Fire Up Those Mowers! It’s Time to Cut Some Grass!

It’s that time of year again! The mower has been brought out of storage and not a moment to late. Before you start cutting you should start to ask yourself if the unit was properly serviced before it was put away last year. Has the oil been changed? Was the gas stabilized or drained out? Is the blade in good shape?

Let’s start with the gas – if you had not stabilized or drained the fuel out of the unit last fall I would advise you not to use the equipment. Drain out and dispose of the old gas. You may want to consider adding a cleaning solution into the first tank -these are available at the local hardware emporiums and will eliminate any tarnish that is left from the old fuel.
Did you change the oil last year? Most manufacturer’s recommend changing the oil and filter ( if you have one) every 50 hours that the unit works – so if it takes you an hour to mow your yard you are good with one oil change a year. You can do this yourself or take it to a local service provider.
Is the blade chipped? Bent? If so replace it before you use it. A blade that is out of balance will wear the bearings in the engine and cost you a lot more in the future. If it is in good shape take the time to sharpen the edge. If you are mowing for an hour a week you will need to sharpen the blade two or three times in a season to maintain a good edge. Signs that your blade is not sharp are torn ends on the turf. These torn ends will brown out and be unsightly as well as provide the opportunity for disease to infect the plant.
Finally, you should be mowing the turf at three and a half to four inches high. It may seem high but this allows the turf to remain dense and prevents a lot of weed problems. Once you have mowed the turf at this height a few times it will provide a uniform look that you will enjoy.

–Jim Taylor
Grounds Maintenance Account Manager

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