With the right tools, keeping your yard looking its best isn't very hard work. But if those tools aren't maintained, they won't perform properly. And in turn, keeping your yard in tip-top shape can become a real pain. If you take the time to keep your lawn tools maintained, it'll save you a lot of time and money — and your yard can always look its best.
This should go without saying, but it's worth mentioning because lawn tools often get left out in the elements. Yes, they are "outdoor" tools, but that doesn't mean they should stay there. You should consider a tool shed or a dedicated space in your garage to store your lawn tools. Left out in the weather, they can rust, crack, and wear, causing a premature need to replace them.
For most households, a lawnmower is the most important piece of equipment used to maintain the lawn. Although they can seem like complex machines, lawnmowers are actually fairly easy and inexpensive to maintain. However, without regular maintenance, a lawnmower can have a very short and expensive lifespan. Follow these simple tips to get the best performance and longest life out of your lawnmower.
- Keep your lawnmower clean. Cutting the grass makes your lawnmower look less than new from the first use. Dust and grass build up on the top, and the underside gets caked with grass and mud. Rinsing and wiping down your mower after each use will prevent components from getting gummed up and working harder than they need to. Also, make sure to spray the underside after each use (unplug electric mowers, of course, when cleaning with water). This will make it easier to clean, and it will keep the blades spinning freely.
- Give your lawnmower a tune-up. Gas powered mowers need an annual tune-up, which involves changing the oil, air filter, and spark plug. This easy and quick maintenance will keep the engine clean and running at top performance. If you have an electric mower, you can oil turn rods and pulley hinges to keep them moving smoothly.
- Sharpen the lawnmower blade. Cutting your lawn inevitably leads to the occasional rock or tree root getting in the way of the blade, which causes dings and dulling. Dull blades don't cut as cleanly, and they make the engine work harder than it needs to. Keep the lawnmower blade sharpened for better lawn-cutting results and to get the longest life out of your mower. If the blade is beyond sharpening, it's fairly simple and inexpensive part to replace.
Maintaining your shovels, rakes, and hoes is one of the simpler lawn tool maintenance tasks. The number one thing is just to keep them clean. By the nature of their purpose, they can easily build up with dirt and mud. Spraying them off after each use will prevent this buildup and keep them in good condition. It's also a good idea to give them a close inspection once a year to make sure any nuts and bolts don't need tightening. If they're loose, tighten them up so they can continue to work properly.
Garden Hose Care
Yes, your garden hose is a lawn tool. The most important thing you need to know about maintaining it is to roll it up when it's not in use. Keeping it rolled up will prevent the plastics and rubbers from drying and cracking, which can lead to leaks. Another important maintenance tip for your garden hose is to make sure it's rolled up and drained for the winter. If water is left inside, it can ice up and expand, causing the hose to split. And any companions for your hose, like spray handles and sprinklers, should be kept inside and out of the weather to prevent drying and cracking.
Oiling and Sharpening Your Lawn Tools
The purpose of many of your lawn and gardening tools is to cut. Therefore, after cleaning them off, it's important to keep them well oiled to prevent rust. Also, keeping the blades sharpened allows them to cut more easily, which extends their life and allow them to work at top performance. It also makes the job easier on you.
Refer to your owner's manuals for more specific instructions on taking care of your lawn equipment. If you have problems with your lawn mower or other lawn equipment, contact a lawn tool repair person on Kudzu.com.