HOW to do the maintenance of your garden equipment
Start by giving your tools a good scrubbing to remove any mud and grit from the blades and handles. Dry with old towels, then set them aside overnight so they dry completely to avoid trapping moisture.
Use steel wool or a wire brush to scrub away any rust that has accumulated on metal parts. A rotary wire brush attachment chucked in a drill can make the job easier.
Using a clean rag, apply lubricating oil to both the wooden handle and the metal blade. Rub the oil into the surface then wipe off any excess. Tools with fiberglass or composite handles will only need a good cleaning.
Store your tools in a dry and protected area
Moisture is the enemy of gardening tools, so remember to bring them under cover when you’re done using them. Store short-handled tools in a plastic bin or box. Tie together long-handled tool sin a garbage can while in storage. Otherwise hang these tools on a wall. If you are storing tools in self storage, place small tools in plastic bins.
- Change oil. Start each mowing season with an oil change. Be sure to disconnect the spark plug wire before starting the job.
- Replace spark plug. Check your owner’s manual, but many recommend replacing the spark plug at the start of the mowing season.
- Clean air filter. Use an air compressor to blow dust out of an accordion-type (paper) filter. If you can’t get it clean, go ahead and replace it.
- Sharpen the blade. Tackle the job yourself with a metal file, sharpening stone or grinding attachment for a drill.
- Tighten bolts. Inspect all mower bolts and screws, tightening any that are loose.
- Add gas. Modern fuels tend to lose their effectiveness quickly, which means old gas leads to rough or no starts.
- Clean up. After each mowing, sweep grass clippings and debris off the mower.
- Adjusting cutting height. Double-check cutting height before starting the mower.
- For riding mowers. Check tire inflation, and inspect belts for fraying or cracking.
- Check the air filter. At the start of each growing season, inspect the air filter.
- Replace the spark plug.
- Follow the owner’s manual for knowing how often to replace the spark plug.
- Add gas and oil. Make sure gas and oil levels are correct.
- Clean the engine. When the engine is cool, clean away grime and dirt after each use.
- Drain the fuel. In fall, either drain the gas or treat it with a fuel stabilizer.
- Clean it up. After each use, clean out the bucket.
- Check handles. Use medium-grit sandpaper to smooth out rough spots in wooden handles.
- Lube the wheel. Apply light machine oil to the wheel axle to keep it turning freely.
- Check the tire. Inflate the tire to the proper pressure. A bicycle pump handles the job easily.
- Fix the pull cord. If the recoil cord won’t fully retractor is especially stiff, remove the cover and blow out any debris.
- Check belts. Always visually inspect belts before using them.
- Pull the dipstick. Check the oil level before each use.
- Inspect air filter. Check and replace the air filter as needed.
- Clean the edger. Let the edger cool down after each use and clean it thoroughly.
- Check the air filter. At the start of the blowing season, check the air filter.
- Inspect air intakes. Keep air intake areas free of debris.
- Double-check bolts and zipper. Inspect and tighten bolts, nuts, and screws, and make sure the collection bag zipper works.
- Change the spark plug. Do this once a growing season if needed.
- Add gas for gas-powered blowers, add fresh fuel to start the season.