Cleaning and Sharpening Garden Shears

Keeping your garden tools sharp is essential to the proper maintenance of your shrubs and hedges. This requires regular cleaning, which removes dirt and sap from the blades.

Unfortunately, even with regular cleaning, some dirt is too stubborn to be removed with a cloth. If this is the case, use a wire brush or steel wool to remove the dirt.

The same is true for shears that have become rusty. For best results, disassemble the shears and clean between the blades.

Once the blades are separated, you should scrub them with a mild soap and then rinse them with water. Dry both of the blades with an old sock or towel.

With a diamond file or sharpening stone, sharpen the blades and lubricate them before putting them back together. Of course, the blades may also be sharpened when the shears are still together if there is no reason to take them apart.

How Much Should I Water New Grass Seeds?

A Pennsylvania-based entrepreneur, Brendan Wetzel is the owner and president of Yardley Landscaping and Paving Company in Bucks County. Brendan Wetzel’s company provides residential and commercial clients with services such as lawn aeration and seeding.

Watering new grass seed may be more complicated than it seems. Too much water can negatively impact the growth of grass, while too little of it can cause the sprouts to die.

All new grass seeds require consistent moisture until they start to germinate. Keeping the soil moist will prevent the seeds from drying out and dying.

However, a moist lawn is not considered the same as a soggy one that has been watered too much, which can keep grass seeds from growing to their full potential.

Usually, new grass seeds should be watered twice a day for 5 to 10 minutes. In dry conditions, homeowners may find that this amount of water is not sufficient. Conversely, areas that get a lot of rain may not require this much water.

When homeowners begin to see new grass, it means that the seeds are growing roots into the soil. When all of the seeds have germinated, homeowners can return to their regular watering schedule. Depending on the environment, this may take 30 days or more.

Things to Consider for a Spring Cleanup

Proper spring cleanup involves more than simply picking up loose branches and other debris left exposed during the winter. While this is vital to maximize the growth of healthy grass, it is also important to rake the entire lawn and to clean garden beds in order to remove dead leaves and annuals that you intend to replace. From there, consider laying compost near plant roots to support their growth. About two-and-a-half centimeters of compost around perennial plants should be sufficient.

Before pruning overgrown shrubs and trees, identify the plants in your yard and determine the kind of care they require. For instance, some shrubs like rhododendrons and azaleas can be left alone until they bloom. Moreover, you should carefully inspect and clean all of your garden tools and clean them prior to the growing season. Edging and mulching are generally the last steps of an effective spring cleanup.

How to Overseed Your Lawn


An experienced landscaping professional and entrepreneur, Brendan Wetzel is the owner of the Bucks County, Pennsylvania-based Yardley Landscaping and Paving Company. For more than a decade, Brendan Wetzel has managed the company, where he applies his expertise in pruning, fertilizing, and lawn seeding.

A worn-out lawn with bare spots invites weed growth. Consider overseeding to protect against this problem and to ensure a lush and healthy green lawn. While reseeding involves the planting of an entirely new lawn, overseeding is the process of seeding over an existing lawn to thicken up relatively bare areas. Overseeding is most effective when the soil is warm, so those who live in colder regions should do so in the fall, while those who reside in warmer, southern areas should overseed in late spring into mid-summer.

Before doing this, it is important to mow your lawn shorter than you normally would and rake immediately afterward to remove dead grass and loosen the soil. This improves access to the soil for the grass seed so that it can germinate and root. You can use either an overseeding product or grass seed. If you’re using the latter, make sure to spread about a quarter of an inch of enriched soil over the grass. Water once or twice per day until the seedlings reach the desired height.