Garden Clippings


| February 2008



February usually includes a few warm days that get the blood flowing and the thoughts heading in the direction of the garden. Once there, gardeners ponder the question, 'What can I do?'

Garden features, such as fences, decks, patios or other structures, can be built during this time, and some shrubs and trees can be dormant pruned. Seeds can be planted for transplanting later in the spring, and there is the never-ending task of cleaning up leaves and other spent foliage. One of the most important items to take care of this time of year, however, is making sure your lawn and garden equipment is ready to go for the fury of spring growth.

Outdoor power equipment is often taken for granted since it seems to be there and ready to go at all times. Lawn mowers, for instance, are put away as soon as we wipe the last bead of sweat from the brow, and we give little thought to the unit until the next time we are ready to use it. If it wasn't done before it was put away for the winter, now is the time to give Old Reliable a little TLC.

Give your gas-powered mower a tuneup each year, whether you think it needs it or not. If you mow 30 times a year, at an hour per mowing (for a smaller lawn), that would be similar to putting several thousand miles on a vehicle. At the very least, an oil change would be in order.

It used to be common to dump last year's gas from a piece of equipment that had not run for some time. This isn't necessary now if the unit has only set for a few months. With only unleaded gas available now, gas separating and causing lacquer in the carburetion system is no longer a concern.

It is important to check - and change, if possible - the air filters on these small engines. An air filter that is restricted by dirt, even if it's not readily apparent, often causes the motor to be less efficient and adds undue wear on the unit. Remember that the environment in which these machines work each time they're used is quite dirty.





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