April Lawn Care

  • By Nancy Bolton
  • /
  • April 2016-Vol.2 No.4
  • /
  • 1 Comment

Lawn mowerThis is a perfect time to get your lawn mower ready for summer. Hopefully, it has been put away with the fuel emptied,  but if not….

  1. Remove the gasoline. Leftover gasoline from the previous year can become stale, choking the carburetor and causing rust.
  2. Disconnect the spark plug. Do this if you decide to service the mower yourself.  It disables the engine, making it safer to perform service on the machine.
  3. Remove the blade(s). While this piece is removed, sharpen it using a metal file.  Sharpen blades now, and then once in the summer and probably in the fall, too.
  4. Drain the oil. Four-cycle engines will need to be drained of oil and refilled with fresh oil.
  5. Clean the equipment. Use a putty knife and wire brush to knock off accumulated grass and mud, then reattach the blade if you removed it earlier.
  6. Replace the air filter. This improves airflow to the engine, allowing it to run more smoothly.
  7. Replace the spark plug. Although your old spark plug may still work properly, installing a new one is a cheap and easy way to ensure optimal performance.

For the lawn:

  1. Maintain proper soil pH – A soil test should be taken every 3 years to determine pH.  Soil pH should be in the 6.0 to 6.8 range for optimal turf growth.  Amend the soil according to soil test results to achieve the desired pH
  2. Fertilize at the proper time – Fall fertilization is recommended to encourage root development. If turf lacks dark green color and is weak and thin, a light late-spring application of fertilizer is also beneficial.
  3. Aeration may also be beneficial in the spring


The Charlottesville-Albemarle Extension Office now offers a new program called Healthy Virginia Lawns.  A trained Master Gardener will come to your site, measure your lawn and assist with collecting the soil test.  When the results are received, they will contact you with a nutrient management plan.  For further information call 434-872-4580 or email hvl.albemarle@vt.edu.


  1. John

    Thanks for sharing this. When the warm weather rolls around, it helps to have a checklist like this for taking care of things. Considering the investment for a lawn mower, it’s important to maintain it properly so that it lasts as long as possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.