Tips on lawn maintenance

Tips on lawn maintenance


CHICAGO—A little maintenance goes a long way in keeping your mower humming. It may not be at the top of your “to do” list, but now is the time to get your lawnmower and outdoor power equipment in shape. Mowers, trimmers, edgers and blowers can fail if not properly maintained.

“Lawn mower maintenance is very similar to automobile maintenance,” said Tom Daly, a Home Depot lawn and garden expert. “Power equipment should be tuned up at least once each season for maximum life and performance.”

By following these simple tune-up guidelines, mowers and other outdoor power equipment can provide years of reliable operation.

l Use fresh, clean gasoline. Do not keep gas in the tank for more than 45 days. If you’ll be storing your mower for an extended period, run the engine until the tank drains.

l Check oil levels. Just like a car, your mower has a dipstick. Check oil levels regularly and add oil if needed. Your equipment needs fresh oil after approximately 25 hours of operation or after about one season of residential usage. Remember to dispose of used oil in accordance with the hazardous waste regulations in your community.

l Replace the air filter. Once per season, you should replace your equipment’s air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

l Check your spark plugs. Many power equipment engine problems can be attributed to faulty spark plugs. Your local Home Depot garden center stocks a wide variety of replacement plugs and sockets. To ensure safety, remove the spark plug wire near the front of the engine and allow the mower to cool completely.

l Sharpen your lawn mower blade. Dull blades tear grass rather than cut it, resulting in a lawn turning brown. It also leaves lawns more susceptible to disease. Specialty stores can sharpen blades in about 10 minutes, the cost is minimal.

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