Fall maintenance: Winterizing your lawn and landscape

November 07, 2017, 2:20:54 PM EST

spring green nov 7

You may still be using your lawn mower and other lawn equipment for a while, as fall gradually gives way to winter. Properly winterizing lawn equipment is well worth your time and effort.

If you follow these six steps before putting it all away for the season, you will extend the life and maintain the efficiency of your lawn equipment, find yourself better prepared for the winter season, and perhaps have a fewer issues next spring, when the growing season resumes.

1. Provide Complete Fall Maintenance for Your Lawn

In preparation for winter, your lawn’s root system continues to grow during the fall season. Just as growth above the ground requires proper nourishment, so does this important growth beneath the surface. Late fall fertilization will help your lawn improve root growth and build up its strength to endure the upcoming winter months. Nutrients will also be stored by the root system to provide for a quicker green-up the following spring. There may still be a few weeds that can be controlled at this time of year too. If you gradually lower your mowing height toward the very end of the season, you will reduce the chances for diseases, such as snow mold, to take hold and may also reduce the tan/brown portion of the grass blades.

2. Properly Winterizing Your Lawn Mower

Today’s blended fuels tend to separate over time, which can cause a variety of problems in small engines. Treat your gasoline with a fuel stabilizer when it’s time to refill the gas can. After you add treated gasoline to the tank on your mower, be sure to start and run your mower to circulate the treated gas throughout the engine. If possible, after you have cut grass for the last time, run the engine out of gas. This is particularly easy if your mower has an inline fuel valve between the tank and the engine. Whether you do it yourself or take the mower to a local shop, this is also a good time to change the oil and complete any other standard maintenance tasks that your mower requires, such as blade sharpening. Whichever way you get it done, be sure to comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

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