With the transition from spring officially marked by the first day of summer, lawn care and lawn mower maintenance must also be adjusted to fit the demands of the season. As the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, Briggs & Stratton (NYSE: BGG) knows the importance of quality equipment and wants to provide operators and homeowners with the right advice to ensure their equipment lasts long, and their yards look great.
The start of summer is the ideal time to implement new tips, revisit some of the most common mistakes from the past season, and get the correct answers when it comes to lawn care and lawn mower maintenance.
Lawn Mower Maintenance
Your lawn mower will likely see frequent use throughout the summer months. A lack of proper lawn mower maintenance can exacerbate lawn care problems, and can provide an opportunity for diseases and pests to takeover. Whether you’re using a push mower or ride mower, the following tips will help ensure your yard stays healthy, and looks great all the way into the fall.
- Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades: Dull blades rip and pull grass, leaving ragged tears that can promote disease. A sharp blade not only cuts clean, it helps reduce your lawn mowing time. Make sure to remove the spark plug before sharpening, or changing your lawn mower blade.
- Change the Air Filter: A lawn mower’s air filter keeps dust and other particles from entering your engine. The mower filter should be replaced to keep your lawn mower engine and parts running smoothly
- Change the Oil Regularly: There are two reasons to change your oil. First, through the regular running of the engine, the oil heats up, causing it to breakdown and create sludge. And second, debris gets into the oil, causing it to get dirty. In order to maintain good engine health, Briggs & Stratton recommends changing oil after 25 hours of use in a heavy mowing season.
- Change the Spark Plug: Changing your spark plug is one of the easiest things you can do to make sure your lawn mower starts easily. Replace the spark plug every season to avoid stalled starting.
- Add Fuel Treatment and Stabilizer: Gasoline goes stale in about 30 days, making starting your engine more difficult. Plus, over 90% of gasoline in the United States includes up to 10% ethanol and ethanol attracts moisture, which is bad for all gasoline-powered engines. One way to prevent the damage is to add Briggs & Stratton’s Advanced Formula Fuel Treatment and Stabilizer every time you fill up.
To make start of summer season maintenance easier you can purchase a lawn mower tune-up kit for all the necessary components.
- Fertilize: The first of three rounds of fertilizing your lawn should be done at the beginning of summer. It’s important to only feed your lawn when it’s actively growing, never during a drought.
- Mowing: Be sure to only cut off one third of the grass’ length at a time and to cut it no shorter than three inches tall. Cutting grass too short leaves it vulnerable to insect invasion and disease. You can do this by mowing at the highest blade setting to prevent grass blades from shredding
- Water: If it’s not restricted, be sure to water your grass regularly and in the morning hours, when it’s most efficient.