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4 Basic Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips

Most people that have gardens end up with either petrol, manual or electric lawnmowers. Today, we will describe basic service on a petrol lawnmower, which is a bit more complicated. Now, a word of caution: when you purchase a lawnmower, make sure that you keep the booklet and the date of your purchase because if it is in warranty, then you want to take it to a preferred dealer where it can get serviced. If it is out of warranty, then, by all means, you can do the maintenance which entails. 

 

Changing the Spark Plug

 

Before changing the spark plug, you need to unplug the HT cable to expose the spark plug. Never start fiddling with your lawnmower while the HT cable is still plugged in the mower to avoid accidentally activating the lawnmower. Once you have detached the HT cable, look for a spark plug spanner. Remember not to take any shortcuts. Don't use a spark plug spanner because you could break the spark plug off in the housing, and then you'll have another problem. Pop the spark plug spanner on the spark plug and, keeping it straight as you can, unscrew the plug. After removing the old spark plug, wait a few minutes before you install the new spark plug yet. 

 

Changing the Air Filter

 

The air filter is pretty simple, and it’s generally on the opposite side to where the exhaust is located. This activity is to be done on your basic service, which is done once a year. Press the clips on the air filter cover and pull outwards to expose the paper filter. Remove the old paper filter, pop in a new paper filter, and put back the air filter cover in place.

 

Changing the Oil

 

The interesting thing with petrol lawnmowers is that the plug sump is mounted in a challenging position for you to drain it normally. So, short of undoing the plug sump and letting the oil spill all over, the other option is turning the lawnmower upside down. If you feel uncomfortable overturning the mower, use a big syringe with attached tubing. To get started, unscrew the dipstick indicator, take the tubing attached to the tubing, insert it into the sump, and pull on the syringe. After extracting the old oil, you are going to put in the fresh oil. Make sure that you use the correct oil according to your manufacturer’s specifications. Once you have added in your oil, replace your dipstick, and screw it into place.

 

Blade Change

 

Lean the mower on the two wheels opposite to you and put some blocks of wood underneath it for support. We advise you not to put the spark plug yet because the blade could do some damage if the mower where to start. Use a spanner to remove the old blade and gently install the new blade with your thick gloves. Remember to lubricate all moving parts and then put the new spark plug in its rightful place.

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Reasons and Remedies for Patchy Brown Spots on Your Lawn

Maintaining a perfectly manicured, lush, and vibrantly green lawn is the landscaping dream for homeowners. Nothing is more frustrating than troublesome brown patches in your well-kempt yard. Unfortunately, there are many causes for brown spots on an otherwise green and thriving lawn. From causes related to watering, drainage, fungus, thatch buildup, and soil composition, your first order in fixing the problem is to identify the problem. Here are two of the most common causes of brown spots and ways to remedy them. 

 

Fungus

 

Rhizoctonia is a common species of fungus that frequently plagues lawns. Often occurring when the weather is its hottest and most humid, Rhizoctonia develops in very wet lawns with poor drainage. Additionally, this fungus can easily develop in lawns that are over-stimulated with nitrogen-based fertilizers. Like a disease, this fungus festers just beneath the soil, and when the conditions are just right (hot and humid), it boils to the surface, causing the brown patches you despise. 

 

Identifying this type of fungus can be tricky; however, the brown patches are typically circular and irregularly shaped. Furthermore, the patches will seemingly appear overnight with little warning. If these characteristics are present, you may very well have a lawn fungus. Thankfully, this is easily treated with a few minor interventions. First, be sure to water your lawn earlier in the day so it has time to dry out before dark. In addition, don’t over-water. Next, if fungus is a recurring issue, you could top-seed your lawn with grass varieties that are resistant to fungus. Finally, applying a lawn fungicide will help combat the pesky fungus. 

 

Thatch

 

The accumulation of thatch is another common cause of brown spots on lawns. Simply, thatch is the buildup of dead and decaying grass blades that proliferates between thriving grass blades. Thatch creates a preventive barrier, impeding food and water from reaching your lawn’s soil; this, in turn, causes the brown patchy spots that afflict your lawn. 

 

Fortunately, thatch is easily remedied. With the purchase or rental of a few of the right tools, you’ll have your lawn dethatched and aerated in no time. Dethatching is simply the method by which you remove the dead/decaying material with a special rake. Aerating is the process of coring small holes evenly across your entire lawn to allow food and water to reach its root. Although dethatching and aerating your lawn can be tedious and time consuming, the presence of thatch is an easily remedied problem. If you haven't got the time to do the work yourself, you can simply contract a landscaper to take care of it for you. 

 

The Final Word

 

Fungus and thatch are the two most common sources of brown spots on a lawn. As you can see, both are very easily identified and remedied.