How To Properly Prepare Your Maryland Lawn Equipment for Winter
With winter quickly approaching in Central Maryland, it’s time to prep your lawn equipment and tools and get them ready to store away for the upcoming cold season. After a year of heavy use, our lawnmowers, edgers, leaf blowers, and other devices need to be properly maintained. This end-of-year maintenance will extend the lifetime of your tools so you can get as much use out of them as possible. Here are a few lawn equipment maintenance tips you can add to your to-do list to ensure the longevity of your items for years to come.
Your Fall Lawn Equipment Maintenance List
The equipment and tools you use throughout the season degrade over time; that is just a given. But you can help to prolong their life by properly maintaining and storing them. Lawn equipment should be cleaned, disinfected, and sharpened if necessary. Gas-powered tools need to be prepared for the freezing temperatures of winter. Before the cold catches up to us, go out to your garage or shed and make a list of the items you used this season and set them aside.
Specific Lawn Care Tools To Winterize in Central Maryland
- Pruning Shears
- Leaf Blower
Inspect the Blades on Your Lawnmower
Before you get started cleaning and disinfecting, check your lawnmower blade to ensure there is no damage or cracks. Be sure to disconnect your spark plug wire, then carefully remove the blade. Second, check the blade for any cracks. Any damaged edge should always be replaced.
Clean and Disinfect Everything
After a season of mowing, trimming, and pruning, it’s very easy to spread lawn and or tree diseases to each other via dirty lawn equipment. You can help to prevent this by cleaning and disinfecting everything you use. Cleaning off soil, sap, and grass clippings will also help keep your tools functioning correctly and efficiently. So, what is the best way to disinfect your lawn tools? Make a mixture of 1 tbsp dish detergent in one gallon of warm water and use a scrubbing brush to clean the blades of all your lawn equipment. This includes loppers, pruning shears, saws, and your lawnmower. Once the edges are clean, rinse them off with your hose.
Next, you will want to disinfect everything you just cleaned. You can do this with regular household items such as chlorine-bleach, Pine-Sol, isopropyl alcohol, Lysol, and even Listerine mouthwash. Depending on which item you choose, you’ll need to make sure you have the appropriate mix. For example, bleach should be mixed at a ratio of one part bleach to nine parts water. If using bleach, you will want to soak the tools for 30 minutes, then rinse and hang to dry. If using Lysol, Pine-Sol, or Listerine, dilute the products first with water so you don’t erode the tools. For the easiest disinfecting method, use isopropyl alcohol. You don’t even have to soak the blades, and you can simply spray or wipe them down.
Winterize All Gas-Powered Tools and Equipment
At the end of the season, it’s essential to winterize your gas-powered lawn equipment, especially in Central Maryland, where we never know how severe the winter may be. After your final mow of the season, you have three options. You can run your mower and all other gas-powered devices until the tanks are dry, save the gas using a turkey baster or siphon, or use a fuel stabilizer. Any fuel left in the tank over the winter can cause damage to your engine resulting in costly repairs in spring. This is because water from condensation can combine with ethanol in the gas and cause clogs, corrosion, and frozen lines.
Run your mower and all other gas-powered devices until the tanks are dry.
If you recently gassed up your mower and didn’t want to waste the gas, you can use a turkey baster or siphon to transfer the gas into a gas can. You can do the same with any other gas-powered tools, including your weedwhacker and leaf blower.
If you don’t feel comfortable running your lawnmower out or draining the gas to use later, you can use a fuel stabilizer. Found at most hardware and HomeGoods stores, fuel stabilizers will keep the gas fresh until spring. Add fuel stabilizer to your tank and run it for a few minutes. This will allow the stabilizer to make its way through the lines and carburetor, offering the most protection.
Prepare Your Winter Equipment
Finally, it’s time to prepare your winter lawn equipment. We all know what it’s like to wait till the snow hits, and then we’re scrambling to gather what we need. This year, get your snow blower, snow shovels, and salt out of storage and prepare them for regular use. Fill up your snowblower with gas, put your shovels in an easy-to-reach spot, and make sure you have a supply of deicing salt.
For All Your Lawn Care Needs, Contact the Professionals at Royal Greens
For all your lawn care needs in Central Maryland, contact the professionals at Royal Greens Professional Lawn Care. Our three different traditional lawn care programs will help keep your grass healthy, lush, and vibrant all season long. Each lawn care program contains natural fertilizer, broadleaf weed control, crabgrass control, and pH optimization.
With a focus on lawn care and fertilization, we also offer three different organic lawn care programs. Perfect for our friends in Montgomery County, our organic lawn care programs focus on providing your turf with the nutrients needed to promote stronger soil and roots for healthier growth. Each plan includes carbon-enriched fertilizers and root-enhancing and soil-building materials.