Get Your Power Tools Ready for Spring
by Barb Hopkins
Springtime brings warmer temperatures and the opportunity to get outside and begin lawn and garden chores. From the first mowing of the lawn to preparing garden areas for planting, outdoor spring chores can be made easier with the right garden equipment and lawn tools. Before you can tackle that spring checklist, your yard tools and outdoor power equipment need to be readied.
Lawn mower tune-up
The Oklahoma State University Cooperative extension office states, “A mower tune-up will extend your mower’s life and will reduce polluting emissions by up to fifty percent.” A basic lawn mower tune-up includes changing the oil, the oil filter and spark plug, as well as sharpening the mower blades. Remember, dull blades will tear the grass, not cut it, leaving your grassy shaggy and disheveled looking.
If you stored your lawn mower for the winter without cleaning the mowing deck, now is the time to clean it. Never clean the mowing deck, however, when the machine is running.
Lawn mower tune-ups should be performed on both push mowers and riding mowers. Check out Kmart.com for lawn mower parts and accessories including, 2-cycle engine oil, spark plugs and a variety of replacement mower blades to fit mowers made by Toro, John Deere, Cub Cadet, MTD and more.
Lawn power tools such as your electric or gas-powered trimmers need care before you head out to edge and trim the lawn and garden areas. Trimmers may need new trimmer line. Craftsman replacement spools can be found at Kmart.com along with spools to fit Weedeaters and other brands. Other trimmer accessories you may need are replacement batteries.
Hedge trimmers may need battery replacements as well.
Sharpen and clean other garden equipment
Spring lawn care begins with cleaning rakes, hoes, spades, loppers and shears. Lawn and garden tools stored for winter without cleaning can be less than functional come spring. Wipe all tools down with soap and water. A stiff brush can be used to clean stubborn, caked-on debris. Be sure to dry the tools thoroughly. Clean loppers and shears/pruners with rubbing alcohol.
If the handles of your lawn tools are wooden, check for cracks and splinters. The wooden handles may need to be sanded and smoothed in order to prevent splintering throughout the spring and summer growing season. A fresh coat of paint to seal the wood can help as well. Choose a bright color such as red or yellow-bright colored handles are easier to see lying in the grass.