut steel blades help with cleaner cuts and longer sharpness. The deck is also made of reinforced steel to protect it from bumps, trees, and other collisions. The deck is also weather resistant to withstand things like moisture and grass buildup.

Realistic Comparison Against Gas Powered Riding Mowers

The below models are the closest comparison with the Ryobi RM480e because of the differences with deck width and the form factor. As you can see, the pricing does vary with each model, and although the Ryobi is a bigger upfront investment, you’ll gain dividends on not worrying about regular maintenance that comes with a gas riding mower.

Where is the Ryobi RM480e Electric Mower Available?

As the time of this article, the electric riding mower is exclusively available at Home Depot. It’s possible that more vendors will eventually get the RM480e model, but not certain. This is similar to the Greenworks 60V lineup only being available at Lowes.

Summary and Thoughts

With Home Depot’s 30 Day Return Policy, if you’re in the market for a new mower, this is a winner. With other electric mowers coming into view, Ryobi will have to set the standard to continue providing the best electric equipment for the average consumer.

You can find the mower at Home Depot and they’ll be on/off sites like Ebay in the future.

We’ve reached to Ryobi Marketing to hopefully get our hands on a demo of the riding mower or even some of their new lineup of power tools.

Ryobi Electric Riding Mower Resources and Guides

Don’t forget to download Adobe Reader to view PDFs on a desktop.

Ryobi RM480e Electric Riding Mower MSDS

Ryobi RM480e Electric Riding Mower Users Manual

Ryobi Warranty Information

Assembly Guide for the RM480e

Generator Accessories and Extras

Generator Accessories and Extras

Along with every generator comes extra accessories like gas cans, tachometers, funnels, and other items to test and make sure your generator is working optimally. The last thing anyone needs to worry about is having a backup power source but no gas.

Below are the most common items purchased in conjunction with best-selling generators. You’ll most likely need at least a couple of these items to make maintenance and the use of power much easier.

Husqvarna Celebrates 1,000,000 Robotic Mowers

That’s a lot of mowers.

Husqvarna started in 1995 producing solar mowers. In an effort to help with a more green society and get rid of emissions, they created a mower that was more efficient and needed no gas to run. On top of that, it was automatic.

Husqvarna leads the global market with it’s products in the robotic mower industry. It’s no surprise that they will continue to stay ahead of the curve given their mission to succeed in the market.

Celebrating 1,000,000 environmentally friendly robotic mowers is a milestone for the Group. More than twenty years ago, we created the robotic mower market and have developed the market ever since. We naturally have a strong market leadership within this category while many of our competitors still are fairly new in the market. We see that in many countries the market for robotic mowers still remain small, while others have grown substantially – meaning sizeable growth opportunities in this exciting segment remains. Our aim is to maintain our leadership position by providing the most reliable, safe and efficient products and solutions

Kai Wärn
CEO & President, Husqvarna Group

With the over 20 years of experience in the robotic mower industry, Husqvarna has learned how to increase better cuts and a better handling of yards with complex gardens or landscaping with its robotic mowers. They are definitely trying to make the lawn cutting process completely autonomous.

A robotic mower is energy efficient and has almost no emissions during use. The electricity consumption for maintaining a 1,000m² lawn is approximately equal to a 11W light bulb. Today it is possible to control, program and track your robotic mower via a smartphone or tablet app as well as easily control the watering and lawn care from anywhere, anytime.

Husqvarna Group

To be clear, this does not only include the Husqvarna Automower lineup, but also brands such as Gardena, McCulloch and Flymo. All are designed to be an automatic system to help with lawn care and more.

Kai also mentioned, Our advanced robotic mower solutions have created our market leading position. All our robotic mowers are designed in Sweden and produced at our state of the art plants in Europe, before they are shipped all over the world. As the market leader we are committed to continue stand at the forefront, delivering the best end-customer solutions as well as continuously evolve our offer based on how people connect and engage within this area.”


Husqvarna Group is a world leading producer of outdoor power products for garden, park and forest care. Products include chainsaws, trimmers, robotic lawn mowers and ride-on lawn mowers. The Group is also the European leader in garden watering products and a world leader in cutting equipment and diamond tools for the construction and stone industries. The Group’s products and solutions are sold under brands including Husqvarna, Gardena, McCulloch, Poulan Pro, Weed Eater, Flymo, Zenoah and Diamant Boart via dealers and retailers to consumers and professionals in more than 100 countries. Net sales in 2016 amounted to SEK 36 billion and the Group has more than 13,000 employees in 40 countries.

Husqvarna Group is a global leading producer of outdoor power products and innovative solutions for forest, park and garden care. Products include chainsaws, trimmers, robotic lawn mowers and ride-on lawn mowers.The Group is also the European leader in garden watering products and a global leader in cutting equipment and diamond tools for the construction and stone industries. The Group’s products and solutions are sold under brands including Husqvarna, Gardena, McCulloch, Poulan Pro, Weed Eater, Flymo, Zenoah and Diamant Boart via dealers and retailers to consumers and professionals in more than 100 countries. Net sales in 2016 amounted to SEK 36bn and the Group has around 13,000 employees in 40 countries.

5 Cool Outdoor Gadgets to Spice Up Your Yard

Out of all the cool outdoor gadgets, some of these on this list make me wonder how people even think of them! Enjoy this list of things you might consider.

1. Terra Grass Armchair Gets Your Yard Involved

If you’re lacking a couple of lawn chairs (you know, the portable kind) and want to sit in the grass, but not on a flat surface, you should check out the Terra Grass Armchair (Amazon Italy) to see what you think. The project was on KickStarter and raised enough money to make the products.

The whole thing is just cardboard and what you can do is build it, plant your seed in dirt and wait for it to grow. Different kits are available which will let you upgrade one of your seats to a sofa. That sounds pretty awesome!

2. Edyn Wi-Fi Garden Sensor

The Edyn garden sensor sets up continuous monitoring of your garden to inform you of any changes in light, humidity, temperature, moisture, and even soil nutrition! Depending on the weather forecast, you’ll be notified of changes and comparisons with a plant database.

Download the app to see how your garden is doing from anywhere (since it’s Wi-Fi connected). Another cool feature about this gadget. It’s solar powered.One of the best parts about the features are that it will recommend certain plants according to your soil and climate region. That’s something an ordinary person can’t do without years of experience.

Check out the Edyn Garden Sensor on Amazon! Wi-Fi connected, real-time monitoring of your plant and garden needs.

3. TreePod’s Original Hanging TreePod Backyard Tree House

hanging treehouse

For this one, you’re going to need a tree, but it will definitely be worth your time. With a capacity of up to 500 lbs., the Treepod Hanging Tree House is fully portable and breaks down to be used for camping, parks, or just your backyard. Certifiably an outdoor gadget worth mentioning.

Right now it’s offered in four different colors and built with nylon and an aluminum framing. The fabric is (of course) weather resistant, so if you want to be outside in the rain, no big deal. Measures 7.5 feet tall x 5 feet wide.

4. GoSun Sport Portable Solar Cooker

portable solar cooker

You might have a grill in your backyard, but when it’s full, you can resort to using the GoSun Portable Solar Cooker for steaming, frying, baking, or even boiling. It’s perfect for a pack of hot dogs (you know, the vegetarian kind) or pretty much anything you can fit. As long as the sun is shining, you’ll be able to cook on it. It has mirrors to help retain the heat from the sun to be used as a stove. But, remember to get a backup charcoal grill for the nighttime.

5. Outdoor Bluetooth Rock Speakers

You might have one of the bluetooth speakers that to carry around with you from place to place, but how well does it blend into a backyard? Unless it gets painted the same color as grass, these rock speakers are probably going to blend in better! They are designed to withstand extreme heat or cold – without reduced life or failing and have a 40W output to put out enough sound for medium or large sized backyards and patios. Click here to see the bluetooth speakers on Amazon.

Hope you enjoyed these! I know I’m looking forward to getting a hanging tree house once we plant a tree in the backyard…but, the garden sensor seems promising!