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Types of Grass

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Have you ever found yourself wondering why the neighbors’ lawn is more green or well-kept though little maintenance appears to be done? It’s possible that your neighbor does not do much yard work, and this is likely a result of your neighbor having a different grass type than you.

The type of grass and the environmental conditions in which grass grows has an impact on the amount of maintenance that needs to be done.

Different types of grasses require different levels of care, for example:

Partially shaded grass – If your lawn is growing in partial shade, or four to six hours of partial shade, your grass grows slower and requires less water and fertilizer. Keep in mind that grass does require sunlight to stay healthy so consequently, your partially shaded grass may never fill in and become the envy of the neighborhood.

Turf-type tall fescue, fine fescue grasses – These types of grasses require less fertilizer than bluegrass and perennial ryegrass lawns.

Kentucky bluegrass – Lawns with Kentucky bluegrass require two to four pounds of nitrogen fertilizer yearly to maintain a beautiful appearance. To achieve this, apply two to five applications of nitrogen to the grass each year.

Here are turf-grasses that require less maintenance:

Lower maintenance lawns in Michigan have a higher percentage of fine fescues or turf-type tall fescues and need one-third to half the nitrogen that a bluegrass lawn needs.

Fine fescue – Fine fescues are a group of grasses with various needs. Creeping red fescue mixed with Kentucky bluegrass provides good turf for lawns with sunny and shaded areas. Shade-tolerant fine fescues require less fertilizer and water, and fine fescues do not grow well under wet soil conditions.

Hard and sheep fescue – Fine fescue grasses that require lower maintenance practices are hard and sheep fescue. These are stiff, bluish-green grasses that grow in clumps. This fescue is usually mixed with Kentucky bluegrass that fills in between. Hard and sheep fescue grow slow, require less fertilizer, and grow well in dry conditions.

Turf-type tall fescue – Turf-type tall fescue grasses are able to survive heat stress and grub damage. This grass requires less fertilizer and one to three applications of nitrogen. Turf-type tall fescue turf can be thick and healthy with lower maintenance practices, but it won’t have the carpet-like look of Kentucky bluegrass.

h-types-of-grass

 

To promote the health of a low maintenance lawn, give these gardening practices a try:

Watering - Lawns require about one inch of water each week, but split into multiple applications. This amount of water includes natural rainfall. Grass won’t flourish if it does not receive water from rain or irrigation.

Mulching - After mowing, collect the grass clippings to use as mulch. These clippings are great for your lawn and provide about one-third of the nitrogen needed by the lawn. Grass clippings should occasionally be returned directly to your lawn because they act as a natural fertilizer.

Mowing height - Mow the grass at three to three and a half inches tall to reduce the possibility of weed seeds developing, and to lessen the amount of water lost to evaporation. Mowing the grass at this height also helps build a larger root mass which is more tolerant to drought.

 

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5 Lawn Mower Tune-up Tips for Spring

Why Weingartz?

Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.

Weingartz also sells parts for all outdoor power equipment at https://weingartz.com/parts-lookup.

11875 Northland Dr.
Cedar Springs, MI 49319
(616) 696-2913
info@weingartz.com

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The Asian Lady Beetle Is On Her Way

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In the last few years, have you noticed an increase in Ladybugs lined up on your windowsill in October, or a few on a warm winter day?

The multicolored beetle is often called a Ladybug or the Halloween Beetle, because of the yellow-orange color and significant population in mid to late October. It is unlike our native species and there is some controversy as to how the Asian Lady Beetle has made her way to the United States. It seems to have been through a number of accidental and planned releases.

The Asian Lady Beetle was first officially reported in Michigan in 1994. Now, it is a significant and well established part of Michigan’s eco-system and for many a seasonal annoyance. Native lady bugs head for high elevations in the fall to seek shelter for their winter hibernation. Yet, this newer imported species likes to spend their winters lower and our homes are the perfect hibernation spot!

They congregate in large numbers in mid to late fall to find a group hibernation spot. As winter draws closer, they cluster on the side of homes and other buildings looking for any small crack or crevice they can call home. Once they have found their resting spot, they hibernate until the first warm days of late winter and early spring.

Fortunately, lady beetles are not dangerous to your home. They do not chew, bore holes, eat carpet, or lay eggs in the home. They are simply looking for a resting spot for the winter. Yet, if they are disturbed they may try to defend themselves by emitting a yellow-orange fluid. This fluid has an odor and can permanently stain walls, carpeting, etc., so avoid swatting or crushing the beetle.

The best way to control the Asian Lady Beetle is prevention. Eliminate any points of entry on the interior and exterior of your home. Most importantly is the interior of your home. Caulk places where pipes, conduits, and wires come through the wall. After all, you probably wouldn’t mind the Asian Lady Beetle hibernating under your siding, if none of them entered your living area. While they may be a nuisance, Asian Lady Beetles are helpful predators that seek out aphids, scale insects, spider mites, and many other pests that injure plants in our garden, landscaping, and agricultural crops.

They are particularly good predators against soft bodied pests. Thus, they have been credited for significantly decreasing the use of pesticides used by homeowners and farmers. So add a quick home inspection to your October maintenance list and the Asian Lady Beetle will safely hibernate outside your home.

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How to Maintain the Perfect Lawn

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Why Weingartz?

Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.

Weingartz also sells parts for all outdoor power equipment at https://weingartz.com/parts-lookup.

Weingartz
39050 Grand River Ave.
Farmington Hills, MI 48335
(248) 471-3050
info@weingartz.com

Connect With Us!

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Leaves: “I Didn’t Fall, I was Pushed!”

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The days are getting shorter, the leaves are bursting with colors, and many of us are preparing our lawn and garden for the winter slumber. As gusts of wind swirl about our landscape, a multitude of colorful leaves fall to the ground. Contrary to most people’s belief, the wind has little to do with leaves “falling” off the tree. The tree actually cuts and pushes leaves off the tree!

We just began preparing for the cold months ahead, while our trees started this preparation at the beginning of spring. During spring growth, a separation layer called the abscission is formed at the base of each leaf and branch.

During the summer, this layer helps send water to the leaves and food back to the tree. All summer excess food is made and stored as starch until it is needed for the winter months. The shorter and cooler days of autumn trigger a hormone that sends a chemical message to every leaf; stop food production, it’s time to go.

Once this message is received, the abscission cells begin to swell where the leaf and stem meet. Within a few days or weeks, a bumpy line is developed that reduces the flow of water and food between the leaf and stem, leaving glucose and waste products trapped in the leaf.

Without fresh water to renew the leaves, chlorophyll begins to disappear. Little by little leaves are actually pushed away or off the branch!

Once those leaves hit the ground, you’ll want to remove them before snow hits the ground. When it comes to leaf cleanup, there are a few options: rake the leaves, save the leaves for mulch, or use a leaf blower.

So how do we get those beautiful colors?

Think back to your grade school science class when we learned about photosynthesis. In short, plants take in sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. Plants produce glucose as food for energy and growing.

A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen and gives plants their green color. When the chlorophyll disappears from the leaves, the bright green slowly fades away.

Now is when we begin to see the beautiful yellow and orange colors that have been in the leaves all summer, hiding under the green chlorophyll. The bright reds and purples we see in leaves are from the glucose that is trapped in the leaves. After photosynthesis stops, the glucose is turned to red. The deep brown colors are made from waste that is left in the leaves.

The combinations of all these colors give us the amazing autumn view. As we all know, Michigan is one of the best places in the world to see the burst of autumn colors.

Generally, the brightest autumn colors are seen when we have a dry late summer and bright sunny autumn days.

You can track the fall colors by going to www.michigan.org.

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Why Weingartz?

Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.

Weingartz also sells parts for all outdoor power equipment at https://weingartz.com/parts-lookup.

Weingartz
39050 Grand River Ave.
Farmington Hills, MI 48335
(248) 471-3050
info@weingartz.com

Connect With Us!

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https://www.facebook.com/WeingartzLawnToSnow

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The Art of Topiary

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Topiary; the term may sound unfamiliar, but we know you’ve seen the art around. Those hedges and shrubs that have been trimmed into amazing sculptures of everything from shapes to animals to people are topiaries.

Topiary is defined as the horticultural practice of clipping shrubs or trees into shapes and is one type of living sculpture that has gained and lost popularity through the ages.

History

People have been clipping trees and shrubs into whimsical shapes since 23-79 A.D. Topiary was popular in Ancient Rome, but after the fall of Rome, topiary lost popularity for several hundred years. It returned in medieval times as a way of training fruit plants, and then again during the Italian Renaissance. In the 15th century, the Dutch became intrigued with creating topiary that resembled animals while the French preferred creating topiary into geometric shapes. In the 18th century, topiary lost popularity again, and Victorians brought it back, adding in new plants and other details.

Topiary spread to North America around 1690, and as houseplants became popular in the 1950s and 60s, topiary became indoor art.

Fun Facts

In 1962, “American portable-style Topiary” was introduced to Disneyland. Walt Disney helped bring this topiary into being through recreating his cartoon characters in landscape shrubbery. This style of topiary is based on a steel wire frame that is either stuffed with sphagnum moss and then planted, or placed around shrubbery for the sculpture to grow into topiary as the shrubbery fills in the frame. This style has led to numerous imaginative topiary displays which have been recreated worldwide.

Artificial topiary has also gained popularity throughout the years. Much like artificial Christmas trees, artificial topiary resembles the style of living versions and is used to add color and freshness to indoor and outdoor spaces.  Additionally, topiary can take years to grow so artificial topiary has become an excellent choice because they remain realistic and timeless.

Topiary Today

For centuries, topiary has been used to spruce up space, delivering a bolder, fresher look. Topiary is still a favorable way to bring charm and elegance to space, so much so that there are a variety of gardens, parks, and cemeteries that have been recognized for their amazing topiary.

In addition to enhancing your home’s curb appeal, topiary plays a role in maintaining a healthy environment. Surrounding your home with plants helps maintain the balance of gases in the air while limiting climate-warming carbons. Photosynthesis turns carbon into carbohydrates which are essential to our food supply and the ability to fight various diseases.

Want to make your own topiary?

Why not? With the variety of large and extravagant topiary, making your own may seem intimidating, but it is doable. It will take time and research to decide what shape you will create, what plant you will grow, and what tools you’ll need. Familiarize yourself with this outdoor power equipment: hedge trimmers and chainsaws to shape and maintain your hedges, pruning shears for smaller plants, pole pruners and multi-tools for tall, hard-to-reach areas, and leaf blowers for quick cleanup. Don’t attempt to make topiary on a whim, because you could end up with something less than satisfactory.

Once your topiary is created, don’t forget to care for it. It will still need to be maintained and trimmed regularly. Also, just like any other plant your topiary needs water and sunlight to thrive.

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Watering the Lawn: 5 Things to Consider

Why Weingartz?

Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.

Weingartz also sells parts for all outdoor power equipment at https://weingartz.com/parts-lookup.

Weingartz
6585 Dixie Hwy. 
Clarkston, MI 49319
(616) 696-2913
info@weingartz.com

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Going Green – Green Grass Not Only Looks Good But Helps the Environment

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Do you suffer from yard envy? Does the grass seem greener in your neighbor’s yard? Let the Weingartz experts help you improve the look and health of your green grass, while considering today’s environmentally friendly choices.

There are plenty of sound facts to help you justify your time investment in a beautiful yard. Well-maintained grass is far more than just nice to look at. It provides a great benefit to our environment. We all remember learning that healthy green plants convert harmful CO2 to oxygen. This principle applies to all plants, both indoors and out, and grass is no exception. In addition to its oxygen-generating capabilities, there are also some benefits to the environment that are unique to grass.

Grass and plants help moderate the heat of summer with the daily dew and evaporation cycle. Just think of the look of scorched earth that you see in August on any empty lot, and you can visualize how much healthy turf cools the soil. Furthermore, the combination of healthy, aerated soil and grass is very effective in absorbing and dampening sound waves. This helps insulate us from some of the sounds of traffic, voices and other neighborhood noises.

Healthy turf traps dust and many other airborne contaminants, giving us cleaner air to breathe. Strong root systems also assist with minimizing water runoff from heavy rains by capturing and retaining water in the soil and roots, thereby decreasing the stress on sewer systems at peak flow periods and protecting against erosion.

So what strategies can you use to create the healthiest yard, both for the turf and ecologically? It’s not as complicated as you might think. In fact, the two generally go hand in hand. All it takes is consistency and some attention to a few details. The older your yard, the more likely you will need to address issues like compaction or a heavy thatch layer. Both of these conditions will prevent crucial nutrients like water and fertilizer from reaching the important root system of the grass.

Compaction occurs naturally over time, especially on grass with heavy foot traffic like our typical active families. The soil in the yard compresses to the point that water cannot soak in, but rather becomes run-off and ends up in the sewer system. Likewise, thatch can build up between the grass blades and cause the same run-off – becoming a barrier to water and nutrient absorption. By aerating the lawn and removing the thatch layer, the soil opens up again.

Proper aeration takes cores of turf from the lawn and breaks up the compaction. Those cores then break down and become an excellent top dressing for the healthy turf. Also, remember that some thatch is good, but when the buildup is more than ½” thick, it’s a good time to rake (or power-rake) to remove some of that layer. Once you are assured that the grass is able to accept water and nutrients, you can decide on an effective fertilizer. All plants, including grass, benefit from a boost of nutrients.

To guarantee the most effective treatment, try performing a soil test to determine what mix of fertilizer will be most important. Soil tests are relatively inexpensive and can save a lot of money on fertilizers by showing you exactly what the soil needs. Unfortunately, many homeowners have a tendency to go overboard on fertilizer, which can be harmful to both your grass and the environment. Locally, you can go to your MSU County Extension Office to receive personalized results from soil tests performed through Michigan State University. For more information, go to www.css.msu.edu/spnl.

As your grass starts to grow, reconsider the height your mower is set at for cutting. The new rule of thumb is to allow the grass to grow slightly taller than previous years; approximately 3 to 3½” tall and never shorter than 2½” tall. You’ll need to mow more frequently, but will have much healthier grass. Cutting more frequently is the same as pinching back flowering plants to achieve more blooms and thicker, healthier growth. Also, longer grass blades store more water and are less susceptible to heat.

The final, most effective detail of cutting the grass is to use a clean, sharp mower blade to assure that the grass is cut, not torn, and that any possible disease is not transferred across the lawn. One thing that is wonderful about summertime in Michigan is the overwhelmingly green landscape. It is something that many of us have grown up with and would have a hard time leaving. It’s our reward for hard, cold winters.

We may not have realized that these wonderful landscapes are not only beautiful for the green color, but also “green” for the environment.

Green Grass

 

You May Also Enjoy These Articles:

How to Maintain the Perfect Lawn

5 Common Lawn Care Problems and Solutions

When to Sharpen or Replace Your Lawn Mower Blade

Watering the Lawn: 5 Things to Consider

5 Lawn Mower Tune-up Tips for Spring

Why Weingartz?

Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.

Weingartz also sells parts for all outdoor power equipment at https://weingartz.com/parts-lookup.

Weingartz
11875 Northland Dr.
Cedar Springs, MI 49319
(616) 696-2913
info@weingartz.com

Connect With Us!

https://plus.google.com

https://www.facebook.com/WeingartzLawnToSnow

https://twitter.com/Weingartz

http://pinterest.com/MrWeingartz

 

Sign up for our electronic monthly newsletter for discounts and money-saving tips.

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The Dog Days of Summer

Heat advisory, Ozone Action Day, Scorcher; all different names for the same thing, hot!  You hear it every morning either on TV or on the radio. The newcaster is predicting another hot, humid day.  All of this is an indication that we are deep in the dog days of summer.

Everyone has heard it before, the dog days of summer, but what does it really mean?  The dog days of summer fall from July 3rd to August 11th, the 40 hottest days of summer according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.  Traditionally, the dog days of summer also coincide with the days of the year with the least rainfall in the Northern Hemisphere.  The term dog days actually came from the Ancient Romans and their belief that Sirius, which is one the largest stars of the Canis Major constellation, was the “dog star”.  During the summer months the star Sirius appeared to rise and set with the sun and the Romans believed that the “dog star” added to the heat provided by the sun.  Over time, the Egyptians also argued this to be true.  We now know however, that the increased heat during the dog days of summer is due to the tilt of the earth, allowing the northern hemisphere to receive more direct sunlight.

Whatever the cause, the dog days of summer are hot and miserable for most.  This is the time of year when you drive down the street and see yellow and brown lawns because of the blistering heat and lack of rain.  But, even your lawn can survive the dog days of summer!  Here are a few tips to help keep your lawn green and healthy even when the weather does not cooperate.  First, you need to keep your lawn hydrated.  During this stretch of time there is typically not a lot of rainfall so it is important to keep your lawn hydrated.  When thinking about hydration it is important to water your lawn correctly.  When watering, you need to water deeply.  Many people turn sprinklers on briefly each day, but in order for the water to reach the roots a long thorough soak is necessary.  Also, to get the most out of your watering it is important to water your lawn before the heat of the day.  That way the water is less likely to evaporate before it reaches the roots.  Ideally you should water your lawn before 10:00 am.  Another important consideration to make is how you are mowing.  During the summer months your lawn will stay healthier if you mow your lawn regularly with your blades set at 3.5 to 4 inches.  This will help to shade the soil, promote root growth and preserve moisture.

With a little work and patience your lawn will be able to survive the dog days of summer looking lush and green.  Now remember, when you are working on that lawn in the hot sun to keep yourself hydrated and try to stay cool so that you too can survive the dog days of summer.

Why Weingartz?

Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.

Weingartz
11875 Northland Dr.
Cedar Springs, MI 49319
(616) 696-2913
info@weingartz.com

Connect With Us!

https://plus.google.com

https://www.facebook.com/WeingartzLawnToSnow

https://twitter.com/Weingartz

http://pinterest.com/MrWeingartz


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Should July 2nd Be Independence Day?

As the summer continues we come to one of America’s favorite holidays, the Fourth of July.  This holiday, in the heat of the summer, is a time of food, fun, and fireworks.  But that’s not all it is.

Independence Day,  July 4, 1776, was the day that Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence and declared independence from Great Britain.  But did you know that some believed that July 2nd should have been Independence Day?  John Adams believed that July 2nd, the day that the vote for independence took place, should be Independence Day.  He believed this so strongly that he actually turned down invitations for celebrations on July 4th as a protest of the date.  Celebrations that included concerts, bonfires, parades, and the traditional firing of canons and muskets marked this first celebration making the Declaration of Independence from England.  The celebrations that took place throughout our young country have evolved into the pomp and circumstance that we have today.

The Fourth of July became more important to the American people following the War of 1812, in which the Americans once again faced off against Britain.  This reminded Americans that “Freedom is never given, it is won.”  For the years following the War of 1812 celebrations grew and evolved, and in  1870 Independence Day, July 4th was declared a federal holiday.

Today, Fourth of July celebrations include barbecues, fun in the sun, and fireworks.  But has the meaning of the 4th been lost in the shuffle?  The true reason for celebration has been lost by some as they focus on preparing for parties, spending the day sun bathing on the lake, and watching the elaborate fireworks displays throughout the area.  Take the time this year to remember the meaning of the 4th of July.  That is a celebration of the efforts of our founding fathers to create this country we now live in today, an independent nation.

So, as you prepare your barbecues, make plans to go to the lake, and load up the car to head to the Metroparks for fireworks remember the meaning of your celebrations.  So raise your flags, and celebrate the bravery, and triumph of our founding fathers and the freedom they helped to achieve.

Why Weingartz?

Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.

Weingartz
39050 Grand River Ave.
Farmington Hills, MI 48335
(248) 471-3050
info@weingartz.com

Connect With Us!

https://plus.google.com

https://www.facebook.com/WeingartzLawnToSnow

https://twitter.com/Weingartz

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Lightning and green grass

Q.  Does Lightning Make Your Grass Greener?

A.  Nitrogen is the nutrient in the soil that is most responsible for the green in your grass. It’s also a common ingredient in fertilizers. The Earth’s atmosphere is approximately 78% nitrogen. Yet, nitrogen can’t be used by grass as raw nitrogen; it needs to be combined with oxygen to create a nitrate. The blade of grass absorbs the nitrate and it is used to create more chlorophyll and—go green.

During a thunderstorm, every time there is a bolt of lightning, electrical energy breaks the strong nitrogen bonds. The nitrogen then quickly attaches to oxygen, forming nitrogen dioxide. Nitrogen dioxide dissolves easily in water, creating nitric acid, which then easily dissolves to create a magic ingredient: NITRATES. The nitrates fall to the ground in the form of raindrops, seeping into your soil and helping your grass to turn green.

There is some debate as to how much the electricity in lightning affects the greening of grass. Some people will say that not enough nitrates are formed to affect the green and are blown many miles away. Thus, the bright green is an illusion that is created from the wet grass sparkling in the sun’s rays. Either way, your grass will likely appear more green after a lightning storm than after a storm with no lightning.

 

Why Weingartz?

Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.

Weingartz also sells parts for all outdoor power equipment at https://weingartz.com/parts-lookup.

Weingartz
5436 Jackson Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
(734) 239-8200
info@weingartz.com

Connect With Us!

https://plus.google.com

https://www.facebook.com/WeingartzLawnToSnow

https://twitter.com/Weingartz

http://pinterest.com/MrWeingartz

 

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