As the last of the leaves fall, the flowers die and the grass becomes dormant; you may feel a giant sigh of relief. After all, cold weather and the winter season means you don’t have to bother with your garden or grass right? Not exactly, the truth is that there are still some considerations that homeowners should be aware of as you prepare for the colder months.
Put Away The Lawn Mower. Make sure that you trim the grass before the first snowfall, as excessively long grass can smother itself during the winter and become diseased. Lower the setting your mower a couple of notches for the last couple of cuttings, but be careful not to cut it so short that the plant crown becomes exposed. Properly clean your lawn cutting tools before storing them, as the fluid left by cut grass is corrosive, you may even want to oil the blades to protect them better.
Clean Up The Lawn. It is very important not to leave toys, lawn chairs, decorative planters or piles of leaves out on your lawn to be buried under snow. These things can smother the grass, foster disease, and invite insects, mice and other pests onto your property where they will do untold damage that could affect the value of your home.
Empty The Fuel Tank. Gasoline left in fuel tanks over the winter will likely break down, and leave a build-up that can damage or plug the fuel system. A few simple steps now, before you put your gas-powered tools in storage, will ensure a more efficient a cost-effective start next spring. Proper maintenance and storage will extend the life of your small gasoline powered mowers and trimmers.
Protect Your Equipment. If possible, store your lawn equipment away from the elements in a shed, garage or outbuilding; at least be sure that it is well covered with tarps and protected from damage. Putting away all you spring/summer equipment means that it’s time to prepare your winter tools for use! Fill your snow blower with gas, check and change the oil, and test all systems to make sure that it is fully functional before the first snow storm.
Hibernation Maintenance. While your equipment is tucked away, it’s a good idea to check on it sometime during the cold months. Fully recharge the battery at least once and inspect for unwanted vermin or rodent intrusion, paying special attention to wires, you don’t want to be hit with a large bill for repairs or replacement parts in the Spring when you take the equipment out of storage.
As a homeowner you have the benefit of creating the landscape and garden of your home according to your personal taste and enjoy spending time outdoors. Caring for your flowers and lawn can also increase the value of your home in the event you decide to sell in the near future. Take time now to do some preventative maintenance and it will be a lot easier to get moving with the spring-cleaning next year.