Winter is just a few weeks away and many of our lawns have already experienced a frost or two that has sent our lawns into dormancy for the winter. This also means that most of us will let our lawn care equipment sit idle until spring growth begins. By making a few simple and easy winter storage preparations to our lawn equipment before storing it away we can ensure it 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 filters, and even replacing the spark plugs 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 tanks be drained and the engines run until all fuel is out of the carburetors. A couple alternative options are to add a gasoline stabilizer (Sta-Bil) to the fuel tanks to prevent the gas from separating and leaving gum and varnish deposits to clog the fuel system. Another option is to put a small amount of fresh fuel in the tanks and run the engines for about ten minutes each month. Now is a great time to purchase new equipment if you have equipment that has seen its better days as many dealers offer some great year-end bargains.
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. email@example.com