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Waynes Spring Lawncare Series: Part 4 Spring Lawn Prep: Lawn Mower Maintenance and Mowing

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Waynes Spring Lawncare Series: Part 4 Spring Lawn Prep: Lawn Mower Maintenance and Mowing

As the days get warmer and longer in spring, the whole natural world reawakens. It’s a wonderful time to begin working outdoors, including doing things like nursing your yard back into shape – restoring that beautiful, lush landscape and getting it back to what we at Waynes call “barefoot good.”

In the fourth part of our spring lawn care series, we’re highlighting how mowing plays a key role in lawn care. And just as you take care of your lawn and plants, maintaining your tools–especially your lawnmower–can reap its own rewards. In addition, how and when you cut the grass is also important.

The Basics of Lawn Mower Maintenance

Keeping your lawnmower in prime working condition helps ensure you get many years of good use out of it. The two most critical times to perform lawn mower maintenance are at the beginning and the end of the season. However, upkeep throughout the season remains a must for maintaining top performance and longevity, and the safety of your equipment.

Here are a few items to put on your lawnmower maintenance checklist:

  1. Fill Up the Tank – it’s best to drain the gasoline out of your mower at the end of the season because old gas can keep your mower from starting. If you have any gas left in the tank from the previous year, be sure to clean it out, dispose of it properly, and start fresh.
  2. Change the Oil – you won’t need to change the oil every 3,000 miles like you would in your car. It is, however, best to change it at least once a year or after every 50 hours of use.
  3. Replace the Air Filter – most experts recommend replacing the air filter every three months. If you replaced the filter near the end of last year’s season, it might still be beneficial to remove and clean it.
  4. Fog the Engine – while your mower sits idle during winter, lubricants in the engine can drain away over time, causing corrosion and damage. Check your owner’s manual to determine if your engine needs a treatment called “fogging” and for directions on how to do so. Some manufacturers recommend that such a treatment take place at the end of the season before the engine sits idle.
  5. Sharpen the Blades – even if you have a yard free from most debris, mower blades will still wear down over time. Dull blades can harm the grass and make your lawn appear yellow or brown, and may even pull up chunks of grass instead of making a clean cut. NOTE: While many of these items can be done by reading instructions in the owner’s manual, it’s safer to have your mower blades sharpened and reinstalled by a professional. 

Spring Mowing Strategies

Before your first mow of the season, check your yard for any debris that may have piled up over the winter. Remove any larger items, and rake out any dead grass and leaves. Prepping your lawn helps ensure a clean and effective first mow.

Mowing frequency is another critical factor. Lawns grow at different rates from season to season; growth is also dependent on how much water your lawn receives, whether by rain or irrigation. During the spring, turfgrass produces top growth faster, which may raise the recommended mowing frequency to once a week. A good rule of thumb is that you should only trim 1/3 of the total grass blade height each mow.

Again, it’s best to research care recommendations based on grass type (ex: Bermuda or Fescue lawns) and your location. Care is not one-size-fits-all. Also, lawn mower maintenance isn’t the only way to prepare your lawn for spring! Consider other ways to support lawn growth, such as weeding, watering, and fertilizing. 

Make This Year’s Lawn “Barefoot Good”

A lovely yard is its own reward. Yet prepping for spring and caring for your lawn throughout the season definitely requires its own form of sweat equity and comes with a learning curve.

You don’t have to do it all on your own! Let the experts at Waynes help! We provide custom-blended fertilizers, disease management, weed control, and other lawn services to ensure that your lawn is lush and ready to enjoy this summer.

To get a free estimate, fill out this form or call us at 866.WAYNES1!

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