Consumer Watch: Working on your lawn as summer approaches

With the warmer months approaching, lots of us are working on our lawns.

"People are just going crazy inside and looking for any project to get outdoors," says Paul Hope.

Consumer Reports recommends you "suit up" before starting the mower, starting with hearing and eye protection.

"So even if the weather is warmer, you want to skip shorts and sandals," he said. "Lawn mowers, string trimmers and even leaf blowers can kick back debris and cause an injury. You also want to make sure to have solid, good closed toe shoes for traction."

You'll likely have a number of dead leaves to clear from your yard. This is a great project for kids, if they want to help. You can also use the dead leaves to start a compost pile.

Or, use your mower to mulch leaves right onto your grass. It will feed your lawn and reduce the amount of fertilizing it needs. You can also use a bagging kit and save the grass clippings for composting.

Consumer Reports recommends you scan your yard for toys, sticks and rocks before you fire up the mower. A lawnmower can throw a rock more than 50 feet at speeds up to 170 miles per hour!

For more outdoor spruce up ideas, look beyond the grass. You can use a pressure washer to clean lawn furniture, walkways and your deck.

"You want to use hearing and eye protection, long pants and closed-toe shoes but it's also extra important to not use one on a ladder or steps because the force can blow you backwards," Hope said.

Never use the zero degree, red nozzle on your pressure washer. It condenses the full force of the water into a pinpoint, and that has the potential to damage your property.
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