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Give Your Lawn Mower a Winter Tune-Up

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

Just because it's the dead of winter doesn't mean you can't do something for your lawn. Now's the perfect time to make sure your lawn mower is in tip top shape. You'll benefit because a lawn mower in good repair is much safer, and your lawn will benefit come spring -- no frayed brawn grass for you! Read on for winter lawn mower maintenance tips.
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  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Tip #1: Start with the owner's manual

Every lawn mower is different. From big riding lawn mowers to tiny push mowers, the best way to know exactly what's going on inside yours is to check the owner's manual. Dreaming of your lawn on a frosty Saturday afternoon? Curl up by the fire with some light lawn mower manual reading.

Tip #2: Get going with same basic cleaning

A clean lawn mower engine is essential. Check and clean your lawn mower's spark plugs, and if the air filter is dirty, replace it. This is also a great time of year to take your carburetor in for adjustment (since your lawn's not growing, you won't miss your mower for a few days).

Tip #3: Sharpen those lawn mower blades

Dull blades will damage your lawn, tearing the grass rather than cleanly slicing through it. To prevent the problem, keep your lawn mower blades in good repair by sharpening them now and at regular intervals throughout the season. If you're a go-getter you can sharpen them yourself with a grinding wheel, but if you want to make sure they stay balanced, either sharpen them very carefully or go the easy way and have a professional do it for you.

Tip #4: Tend to your lawn mower's wheels

It doesn't matter if you've got a riding lawn mower or a walk-behind mower; without good wheels, you'll get nowhere. Check the axles and bearings and make sure they're properly lubricated. Check the wheels themselves for any damage and replace them if necessary.

Whether you own a riding lawn mower, a push mower, or have even gone robotic, a great lawn mower in good repair puts you one step closer to a beautiful lawn. Get a jump start on your lawn this season with winter lawn mower repair.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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