Before spring officially hits, it’s beneficial to take stock of your equipment to ensure you’re ready to perform the maintenance your lawn will inevitably need. Think lawn mowers, weed whackers, edgers, gardening tools, electric power equipment and garden hoses.
Use this checklist so that you’re prepared come springtime:
Your Spring-Ready Lawn Gear Checklist
1. Prepare Your Lawn Mower
The lawn mower has been in hibernation all winter, but now it’s time to gear up for the working season ahead.
Step one of your spring preparation checklist is to bring the mower out of storage and follow a few easy steps to shake off the winter dust. Here’s what you need to know:
- Cleaning and De-winterizing: Start by draining and replacing any old fuel in the mower before turning it on. Then, do a quick inspection of basic maintenance points like the oil, spark plugs and air filters to make sure they’re in good condition. Take a quick check of the pull cords, ensuring they aren’t frayed. This is also a good time to pull out the machine’s manual and check that you’ve followed all recommended maintenance protocols.
- Warm-Up Run Before the First Use: Once everything appears to be in good working order and you’ve filled up with fresh fuel, it’s the perfect time to start the engine and let your lawn mower warm up before the first cut of spring. This will allow the engine to run before prolonged use. During this time, listen for any strange sounds that might indicate a problem is brewing.
- Common Repairs to Look Out For: Most common post-winter lawn mower repairs are generally related to chords, air filters, debris buildup and dirty fuel or oil. These are areas to keep an eye out for as you prepare your mower for spring. If you have a battery-operated mower or riding lawn mower, the battery may need to be charged or even replaced after a long winter break.
- Lawn Mower Blade Maintenance Tips: One of the most frequently asked questions lawn pros get is “How can I tell if my lawn mower needs a new blade or just needs to be sharpened?” The rule of thumb is most mower blades will last 20-25 hours until they need to be sharpened. The overall lifetime of most blades is approximately 100-200 hours total. This number can be higher, ranging up to 400 hours, for higher-quality blades. Once you’ve cleared the cutting deck of any clippings, you can keep an eye on how well your lawn mower works on your grass.
2. Take Stock of Other Electric- and Gas-Powered Equipment
Aside from the lawn mower, be sure to take a look at all your other electric- and gas-powered lawn equipment before its first spring use. You might have a shed full of items like weed whackers, edgers and gardening tools that will require spring cleaning. As you dig into that packed shed, inspect your lawn equipment for signs of rust, broken parts or frayed wires. If blades need to be replaced or sharpened, now is the perfect time to do so.
3. Decide to Repair or Buy New
To repair or replace—this is always the question that befuddles lawn equipment owners. The answer is usually clear when you weigh the pros and cons. Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether you need new lawn care equipment or can work with what you currently own:
- Is my lawn equipment still under warranty?
- Do I use this piece of equipment often?
- Is there a newer model that offers better features?
- Are the cost and time required to repair more than the worth of the equipment?
4. Get Ready for Watering
April showers bring May flowers, undoubtedly. As we approach the summer months, lawn watering becomes crucial to keeping everything lush, green and healthy. Here are a few best practices to follow to get your hoses and sprinklers ready for the season ahead:
- De-winterize Your Gardening Hose: Unroll your hose and hook it up to the tap to ensure it’s in full working order and has not rotted or been otherwise damaged during the winter. Make sure you have long enough hoses to keep your lawn hydrated and healthy this summer. Keep in mind that your lawn will need about an inch of water per week on average to remain perfectly hydrated (about .63 gallons per square foot of grass).
- Prepare Your Sprinklers: Sprinkler systems can get damaged during winter for a myriad of reasons. Do a quick check to make sure all parts are properly working.
As spring approaches, take time to follow this checklist to ensure you’re prepared. Now is also the perfect time to schedule your spring, summer and fall lawn care services with your local lawn care team. Our expert technicians are standing by to provide a tailored plan to help you achieve a greener, healthier and pest-free lawn and landcape.