Proper fall lawn care can make a huge difference to your post-winter lawn, determining whether you’ll have a vibrant yard or a patch of brown that takes weeks to nurture back to life in the spring. To keep your lawn in top shape, you’ll need to make sure that the equipment you use for your outdoor chores is well-maintained and ready to go when the leaves hit the ground.
Sharpen Those Blades, Empty That Bag
Two important things to keep in mind when getting your lawn mower ready for fall lawn care: You’ll need a sharp blade and a clean machine. In the fall, your lawn mower isn’t just going to be tackling grass; it will also be dealing with the leaves and twigs that fall down on the grass and form a second layer that’s tougher to deal with. If your mower blade isn’t extremely sharp, then you’re going to run into trouble with the machine stalling, clogging or simply mashing leaves down into the grass instead of cutting them up and spitting them out.
By the same token, you’ll want your lawn mower’s undercarriage to be as clean as possible to prevent clogs even if you do have a sharp blade. If your mower has a bag attachment, make sure to regularly empty it — more often than you would in the summer — as it fills up with the leaves and wood chips that nature has dumped on your lawn.
Check Your Tires
If you have a larger property and use a riding mower, then you’ve got more than just blades and bags to consider when it comes to fall lawn care maintenance. First, check the condition of your riding mower’s tires: Wet weather combined with slick leaves on your lawn can reduce traction and potentially slip or slide you into danger. Second, once you’ve determined that the tread is in good shape, you’ll also want to check the air pressure in each tire and compare it against the manufacturer’s recommendation in the manual.
Check Your Rakes
Finally, hand tools are an important part of the fall lawn care mix. Rakes take the most abuse this time of year, and whether you use a model with plastic or metal tines, you’re going to want to make sure that it’s up to the task of handling the big piles of leaves you’ll be dealing with. Each tine should be fully separated from the one beside it. Check to make sure you don’t have any missing tines or any that are about to snap off and go flying through the air while you’re working.
Check out all the lawn & garden products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For all the parts required to bring your mower and rider back into safe specification, and for any advice you might need to keep your lawn in excellent shape, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of FreeImages
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.