Monday, June 29, 2015

How To Water Your Lawn Correctly

By: Bruce Allentuck, Allentuck Landscaping Co. 

How To Water Your Lawn
lawn3One of the questions we are asked so often at this time of year is "How should I water my lawn?". Sounds simple enough, but there actually is a right way to water your lawn for best results.

How much water does my lawn need?
I'm glad you asked. Your lawn needs 1"-1.5" of water per week. Lawns that do not get enough water get stressed both in hot times and in cold times. The best way to tell if nature is giving you enough water (i.e. rain) is to by a rain gauge. If you naturally get the 1"-1.5", great for you. If you don't, it is time to put out the sprinkler.

How long should I water my lawn?
Another great question. You are on a roll. Again, a rain gauge is the best way to tell if you are watering your lawn long enough. If you do not have a rain gauge, an empty tuna can set on your lawn can be used. When it is full of water, you have applied 1" of water.

How often should I water my lawn?
Longer, deep waterings are better than short daily waterings. By watering longer and letting the water get deeper into the soil, you are encouraging a deeper root system which will hold up much better during the stressful hot summer. Watering 2-3 times per week for 20-30 minutes each time should give your lawn the water it needs.

When should I water my lawn?
The best time to water is in the early mornings. This will allow the most water possible to be taken up by the grass and not evaporate into the air. Also, it allows the leaves time to thoroughly dry before the cooler nighttime air moves in, which will decrease the chances of fungal growth.

lawn2A few more pointers:
  • Do not water so much that water runs down the street. This is a sign that the soil has taken up as much water as it can.
  • If a brown area does not green up with repeated waterings, look for another problem such as fungus, insects or chemical burn (i.e. gasoline).
  • If you have an automatic sprinkler system, have it checked often for proper coverage.
  • If you do not have an automatic sprinkler system, buy a movable sprinkler. There is no way you will water long enough by standing there with a hose.
  • Fescue lawns require more water during the hot, drought times of the year.

It is not hard to manage your lawn watering correctly if you follow these simple guidelines. If you do, the grass will be greener on your side of the fence.

For more landscaping tips visit: 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Welcome to the Machine: Automation at STIHL Inc.

Recently a lot of companies have talked about how they’re bringing industrial facilities back to the United States. They call it “in-shoring,” and it is the newest buzz word. Of course we like to remind folks that we never left, and that we have been proudly building STIHL equipment here in Virginia Beach since 1974. We have a history of technical innovation, and that includes the way we manufacture our equipment.

Built in quality
Staying competitive in the global market isn’t easy, and one way that we ensure a high-quality product and a competitive price is through something called vertical integration.  Basically it means that in addition to assembling product, we actually manufacture many of the parts that go in to those products. Things like pistons, crankshafts, tanks, housings and string trimmer line. As we like to say we don’t just inspect the quality; we produce the quality.

A new kind of employee
Another way we stay competitive is through automation. By the end of this year we will have more than 150 robots working in our plant, making us five times more automated than the average U.S. manufacturer. Robots have traditionally taken on tasks that involved heavy lifting, or mass production. As the technology has advanced, we use them increasingly in applications where speed and accuracy are critical.  We also use them where the task is monotonous or highly repetitive. This reduces the stress on our employees and frees them up to focus on areas involving critical thinking and analysis. And unlike a lot of companies that introduce robots, no full time employee at STIHL Inc. has ever lost their job because of automation. Instead we use it as an opportunity to either retrain and move to another station, or use it as a catalyst to encourage our employees to advance their careers. For example, one heat treat worker helped  implement one of the very first robots. He was so enthralled with the machine that he went back to school to pursue studies in the robotics field, and is now the department supervisor. Other employees have also gone from assemblers to highly skilled technicians.

Side by side
Our latest addition to the robot line is collaborative robots. They are a revolution in robotics because they can work right beside our people on an assembly line without solid safety barriers. We are one of the first manufacturers in America to introduce these in to operation, and the first here in Virginia. Collaborative robots are extremely flexible with simple programming so they can be adapted to a variety of tasks and deliver higher productivity than just the employee alone.

What’s next?
We are never satisfied and as robotic technology improves, we will be finding new ways to put them to work and improve our quality and efficiency. Ultimately our goal is to remain true to the values and vision of our founder, Andreas Stihl, and continue to build the highest quality product for our servicing dealer to sell to you. That's what has made us the number one selling brand of gasoline powered handheld outdoor power equipment and we intend to keep it that way.*

*A majority of STIHL powerheads are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components. “Number one selling brand” is based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research as well as independent consumer research of 2009-2014 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

One Battery. Multiple Tools. And a $100 Rebate*.

In our ongoing effort to simplify landscaping tasks, STIHL offers the yard workers of the world a new innovation with efficient, easy-to-use technology – the STIHL Battery KombiSystem. And there has never been a better time to buy with our $100 rebate offer good for up to 10 units.

With the STIHL Battery KombiSystem, all you need is one lithium-ion battery to power a full line of STIHL handheld outdoor power equipment. So you can trim grass, prune hedges, blow leaves and cut wood, all in one innovative battery-powered yard care system.

We’ve designed the STIHL Battery KombiSystem to be easy to use.  How would you like to never have to buy gas again for your power tools? Making the switch to lithium-ion battery power means no more last-minute trips to the pump to finish trimming your yard, no more smelly red fuel cans, no more hassle of mixing fuel. Plus, STIHL battery-powered products are lightweight and easy to maneuver, taking some of the strain out of your weekend chores.

Less noise makes for happier neighbors, and STIHL Battery KombiSystem products run much quieter than their gasoline-powered equivalents. And by harnessing battery power, engine emissions are eliminated, resulting in less impact on the environment. Every product in the STIHL Lithium-Ion lineup starts up instantly with a pull of the trigger, so you can start sooner and finish faster.

You may be thinking, “That all sounds great, but does the STIHL Battery KombiSystem have what it takes to get the job done?” Absolutely. STIHL wouldn’t lend its iconic orange and gray color scheme to any product that didn’t live up to their high standards for quality and dependability. Each STIHL Lithium-Ion battery packs 36 volts of power, giving the HSA 65 hedge trimmer the cutting speed you need, and the BGA 85 blower the air volume to plow through piles of leaves or grass clippings. And each battery is designed for long run times and quick recharges, so you can knock out those yard tasks fast and get back to enjoying your weekend.

So the next time you find yourself grabbing that fuel can and heading to the filling station, why not take a detour and head to your local STIHL dealer instead to learn about this great new yard care system.

Monday, June 15, 2015


The STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series turns 30 this year, and we are celebrating in a major way. We are holding our U.S. Championship on Saturday, June 20 in Central Park in New York City.

The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series – “The Original Extreme Sport – features the top lumberjack athletes in the country competing in thrilling axing, sawing and chopping competitions. Professional competitors face off in six disciplines – the single buck, standing block chop, underhand chop, springboard chop, stock saw, and hot saw (collegiate athletes only compete in the single buck, standing block chop, underhand chop, and stock saw events).

The Series is seen by millions every year. It’s the second longest airing program on ESPN, only behind “SportsCenter,” and the Collegiate Qualifiers and Championship will air on ESPNU this summer. Major sponsors like Ram Truck, John Deere, Georgia Boot, and Duluth Trading Company sponsor the Series.

Throughout the year collegiate and professional athletes have been battling in regional qualifiers to earn their spot at the Championship. Six top collegiate and 20 pros have booked their trip to New York City.

Two-time defending champion Matt Cogar will look to win an impressive third straight title. The 28-year-old will face stiff competition from a variety of talented axemen. New York-native Nathan Waterfield blitzed his qualifier and will look to improve on his fourth place finish from last season. Arden Cogar, Jr. won in 2012, has finished runner-up the past two years, and is one of the sports’ best ever. Walt Page, David Moses, Mel and Jason Lentz, and Dave Jewett are all capable enough to make noise on Saturday.

This year’s U.S. Championship is part of Adventures NYC, a free annual outdoor festival/event. The event is located at Naumburg Bandshell Central Park, at the entrance of 72nd Street and 5th Avenue. The day will open with professional qualifiers from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Collegiate Championship is from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The day will conclude with the U.S. Pro Championship from 3 to 5 p.m.
If you can't attend live, then follow along via a live stream on the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® website. There will also be updates made leading up to and throughout the competition regularly on the sport’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube channels. The Championship will air on ABC on October 4, 11, and 18 at 4 p.m. EST.
This is an iconic year for a sport with tremendous history. The last 30 years have seen some of the best lumberjack athletes of all time winning competitions and making memories, and we have created a website that celebrates the top athletes, events, and moments the sport has ever seen. Fans can visit to see compelling video, facts and photos from each year of the Series’ existence. Additionally, for the first time in the Series’ history, we have created a Hall of Fame, and the first two athletes have been selected and honored on the website.

For more information about the Series and the Championship, visit