Time to Mow? (Lawnmower Preparation Time !)

As old man winter starts to blow what will hopefully be his last breath this weekend I can look out my window at my yard and see the first mowing coming soon. Perhaps I should have already done the first mowing. Our unkempt clumps of grass are reminders of the upcoming work to be done in the season ahead. From my perspective the mowing isn't work, I actually enjoy it. I hookup my MP3 player and mow away. Before I can get started on the lawn there is some prep work that needs done to my mowers.

1) General Cleanup. My mowers have been resting in the garage all winter covered in some of the dust of last summer. I cleaned them off a little bit before putting it in the garage but I could do a much more thorough job. I need to turn it over on it's side and wash off the bottom with the hose. I read where you can spray the bottom with vegetable oil to keep the grass clippings from sticking.

2) Change the oil. I probably should have done this in the fall but like so many people do I just never got around to it.

3) Cleanup and sharpen the blades. It's better for your grass to have sharp blades to cut the grass. That way the blade isn't ripping the grass apart and leaving uneven edges that turn brown in your yard. Disconnect the spark plug, empty the gas and turn the mower on it's side. Then remove the blade and take a file to sharpen the edges evenly on both sides. You may want to consider a replacing it with a mulching blade if you haven't already.

4) Check the spark plugs and clean or replace as necessary.

5) Check your lawn for sticks, stones and other things that need picked up. While your mower may chew them up fine they could hurtled dangerously toward unsuspecting bystanders. It's a good guess that anything that causes a loud thunk under your mower probably wasn't good for the blade so be careful!

Do you have any lawnmower tips to add to the one's above?

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