It’s still March but your lawn is already green and growing like it’s a plant straight out of the Little Shop of Horrors? You’re not the only one with a seemingly out-of-control lawn, which is why lawn mower repair shops are already slammed—and we’re likely still weeks from a final frost. Jody Tyson, owner of Tyson’s Lawnmower Repair and Service near York, Pa., told his local newspaper, the York Dispatch, that he’s already been servicing four or five mowers a day for the past month.

mower blade

Ready, Start, Mow …

If you’re about ready to start mowing, be sure to do two things:

1.)    If your mower is gas-powered, change your mower’s oil, and

2.)    For all mowers, sharpen the blade

These two steps will keep your mower running smoothly, get your grass off to a good start, and save you fuel costs. A little known fact: A sharp blade slashes fuel costs by up to 25 percent, yet 1 in 4 Americans say they have never sharpened their mower blade, according to Consumer Reports. Now that you know better, spend the $5 to $10 it costs to sharpen your blade and keep your lawn looking sharp. You’ll save a few bucks on gas—or at a minimum, you’ll break even.

What if you’ve got bigger troubles than a dull blade and your mower won’t start at all?

Don’t worry. It’s not unusual for mowers that sat all winter with gas in the tank to refuse to start. Ethanol-based gas can attract moisture, causing trouble when it comes time to turn the engine. Try draining the tank and filling up with fresh gas. You can also use a gasoline additive, rather than buying ethanol-free gasoline, to prevent such a problem from arising again.

Armed with these tips, there’s nothing stopping you from getting a mow down on that out-of-control lawn.