Discover the Top Features of the Cub Cadet ZT1 42-inch Mower

a yellow Cub Cadet ZT1 42 lawnmower
The popular Cub Cadet ZT1 42.

If you are in search of a reliable and efficient lawn mower that can help you maintain your lawn like a pro, then the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 42 mower is the perfect choice for you. The Cub Cadet brand has been a trusted name in the lawn mower industry for years, and the ZT1 42 model is one of their excellent products. This zero-turn lawnmower is designed with advanced features that ensure a smooth and easy mowing experience. In this article, we’ll note the features that make it stand out from other mowers in the market.

Top Features of the Cub Cadet ZT1 42 Mower

Cutting Performance: One of the most notable features of this lawnmower is its superior cutting performance. The mower’s 42-inch-wide cutting deck is designed to provide maximum airflow, which ensures a clean and even cut. The deck can be adjusted to one of twelve different cutting heights, giving you complete control over how you want your lawn to look.

Reliable Engine: The ZT1 42 is powered by a 22 HP Kohler® 7000 Series V-Twin OHV engine that delivers plenty of power both to the drive wheels and to the mower blades. This engine ensures that the mower can tackle even tough mowing jobs with ease.

Ergonomic Design: Another feature that sets the Cub Cadet ZT1 42 mower apart is its ergonomic design. The mower comes with a high-back seat that provides excellent lumbar support, making it comfortable to operate for extended periods. Additionally, the mower’s lap bar steering levers can be adjusted both up and down as well as forward and backward. This allows operators of all sizes to use the controls at a position that is most comfortable for them, which helps reduce fatigue. Like other mowers in the Ultima Series, the ZT1 42 is also designed to minimize vibration while mowing. All the mower’s controls are conveniently located within easy reach of the operator. The throttle control and deck engagement controls are located on the right-hand side of the mower, while the deck lift control is located on the left-hand side of the machine. The entire configuration is designed to reduce operator strain, and for maximum safety.

Comparing the ZT1 42 Zero Turn to the XT1 LT42 Lawn Tractor

To get a better idea of a product’s best features, it is often helpful to make comparisons with similar products. Let’s compare the ZT1 42 zero turn with the Cub Cadet XT1 LT 42 lawn tractor. Both are 42-inch mowers, but there are differences.

The most obvious difference here is the mower style: the ZT1 42 is a zero turn with lap bar steering; the LT42 is a lawn tractor. Both have Kohler engines, but the engine on the LT42 is a single cylinder engine with 19.5 horsepower whereas the ZT1 42 has a twin cylinder engine with about 2.5 more horsepower.

Both the zero turn and the lawn tractor have hydrostatic transmissions, which don’t require that you shift gears. However, the zero turn can move a bit faster than the LT42. The ZT1 42 has a top speed of 7 MPH but the LT42’s top speed is around 5.5 MPH.

Finally, there are a number of differences between the cutting decks of these 2 models. The cutting deck on the ZT1 is made of thicker 11 gauge steel instead of the thinner 13 gauge steel used on the LT42. The ZT1 deck can be adjusted to 15 different height positions, but the lawn tractor only has 12 positions and can’t be raised quite as high. Raising the deck on the zero turn can be done easily with a foot pedal. On the LT 42 lawn tractor, you must move a hand lever to operate the deck height. To engage the mower blades, the ZT1 42 has an electric PTO switch, whereas the LT42 has a manual PTO engagement lever.

This brief comparison of the Cub Cadet ZT1 42 zero turn to the XT1 LT42 lawn tractor helps to highlight some of the superior features of the ZT1 42.

The Cub Cadet ZT1 42 Mower is Available for Purchase from Shank’s Lawn Equipment

If you are interested in purchasing the Cub Cadet ZT1 42 mower, look up Shank’s Lawn Equipment. Shank’s Lawn Equipment is an authorized Cub Cadet dealer and offers a wide selection of Cub Cadet products, including the ZT1 42 mower. Their knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect lawnmower to suit your needs and provide you with excellent customer service.

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An Easy Guide to Locating Your Briggs and Stratton Engine Number, Type and Code

Model, type, and code numbers stamped into an engine
There they are: Model, Type, and Code!

Briggs and Stratton is a well-known brand in the small engine industry. Their engines are widely used in lawn mowers, generators, and other small machinery. If you own a Briggs and Stratton engine, it’s important to know how to identify it, especially if you need to order replacement parts. Briggs and Stratton engine identification involves three numbers: the engine number, type, and code. In this guide, we’ll explain what these numbers mean and how to find them.

Understanding Briggs and Stratton Engine Identification

Every Briggs and Stratton engine has a unique identification number, type, and code. These numbers are used to identify the engine, and thus its individual parts.

The engine model number is the main identifier and indicates the specific model of the engine. This model number is a coded system that indicates information such as engine size, design, starter type, and output shaft configuration.

The type identifier indicates additional information about the engine such as the OEM brand of equipment that the engine was installed on, engine speed, and other details.

The code is a number that indicates the date the engine was manufactured, as well as the factory and assembly line where it was produced.

The Importance of These 3 Numbers: Number, Type, and Code

Knowing your Briggs and Stratton engine’s number, type, and code is essential when it comes to ordering replacement parts or performing repairs. Each engine has specific parts that are designed to fit it perfectly. If you don’t have the correct numbers, you may end up ordering the wrong parts or not being able to find the parts you need at all. Additionally, knowing the type and code numbers can help you answer maintenance questions such as which oil or spark plug to use with your engine.

Where to Find Your Engine’s Number, Type, and Code

Finding your Briggs and Stratton engine’s number, type, and code is not usually difficult. The location of these numbers may vary depending on the engine’s model, but they are generally located in the same basic area.

The model, type, and code figures are embossed into metal somewhere on the engine itself. For lawn mower engines, these identifying numbers can typically be found on the blower housing, the muffler heat shield, near the spark plug, on the fuel tank, or at the base of the engine block.

The engine code numbers might be concealed, depending on the design of the engine shroud. To find the model, type, and code for your engine, simply remove the few screws that hold the engine shroud, and look underneath.

Briggs engines produced in or after July 2012 also feature a QR code decal attached to the front or back of the engine. Any QR reader app can be used to scan the code. Once scanned, the app will take you directly to the engine’s identification info. From there you will also be able to access the model’s illustrated parts lists, manuals, and other useful information.

Ordering Briggs Engine Parts Using the Number, Type, and Code

Once you have located your Briggs and Stratton engine’s number, type, and code, you can use this information to order replacement parts. Many online retailers, such as, allow you to search for parts using your engine’s numbers. This makes it easy to find the correct parts for your engine without having to search through a long list of options.

When ordering Briggs and Stratton engine parts, it’s important to make sure that you have the correct numbers. Using the wrong numbers could result in the wrong parts being ordered, which could cause damage to your engine or machinery. Make sure to double-check your numbers before placing an order to ensure that you get the correct parts.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Knowing how to identify your Briggs and Stratton engine is an essential part of owning and maintaining your engine. It’s knowledge that will save you time and money in the long run and ensure that your engine receives proper care. If you are having trouble locating your numbers, don’t hesitate to consult your engine’s manual or contact your nearest Briggs and Stratton dealer.

And when you’re ready to order replacement parts, visit to find the parts you need.

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Unplugged and Unbeatable: Inside the Electrical System of the Scag EVZ Electric Lawn Mower

an orange Scag electric mower, with the EVZ logomark

Are you tired of the noise, fumes, and maintenance costs of your gas-powered lawn mower? Have you considered switching to an electric mower? If so, you might want to check out the Scag EVZ electric lawn mower. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what makes the Scag EVZ unique, how its electrical system works, and what users are saying about it.

What is the Scag EVZ mower?

The Scag EVZ is a battery-powered lawn mower designed for both homeowner and commercial use. It’s part of Scag’s line of top-quality mowers, which also includes the Liberty Z, Cheetah, Turf Tiger, and others. But it holds the honor of being the very first electric Scag.

The EVZ is a perfect fit for homeowners who prefer the quiet simplicity of electric power, and for landscapers who want to serve customers in communities that have regulations about noise and gas-powered engines.

The electric EVZ features a 52-inch cutting deck, and a Vanguard 5 kWh (kilowatt-hour) lithium-ion battery pack: the mower’s quiet, efficient power source.

Benefits of using a battery-powered lawn mower

There are several benefits to using a battery-powered lawn mower like the Scag EVZ. One of the biggest advantages is that electric mowers are much quieter than gas-powered mowers. This can be a big advantage if you live in a quiet neighborhood or if you need to mow early in the morning or late at in the evening.

Another benefit of electric mowers is that they don’t produce any emissions while they are mowing. This makes them much better for the environment than gas-powered mowers. They also require less maintenance than gas mowers, since there are no oil changes or spark plugs to worry about.

Understanding the battery pack of the Scag EVZ

The electrical system of the Scag EVZ is what makes it possible to run a powerful mower on battery power. The EVZ uses a 48-volt lithium-ion battery, which provides the power needed to run the wheel motors and other components.

The battery used in the EVZ is an all-in-one power solution. It is a commercial Vanguard battery pack with a charge capacity of 5 kWh.

Special features of this advanced li-ion battery include an integrated battery management system (BMS) that monitors voltage and temperature throughout the pack, ensuring that the battery operates safely and efficiently. The battery pack has a long lifespan of up to 2,000 cycles and requires minimal maintenance. It can be charged safely with the Vanguard special charge profile and has a normal full recharge time of less than 6 hours.

The battery pack is durable and serviceable; modules of the battery are replaceable, and all the major components are serviceable. A diecast aluminum enclosure protects the battery system from damage.

How the electric power system is utilized on the EVZ

The Vanguard battery sends power to the drive wheels, via the operator’s controls. A set of Hydro-Gear electric drive motors (one on each rear wheel) control the mower’s forward and reverse speeds. The battery also sends energy to the powerful Smartec motors on the cutter deck. These motors spin the blades to cut the grass.

The onboard electric system also powers a pair of bright LED headlights, and a 12V accessory port. The headlights are mounted near the base of the operator platform, and help you wrap up mowing jobs when you barely have time to finish before dusk.

An electronic monitoring system keeps its eye on the various electric components of the EVZ. A compact yet full-featured display screen on the operator’s console shows an output of this information, which includes battery charge level, system load, and hours of runtime. The screen also shows alerts for system diagnostics. In addition to the screen, a Bluetooth module allows the user to connect to the mower, and do further troubleshooting through the Smartec app.

Using and Maintaining the Scag EVZ power battery system

Using and maintaining the battery system of the Scag EVZ is relatively easy. A 1,050-watt charger for the Vanguard battery comes with each mower. To charge the battery pack, simply plug the charger into a standard 120-volt outlet. It takes nearly 6 hours to fully charge the battery pack, so it’s best to charge it overnight.

To maintain the battery pack, you should avoid exposing it to temperature extremes above 130 F or below 4 F. If the battery pack gets too hot or too cold, it can damage the cells and reduce the overall lifespan of the battery. While operating or transporting the mower, always be careful to avoid damaging the battery system.

Always use caution when working on high-amperage systems like the one on the Scag EVZ. Be sure to talk to the trained personnel at your authorized Scag dealer if you need service or repairs. If you notice any issues with the battery pack, such as reduced performance or shorter battery life, you should contact an authorized Scag dealer for assistance. They can help you troubleshoot the problem and determine if the battery pack needs to be repaired.

User reviews and feedback on the Scag EVZ electric mower

Users of the Scag EVZ have generally been very satisfied with the mower. Many users have commented on its power and performance, as well as its quiet operation and easy maintenance.

Some users have noted that the EVZ is heavier than other mowers, which can make it more difficult to maneuver. However, by comparison, the Scag Freedom Z gas-powered mower with the same size of cutter deck actually weighs about 65 pounds more than the EVZ.

Overall, users of the Scag EVZ seem to be very happy with their purchase. They appreciate the power and performance of the mower, as well as its environmentally-friendly design.

Where to buy or service the Scag EVZ

If you’re interested in purchasing a Scag EVZ, you can find them at authorized Scag dealers. Scag has a network of dealers across the United States and Canada, so you should be able to find a dealer near you.

Shank’s Lawn Equipment is a Pro-Gold Scag dealer in the Mid-Atlantic region. If the electric Scag EVZ sparks your interest, give us a call. We’ll be glad to answer any questions you have! Also, our service department is fully-equipped to perform any maintenance or repairs that your Scag electric mower may need.

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Crops You Can Farm With a Two-Wheel BCS Tractor

At this time of year, many small farmers, produce growers, and gardeners have begun preparing the soil for the coming growing season. Some have already begun to plant.

With a BCS tractor, you can accomplish a wide variety of farming tasks. These versatile machines can operate attachments for soil preparation, planting, mid-season cultivation, harvesting, and fall clean-up.

BCS 748 being used with a tiller attachment and precision depth roller
A good crop starts with good soil preparation!

If you own a BCS, here are some crop ideas for you to try.

Vegetables: You can grow a wide variety of vegetables with a BCS 2-wheel tractor. Some popular options include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, and eggplant. These vegetables are relatively easy to plant and maintain and can provide a bountiful harvest if cared for properly. If you use the BCS plastic mulch layer attachment, you can plant the vegetables on raised, plastic-covered beds. This technique is called plasticulture and is used by many gardeners to control weeds and conserve moisture in the soil.

Root crops: Potatoes, radishes, turnips, sweet potatoes, and carrots are all root crops, and are often planted on ridges of soil. BCS ridging attachments can be used to produce neat ridges for these crops. Attach a BCS root digger to your BCS tractor at harvest time and you will be ready to bring your crop in from the fields. There is also a power potato digger attachment that makes the hard work of potato digging a breeze!

Small grains: Small grains such as wheat, barley, and oats can also be farmed with a BCS 2-wheel tractor. These crops are relatively easy to grow and can be used for a variety of purposes, including making bread, beer, and livestock feed.

Cover crops: Cover crops are crops that are grown primarily to improve soil health and fertility. Some popular cover crops include clover, rye, and vetch. These crops can help prevent soil erosion, improve soil structure, and add nutrients to the soil. Using a BCS flail mower attachment, the crop can be shredded into fine clippings that can then be turned back into the soil with a moldboard plow or tiller attachment. 

Forage crops: Forage crops such as alfalfa and clover are commonly used to feed livestock. A BCS tractor can be used to prepare the seedbed for these crops. When the crop is mature, you can mow it down with a BCS sickle-bar mower, and rake it onto windrows with the hay rake attachment. A BCS tractor can even operate small hay baling attachments (available from third-party manufacturers).

Fruits: Depending on your climate and soil conditions, you may be able to plant fruit trees or berry bushes. Some popular fruit crops include apples, peaches, cherries, and blueberries. These crops can take several years to produce a significant harvest but can be very rewarding if tended carefully. Fruit growers use BCS mowing attachments for mowing the grass between rows. The soil amendment spreader can be used for fertilizing the soil alongside the crop, and at harvest time, the utility trailer can be used to bring in the fruit!

The purpose of this article was to share crop ideas that you can try in your own fields and gardens. Before trying a new crop, educate yourself further by reading gardening guides or talking to a crop specialist.

With proper soil preparation and care, and the reliable assistance of a BCS 2-wheel tractor, you can expect to reap rich rewards from your land.

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Can I Store a Snowblower Outside?

When snow drifts cover the driveway, it’s reassuring to have a snowblower nearby. For many people, “nearby” means in the garage. Other people may choose to store their snowblower outdoors. 

Is it a good idea to store a snowblower outside? Why might you consider keeping it there?  

Man wearing a winter cap, coat, and jeans leans forward as he operates a yellow Cub Cadet snowblower.
Finishing a snow-blowing job with a Cub Cadet

Why Might You Consider Storing a Snowblower Outdoors?  

The most common reason for not keeping a snowblower indoors is lack of storage space. Garages and sheds are always crowded places, full of all kinds of tools, toys, boxes, and even vehicles!  

For some people, the problem is that their property doesn’t even have a garage or shed. This situation is common in many urban and suburban communities.  

Maybe you do have an indoor spot where you could keep your snowblower. But you don’t want all that snow and slush that comes along in with the snowblower after use. Clumps of snow melt off of the tires and auger housing, leaving puddles all over the garage floor.  

Some areas receive frequent snowfall during the winter months. It may seem easiest to leave the snowblower outside rather than bringing it in after each use. 

But is it a good idea to store a snowblower outside? Your snowblower is a valuable piece of equipment. You want to store it where it will be as safe as possible. 

What Are the Risks Associated With Keeping a Snowblower Outside?  

Parking a snowblower out in the weather exposes it to high levels of humidity. Even if you use a snowblower cover or tarp, a lot of moisture can creep in underneath. 

The problem of moisture is especially severe if the snowblower is sitting on bare ground. High moisture levels increases the risk that the impeller, auger housing, and other steel components will begin to rust. Most snowblower manufacturers do not cover problems related to rust, so it is best to do all you can to avoid it.  

Even the sunshine can cause damage. The ultraviolet light of the sun can eventually deteriorate the plastic and rubber parts of a snowblower, and fade the paint and decals. 

Temperature extremes pose another danger. Snowblowers generally tolerate cold weather very well. But if a snowblower remains out in the cold after use, the snow that accumulated on it while blowing snow never has a chance to melt off. This is especially a problem if the temperature warms up some, and then drops again. The snow begins to melt, but then freezes again and becomes hard and encrusted on the machine. If it’s bad enough, this ice buildup will affect the performance of the snowblower the next time you need to use it. 

Another issue involved with storing a snowblower outside is that of security. You don’t want to keep your snowblower where someone could easily steal it. 

With these potential problems in mind, it’s easy to see that outdoor storage isn’t an ideal option. But what if it is your only option? Here are some things you can do to protect your snowblower as much as possible, even if it’s stored outside. 

What Can You Do to Protect Your Snowblower if You Must Keep it Outdoors?  

If possible, park the snowblower on a porch, under a deck, or on the most protected side of your house. The goal is to keep it away from rain, snow, wind and sun as much as possible. 

Park the snowblower on a concrete or asphalt surface. Any kind of pavement provides better protection from moisture than bare ground does. If your only option is to set the snowblower on an unpaved surface, find a way to keep the snowblower up off the ground. Place several boards over some concrete blocks, or lay down an old pallet to create a raised platform. This will allow airflow under the machine and lower its exposure to extreme humidity.  

Keep the snowblower covered when not in use. Use a cover that’s made of heavy-duty waterproof and mildew-proof fabric. It should also provide protection from harmful UV light. The cover should fit snugly around the snowblower, but don’t seal it down against the ground. You want to allow air to circulate underneath.  

Be sure you don’t use a non-breathable plastic cover. Plastic will trap moisture and mildew underneath, allowing rust to form quicly.  

Consider building or purchasing a small storage shed for your snowblower. You can go with a tiny structure that’s just big enough for your snowblower. Or you can make it large enough to store other outdoor equipment and tools. Check local regulations, but in many communities you can set up a small storage shed without a building permit of any kind. 

Finally, if your main reason for leaving your snowblower outside is to keep snow and slush out of the garage, here’s an idea. Try rearranging your garage or shed so that you can park the snowblower closer to a floor drain. As the snow melts off the machine, the water will go down the drain rather than all over the floor.  

Protect Your Snowblower, and It Will Protect You!  

You depend on your snowblower to keep your driveway open during the winter months. Return the favor by keeping your snowblower as safe and dry as possible. Also, remember to follow the regular maintenance schedules printed in your owner’s manual.  

Here at Shank’s Lawn Equipment we have been selling, servicing, and operating snowblowers for years. We love helping people find answers to their questions so they can get the most from their equipment. 

We sell several major brands of snowblowers including Honda, Cub Cadet, and Troy-Bilt. We also have snowblower attachments for Yanmar compact tractors, and BCS walk-behind tractors. We ship snowblower parts and accessories all across the United States and Canada. 

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Managing Summer Weeds

Have trouble with weeds invading your lawn? While some strategies are risky while your grass is at peak growth, there are still ways you can deal with this problem. Here are some steps you can take now and in the future to get rid of weeds and keep them from coming back.

Weeds Don’t Grow if There’s No Space for Them

If you keep your grass healthy, it will outcompete weeds for space. However, even the healthiest grass thins out as it matures. Overseeding every three to four years kicks off new growth, filling these spaces.

Check the condition of your soil. A soil test will tell you which nutrients your soil lacks, as well as its pH. Heat stress makes it easy for nitrogen to burn your lawn, so it’s better to wait until the fall or spring to apply fertilizer.

Soil compaction encourages weed growth. Foot and vehicle traffic compress the soil, making it harder for roots to penetrate while removing space for the movement of water and air. Don’t drive on your lawn, and place stones or a walkway over areas you need to cross on foot. You can check compaction by pushing a screwdriver into the soil. If you can’t easily push it 6 inches into the ground, you need to aerate your lawn.

Excessive thatch also leads to weed growth. If the thatch layer is over ½ inch thick, it should be removed. Mulching your lawn increases microbe activity, which speeds up the breakdown of thatch.

Treating Your Lawn with Herbicides

Weed killers can be divided into two main categories. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent weeds from sprouting. Post-emergent herbicides kill weeds that are already growing. If you’re dealing with weeds now, you need post-emergent treatments. Take note of which weeds you have, so you can apply pre-emergent herbicides next spring.

Genetically, there isn’t much difference between grass and weeds, which means most herbicides kill both types of plants. To reduce the damage to your lawn, apply herbicides when the grass is at its strongest. Apply post-emergent products at least a month or two mowings after the grass starts germinating but before peak summer temperatures. These herbicides work best at temperatures below 85°F, and should only be applied directly to weeds. Pre-emergent herbicides should be applied after at least three mowings when ground temperatures are above 60°F. Always apply herbicides after aerating and dethatching. Disturbing the soil can bring weed seeds to the surface, allowing them to germinate.

Need Help with Your Lawn Care Equipment?

Whether you’re a lawn care professional or you take care of your own landscaping, Shank’s Lawn Equipment has everything you need for a beautiful lawn. We service and sell most major brands and types of outdoor equipment, including aerators, dethatchers, mowers, and trimmers. Our service department can keep your equipment running, and our massive parts warehouse has everything you need if you want to do the work yourself. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA or online at We ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada.

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Summer Lawn Dormancy: What Causes it, and How Can You Prevent It?

Is your grass turning brown in the middle of summer? Even if you did everything right caring for your lawn, heat and a lack of rain can be too much for your grass. This forces these plants into dormancy. In this state, growth slows to a crawl, so the grass doesn’t overextend itself. Here’s how you can help your lawn get through this period, and some steps you can take to prevent it next year.

What is Dormancy?

Dormancy is a defense mechanism grasses use to survive weather that isn’t conducive to growth. The grass shuts down most of its processes and goes into hibernation. When this happens, it turns brown.

Grass spends much of its time during the growing season storing sugars to use during its winter dormancy period. However, grass also goes into dormancy in the summer if there isn’t sufficient moisture. In this state, the grass doesn’t have large food stores to depend on. On average, the lawn will survive for three to four weeks when daytime temperatures are in the 80s, and two to three weeks when temperatures are above 90.

How Do I Prevent Dormancy?

If you want to keep your lawn looking green through the summer, you need to keep it watered. The amount of water your grass needs varies depending on the variety. Use a rain gauge to measure how much water your lawn gets from nature, watering to keep up with your lawn’s needs. Infrequent, deep watering encourages root growth, which improves drought resistance.

The next time you overseed, consider adding a drought-resistant variety to your mix. Tall Fescue, Fine Fescue, and Kentucky Bluegrass are the most drought-resistant cool-season grasses. Buffalo Grass, Bermuda, Zoysia, and St. Augustine is the most drought-resistant warm-season grasses. If you live in a transitional area that supports both cool and warm-season types of grass, you need drought-resistant warm-season grass to keep your lawn green through the summer.

How Do I Help My Lawn Survive Summer Dormancy?

You still want to water your lawn, but not enough that it’s forced out of dormancy. If it has to shut down a second time during the summer, it may not survive. Applying a half-inch of water every three weeks should be enough to extend your turf grass’s life until it can return to normal.

Growth doesn’t stop during dormancy, but it does slow significantly. Adjust your mowing accordingly, and make sure you’re using sharp blades. This reduces stress on the grass.

Since this problem is caused by drought, fertilizing won’t help. In fact, it’s more likely to burn your lawn.

Your Lawn Care Headquarters

From string trimmers to commercial mowers, if it’s lawn care, you can find it at Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We carry most major brands, and we’ve helped locals with their outdoor equipment since 1985. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. Looking for parts or accessories? We ship across the United States and Canada. To order, visit

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Summer Lawn Care Tips

Do you feel like your lawn isn’t looking its best? These tips will help you keep your grass green and thick this summer.

Keep Your Grass Tall

Taller grass blades support deeper root growth, which helps the grass reach the water. It also shades the ground, reducing evaporation and heat. Try to keep grass varieties near their height limit, and only mow up to 1/3 of the grass’s length at a time.

Know When to Mow

The best time to cut grass is in the evening. This lets the grass recover overnight when the ground is coolest, reducing plant stress and moisture loss.

It’s never a good idea to mow after it rains. Your mower can compact wet soil, and the conditions are perfect for spreading fungal diseases. Check the shape of the grass. If the blades are standing straight, they aren’t weighted down with water. At this point, it’s safe to mow.

Mulch Your Grass

If you bag your grass clippings, you’re taking nutrients away from your soil. Mulching your clippings lets your lawn reabsorb nutrients, and it supports microbe growth. A healthy microbe population digests thatch, so it doesn’t get too thick.

Make sure you’re using the correct blades for mulching. High lift blades blow clippings up into the mowing chamber, allowing them to be cut repeatedly until they’re small enough for mulching. Some mowers use blades that work for both mulching and bagging, but side discharge blades don’t deliver the lift required for multiple cuts.

Water Your Lawn

If you want to keep your lawn from going into hibernation, keep the soil moist down to a depth of 4-6 inches. Watering between 6 and 10 am keeps the water from evaporating before it’s absorbed into the soil. Watering less frequently encourages deep root growth, which helps your lawn resist droughts.

Keep Your Blade Sharp

A dull blade doesn’t cut grass. It rips it. This stresses the plant and opens up a place for infections to take hold. If your grass has jagged ends after you mow, your blades need to be sharpened.

Is Your Lawn Turning Brown? Let it.

When summer temperatures reach their peak, less rainfall and high temperatures keep grass from getting the nutrients it needs. This forces the grass into hibernation, which shuts down the plant’s functions to conserve energy. Don’t try to water your lawn to turn it green again. If the lawn goes into hibernation a second time, it may not survive.

Spot Treat Weeds

If weeds are showing up on your lawn, it’s too late to apply pre-emergent herbicides. Instead, stick to post-emergent treatments that you apply directly to weeds. This kills them off while doing minimal damage to the surrounding grass.

Take it Easy on Your lawn

Now is not the time to fertilize or treat widespread insect and weed infestations. Your lawn is stressed from the heat, making it more susceptible to burning and poisoning. Likewise, you should avoid aerating and dethatching your lawn, unless compaction and thatch are severe.

Need Help with Your Lawn Care Equipment?

Shank’s Lawn Equipment sells and services most major brands of lawn care equipment, covering both residential and commercial models. If you’re looking for new lawn care tools, or need repairs for your current equipment, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. Want to see our current inventory, or need something to fix your equipment? Visit We ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada.

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Avoiding Bad Mowing Habits that Damage Your Lawn

Most of us learned how to use a lawn mower when we were young, and we haven’t thought about how we do it since then. That means most of us aren’t doing everything we could to improve the health and appearance of our lawns. Here’s a list of the most common bad mowing habits, and what you can do to avoid them.

Mowing the Grass Too Short

It seems logical: the shorter the grass is, the less often you’ll need to cut it. However, cutting grass too short damages it, thinning out your lawn. This is particularly true of varieties that have grass crowns. Cutting into the crown can kill that clump of grass, leaving a bald spot behind.

Most turf grasses need to be between one and two inches in length, while some varieties, like Kentucky Bluegrass, can grow up to 3.5 inches high before cutting. The key to having healthy grass is to cut it before the weight of the leaves makes them bend down on themselves. When you mow, limit each cut to no more than 1/3 of the total blade length. 

If you’ve had to delay mowing for a while due to heavy rains, you may need to mow multiple times to get the grass down to its normal height. In this case, wait a couple of days between each mowing to give the grass time to recover.

Using the Same Pattern When You Mow

It’s easy to get into a routine, using the same pattern, starting point, and end point when you mow. However, this repetition means the wheels on your mower go over the same spots each time. This leads to matting, soil compression, and ruts, which damage the grass. Instead, try starting at different points, and change up your patterns. This spreads out the load from your mower, helping the grass recover and thrive.

Mowing with Dull Blades 

A dull mower blade doesn’t slice through grass, it rips off the ends. This makes the cut inconsistent, leaving a poor finish. The tears also make the grass more susceptible to infections. If the surface of your lawn looks uneven after mowing, or you notice the grass tips look jagged, you need to sharpen your mower blades.

If you live in an area with sandy soil, you’re well aware of how fast the sand picked up by your mower accelerates blade wear. If you’re getting tired of sharpening, consider upgrading to blades made specifically for this soil. Sandy soil blades have a hardened surface that resists scouring, cutting wear significantly.

Need Something for Your Mower?

Shank’s Lawn Equipment sells and services most major brands of lawn mowers, including Exmark, Scag, Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt, Woods, and Honda. We’re also an authorized service center for all major small engine brands, including Kawasaki, Kohler, Honda, Vanguard, and Briggs & Stratton, so we can repair your equipment. Visit us in person at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or online at We ship parts and accessories across the U.S. or Canada.

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Fixing Ruts in Your Lawn

Are ruts showing up on your lawn, leaving areas bare? There are several issues that cause this problem, ranging from poor lawn care practices to dead vegetation. Here’s how you can address these problems, as well as what you can do to repair the ruts in your yard.

What Causes Ruts?

If you mow the same way every time, the wheels of your mower will compress the soil. Break up your routine by trying different mowing patterns. The same goes for foot traffic. If you’re walking over the same place over and over again, you will compress the soil. Have a dog in the backyard? Often, they like to run back and forth over the same spots, compressing the ground while tearing up the grass.

Avoid driving vehicles over your lawn. The weight compacts soil and the tires can rip out turf. Likewise, using the wrong tires on your equipment can cause ruts. Turf tires have large lugs and wide profiles that spread out the load, while garden tires have long, deep lugs that dig into bare soil. If you use garden tires on turf, they will tear up the grass, especially when making turns.

Wet soil compacts more easily than dry soil, compounding the problem. If you see blades of grass bent over from water, you can be sure the ground is too wet to mow.

Sometimes, it’s not your equipment causing the problem, it’s what’s underneath the soil. When organic matter breaks down, it can leave gaps in the soil, allowing the turf to collapse inward. This is usually caused by the decomposition of dead tree roots.

Repairing Ruts

The best time to repair ruts is when grass growth is at its peak. For warm-season grasses, this is late spring. For cool-season grasses, this is early fall.

Ruts that are less than four inches deep are caused by compacted soil and can be relieved by lifting the soil off of the ground. Using a spade, pry up the topsoil at a 45-degree angle. The lifted sod should stand about two inches above the surrounding ground. Over time, the soil will settle and flatten out, eliminating the rut.

Deeper ruts need to be filled in with dirt. Cut out the sod in the rut, and set it aside. Fill the hole with a mix of soil and either sand or compost. This encourages deep root growth, which helps anchor the new dirt into the ground. This fill dirt should be one to two inches above the surrounding topsoil. Put the sod you cut out earlier on top of the new dirt and overseed as needed.

Need Help with Your Lawn Care Equipment?

Shank’s Lawn Equipment carries a wide range of equipment brands, covering everything from residential walk-behind mowers to small tractors. Want to cut down on scalping and ruts? We carry anti-scalping wheels, turf tires, and other accessories for all the brands we carry. When you need help with your outdoor equipment, visit our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or see what we offer online at We ship parts and accessories across the USA and Canada.

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