Winterize lawn equipment (11-21-2005)
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Soon we will be experiencing much cooler temperatures. Another frosty morning or two will put our warm season turf species lawns into dormancy for the winter. This means that many of us will let our lawn care equipment sit idle for a few months as well. Some simple and easy winter storage preparation will ensure this equipment will perform when needed next spring.
A thorough cleaning of equipment to remove dirt, grass clippings, etc. will prevent rust and corrosion and will reveal any damaged or worn parts that may need replacing.
Changing the oil, cleaning the air filter, and even replacing the spark plug on gasoline engines before storage will have them ready to go when needed.
If these engines will not be run for at least two months it is recommended that the fuel tank be drained and the engine run until all fuel is out of the carburetor. A couple of alternative options is to add a gasoline stabilizer (Sta-Bil) to the tank to prevent the gas from separating and leaving gum and varnish deposits to clog the fuel system, or simply put a small amount of fresh fuel in the tank and run the engines for about ten minutes each month.
If you have equipment that has seen its better days, now is a great time to purchase new equipment. Many dealers have some great year-end bargains available.
Published November 21, 2005
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org