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Lawn Mower Operation, Maintenance, & Safety

A healthy lawn begins with proper mowing technique and a well maintained mower

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Lawn Mower Operation, Maintenance, & Safety
photo © Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Mowing the lawn is a huge part of lawn care and a lawn mower is one of the biggest investments one can make in their lawn. Proper mowing technique, preventative maintenance, and safety will not only improve the lawn but extend the life of the mower - and quite possibly the operator.

Tips for Mowing the Lawn: Helpful tips for mowing the lawn. Turf health, weed suppression, and even soil fertility are all tied in with mowing the lawn in the appropriate manner. Proper mowing technique, frequency and height all contribute to the health of the lawn and how it looks. Read more...

Striping the Lawn: Achieving the beautiful striping effect of golf courses or sports fields is not as difficult as one might think. Striping is great to look at and changing up the direction adds another aesthetic element and benefits the health of the grass. Read more...

Dealing with Clumps of Mowed Grass: Sometimes, despite proper technique and timing, clumping is unavoidable. It's not only an unsightly mess, it could damage the grass if not taken care of. What do you do with clumps and lawn clippings in general? Read more...

Troubleshooting a Gas Mower: Small problems are easily solved with a little bit of troubleshooting. Many scenarios are issues that happen time and time again and are easy to diagnose if you know what to look for. Be sure to use elementary troubleshooting techniques to check for the obvious before an expensive trip to the repair shop. Read More...

Lawn Mower Maintenance Schedule: Performing the scheduled maintenance is the key to lawn mower longevity. Periodic oil changes, blade sharpening, and lubrication are necessary procedures if you want to get the most out of your mower. Avoid costly problems down the road by taking care of your mower now. Read More...

Changing the Engine Oil: Old, dirty oil can damage the inside of a mower and cause costly breakdowns. Optimize your mower's performance by periodically changing the engine oil. Learn how to properly change the engine oil of your mower. Read More...

Service the Spark Plug: An old spark plug may be dirty, pitted, covered in carbon, or have worn electrodes, resulting in hard starting and poor operation. Keep a clean spark plug for better engine performance, or replace if necessary. Learn how to remove, clean and replace your mower's spark plug. Read More...

Cleaning the Air Filter: Repeated mowing kicks up dust and debris which can accumulate in your air filter. If not cleaned, dust and dirt can clog up the air filter and cause engine trouble. Periodic cleaning of the air filter extends engine life and improves the performance of your mower. Learn how to properly clean your air filter and replace it if necessary. Read More...

Quick Tip to Avoid Engine Smoke and Dirty Air Filter: Smoke billowing out of the muffler is an unsightly and smelly mess. It can usually be avoided with proper handling of the mower, especially during cleanup or unclogging the discharge area. Use this quick tip to avoid smoky mistakes which could lead to bigger problems. Read More...

Winterizing a Lawn Mower: Preparations for a cold, snowy winter are not complete without winterizing the lawn mower. If not winterized,impurities settle out of the oil, gas gets old and degrades, and parts can corrode or seize up. Learn how to properly store your mower over the cold winter months. Read More...

Lawn Mower Safety - The most heartbreaking part of my job as a lawn care writer is learning about the horrific lawn accidents that happen every year. Most involve children and a well meaning relative taking them for a ride or just plain not seeing them. Operating a lawn mower is a dangerous task and should never be taken lightly or done around children. Never take a child aboard a riding mower while mowing grass and never mow in the presence of children. Mower injuries are referred to as dirty shark bites in the ER, that should conjure up a disturbing enough image to heed my warnings. Read more...

New Rules for Portable Fuel Containers - It is estimated that over 70 000 gallons of fuel is spilled annually from portable fuel containers, or gas cans. Spilled gas can result in groundwater pollution, dead grass, and contribute to greenhouse gasses through volatile organic compounds (VOC's) being released into the atmosphere. Improvements to gas cans limit the amount VOC's released and prevent accidental spillage. Further design improvements also include child proof features designated by the Children's Gasoline Burn Prevention Act.  Read more...

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