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The first cut of the year is not far away, and homeowners everywhere are reeling with excitement. After this winter, everyone is ready to get outside and enjoy warmer temperatures and their lush, green lawns. Before you fire up the mower, follow these simple tips for getting your mower ready for the first cut.
Here are seven things you need to know before you mow your lawn this spring:
1. It needs a tune-up. For safety reasons, the first step is to remove the spark plug. It’s also a good time to install a new one, as they don’t last very long. Clean the air filter if your mower has the foam type, or replace the filter if it's a paper one.
2. It needs an oil change Remove the oil drain plug at the bottom of the engine and let the dirty oil run out into a container. When it's drained, replace the plug and refill the crankcase with the type and quantity of oil recommended in your owner's manual.
3. Get a blade sharpening If you can’t do this yourself, find a local service shop to do this for you. Make sure your blade is sharp, or the mower will rip off the tops of the grass blades instead of giving them a clean cut.
4. Lubricate it Your mower will work better if you keep it lubricated. Oil the wheel bearings and other moving parts, following the instructions in your owner's manual.
5. Someone to make sure its leveled Nobody wants crooked mowing patterns! If you have a walk-behind mower, make sure all the wheels are the same height. If you have a riding mower with air-filled tires, make sure they are properly inflated and of equal pressure. The deck of the mower should be adjusted, so your cut is nice and level.
6. Just cut a little bit. We know it’s so exciting to get outside and mow the lawn after a long winter, but don’t go crazy! Only remove 1/3 of the grass blade at a time. Set your mower on its highest setting and have fun.
7. Don’t wait long for the second cut. In the spring, it rains more often, so you may have to mow more than once per week. In fact, some of the best looking lawns need mowing every 3-5 days. This is an excellent opportunity to get some extra exercise or hire a neighborhood kid who is saving for a new car to mow for you.
Treating your mower a with love results in more beautiful looking grass. If you are too busy to do this work yourself, mower repair shops and hardware stores can get your mower in tip-top shape before spring.
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