With Old Man Winter right around the corner here in Michiana, there is no time like the present to start preparing your lawn equipment and gas-powered lawn tools for the upcoming season. Whether you manage an athletic field, work with a professional company such as RZ Sports Turf or simply handle the lawn care at your home, you will want to ensure the life of your lawn equipment is extended through proper maintenance and management. Here are a few tips and guidelines to help you along.
Review Owners Manuals and Create Checklists
Now is the perfect time to familiarize yourself with your owner’s manuals when it comes to lawn equipment, including lawnmowers, riders, tractors, leaf blowers, chain saws, and trimmers. Lost them? No worries, nowadays, you can pretty much find the manual for just about anything online and download a copy to your phone or computer.
Secondly, make a list of all your lawn equipment and tools. Then you can easily check off which items you have properly inspected, cleaned, disinfected, and stored. Common things to add to this list include:
- Pruning Shears
- Leaf Blower
- Chain saws
Inspect The Blades on Your Lawnmower
Once you’ve made your list and reviewed your manuals, now is the perfect time to check your lawnmower blades to ensure there is no damage or cracks. Be sure to disconnect your spark plug wire, then carefully remove the blade. Sharpen the blade by removing equal amounts of metal from each side. If there is any damage or cracks, it’s time to replace the blade.
Clean Your Lawnmower’s Deck
The lawnmower’s deck plays a vital role in covering the engine of your mower. It also protects you, from the blades, and any debris being shot from the blades. After a summer of use, the deck contains remnants of grass clippings and trapped moisture. To help keep your lawnmower from rust or erosion, clean it after every season with a scrape, brush, and putty knife. Once clean, rinse them with water and let them air dry before replacing.
Clean and Disinfect
After a season full of mowing, trimming, edging, and pruning, in Michiana, it’s easy to spread lawn or tree diseases using dirty tools and equipment. You can help prevent this by cleaning and disinfecting everything you use. This includes the list of items you made when sorting through them earlier. Cleaning off the soil, sap, and grass clippings will also help keep your tools functioning properly. So, how exactly do you go about cleaning and disinfecting? Create a mixture of 1 tbsp of detergent in one gallon of warm water and use a scrubbing brush to clean the blades of all your lawn equipment. Once the edges are clean, you can rinse them off with your garden hose.
Next, it’s time to disinfect. You can use easily accessible household items such as chlorine-bleach, Pine-sol, isopropyl alcohol, Lysol, or Listerine mouthwash. Depending on which item you choose, you’ll need to make sure you have the appropriate mix. For example, bleach should be mixed at a ratio of one part bleach to nine parts water. If using bleach, you will want to soak the tools for 30 minutes, then rinse and hang to dry. If using Lysol, Pine-Sol, or Listerine, dilute the products first with water, so you don’t erode the tools. For the easiest disinfecting method, use isopropyl alcohol. You don’t even have to soak the blades, and you can spray or wipe them down.
Winterize Gas Powered Tools and Equipment
Now it’s time to winterize your gas-powered tools and equipment. Because water from condensation can combine with ethanol gas and cause clogs, corrosion, and frozen lines, you will want to empty your lawnmower and any other gas-powered lawn equipment of gas. Not emptying them can cause costly damage to your engine and other parts. You can do this in three different ways. You can run them out until their tanks are dry, save the gas using a turkey baster or siphon, or use a fuel stabilizer.
- Run out your mower and all other gas-powered lawn equipment until the tanks run dry.
- More environmentally friendly and cost-efficient is the option to save your gas using a turkey baster or siphon to transfer the gas into a gas can.
- Lastly, there is something called a fuel stabilizer that allows you to keep the gas fresh inside the tank and use it later. You can find fuel stabilizers at most hardware or home goods stores. Just be sure to run your tank for a few minutes when using it to allow the stabilizer to make its way through the lines and carburetor to ensure the most protection.
For the Best Athletic Field Maintenance, Lawn Installations, or Lawn Renovations in Michiana, Contact RZ Sports Turf
Don’t wait for winter to end and spring to arrive. It will be here before you know it. Schedule your athletic field maintenance now. Look no further than RZ Sports Turf. Serving the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, South Bend, Valparaiso, and Fort Wayne areas, we specialize in safe, natural turf for athletic fields, irrigation, proper field drainage, turf repair, and renovation and residential and commercial lawn installation. We also provide a variety of other services. Learn more by visiting our website, contacting us online, or calling us at 574-674-5296.