Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

End-of-season Lawnmower Care

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen you’re finished using your lawnmower for the season, take an hour to clean it well before winter. To prevent condensation and the resulting damage to the carburetor, run the motor of gas models until the tanks is completely empty, then fill again with fresh gasoline. If it is a battery model, it’s best to bring the battery indoors for the winter.

Scrape the underside of the deck to remove dried grass clippings and sharpen the cutting blade. Finish by oiling all metal surfaces to prevent rust.

Refer to your model’s instruction manual for the recommended frequency for other interventions, such as cleaning or replacing the air filter, oil changes, and changing spark plugs (gas-powered mowers only), all tasks best accomplished before storing your mower in a garage, tool shed, or basement for the winter.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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