Consumer Reports: Prepping your lawn for summer

With the weather getting nicer, don't procrastinate in giving your lawn a little tender loving care.

First things first, Consumer Reports said if you didn't properly winterize your lawn and garden equipment, don't fire it up just yet.

"Leaving fuel over the winter in those motors can actually cause problems and once it gets into the line it will be really difficult to get out," said Dan Wroclawski of Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports experts recommend using a turkey baster to siphon out the fuel and then adding fresh fuel and a fuel stabilizer. And if you're in the market for new equipment, get shopping.

"Now is a great time to buy, retailers are discounting all of their old inventory and you will see the widest possible selection of new products as well," said Wroclawski.

But before you head to the store, test your soil.

"Your soil test will tell you what nutrients are missing and will help you figure out the right ratio in the fertilizer that you need," said Wroclawski.

And lose the leftover leaves or new grass won't grow.

"What we recommend that you do is either compost those leaves or use the mulching kit that comes with your lawnmower to mulch up those leaves and disperse them through the lawn," said Wroclawski.

Winter can be brutal on walkways and driveways so make sure they get a look as well.

"We recommend that you fill cracks and concrete with a concrete crack-filler that will help mitigate future problems," said Wroclawski.

And when in doubt ask the people at your local nursery or consider calling in experts.

If you have questions about trees or plants or just trying to get your grass to grow better you really want to hire a lawn care professional," said Wroclawski.

You can buy do-it-yourself soil testing kits but many of them only test for the PH balance.

For a more comprehensive test CLICK HERE to find a land grant school with an extension service. They usually provide the service for a small fee.
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