Start your engines! Spring has finally sprung. With the first major growing season of the year approaching, now is the time to get your lawn mower in tip-top shape. If you didn’t do any fall maintenance on your mower, it’s extremely important to make sure your mower is working properly before the start of the season. Use this checklist to make sure your lawn receives a fresh and healthy cut every time!
Check the Spark Plug
The spark plug is a very important component in helping your lawn mower function. A dirty or loose spark plug will make your mower difficult to start, give your lawn a choppy cut and waste fuel. To ensure it starts smoothly, change your spark plug once a year.
Sharpen Your Mower Blade
Having a sharp mower blade is extremely important when it comes to ensuring that your lawn receives a fresh, crisp cut that can heal quickly. A dull mower blade can tear at the grass blades, leaving the tips yellow, damaged and more susceptible to disease. You should sharpen your mower blade at least twice every season to make sure it stays consistently sharp. You can visit your local hardware store for a professional sharpening, or you may opt to do it yourself. If you notice any large chips or cracks in the blade, don’t sharpen it…buy a new one.
Change the Oil
Just like your car, your lawn mower needs regular oil changes. It is recommended that homeowners change the oil in their mower once every season. First, make sure to disconnect your spark plug, drain the dirty oil and refill with new oil, then reconnect the spark plug wire. Reference your owner’s manual to ensure you use the right type of oil for your mower.
Clean the Mower Deck
Have you ever turned over your mower and looked at its underbelly? If not, you might be surprised at what you find. If you have been using your mower for a while, it wouldn’t be uncommon to find layers of caked on mud and grass. Making it a point to regularly clean off grass residue from your mower will extend its life, improve functionality and prevent any damage or cracking to the body. Not only can a dirty mower deck affect your mower’s function, but it can also even encourage the spread of turf disease in your grass. Remove large chunks of grass and dirt by hand and power wash off any remaining residue.
Grease Moving Parts
Your mower will function better and last longer if you keep the wheel bearings and other moving parts well lubricated. If you aren’t overly comfortable doing your own lawn mower maintenance, your local hardware store most likely offers spring lawn mower tune-ups for a fee.