Winter storage of lawn equipment (11-29-10)
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The frosty mornings of late fall and winter have arrived and our warm season turf species lawns are now in winter dormancy. Therefore, most of us have shut down most lawn chores, especially mowing, and 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. An alternative option is to pour a gasoline stabilizer (Sta-Bil) into the tank to prevent the gas from separating and leaving gum and varnish deposits to clog the fuel system. Another option is to simply put a small amount of fresh fuel in the tank and run the engines for about ten minutes once each idle month.
If you have equipment that has seen its better days and you doubt that it will make it through another season, now is a great time to purchase new equipment. Many dealers have some great year-end bargains available.
Published November 29, 2010
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