Basic lawn mower maintenance
Your lawn mower is easily the most used lawn maintenance tool in your shed, but many homeowners neglect to perform the basic lawn mower maintenance steps that are important for the desired effects. If you aren’t performing regular lawn mower maintenance then your mower is not living up to its full potential, and it could even be having negative effects on your lawn. Here are some basic lawn mower maintenance tips that should be making use of:
Know your mower
There are many types of mowers on the market, and some of the most important maintenance tips about your machine can be found right inside of the package. The owner’s manual is one of the most neglected pieces of information there is, and by reading this manual you can be aware of brand-specific maintenance steps that you should be taking. This manual will also advise you on the best types of oil and gasoline to use with your machine, deciding to ignore these suggestions will drastically reduce the lifespan of your mower.
If you already own a mower and are not sure where the owner’s manual is, try searching the web. The manufacturer’s website is a good place to start, but typing the make and model into a search engine will also oftentimes be successful. If you still cannot find the manual after this search, try calling the manufacturer directly to see if a new manual can be ordered. Many companies will send you a replacement manual free of charge.
Sharpen your blades
A lawn mower cannot cut grass successfully if the blades are not sharp, and you should be sharpening your blades regularly to ensure the desired effects. Rocks, branches, and other hard objects found in your yard can dull blades quickly – and sharpening eliminates this problem. You want each blade of grass to be cleanly cut, and dull blades will just rip and shred the grass. Not only will this result in a less uniform look for your lawn, it will also have negative effects on the health of your grass.
Most homeowners have their blades commercially sharpened, but with the right tools this can be done at home. Simply remove the blade, eliminate any signs of rust using a steel wool brush, and clamp the blade in a vice until it is secure. Using a file you can then sharpen the blade to the ideal level. Make sure that you follow the preexisting angle while working with the blade for proper sharpening.
Adjust blade height throughout the year
Ideally you should only remove 1/3rd of the total blade length each time you cut your grass. Each type of grass seed has its own perfect height, and you want to achieve this length when you cut. The first few times of the year that you cut your lawn it can be a challenge to find a balance between these two important steps. Because of this, you will need to raise the height of your blade to ensure that you are not cutting too much at any time. Then, gradually move the blade down one step at a time until you are successfully removing no more than 1/3rd of the length.
Figuring out how to adjust these blades on your own can be a challenge, but if you’ve read the owner’s manual it should be clear. If you cannot locate your lawn mower maintenance guide even after your best search, take the make and model number to your local home improvement store and see if they can offer any advice. Maintenance like this is essential for a healthy lawn that is free from weeds and unwanted bugs.