How To Store Your Lawn Mower For Winter

You probably heard about the importance of keeping your lawn mower stored safely during the cold season. But what exactly should you do in order to protect your mower while in storage? First thing you should know is that if you leave the mower outside during the course of winter, it will probably rust, which is an expensive mistake that can be easily avoided! Leaving your mower out in the cold can also cause other internal issues making it even more difficult and sometimes impossible to start once we hit Spring. Here are some simple tips to help you keep your mower safe during Winter.

Clean the Mower

Brush the leaves, grass and mud off your mower before storing it. In doing so, you’ll prevent key parts of the mower  from getting clogged up, such as the wheels. It’s not the most appealing thing to do, but can you imagine how much harder it would be to clean 3-4 months old mud and grass?

Drain the Gas

Electric and cordless mower owners can skip this step! Gas starts degrading in about a month or 30 days, which is very little time and not even the whole duration of winter! As a result, the mower’s engine might get clogged and might not even start. The safest option is to drain the mower’s tank. Another alternative is you can use a fuel stabilizer to protect your mower till it’s ready to be used again

Remove the Battery

If it is a riding lawn mower you should remove the battery before storing. Keeping your mower’s battery safe is important, because sometimes buying a new one can be very costly. A smart move is to remove the battery from your mower and store it in a dry cool place. Batteries don’t sit well in any environment that is damp, hot or too cold.

Choose a Storage Spot

There are things you need to consider, when choosing a spot to store your mower in. First and foremost, keep your mower away from any heat appliances and active devices because it could be hazardous. Indoor storage is the optimum choice, such as the garden shed or the garage. If you don’t have an indoor storage space, then the best way to store it safely outside is to use a water-resistant tarpaulin cover.

First 3 Things To Check If My Lawn Mower Won’t Start

Are you having trouble starting your lawn mower, and have no idea why? No worries, we’ve got you covered! We’ve prepared a guide for the first 3 things you need to check on, if your lawn mower is giving you a hard time.

Not to point out the obvious, but the first thing you should do is make sure your mower has fresh gas. If your mower’s tank still contains last season’s fuel, you will need to drain it and fill the tank with fresh fuel. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are the first 3 things you should check on if your mower won’t start:

SPARK PLUG:

Examine the spark plug, it could be in need of a clean-up from all the debris, or it might be loose or disconnected altogether. If it’s the latter, you’ll need to tighten or reattach it. You will need the proper spark plug socket in order to remove or tighten it. Spark plug sockets come in two sizes: 5/8 inches and 13/16 inches. Most spark plug sockets have a rubber insert that holds the plug tightly in place. You may also need a universal joint if your spark plugs are hard to reach.

AIR FILTER:

Check the air filter, it might need a clean-up or to be replaced with a new one. The air filter is usually located behind a flat plastic piece that can be easily removed by hand. You can find these at your local hardware store or lawn mower repair shop. You can also buy them online.


FUEL LINE:

The third possible issue might be that the engine isn’t getting any fuel, and if this is the case, you can try getting the gas to flow by tapping the carburetor on the side. If that doesn’t help, you might want to consider getting a brand new fuel filter or fuel line. Check this by removing the fuel line at the carburetor. Gas should run out from the line once it’s removed. If gas isn’t coming out of the fuel line, remove the fuel line ahead of the fuel filter inlet. If gas flows, the fuel filter is clogged.

If none of these fix the issue you might want to look into getting the carburetor cleaned or even replaced. If the mower still will not start then it might be time to recycle it.

How Do I Keep My Lawn Healthy?

Having a lush green lawn is the ultimate goal, and it’s not necessarily hard to achieve! Here are some tips for how to take better care of your lawn.

Mowing & Edging

It is best to remove only a third of the total grass length when moving the lawn, to avoid scalping grass, which is cutting it too short. How often you should mow your lawn can be determined by the season and the weather conditions!

Sharpen Mower Blade

If you want to get the absolute best results when mowing, make sure your mower blades are sharpened. 

Change The Mowing Pattern

When you’re mowing your lawn, avoid mowing in the same direction or pattern every time. That way the grass will grow straight and tall.

Aeriate

Aeration is when you create small holes in the soil at certain depths, which is essential for the soil to get the nutrients it needs to grow; as it makes it easier for the root of the grass to have better access to air and water. You can aerate using a garden fork, or specific aeration tools. 

Reseed Lawns

If your lawn is appearing to be a little thin in some areas, no worries! That can happen for many reasons, what you can do is seed over the area to fill it and lush it up.

Should I Mow My Own Lawn Or Hire A Professional Lawn Care Service?

If you’re thinking about your lawn, the question probably isn’t about whether you want it to be radiantly green and healthy, but more so about how you will achieve that goal! When it comes down to it, there are two options; you could either go DIY and mow your own lawn or hire a professional lawn care service. To be fair, both options have their pros and their cons!

Reasons To Hire A Service:

If you can afford it and are short on time, then it makes more sense to hire someone reliable. In most cases it is much easier for a lawn company to take care of your lawn than it is for you. Saving you both the time and the effort.

A big reason to hire a professional lawn care service is consistency! They will have a set schedule for your lawn to be mowed. Sometimes weekly or sometimes twice a month.

Mowers aren’t cheap and they need attention. They would be an investment similar to major appliances, such as a dryer or a refrigerator. If you are not mower-savvy and are not familiar with how to service a mower such as doing maintenance on the mower by changing the oil, sharpening the blades, and tuning it up every year, then you’ll need to learn how, or pay someone else to do it. If this does not sound good to you then it might be a good ida to hire a service to maintain your lawn.

Green Grass

Reasons To Mow Your Own Lawn

For some people, mowing the lawn is one of those weekly tasks that they can actually enjoy. It can be “therapeutic”. Just the repetitive movement of mowing and the perfect crisp lines that you create can help slip you into a calmer state of mind. Not to mention taking in the soothing smell of freshly cut grass after, knowing you made that happen!

Hiring a lawn mower service can add up over time, costing a lot of money in the long run. So really by mowing your lawn you could be saving money in the longterm.

Knowing your yard; Mowing your lawn regularly gives you a chance to really get to know your yard, in the sense of finding out which parts of your lawn need special attention and care.

Lawn Mower In Grass

Should I Use My Lawn Mower To Pick Up Leaves In The Fall?

Raking leaves during Fall can be a back breaking task, especially if you do it by hand. Bending over to pick up the leaves and then placing them into a bag can be a pain. If you own a riding lawn mower, it can help ease your leaf removal process. There are certain types of attachments that may be needed with most riding lawn mowers in order to help you  pick up leaves as you ride across your lawn. It is nice to use these attachments while you mow the grass, making it so you can both cut the yard and pick up leaves at the same time. 

Bagger Systems

Most riding lawn mowers and push lawn mowers have an optional bagger attachment that you can use when cutting the yard. Most push mowers include the bag while riding mowers do not (and you have to buy them as an add on). The bag attaches and detaches from the rear of a lawn mower. You can choose to attach it when you want to collect grass clippings or leaves during the Fall. The grass cut by the mower deck of your mower is blown through the discharge chute into the bagger. A bagger will also collect any material or debris your lawn mower mows over. So if your yard is covered with leaves, this is a great way to clean them up without bending over to pick up leaves manually.

Tractor Leaf Bags

Another leaf collection attachment you can use with your riding lawn mower is a leaf bag. This bagger is pretty much the same as the bagger system previously mentioned; however, it is much larger than your basic bagger system.  It is nice to have if your yard is large so that you can pick up more leaves without having to empty the bags as often.

Lawn Sweepers

A lawn sweeper hooks up to the rear of the tractor, acting as a tow-behind attachment that sweeps the leaves off the grass. Rotating bristles throw any debris on your lawn into the sweepers bin area. If you only want to pick up leaves without mowing the lawn, a lawn sweeper is a very useful attachment to use. You do not need to engage the blade while going over the leaves (as you do with a bagger system). The sweeper will pick up the leaves without chopping them up. Be sure to check the lawn sweeper owner’s manual to make sure it is compatible with your type/ brand of riding lawn mower.

Mulching

Sometimes if you do not have too many leaves in your yard you are able to just cut over them without having to bag them up. This method will create a nutrient-rich mulch material that will fall between the blades of grass. Because the pieces are so tiny, your lawn will appear to look as though you picked up your leaves. If the layer of leaves on your lawn is too thick, don’t mulch. This will cause too much mulch left on your lawn and that excess mulch will suffocate/ kill  the grass. In order to mulch with your riding lawn mower or push lawn mower, remove the rear bagger and cover the side discharge chute with a mulch cover flap.

I need a new lawn mower and want to be environmentally friendly. What are my options?

Old Fashioned Manual (Reel) Lawn Mower

The old fashioned manual (reel) lawn mower has been updated for modern times. They are now made of both lightweight and sturdy materials. Some models feature pneumatic tires, blade height settings, and even an adjustable handle length. The reel-mounted horizontal blades gives an exceptional cut by slicing the grass against a lower rigid bar. These oldie but goodie mowers are also known for being very quiet while operating and also give off no pollution (unlike your typical gas lawn mower). They are especially useful for tiny or smaller lawns. 


Battery Operated Walk-Behind Lawn Mower

The battery operated walk-behind lawn mower tends to be a better choice than the reel if cutting a lawn that is more than 4000 square feet. Some of these battery operated mowers can hold a long charge allowing you to cut up to two-thirds of an acre in a single charge. Battery operated lawn mowers are more quiet than your gas powered lawn mower and they tend to be very low maintenance. They might also be referred to as battery-powered lawn mowers or electric lawn mowers.

If I Cut My Grass Shorter Will I Be Able To Mow Less Often?

Scalping the lawn (in other words, cutting it too short) is a common mistake made by many individuals. Some people think that if they cut their grass down to pretty much its roots (slight exaggeration) it will make it so that they do not have to cut their grass as frequently. 

It is safe to say that you can cut your grass shorter than normal during the cooler days of Spring and Autumn, and this will not affect the flawless appearance of your freshly cut lawn. However, when temperatures reach up to 80 degrees or higher experts say that you should let your grass get a little bit taller. Although it may look a messier then you’d like and not have that same “perfect” appearance as a lawn mowed shorter, this taller grass will actually allow for better plant health. It turns out that taller grass blades will shade the ground, conserve moisture, and help prevent weed seeds from germinating! 

Cutting your grass shorter does not slow down its growth rate and the grass will need to be cut or mowed just as frequently. 

SHORTER GRASS
Pro: Looks nice at first glance, an almost “perfect” appearance! 
Con: Can cause more weeds to grow over time


TALLER GRASS
Pro: Makes for healthier grass & less weeds over time
Con: Doesn’t “look” as nice


KEY TAKE AWAY 
Cutting the grass shorter does not slow down its growth rate and it still will need to be cut it just as often

New Home Buyer? What to Look for in a Lawn Mower:

New homeowners are often faced with the pressure of choosing the ideal lawn mower. Due to the fact that a new environment can be ecologically different, the question of the best lawn mower comes in. As a new homeowner, what should you look out for in a lawn mower? What are the ideal specs that you must ensure that your lawn mower has?

The engine torque –which is measured in foot-pounds (ft or lbs), represents the power of the engine. The more power, the faster the blades rotate. This provides better mowing in tall or thick grass.

Engine displacement –indicates the size of the engine, the higher the number of your engine displacement, the more powerful the engine is and the better the cutting action. As a new homeowner, you should look out for the lawn mower with the highest displacement you can get.

Priming – refers to having to push a button several times to get fuel into the engine to start it. No-prime engines eliminate this step. It is best to buy a mower that allows for no priming, that way you can start your mower effortlessly.

Top speed – This parameter is only for riding lawn mowers; the top speed is the highest speed a lawn mower can reach. You should pick a top speed that is ideal.

Cut width– is the width of the area that the mowing blade can cut in one mowing pass. It is best to have the highest cut width especially if you are looking at buying a riding lawn mower.

Blade brake– disengages the blades and stops the rotation but leaves the engine running while you empty the bag. This can come in handy if you intend to bag your grass blades; that means you can leave the engine running without fear.

Disposal means – Some mowers offer a bagging system to help you collect clippings. Others offer a mulching option that turns clippings into a fine mulch and spreads it over the yard. If you do not select either of these options, you may have to rake up clippings after you mow.


Accessory fitting – while it may not count for some new homeowners, it does for some others. For some riding lawn mowers and push lawn mowers you can adjust the height of the grass cut by using levers by the wheels. Most push lawn mowers require adjusting each wheel separately. However, dual-function or single-lever height adjustment features make this task easier.  A deck wash port connects to a garden hose and you can easily wash the underpart of your mower with it.

Whether you have decided to go with a riding lawn mower or a push lawn mower, it’s your choice. However, you must look out for these parameters and ensure that you get it right. Once you are sure that you are comfortable with the specifications of your lawn mower and it is suited to your lawn, you are good to go.