Fall signals the end of pruning, cutting, watering and of course, mowing your lawn.  Your weekend chores have been cut dramatically with the onset of the colder weather.  While fall may signal the end of outdoor work for many of us it also should be a time to have tools and equipment properly serviced, cleaned and stored.  Let’s look at lawn equipment and the steps you should be taking to care for them every fall.

Read the service manual for all of your tools and equipment such as your mower, tiller, aerator, trimmer and hedge clipper.

Mower/Trimmer/aerator

  • Drain the gas from your mower at the end of every season.  Either empty it or run it until it runs out of gas. Lawn mower repair technicians say old gasoline is one of the main suspects when a mower won’t start.
  • Drain or replace the oil as well.
  • Clean out the undercarriage of the mower.
  • Inspect the air filter and change out the spark plug.
  • Have the blade sharpened before storing it in a shed or garage.

Garden Tools

  • Clean all tools with warm water and soap if possible.
  • Dry each tools completely to avoid rust.
  • Use linseed oil to maintain wooden handles. Fiberglass handles merely need  a good cleaning.
  • Consider having the tools lubricated with oil to keep them working properly.  For extra rust prevention, fill a 5 gallon bucket with builders sand and pour a quart of new motor oil over it. Use this as a shovel cleaner/oiler each time you put your tools away.
  • Have blades sharpened and examined at your home improvement store or repair shop.
  • Inspect each tool for damage including broken parts and rust.
  • Store in a dry shed or garage. Do not lean them again the wall or on the floor.  Moisture is the enemy and walls and floors in garages and sheds can get very moist.