Home > Lawn Care > Lawn Mower Care and Maintenance

Lawn Mower Care and Maintenance

By: Dr Gareth Evans - Updated: 16 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Lawn Mower Care Maintenance Clean Check

The mower is, of course, at the centre of lawn maintenance – but despite its important role, it doesn’t always get the best of care itself.

Keeping your lawn mower in good shape obviously means it is easier to use and hopefully makes for a better-looking lawn too, but it also can save you a good deal of time, effort and money in the long-run. Mower care doesn’t have to be a huge job; in fact, it’s probably one of the best examples of that old saying that “a stitch in time, saves nine.” Timely routine maintenance can avoid many of the inconveniences and potentially costly consequences of a broken-down machine and while it won’t guarantee that your mower will live forever, it will certainly help you get the best out of it for as long as you can.

Inevitably a lot of the detail depends on the type and make of mower you have bought for yourself, but here are a few general points that should help, whether you’re pushing a hand cylinder, hovering electrically, or riding on a petrol driven mini-tractor.

Clean and Check

While the big service is probably a once a year event, routine cleaning and checking is a job for every week – and often twice weekly when the grass is growing really quickly and you’re cutting more frequently.

The important areas to concentrate on are the blades themselves, rollers or wheels, the grass box, canopy and mountings and any exposed cogs or drive parts. If yours is a powered lawn mower, ensure it’s switched off, and either un-plugged or the spark-plug lead removed before putting your hands anywhere near the blades. It seems an obvious (and perhaps even slightly patronising) point to make, but unexpected start-ups do happen and even professional Health and Safety consultants have been known to get themselves injured as a result of forgetting this – so no apologies for saying it again!

Thoroughly clean the mower with a stiff-bristled brush, making sure to shift all the grass clippings and any caked-on soil, dry off and then lightly rub with an oily rag to protect it until next time.

Simple Maintenance

Use this opportunity to examine the blades carefully to see if there are any signs of damage or wear, paying particular attention to the bolts or fixing screws that hold the whole assembly together. Slightly blunted blades or rotary cutting bars can be sharpened with a metal file, but it’s not a particularly easy job and anything too far gone will probably require replacement by a dealer or service mechanic.

This is also an ideal time to check that bolts holding the mower’s rollers, wheels and handles are tight and the height of the cut is set correctly and is still appropriate for the state of your lawn. If you make these adjustments now, you’ll save the time later instead of having to go searching through the long grass when a nut flies off.

Pick the Right Time

For most of us, the best time to clean and check over our lawn mowers is probably just after finishing the mowing, but, of course it’s not always convenient. It doesn’t really matter when you do – just make sure it’s in good time and not immediately before you’re about to mow. There are few things quite so irritating as having to waste a dry and sunny hour on making a few necessary repairs, only to find that by the time you’ve done all that, it’s pouring down with rain and you can’t cut the grass after all.

As a final point about picking the right time, do think well ahead about repairs and servicing if you possibly can. If you do notice any problems, especially as you prepare to put your mower away for the winter, don’t put off fixing things until next spring when the grass has already started growing. Book a timely service now, while it’s fresh in your mind, or risk having to join a long queue of people who also forgot all about their lawn mower troubles and are now clamouring for help too!

Like every other garden tool, lawn mowers come in a range of qualities and some of the best kinds really do seem to go on forever. A good care regime won’t automatically mean that yours will – but there’s no quicker way to ensure that it will not than by failing to give it a little simple maintenance. Looking after your lawn mower isn’t particularly difficult – and it’s certainly time well spent.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Freshman
    Re: Types of Grass
    Hi Can you please advise me for the best grass seed to grow in Africa Ghana Thanks
    15 December 2017
  • Molly
    Re: Questionnaire: Are You Clued-up on Common Lawn Problems?
    Previous neighbours have emptied there water butts into our garden through a hidden pile, then…
    5 October 2017
  • David in Devon
    Re: Adjusting Your Soil's PH
    On the ph advice on lawns, you state that rhododendrons flourish in alkaline soil. Really? If so, you need to inform RHS that they are…
    26 September 2017
  • Col455
    Re: FAQ: Lawn Mowers
    @graham - Have you thought of getting someone like Green Thumb in to treat your lawn. They can spot all the diseases etc and give you the best…
    19 September 2017
  • graham
    Re: FAQ: Lawn Mowers
    I have a lawn that was 1st laid down some 22 years ago and it is on 2 levels with a slope between. It covers approximately 25m x 15m and consists…
    18 September 2017
  • Smiler
    Re: Lawn Fertilisation
    @jonny2shoesp - Large areas of weeds on your lawn can be treated with an all-in-one lawn feed, weed and moss killer. It will feed your lawn…
    1 September 2017
  • jonny2shoesp
    Re: Lawn Fertilisation
    Too many weeds. Lawn uneven and although I can get the level right, the weeds concern me as not sure how to rid them from the lawn and get back…
    29 August 2017
  • Jean
    Re: How Level is Your Lawn?
    I am 79 and need someone to make my lawn level for me. Resonably priced please
    26 August 2017
  • dobbie57
    Re: What is the Fungus on Our Lawn?
    Hi I would appreciate some advice re a newly laid turf lawn (now almost 4 weeks old). The problem is that we have noticed…
    22 August 2017
  • CFR45
    Re: Zoysia Grass
    @Tony - You can buy zoysla grass seed and mulch in 5lbs via Amazon. Best, Col.
    22 May 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the LawnExperts website. Please read our Disclaimer.