With winter in full swing and the recent snow melt, you may be starting to get that itch to be out working in the yard. Punxsutawney Phil said we have about six more weeks of winter so there will most like be more snow shoveling but I don’t think that’s the kind of outdoor work you are hoping for. While I can’t make spring get here any faster, I can offer some suggestions for staying occupied – you can make sure your outdoor tools are in good working order.
If you have a heated work area, you can get a head start on spring by servicing the tools that weren’t serviced in the fall before you put them away for the winter. Some of the projects you could do while waiting for spring include:
• Servicing your lawnmower according to the owner’s manual. At the very least the oil, spark plug and air filter should be changed.
• Cleaning the underside of the mowing deck.
• Sharpening the blade.
• Servicing your handheld power equipment like blowers and string trimmers according to the owner’s manual. What service is required depends on the type of engine the tool is equipped with. All internal combustion engines require changing the spark plug and air filter. If equipped with a 4 cycle engine you should also change the oil. A 2 cycle engine uses an oil gas mix so it doesn’t require an oil change.
• Making sure the fuel is fresh
• Making an appointment now if you prefer to take your power equipment to a dealer for service. They get very busy closer to spring.
• Sharpening shovels, iron rakes, pruning shears and other tools that are used to cut or penetrate.
• Starting to shop for new hand tools if yours are getting worn out. Newer models are being made with lighter weight material and stronger, sharper blades.
• If replacing outdoor power equipment is planned for this season. Be sure to be an educated consumer. Start by researching now and be sure to keep an eye out for sales. There are both commercial and consumer grade equipment. Commercial grade is typically heavier duty and sold through power equipment dealers. Consumer grade machines are designed for homeowner use and are available through power equipment dealers but can also be found at big box stores.
Here in our area, spring doesn’t creep up on us. It tends to arrive rather suddenly. Follow these tips and you’ll be ready when it arrives, rather than having to scurry around doing maintenance when you should be out mowing.