Weed Eaters

Is a Thicker Trimmer Line Better?

Lawn maintenance is made a whole lot easier with the help of a string trimmer, as these handy multipurpose tools can be used for a variety of uses, such as grass cutting, weed trimming, and bush thinning, or for tricky to reach areas and for neatening up your lines.

The trouble with such broad functionality is that it can be difficult to know what type of trimmer line is going to be best suited for your needs, as your needs can vary. There is also a huge amount of choice these days which makes this decision all the more confusing.

One issue with getting the trimmer line wrong is that it is more likely to break or snap during use. When the line breaks it is usually a sign that it’s too thin for the intended purpose, so many people are led to wonder, is it better to opt for a thicker trimmer line?

This article is going to take a look at some of the common questions around trimmer line options and what size, shape, or thickness you should go for to get the job done effectively without running into problems or causing any damage to your equipment, and we consider factors such as durability, material, and weld-resistance.

What Shape Trimmer Line is Best?

Getting the shape of your trimmer line wrong can be a source of frustration if it’s constantly causing the line to jam or break, but what shape trimmer line is the best choice?

First, check the instructions manual to see which trimmer lines are compatible with your strimmer, as not all are suitable for use with certain models. You should also be able to locate this information online with a quick Google search if you have misplaced the manual.

When you’re shopping for a trimmer line, there are three styles you can consider including round, multi-sided, and twisted shapes.

  • Round string: Available in all sizes, round string is affordable, easy to use, and durable enough to handle lawns that have a few weeds sprouting, although you may struggle with weedier areas due to causing a rough rather than a clean cut.
  • Multi-sided string: A better choice for lawns sprawling with weeds, multi-sided string offers a cleaner cut but it has a tendency to snap when it’s used to trim near hard surfaces
  • Twisted string: Twisted string is highly durable which makes it ideal for use on or near harder surfaces and for dealing with thick patches of weeds. It’s also a quieter choice for those where noise levels may be a concern.

Your choice of line shape can influence how the trimmer performs in terms of accuracy and durability and can even affect how much sound it produces when the tool is in use, so it’s important to make sure the trimmer line matches the use it’s intended for.

Is a Square Trimmer Line Better Than Round?

One of the advantages of using a square line is that their sharper edges can effectively cut through grass and weeds with more speed and efficiency.

This is particularly useful in areas where the growth is particularly dense and thick, or for dealing with stubborn patches of weeds. This type of line does have a tendency to snap when it comes into contact with other objects like stones, pavement, fences, and other hard obstacles or surfaces.

The smoothness of a round trimmer line means it sustains wear and tear at a slower pace compared to square line and it’s less likely to snap due to it cutting closer to the tip of the line. You’ll also spend less time spooling your line on the real as it’s easier to load on.

Here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons:

Square Line

Pros

  • Quick, sharp cutting
  • Can hack through thick patches of weeds

Cons

  • Breaks easily if it strikes a solid object or surface
  • Tricky to spool

Round Line

Pros

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Easy to spool the line

Cons

  • Doesn’t cope as well with tougher trimming jobs

So, the answer to this question really depends on the intended use. Square trimmer line is better for dense weeds whereas round line will last longer if you’ll be using it in an area where are sharp surfaces or objects that will come into contact with the line.

How Do I Choose a Trimmer Line?

Firstly, you should always refer back to your trimmer’s instructions manual to double-check the manufacturer’s recommendation for line shape and size. If you can’t find your manual or if you can’t locate this information, a quick Google search should tell you everything you need to know.

The next thing you need to do in order to choose the correct trimmer line is to assess what you think you’re going to be using your trimmer for.

If you’re buying it for a specific purpose then this should be easy, but if you’re intending to use it for multiple applications then think about what its main use will be or consider opting for a few different types of lines.

Once you’ve nailed down this list you can choose the most appropriate line size and thickness based on what you’ve learned from this article and what is compatible for use with your trimmer.

Another thing you should factor into your decision is how easy it will be to re-spool and whether or not you’d prefer to avoid having to stop and do this any more than necessary. If that’s the case, opt for the thickest, most durable line your trimmer can handle.

Does Trimmer Line Size Matter?

Trimmer line size matters because it can determine how the trimmer cuts through the intended area, so getting it wrong is a recipe for a broken string rather than for success. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s important to match the line size with the intended purpose.

These are the line sizes we’d recommend for the following applications:

  • Easier applications: 1.5 mm to 2.0 mm
  • Medium applications: 2.15 mm to 2.65 mm
  • Heavier applications: 2.4 mm to 3mm

We’d class easier applications as being fairly light work, for example trimming residential lawns and gardens where there is mainly grass and some sparse weeds.

Medium applications lean more toward larger lawn areas, reasonable commercial work, and denser patches of weeds.

Heavier applications include heavily weeded areas, thick grass, patches of nettles, and other tough shrubbery or growth.

How Can I Make My Trimmer Line Last Longer?

A good general rule of thumb is to avoid areas that are particularly stony or where there may be hidden obstacles that could obstruct your path and damage the line. If you can, clear the area of any debris before you start trimming to avoid snapping or breaking the line.

The tougher the job, the thicker the line you should go for, as this will reduce the chance of it becoming damaged after only a short period of use. A thicker line with a larger diameter will also increase the durability and therefore the lifespan of the line, meaning it’ll last you longer.

There are also a few maintenance rules you should try to stick to, such as making sure you don’t store or leave your strimmer line in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time as this can weaken it.

The best thing to do after a session with your strimmer is to remove the line and place it in some fresh water to soak in the winter season. This helps it to retain its flexibility and can handle being pushed further for longer without snapping or breaking.

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How does a string trimmer work
Weed Eaters

How Does A String Trimmer Work?

String trimmers use a microfilament string to cut the grass. The string is spun rapidly by the motor and as the string is spun so quickly, it becomes rigid. This is due to centrifugal force.

The motion of the spinning and the rigidness of the string is what cuts the blades of grass. It is a fairly simple, yet interesting process. 

To turn on the string trimmer you need to kick start the motor using a starter rope.

How does a string trimmer work

When the machine is turned on, you will then engage the clutch and the throttle to begin, If you have a manual feeding strimmer, you will need to wind the line onto the reel before beginning. However, more modern strimmers are automatic. 

When the trimmer is turned on, it is down to the user to control the level at which the strimmer cuts grass at. The strimmer can be moved to reach difficult corners or to trim the grass lower.

It gives you more control over the height in comparison to a lawnmower. 

String trimmers can be referred to by many different names, from weed whip to line trimmer. They are a great tool to use to cut your lawn and allow you to be precise in your trimming too. 

How does auto feed string trimmer work?

An auto-feed string trimmer works similarly to any other trimmer, but instead of the string being fed manually, the strimmer will automatically do all of this work for you. The majority of modern strimmers will have an auto feeder. What is great about string trimmers is that they are easy to use.

The majority of modern automatic feeding string trimmers feature an internal sensor component. This is the component that determines how much string is released from the strimmer. It automatically senses when more string needs to be released.

Many people prefer to use this type of string trimmer because it is a lot easier than having to manually feed the string. 

The auto-feed trimmers save you time as you will not need to prep the trimmer before use, you simply turn on the strimmer and cut the grass.

While auto-feed trimmers are a fairly new addition to this niche, they have quickly become the most popular and widely used trimmer. This is because they are easier to use overall, and they are hassle-free

This type of trimmer is a great choice for beginners because they are user-friendly and are not overly complicated to use. Manual strimmers can be a little bit more awkward to use for your first time.

How do you edge a lawn with a string trimmer?

The best way to edge a lawn with a string trimmer is to use the string trimmer at an angle or on its side, this will allow you to reach the edges far easier than by using it horizontally. 

When you turn the trimmer on its side, it is important to ensure that the string is facing away from you. This is to ensure that the strimmer is not going to injure you. 

While you can use a strimmer to edge a lawn, it is worth noting that it is not always the best or easiest garden tool to use. There are edging tools you can purchase for this purpose.

However, they will still work at cutting the edges of your lawn, it will just take a little bit more time and patience. 

As trimmers are intended to be used horizontally, tipping it on an angle or to the side, will cause the cut lawn to potentially hit you. This is why it is important that you face the trimmer so that the string is facing away from you, for safety purposes. 

Once the trimmer is rotated at an angle, you can begin to cut the grass in a similar way to what you would have if the string were horizontal.  

How can I make my trimmer line last longer?

One way in which you can make your trimmer line last longer is by soaking it in water. While this may seem like a strange way of extending its life, it helps to reduce line breakage. In addition to this, it helps to soften the line. 

While you do want the line to be strong overall, if it is too rigid, this can cause it to break. By making the line less flexible, it is less likely to break. 

In addition to this, you will want to ensure that you are looking after the trimmer correctly and keeping up with general maintenance, such as storing it and using it correctly.

Your technique is important. If you are not using the strimmer correctly, the line is more likely to become damaged and not last for a long time.

The string that the trimmer uses can also affect the line and how well it lasts. 

How does a trimmer clutch work?

The trimmer clutch is responsible for allowing the trimmer to spin. As the trimmer works by spinning the line quickly, the clutch must be it is important that the clutch is working correctly. 

When the engine is started, you will use the clutch to start the trimmer. Without the clutch being engaged, your trimmer will have power, but it will not begin. Once the throttle and clutch are engaged, then the trimmer will begin to work.  

The clutch is often referred to as the centrifugal clutch. It can be found next to the engine housing and the trimmer shaft. The clutch must be engaged for the trimmer to work correctly.

If the clutch becomes damaged, your trimmer will not run correctly. This will lead to more problems with the trimmer as a whole.  

If your trimmer is struggling to start and there is no issue with the power that is being supplied, there is likely something wrong with the clutch itself. We would recommend getting the trimmer looked over by a professional so they can locate and fix the problem for you.  

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Should I Mow Or Weedeat First
Weed Eaters

Should I Mow Or Weedeat First?

There is a lot of discussion over which is the correct way to tidy your lawn, and whether or not you should mow or weedeat first. Generally, the consensus among the professionals is that you should mow the lawn first.

Some people choose to Weedeat first, but the majority of people seem to prefer to mow first. The rationale behind this order seems to be that this method allows you to clean up any areas that you missed when mowing when you Weedeat.

Should I Mow Or Weedeat First

So a lot of people seem to believe that this allows you to get your lawn looking cleaner than if you were to do it in the opposite order.

However, the people who choose to Weedeat first believe that this is the superior method, so let’s take a look at why. Those who choose to Weedeat first seem to do it in this order as it makes your lawn look cleaner.

By mowing after you Weedeat, your mower can then collect all of the clippings from the Weedeater. This reduces the amount of dead grass left in your yard, allowing your grass to look nicer and grow healthier. 

Should I mow before edging?

This is another area of lawn maintenance that is hugely debated. While some people choose to edge their lawn before they mow it, the majority of people choose to mow before moving onto the edging.

The main reason behind this is that mowing is generally a messier job than edging is. It is also a less fiddly job, and this is partly due to the machinery used to do the job.

If you do the edging before you mow the lawn, there is a good chance that you may ruin all of your hard work when you mow the lawn as it is very easy to mess up the clean edge that you worked hard on.

Whereas if you do the edging after you mow the lawn, there is no risk of you reversing your hard work as edging is a lot more targeted, so it simply makes sense to do it in this order.

If you mow first, you will also usually leave yourself with less work to do when it comes to edging the lawn as the majority of the grass will already be trimmed. Instead of having a large amount of lawn to edge, you will be left with a very small job to do. 

Should I cut weeds before spraying?

In most cases, it is best to mow your lawn, and in turn cut the weeds, prior to spraying a herbicide onto it. It is not essential, but a lot of people choose to cut it first as once you apply the herbicide or pesticide, you are unable to cut your grass for at least the first few days after you apply the treatment.

If you cut the grass prematurely after applying a lawn treatment, you run the risk of the treatment not being successful as it may not have fully soaked into the grass before you trimmed it.

This is why most people choose to trim their grass first. Generally, if you are applying a pesticide or herbicide to your lawn you are doing so because you want to improve the appearance and health of your grass.

If you want to improve the appearance of your grass, the chances are that you will also want to cut it to make it look nicer. So, to avoid the risk of damaging the treatment of your lawn, we would recommend cutting your grass and the weeds before spraying treatment on it. 

Is it ok to mow over weeds?

No, it is not okay to mow over weeds. While it can be tempting to do so, and it might seem like a quick way to remove the weeds from your lawn, it can actually be very damaging to your grass.

To treat weeds you have to target them specifically and tackle the problem at the roots, otherwise, you run the risk of the weeds spreading further across the lawn.

This is also the reason why you should not mow over weeds. Lawnmowers are excellent for cutting grass, but they often spread these cuttings across the lawn as you continue to mow.

So, if you mow over weeds, there is a good chance that these weeds (and their seeds) will be spread across the lawn allowing them to continue to grow and spread.

So while mowing over weeds might seem like a quick way to solve the problem, you are actually causing yourself a much larger problem by doing this.

Seeds can spread as far as 5-10 feet from the area where the weeds once were, so this will make your weed situation much worse than before. 

When should you not cut your grass?

While mowing your lawn might always seem like a good idea, there are some times when you shouldn’t cut your grass. In particular, you should never cut your grass when it is newly planted and still beginning to grow.

New grass is considerably weaker than aged grass, and so if you mow it too soon you can cause irreversible damage to the lawn.

While it might be tempting to mow your lawn as soon as you notice that the grass is starting to grow, you should never cut your grass if it is shorter than 3 inches in length.

When your new grass is shorter than this it is incredibly weak and prone to damage, so if you mow it at this length you risk pulling all of the grass up, leaving bald patches in your lawn.

After it passes 3 inches in length, the new grass begins to become very strong and able to withstand the mowing without damage.

As well as avoiding cutting new grass, it is also best to only trim your grass if it exceeds 3 inches in length at any time as this could cause unnecessary damage to your lawn. 

What is the earliest time I can mow my lawn?

If you want to mow your lawn, it can be tempting to do it as soon as you awake in the morning. However, before you start up the machine it is best to stop for a second and think about your neighbors.

Lawnmowers are noisy machines, so it is best to be considerate of those around you if you don’t want any animosity between you and those around you.

On a weekday, the earliest time that you should mow your lawn is 8 am on a weekday, and 9 am on a weekend. By this time most of your neighbors will already be awake and so you are less likely to upset them by using a noisy lawnmower.

Mow Or Weedeat First

But this isn’t the only reason that you should wait until later in the morning to start mowing. In the mornings, your grass will be wet with dew which can make it difficult for the lawnmower to do its job successfully.

By waiting until 8 or 9 am to mow the lawn, this not only gives your neighbors time to wake up but also allows your grass to dry before you begin cutting it, which reduces the risk of damage to your grass. 

How often should you edge your lawn?

Edging is quite a fiddly job, and so it is a good thing that you do not have to do it that often. If you wish to, you can edge your lawn more regularly, but most people choose to edge their grass just once a year.

However, for this one time to be successful, it is very important that you edge the lawn at the right time of the year to get the best results. The general consensus among professionals is that you should edge your lawn sometime around the end of June.

By doing it at this time of year, you are avoiding the peak growing season which occurs between April and May, ensuring that your hard work will stay good for longer.

From July through to December, your grass really does not grow that much, and so the fiddly job of edging will look good for longer.

Whereas if you were to edge the lawn in March, the work would be quickly reversed during the growing season. So you should edge your lawn only once a year, and it is best to do this at the end of June. 

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Weed Eaters

Who Invented The String Trimmer?

The string trimmer, also known as the weed eater, was invented in the early 1970s by George Ballas, from Houston in Texas. 

A string trimmer is a garden tool, powered by gasoline, electricity, or a battery. It is used to cut grass, small weeds, and groundcover. 

Most commonly, this tool is used to cut low foliage and weeds that are in irregular terrain, or in corners that are hard to get to by other means. 

Who invented the string trimmer

It works by using a whirling monofilament line, instead of simply using a blade. This then protrudes from the rotating spindle, which is situated at the end of a long shaft, topped by a motor that keeps it going.  

Basically, the string trimmer works on a principle, which states that a line that spins fast enough on its center can stiffen thanks to the centrifugal force. Essentially, the faster it spins, the more rigid the line is, and the better it can be used to cut grass, as it slices through. 

Different types of string trimmers will use different monofilament lines, in order to cut through grass, or through tougher things such as woody plants.

For the more powerful string trimmers, they will often use monofilament lines that have an extruded shape, as it helps them slash through even better. 

When was the first string trimmer invented?

The first string trimmer was invented in the early 1970s, by George Ballas, of Houston, in Texas. He is said to have come up with the idea while watching the revolving action of cleaning brushes, in an automatic car wash. The observation of the centrifugal force seemed to spark the idea. 

His first-ever functional trimmer was made with pieces of heavy-duty fishing line, which were attached to a popcorn can then bolted to an edger.

The fishing line, when spun fast enough around its center, was able to cut through grass and weeds, in a highly effective way. This is why George Ballas nicknamed his creation the “weed eater”, and why that is its most common use. 

Since then, the string trimmer has continued to evolve, while adhering to the same principle and mechanics.

Different types of monofilament lines are now used, in order to slash and cut through different types of grass, weeds, and woody plants.

It is especially useful for cutting down weeds that are located over irregular terrain, or in hard-to-get places, where other machines used to cut down weeds would struggle to reach. 

Who invented the whipper snipper?

The whipper snipper, also known as the weed eater, or as the string trimmer, was invented by George C. Ballas, in the early 1970s. 

George Ballas was an American entrepreneur, as shown with his invention of the whipper snipper, and he is the father of the famous ballroom dancer Corky Ballas.

The line has continued with Mark Ballas, who is a professional dancer on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. 

Going back to George Ballas, he was born in 1925, in Louisiana, and was the son of Greek immigrants. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the United States Army, during World War II, and he, later on, went on to serve in the Korean War. He married in 1951 and had five children. 

It was in the early 1970s when he came up with the idea for the whipper snipper, and when he first created it. He got over half a million dollars in sales, in the first year alone! By 1977, the sales were up to 80 million dollars, and the following year he decided to sell his garden tool to the Emerson Electric Company. 

He died in June of 2011, and his invention, the whipper snipper, is still widely used nowadays as a common garden tool for cutting through weeds, grass, and woody plants. 

What is the difference between a line trimmer and a whipper snipper?

Line trimmers, also known as grass trimmers, and whipper snippers, also known as brush cutters, are often used interchangeably for the same job.

They help keep the grass, weeds, and similar under control, as they can be used to trim it all down in a fast and efficient way. But as they are two separate tools, they can’t be exactly the same thing, right? So what are the main differences between a line trimmer and a whipper snipper? 

One of the main differences between them is that whipper snippers have straight shafts, and line trimmers have bent shafts. As simple as that. And the type of shaft can affect the performance, making one or the other more or less ideal for certain tasks. 

Straight shafts, for example, are better suited for heavy-duty performance. You can also have the possibility of attaching a blade onto them, which is useful for cutting larger areas of grass, especially the sections that aren’t accessible to the mower, for whatever reason. 

The bent shafts make line trimmers a lot more suited to homeowners and home use, for smaller sections of grass and weeds. Leaving the whipper snippers, to professional use. 

There can be other differences, such as the weight, design, engine, and similar. But these differences are easier to spot between different brands and models, rather than between the tools themselves, as they really are very similar. 

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Weed Eaters

Does Cutting Weeds Kill Them?

If your garden is littered with weeds, you want to get rid of them. So, you take out the scissors or trimmers and start chopping away. However, cutting the weed plant back won’t kill it forever.

For a start, you are leaving roots in the soil to rot and feed the soil food web. Depending on where you cut it the weed can easily grow back from the roots left behind and so it might take a few cuttings to finally be rid of the plant.  

After two or three cuts the roots may start to rot and die. But one cut is not going to do it and it can be a little tedious to keep going back to cut the weed over and over again, especially if you have a few weeks.

For clusters of weeds, cutting routinely may be easier than pulling, but for the odd weed here and there cutting them may not be the best option, nor the most permanent one. 

The dead roots, however, will feed the soil once it dies, so there are good aspects to this method. 

Will Mowing Weeds Kill Them?

Wondering if mowing your lawn will kill the weeds in there? It can. But it depends on the weed. Some weeds are more susceptible to death by mowing, such as the common Ragwort. Mow these weeds and they will die.

Then there are others such as Horsetail, which won’t die, mowing will only cut off the top. A Creeping Thistle will eventually die if mown repeatedly and regularly. Broad-leaved Dock can also be prevented by regular mowing but you need to kill it through other methods. 

It depends greatly on the weed that you are dealing with, however, using a herbicide and then mowing can kill weeds. This is because when you chop the head off a weed when mowing, it will try to repair with the carbohydrates inside it.

But, if you have treated it with a herbicide, then its food is tainted and it will start to kill it. It can take time but this is a very effective method if you are willing to see it through the long road. It is not a quick fix but it can work very well at killing your garden weeds. 

What Kills Weeds Permanently?

The best way to stop weed growth is to take preventative measures. The best thing to do is identify weeds before applying treatments and before they grow too large and start to reproduce.

You can eliminate them by hand using a daisy picker or by hand. You could use a weed and feed product, which will control weeds whilst also feeding your lawn with nutrients.

If you have hardy weeds like Ivy, Dandelions, and other tough and fast reproducing pests, you can turn to some more hardcore methods. 

One of the most praised methods is a Glyphosate weed killer, which is one of the most widely used weed killers in the world. It will kill the weed right down to the roots and will kill nearly 100% of any weeds, even the hardy ones like ivy.

Once the weed killer dries it is not toxic to pets or children either and it is non-toxic, so once the weed is dead and gone you can replant something more aesthetic in its place.  

Most people would vote that weedkillers are the best option over pulling, cutting, and mowing because they are easy to use, effortless, and usually have a high success rate as well. 

Does Pulling Weeds Cause More Weeds?

If you intend on pulling weeds you need to understand the cycle of a weed. Some are annual which means they complete their cycle of growth in a year, and some are biennials that complete their growth cycle in two years.

Both can be pulled in their first-year cycle. As any plant matures it will start to seed. It is best to pull before this happens because a seeding plant can drop its seeds and result in more weeds. 

If you are pulling weeds them keep a disposal bag close and use it to ensure no potential seeds can get into the ground and grow into new weeds. 

pulling weeds

The best way to pull a weed is to do so when you first notice it before it reaches maturity. 

When dealing with perennial weeds, weeds that live longer than two years, it is best to use hand pulling alongside other methods such as herbicides.

Hand pulling is not as successful with these weeds as they are often stimulated from the root, by hand pulling them they may be encouraged to grow bigger and stronger. So if you are faced with a plant like this, pair your hand pulling with a spritz of herbicide. 

Is It Better To Pull Weeds or Spray Them?

Spraying Vs Pulling weeds is very dependant on your situation. If you have just a few pesky weeds pulling can work.

It is best to wait until the soil is moistened, or you wet it, as the full weed and its roots will easier come out. If you try to remove the weed while the soil is dry it is likely to snap and the weed will grow back. 

Weeds have very strong roots and so dry soil can hold them in very tight.

On the other hand, if you are inundated with weeds, you don’t want to see away a whole day pulling them from the ground.

In this case, spraying will be much better, you can spray the weeds and some of the weaker ones will be dead within a day, some of the stronger ones may take a little longer but don’t worry, they’ll die too. After this, you can pull them from the ground. 

The biggest concern between these two is the type of spray you use, some could be harmful to surrounding plants, so if a weed is close to a plant you may want to pull it rather than spray it to be safe. 

Does Vinegar Kill Weeds Permanently?

A world full of hacks for everything can have you wondering if the vinegar hack for killing weeds really does the trick. Well, the vinegar hack can work well.

Many people use it to kill off hard-to-kill weeds like thistle and horsetail weeds. The most popular mixture is white vinegar and one squirt of dish soap, sometimes people add salt to it. 

It does kill your weeds. With some hardy plants it may take half a day, others it may work faster on. If using this mixture, however, you do need to be careful as it will not just kill weeds, it will kill anything it touches.

You want to use vinegar with high acidity. The vinegar removed the moisture from the plant which is what kills it and the dish soap helps make sure the mixture can break down oils on the leaves and assists the vinegar in removing the moisture.

Salt can be added to this mixture as a re-growth preventative measure. However, adding salt to soil means that nothing can ever grow there again, so it is not ideal for use on lawns or flowerbeds and is best used in places like driveways or patio gardens. 

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