Posted on November 5th, 2019
With winter just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your lawn care equipment. After a year of heavy use, our lawnmowers, edgers, leaf blowers, and other tools need to be properly maintained. This end of year maintenance will extend the lifetime of your tools so you can get as much use out of them as possible. Here are a few fall lawn equipment maintenance tips to help you protect your tools.
The tools you use throughout the year will degrade over time, making them less efficient. Before it gets too cold, head out to your garage or shed and make a list of which tools you used the most throughout the year.
The first step of your fall lawn equipment maintenance will be to clean and disinfect them. This is especially true for your lawnmower and anything used to cut. Lawn and tree diseases can be easily spread via contaminated equipment so it’s important to disinfect everything at the end of the season. Cleaning away grass clippings, soil, and sap will also help ensure your tools function properly and efficiently.
First, use a scrubbing brush and a mixture of 1 tbsp dish detergent in a 1-gallon bucket of warm water to clean off the blades of your equipment. This includes lawnmower blades, pruning shears, loppers, and saws. Be very careful when doing this as the blades should be sharp. When the blades have been sufficiently cleaned, rinse them off with a hose and dry them.
Next, you will need to disinfect. This can be done with household disinfectants, isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, or chlorine-bleach. Depending on what disinfectant you use, you’ll need to make the appropriate mixture. Some of these disinfectants, like chlorine bleach, will require you to soak the blades for up to 30 minutes. The easiest method is to use ethanol or isopropyl alcohol because you can just wipe the blades and they’re immediately disinfected.
Your gas-powered lawn equipment will need to be winterized at the end of the season. Any gas left in the tank over the winter can cause extensive damage to the engine, resulting in costly repairs come spring. This is easily avoided with a few simple steps.
Once you mow your lawn for the last time of the year, run the tank dry. It’s important to use up all the fuel in the tank to avoid clogs, corrosion, and freezing lines. If you have a lot of gas left in the tank and would prefer not to waste it, then you can use a turkey baster or siphon to remove it. Another option is to use a fuel stabilizer. Add fuel stabilizer to your tank and run it for a few minutes. This will allow the stabilizer to make its way through the lines and carburetor, offering the most protection.
The final step is to get your winter lawn equipment ready for use. If you have a snow blower, then it’s about time to get it out of storage, fill up the tank, and make sure it’s ready to go. Give it a test run to make sure it doesn’t need any repairs. Find your snow shovels and have them ready to use and make sure you have a supply of deicing salt.
While maintaining your lawn care equipment is important, maintaining your lawn is important too. Whether it’s spring weed prevention, summer grub control, or fall fertilization and sprinkler system winterization, the pros at Turf Unlimited have you covered.