ROCHESTER, N.Y. — As spring blooms and summer approaches, it's time to prepare your lawnmower for the busy grass-cutting season ahead. Proper maintenance and safety precautions can ensure your lawnmower operates efficiently while keeping you and your family safe. Here are some essential tips to help you maintain your lawnmower and stay safe during the warmer months.

What You Need To Know

  • You should regularly inspect and clean your lawnmower, sharpen blades, check oil and fuel levels, replace air filters and adjust cutting height for optimal performance

  • Prioritize safety by wearing appropriate clothing and safety gear

  • Make sure to follow manufacturer guidelines for safe operation

1.) Inspect and clean: Before using your lawnmower, inspect it thoroughly for any signs of damage or wear. Check the blades, belts and cables for cracks, breaks or signs of rust. Clean any debris, grass clippings or oil buildup from the mower's deck, wheels and engine.

2.) Sharpen blades: Sharp mower blades ensure a clean and even cut, promoting healthy grass growth and reducing the risk of lawn diseases. Use a sharpening tool or take your blades to a professional for sharpening if they appear dull or damaged.

3.) Check oil and fuel levels: Regularly check the oil and fuel levels in your lawnmower to ensure smooth operation. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for oil type and fuel mixture. Dispose of old fuel properly and use fresh gasoline to prevent engine damage.

4.) Replace air filter: A clean air filter is essential for proper engine performance. Inspect the air filter and replace it if it appears dirty or clogged. A clean air filter improves airflow to the engine, reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

5.) Adjust mower height: Adjust the cutting height of your lawnmower according to the season and grass growth. In the spring, set the mower deck to a higher position to avoid cutting the grass too short, which can stress the lawn. As the weather warms up, gradually lower the cutting height for a well-manicured lawn.

6.) Follow safety guidelines: Always prioritize safety when operating a lawnmower. Wear appropriate clothing, including closed-toe shoes, long pants and safety goggles, to protect yourself from flying debris. Keep children and pets indoors or at a safe distance while mowing.

7.) Use caution on slopes: Exercise caution when mowing on slopes or uneven terrain to prevent accidents. Mow across slopes rather than up and down to maintain stability and reduce the risk of tipping over. If using a riding mower, avoid steep slopes altogether.

8.) Turn off power: Before performing any maintenance or inspection tasks, turn off the lawnmower's engine and disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starts. Wait for the engine to cool down before refueling or handling hot components.

By following these lawnmower care and safety tips, you can enjoy a lush, well-maintained lawn throughout the spring and summer months while minimizing the risk of accidents and injuries. Remember to read the manufacturer's manual for specific maintenance instructions and safety guidelines tailored to your lawnmower model.