6 Lawn Care Tips for Fall

6 Lawn Care Tips for Fall

Summer is over, but before the warm weather is completely gone for the year, now is the perfect time to groom and prepare your yard for fall.

Tip #1 – Keep the grass tall

Tall grass helps keep moisture during warmer temperatures. Mowing high also decreases turf damage from mowing too short, the grass is more drought tolerant, and more weed and grub tolerant.

Tip #2 – Trim and clean up your edges

Hedge trimmers and pruners are great lawn care tools to use this time of year. Fall is the perfect time to handle overgrown bushes and shrubs. Cutting old and thick branches promotes the growth of new stems.

An edger, string trimmer, or brushcutter are also great tools to enhance the look of your yard. They add bold, new definition to the area, and additionally they stop the entrance of plant roots into your sidewalk and driveway. After winter is over, it will be easier to reestablish a beautiful lawn and garden.

Tip #3 – Overseed when needed

You don’t want bald spots on your lawn when fall ends so it’s a good idea to overseed now.

If you are overseeding, do not mow high. When overseeding, cut the grass at your mower’s lowest height and bag the mower clippings instead of using them as mulch. This way, the seeds will get maximum contact with the soil and new grass will grow.

Tip #4 – Fertilize

While there are a variety of blended fertilizers in stores, fertilizing starts with you and your mower. Mow your lawn as you normally would and leave the finely chopped grass clippings on your lawn as mulch. Mulching allows the grass to naturally decompose while allowing nutrients to reach your soil and improve the health of your lawn.

Tip #5 – Aerate compacted soil

Aerating entails punching holes into the lawn to allow oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach the soil. The goal of aeration is to loosen compacted soil and is needed for lawns that suffer from heavy foot traffic and construction.

Tip #6 – Dethatch the lawn

Controlling the thatch on your lawn is an important part of lawn care. The thatch layer is the layer of dead grass, roots, and debris that accumulate on the surface of the soil. Over time, a thick mat forms and this prevents air and water from reaching the soil. Therefore, your lawn is more susceptible to diseases and pests.

If the thatch layer is over a half inch thick, it should be removed. Most lawns need dethatching once a year. To check if it’s time, work your fingers into the grass and take note of the thatch layer. To remove thatch from your lawn, use a dethatching rake or power dethatcher.

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5 Ways To Prepare For Winter Storms

5 Ways To Prepare For Winter Storms

When it comes to winter storms, are you doing everything you can to get ready for heavy snow and prevent possible weather damage? Gear up ahead of time with these preparation tips and reduce winter weather-related problems before they hit.

1 – Use A Good De-Icer On Walkways

When it comes to de-icers, the benefits of professional-grade ice melt greatly outweigh ordinary rock salt. Typically composed of calcium, magnesium, potassium, chloride, or a combination of these, ice melt lowers the freezing point of water to melt snow and ice at much lower temperatures.

Additionally, ice melt is less corrosive than rock salt, making it safer for your driveway, sidewalk, and yard. Less corrosion is also good news for your shoes and carpet, so you can breathe easier when accidentally tracking residual ice melt indoors.

2 – Trim Overgrown Branches

Winter storms bring extreme winter winds, ice, and heavy snow. When that wind, ice and snow hit, your trees may pose a potential hazard to you and your home. Branches that are close to your house can break off and cause serious damage, leaving you with more than just a damaged tree.

To help prevent damage and injury, use a chainsaw to trim overgrown or loose branches before storms pass through.

3 – Clean Gutters

Leaf-clogged gutters often cause major problems when combined with winter weather. Left unattended, debris buildup can lead to water overflow, ice dams, and even flooding.

If you’ve experienced some flooding before, try using a water pump to collect standing water from floors or other areas where liquid and debris may have settled.

4 – Choose A Reliable Generator

Having the right generator on hand can mean the difference between operating your home without interruption or going days without power. Avoid being stuck without lights, charging stations, and appliances by keeping a generator nearby for surprise outages.

5 – Tune Up Your Snow Blower

For ultimate convenience this winter, remember to tune up your snow blower and make sure it is in great working order before the first big snowfall. Having your snow blower ready to go will help cut down on any surprise malfunctions when it’s time to clear your driveway.

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Get Your John Deere Gator Ready for Winter

Get Your Gator Ready For Winter

Yes, it’s cold out, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop using your John Deere Gator. Since John Deere utility vehicles are designed to take on any condition or task, trudging through snow during the winter is not as difficult as you may think. There are a variety of attachments designed to winterize your Gator so continue reading to learn how these add-ons can help prepare your machine for winter conditions.

Floor Mats

The snow and mud covering the grounds during the wintertime may get tracked back to the floor of your Gator. These washable floor mats protect the floor from outside elements and minimizes debris and noise in the operator station.

Cab Doors and Rear Panel

Adding cab doors to your John Deere Gator can boost the temperature inside your cab. Also, heat-absorbing tinted glass absorbs solar radiation through the windows. These panels come in three different colors.

The cab rear panel has the same heat-­absorbing tinted glass that absorbs solar radiation. It also helps keep dust and snow out of the operator station when it’s installed with a full windshield.

Canvas Cab Doors

Canvas cab doors are a nice option if you don’t want full-on doors. You can choose the heavy-duty, water-resistant polyester canvas doors for your machine. There is also a poly roof, canvas roof/rear panel, poly rear window, and full-flip-out windshield to keep yourself protected from the elements.

OPS Poly Roof

This roof provides the operator, and passenger, with year-round weather protection thanks to molded-in water troughs that routes water away.

Glass Windshield

This windshield is made of tempered glass and provides clear, distortion-free vision for the operator. It’s also tinted to absorb heat and keeps out rain and snow.

Windshield Wiper Kit

The windshield wiper kit ensures that operators can see clearly in the snow. The backlit switch installs right onto the dashboard.

Deluxe Cargo Box Cover

This heavy-duty fabric coated cover is water resistant. An elastic cord and hook attachment system keeps loads tightly secured and away from the wet weather.

Vehicle Cover

When you’re done working for the day, you can shut your machine down and use this heavy-weight polyester fabric cover to protect your entire vehicle from poor weather conditions year-round.

Straight Blades

There are several straight blades you can use with your John Deere Gator, ranging from 66 to 72 inches. For instance, the Standard V-Shape Blade is a great for dirt and snow removal, as well as grading. The Hydraulic Straight Blade can be used if you want a hydraulic lift and angling system to make snow removal easier. Again, there are multiple options available. Be sure to choose one that fits your specific needs.

This is not an entire list of John Deere Gator attachments, but we hope the listed attachments come in handy this winter. Remember you can customize your Gator however you like to prepare for winter conditions.

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Lawn Mower Troubleshooting Tips

Lawn Mower Troubleshooting Tips

If your John Deere lawn mower is not properly cared for it will have a shorter life and experience more problems. Spring is upon us and that means it’s time to begin your yard maintenance. Here’s what to do when you’re ready to tackle yard work but your John Deere equipment isn’t.

Tip #1 – Utilize new fuel and air filters

For starters, fresh fuel and a clean air filter will help prevent lawn mower problems. To clean your air filter, tap it to remove lose debris. If you hold it to the light and see the light, it’s okay to use. If there is no light, replace it with a new air filter.

Use fresh, mid-grade fuel with no higher than E10 Ethanol rating, stored in a clean, sealed container.

Tip #2 – Check bolts, wheels, cables and belts

Tighten all bolts. Check that the lawn mower wheels, cables and belts are not overly worn to avoid problems when you are mowing.

Tip #3 – Check spark plugs and carburetors

Common problems that affect the performance of your John Deere lawn mower are fouled spark plugs, and flooded carburetors.

Replacing the spark plug can make a huge difference in the performance of your mower. Change your spark plug every two years. To avoid a flooded carburetor, you need to drain the carburetor and put new fuel in it.

Tip #4 – Keep a sharp lawn mower blade

A dull blade will not prevent your John Deere lawn mower from starting but it will affect your lawn. Dull blades trim grass unevenly and leave the tips of your grass torn and not cleanly-sliced. If your blade is dull, have it sharpened and balanced for efficient mowing.

Tip #5 – Keep up with routine maintenance

Staying on top of routine maintenance will increase the performance and life span of your John Deere lawn mower and other equipment.

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How to Grease the Wheel Bearings on your John Deere Zero Turn Rider

How to Grease the Wheel Bearings on your John Deere Zero Turn Rider

Your John Deere zero turn rider works hard and requires regular maintenance to ensure a long and reliable service life. Part of this maintenance includes greasing the wheel bearings on the front of your mower. You should lubricate the bearings one to two times each mowing season to protect them from wear and keep them spinning smoothly.

Before performing any maintenance on your John Deere lawn mower, refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions and safety information. Also, you’ll need a grease gun and grease for your zero turn mower.

Park your John Deere mower on a level surface, stop the engine, and remove the ignition key. Move to the front of your mower and locate the grease fittings on the outside hub of the caster wheels. These fittings, also referred to as zerks, make it easy to apply grease to the wheels internal bearings.

Start by cleaning the fitting on the wheels with a rag. Remove any grass, dirt or debris that could interfere with greasing the wheel bearings. Make sure the spring-loaded bearing ball inside the inlet is visible and free to move.

Attach the nozzle on the end of the grease gun to the fitting on one of the caster wheels. Pump grease into the fitting until you see a little bit of grease ooze out of the wheel bearing. Use your rag to wipe away excess grease that oozes out to prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris. Move to the other front wheel and grease the wheel bearing. When complete, again wipe excess grease with a rag.

Don’t forget to factor your wheel bearings into your lawn mower maintenance checklist. No matter how small it may seem, performing maintenance on your wheel bearings plays a huge role in the performance of your John Deere equipment.

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When to Sharpen or Replace Your John Deere Lawn Mower Blade

When to Sharpen or Replace Your John Deere Lawn Mower Blade

To achieve a great cut and a healthy lawn, it is essential to regularly sharpen or replace your John Deere lawn mower blade. While many people only need to sharpen their lawn mower blades once every couple of months, people who mow more than once a week will need to increase maintenance to once each month. The exact timing depends on workload, but if you’re not sure how often to perform blade maintenance, there are a few tell-tale signs that will help you stay on schedule. With the following tricks, you can develop a trained eye and keep your John Deere lawn mower blade up to par all season.

The first and most obvious thing to look for is unevenness in your lawn. When your John Deere lawn mower blade is sharp, your grass should be cut at the same height every time with just one pass of the mower. If you find yourself making multiple passes to compensate for missed patches of grass, a dull blade may be the culprit.

Another way to tell if your John Deere lawn mower blade needs sharpening is by closely inspecting the grass. If you notice that the tip of each grass blade is torn and not cleanly-sliced, it may be time to switch out your blade. Torn tips may also decrease grass health, causing grass to lose its lush, green color to an unhealthy shade of brown.

Lastly—and perhaps most obviously—you can inspect the blade itself. While your John Deere lawn mower blade can usually be salvaged with routine sharpening, it is important to look for large chips or dents in the cutting edge that cannot be smoothed out. Inconsistencies in the blade are likely to tear grass rather than delivering the clean cut that’s important for your lawn. Also pay attention to the thickness of your John Deere lawn mower blade. Over time, sand, dirt, and other yard debris can erode the blade, causing the metal to weaken and become paper-thin. If you notice this, replace the blade immediately to avoid breakage during mowing, which can cause pieces of metal to fly apart and possibly injure you or other bystanders.

Overall, paying close attention to your lawn and your mower will help greatly in determining when to sharpen or your replace your John Deere lawn mower blade. Remember the signs, perform maintenance regularly, and your John Deere lawn mower blade should cut beautifully every time you mow.

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Green-Parts-Direct.com stocks a wide inventory of parts for John Deere power equipment. Our comprehensive parts selection allows us to provide quick response times and help you confidently find the parts you need.

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Spark Plug Maintenance

Spark Plug Maintenance

Regular maintenance keeps your John Deere equipment running quietly and efficiently. If your John Deere lawn mower, snow blower, or other outdoor power equipment won’t start, a damaged spark plug may be the problem. Worn or dirty spark plugs cause issues for your machine, so be on the lookout for these as well.

As a rule of thumb, you should check and/or replace the spark plug on your small engine machine every year. Also check the spark plug every season or every 25 hours of use to determine whether it should be replaced. If your John Deere equipment won’t start, check and/or replace your spark plug.

To check for a damaged spark plug:

  • Turn your John Deere machine off and allow the engine to cool to the touch. Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting.
  • Blow or clean off the area around the plug with compressed air or a brush, making sure the area is clean. This will prevent debris from getting in the combustion chamber when removing the spark plug.
  • Remove the spark plug with a spark plug socket and clean any deposits from the plug.
  • Use a wire brush or spray-on plug cleaner to remove the deposits, or a sturdy knife to scrape off tougher deposits.
  • Check the spark plug for cracked porcelain, electrodes that have been burned away, or stubborn deposits. If you find any of these issues, change the spark plug.
  • Check the spark plug gap and adjust if necessary. Many manufacturers package new spark plugs with the cap pre-set, but it is still a good idea to double-check the gap and torque according to your John Deere owner’s manual.
  • If the spark plug is in good shape, re-attach. Make sure you don’t over-tighten the plug when replacing it.
  • Reconnect the spark plug wire and start your machine’s engine.

To replace spark plugs:

  • Disconnect the spark plug wire and clean the area around the spark plug.
  • Use a spark plug socket to remove the spark plug.
  • Check the gap on the new spark plug and replace it.
  • Tighten the spark plug but don’t over-tighten it.
  • Reconnect the spark plug wire.

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Fuel Tips for Your John Deere Equipment

Fuel Tips for John Deere Equipment

Your John Deere outdoor power equipment needs fuel to operate properly. That goes without saying, but not just any old fuel will do. Ensure that you know the right type of fuel to use in your machine and when to replace it. Our experts explain how to reduce fuel system issues with your John Deere equipment.

Only buy the amount of fuel that will be used in 30 days

Fuel starts to go bad after 30 days so do not let it sit in your machine for longer than that. After 30 days, the volatile compounds in the fuel start evaporating, and this occurs whether the gas is in your outdoor power equipment or in the gas can.

As fuel sits and grows older, it evaporates and forms brown sticky deposits that eventually turn into a hard varnish. Deposits and varnish can plug fuel lines and passages in the carburetor, preventing the engine from running properly.

Use fuel stabilizer

Many of us use fuel stabilizers in our machines when we store them for the off-season to have an easier time starting them when the time comes. This is a good practice. When fuel stabilizers are added to fuel they separate and create a thin film on top of the fuel to keep out air and moisture. They also reduce the rate at which the fuel’s volatile compounds evaporate.

Try adding fuel stabilizer to your fuel the day it is purchased. This way, the fuel will stay fresh longer.

Don’t use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol

Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol. Using higher ethanol fuel blends can lead to engine damage and performance issues. Read your John Deere Equipment Manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your machine.

Use ethanol-free gasoline

Gasoline without ethanol will reduce the amount of moisture the gasoline can absorb from the atmosphere. Many areas carry ethanol-free gas. Visit https://www.pure-gas.org/ to locate ethanol-free gas stations near you.

Purchase mid-grade gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher

Standard 87 octane gasoline is perfect for small engines like the ones found on lawn mowers. However, mid-grade or premium gas with an octane rating of 89 or higher can be used for engines that require the higher octane.

Again, read your owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your John Deere outdoor power equipment.

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How to Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower

How to Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower

Excited to start up your John Deere lawn mower but want to make sure it’s in peak condition before taking on your yard? We’re here to get you started! Use our checklist below to tune up your John Deere Lawn Mower and make sure it performs exceptionally all season long.

1. Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Drain Old Fuel and Change the Oil

Typically, fuel should be drained from your John Deere lawn mower before putting it into winter storage each year, but if there is any leftover fuel from last season left in the tank, make sure you drain it now. Because old fuel can separate into deposits and clog the carburetor, it is possible that you will discover some damage as you inspect your mower (if you find that any parts have been damaged, you can search for replacement parts here). Next, change the oil to help ensure engine longevity and better performance.

2. Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Clean or Replace the Air Filter

Depending on what type of air filter you have, you can boost performance by cleaning or replacing the filter. Foam filters can be washed with hot water and dish soap, while paper filters should be replaced once they are no longer usable. To determine if your paper filter is in working condition, remove it from your mower, tap off excess dust, and hold it up to a bright light. If the light shines through the filter, it is clean enough to put back on your mower. If you cannot see any light, the filter is dirty and should be replaced.

3.  Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Change the Spark Plug

Ideally, spark plugs should be replaced each year or after 100 hours of use, whichever comes first. Although spark plugs rarely go bad, they are good indicators of underlying engine problems and as a result should always be taken care of. Use a crescent wrench or pair of vise grips to turn the metal base and remove the spark plug, then place a few drops of oil into the open cylinder. Start the engine a few times to coat inside valves, then replace your old spark plug with a new one. Remember to use the same part number, as there are many types of spark plugs available as you work with different equipment (click here to find spark plugs).

4. Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Sharpen Blades

Sharp blades can make a huge difference in cut quality. Check blades for excessive dents, chips, or wearing that could have an impact on mowing performance, and sharpen or replace depending on severity of damage.

5. Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Double-Check Bolts, Wheels, Cables, and Belts

Finally, inspect your John Deere for any loose bolts, worn cables or belts, or damaged wheels. Tighten, repair, and replace as needed to help avoid future problems that could pop up later in the mowing season (click here to find parts by illustrated diagram).

Paying attention to these important tips can help you stay on top of your John Deere lawn mower maintenance and enhance the quality of your lawn all season. For questions about replacement parts, you can contact us here. Best of luck, and let the mowing begin!

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Green-Parts-Direct.com stocks a wide inventory of parts for John Deere power equipment. Our comprehensive parts selection allows us to provide quick response times and help you confidently find the parts you need.

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Convert Your John Deere Tractor Into a Snow Blower

Convert Your Tractor Into a Snow Blower

Many of us dread clearing snow during the winter. We know that maneuvering your shovel or snow blower through heavy, wet snow during the winter can be exhausting. If you own a John Deere tractor, you may not dread clearing snow as much. Your John Deere tractor provides you with an alternative way to remove snow this year.  If you convert your tractor into a snow blower, you can avoid the need to shovel or purchase a snow blower. Here’s what you need to convert your John Deere tractor into a snow blower.

John Deere attachments and accessories vary by model. Refer to your owner’s manual for information on attachment and accessory compatibility.

Snow blower attachment

To convert your John Deere tractor into a snow blower, you need a snow blower attachment to remove the snow from your drive and walkways. These attachments have the capacity to handle big snow removal jobs and work well in all snow conditions.

Plow blade attachment

If you prefer to push snow instead of throw it, there is an assortment of John Deere tractor mounted plows to help clear snow from your driveway. Plow blades get closer to the pavement than blowers, leaving you with little to no snow on your pathways.

Snow cab

You can add a snow cab to your John Deere tractor for extra protection from freezing temps and harsh winds.

Tire chains

When using your John Deere tractor in the snow, your tractor tires may not have the stability and traction needed to remove snow. When the pavement is covered by snow or is icy, you can increase the traction by using tractor tire chains.

Tire chains are also beneficial when working on steep terrain and narrow roads. To maintain traction, make sure you have tire chains on your tires. They will make your snow removal tasks safer and more productive.

Wheel weights

Like tire chains, wheel weights provide extra traction when working on snowy or icy terrain. Weight wheels are recommended when adding attachments to the front of your John Deere tractor. Apply these weights to the rear tires to help weigh down the back end of your machine and press down so the tires grip better.

Cast-iron weights

Cast-iron weights are great attachments for the front end of your John Deere tractor. These counterbalance heavy attachments and provide better traction and stability.

Some tractors have built-in front and/or rear weight brackets to hang the cast-iron weights on. Other tractors require a weight bracket. Refer to your owner’s manual to determine what your John Deere tractor has and/or needs.

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