6 Ways to Maintain Your Lawn Mower

If you have a beautiful lawn, it is also right to assume that you have your own lawn mower. This tool is essential for people who always want to make sure that their lawn is well taken care of. The same goes for your mower, but the question is to keep in excellent condition all summer long. 

Use fresh gasoline

The higher the octane, the better as it affects engine performance. Always use a clean funnel to fill the mower’s gas tank to avoid injecting debris along with the fuel. Use certified plastic gas tanks as they won’t rust and will last almost forever. Try to stay away from the five-gallon tanks as they contain much more gas than a 30-day supply. Gas any older than 30 days can adversely affect engine performance due to moisture buildup and octane degradation. 

Oil change

You should change the mower’s oil every 50 hours of use, at least. Verify the owner’s manual for the correct type to use and follow specific guidelines of the manufacturer. This should be easy enough provided you didn’t throw away the manual. 

Spark plugs

Replace the spark plug every second oil change. Again, look to your owner’s manual for specifications. Depending on the extent of the lawn you cut, this should be done every two years or more often if you have a large lot. 

Air filter

Get in the habit of Checking the air filter. A clogged, dirty air filter can lead to engine degradation and poor performance. Clean or replace the air filter every season or when judged necessary. 

Clean the mower’s under deck area

Debris accumulates quickly under there and can cause havoc on the blade and engine. Always disconnect the spark plug before getting your hands near the edge or the under deck of your mower. Remove any loose debris that has accumulated under there and use a scraper on the tougher, encrusted spots. 

Lawn mower blades

Keeping your mower blades sharp will ensure a Clean cut of grass and a healthier mower engine as it needs to work a lot less to get the job done. You can do the sharpening yourself, using a file but remember to remove the blade first. Never sharpen a blade that is still attached to the mower. If you decide to do it yourself, remember that it must remain balanced after sharpening. An unevenly balanced blade will not cut properly and can reduce engine performance and longevity.

If you’re unsure of how best to care for your lawn mower properly, have a professional do it or buy a new one, they tend to be quite affordable. Also, speak to a landscape contractor on the best ways to manage your lawn.

Vegetable Gardening

Raised bed gardening is all the rage now, as “backyard farmers” do not have enough time to till, plant and weed large vegetable gardens for their families. Raised beds are easier to maintain and, with a little effort in establishing the garden, they can last for many years to come. They are convenient, often just outside your back door, off the deck, or close by in a selected space in your yard. Just make sure to choose a sunny spot, where the vegetable plants will thrive and produce bountiful crops for your enjoyment throughout the season.

Size matters—you can tailor the size needed according to your family size and choice of vegetables to plant. It’s best to start small, such as a rectangular bed 8’ x 5’, or whatever you choose. Just make sure not to make it too wide, as you may need to be able to reach across to plant. It’s best to choose a location that allows you access on all sides, as you will need to move around the perimeter to work your garden.

You can make the raised garden yourself, or get raised bed corners at a garden supply site, such as Gardener’s Supply Co. (gardeners.com). They come in different heights, from 6” to 23”. If you plan on root crops, such as beets and carrots, you might want to have a little deeper bed to accommodate those. Remember, the higher the bed, the more soil you will need. Lumber can be purchased at any lumber supply store, or Lowe’s or Home Depot, as you don’t want chemicals leaching into the garden.

Don’t buy pressure-treated lumber; cedar is best for longevity. Once you have chosen the right spot in your yard, assemble the bed and fill with good potting soil. You can add fertilizer later. A little planning will assure that you will have a lot of success with just a bit of effort to become a successful vegetable gardener!