Daniel Harding Tina Hultgren English 103 September 2, 2010 Manual for Yard Domination Have you ever woken up on a beautiful Sunday morning only to find that your yard has grown completely out of control? Well don’t fret, this paper will guide you through the steps required to have your lawn look like you’ve been mowing your whole life. Having the skills to conquer any yard will make you a star in the field of landscaping worldwide. By mastering the strategies contained within these lines you, too, can be the Master of the Yard.
The key sections of a good mow job are, preparing the equipment, the cutting of the grass, and inspection and clean-up. Let’s take a look at how to first prepare your mower for the task at hand. The first thing you will want to do is to buy a mower. You can find a good lawn mower at any home and garden center or outdoor superstore. Now when it comes to what kind of mower to have for the job, if your lawn is of large size with a lot of open grass areas it would be wise to get a riding lawnmower that will save time and effort in the mowing.
However, most lawns tend to be of manageable size and could have obstacles in the path of mowing, for this a normal walk-behind mower will do just fine, since it is much more maneuverable than a large riding lawnmower. Walk behinds will be the central focus of discussion because they are much more common. After you have the right mower for your specific lawn the next step is to ready it for mowing. You will want to check the fluids in the mower especially if you did actually just buy it, otherwise you will want to check the oil level and cleanliness every 3 months, changing it or topping it off when necessary.
Most mowers have a short dipstick located on top of the engine in a corner. It is necessary to check the level of gasoline in the fuel tank every time you mow. Depending on your specific model of mower, you may be required to combine the oil and the gasoline together in a certain ratio before putting them into the tank. However, this is rare for lawnmowers and probably won’t be the case with yours. It is good the keep a gas can of at least 2 gallons with a sealed cap near the mower for when it needs to be refilled. You should also make a habit of refueling the lawnmower every time you use it.
When filling a small fuel tank such as a lawnmower, it can be very easy to overfill and spill flammable gasoline all over the mower. To avoid this it is wise to listen to the sound of the gasoline pouring into the tank, as the pitch of the sound increases, it means there is becoming less air in the tank for the sound the reverberate off of, and therefore, means there is more and more gasoline in the tank. When the sound begins to increase exponentially, it means the tank is very close to full. At this point you should either stop filling the tank or dramatically reduce the rate you are pouring to avoid overfilling.
Once the mower is gassed up and the oil is topped off, you are ready to do your pre-check of the yard. Simply walk throughout the area you are going to mow, checking for objects such as rocks, branches, large roots sticking out of the ground, items lying around the yard, or any other objects that will be a danger to run over by the mower. Once the yard is clear you ready to start your mowing. The most important part of the job is the mowing itself. But before you get down to business, most mowers will require that the engine be primed. Priming in pushing in on a little dome shaped button with a hole in the middle know as a primer.
It should be pushed three to five times in order to be effective. When a mower sits without running for even a small amount of time, gasoline naturally empties out of the fuel lines due to gravity, this can make it quite difficult to start the mower. What priming does is it forces gasoline into the fuel lines, requiring much less effort to get the mower running. Now it is time to start the mower, position yourself behind the mower with your left foot forward and your right foot behind you for optimum balance. To start the mower, you will first need to hold down the fuel cut-off bar in order for the engine to run.
When pulling the cord, it is good to provide a strong full stroke in order to have to best chance of the mower starting. What pulling the cord does is it starts the crankshaft of the motor into motion and from there the normal cycles of the engine take over to keep the mower running. Most mowers are equip with a drive system that reduces the effort required to maneuver the mower around the yard. This will come in either an always-on form, meaning if the mower is running the wheels are spinning, otherwise, it will require you to also hold some kind of switch or pull-bar to activate the drive system.
Now it’s time to get down to business. When mowing the lawn, it is good to have some kind of pre-thought-out pattern in order to avoid running over the same areas twice. This pattern may be either diagonally across the yard, horizontally, vertically, or even is a spiral toward the center. A custom pattern may be necessary depending on the size or unique shape of your lawn. No matter what you pattern of choice, it is good to alternate the pattern you use every month or so. This will avoid marks to your yard caused by the mower running over the exact same areas every time you mow.
Using a pattern that utilizes many straight-aways and few turns will make you your mowing more efficient by conserving time and gas. If your mower has a guard on the side instead of an attached bag for clippings, you will need to be aware of where you clippings are ending up. Especially with spiral patterns, there is a risk of running over the area where your last pass’s clippings were disposed and moving them to your next pass’s path. This will cause a buildup in the amount of grass the mower is taking on during each pass. Smart planning in the design of your pattern can make this a non-issue.
Another problem that may arise is too wet of grass. This will occur if you are mowing after it has recently rained or if condensation has left dew on the grass. Wet grass will stick to the inside of the blade guard, this will create a buildup causing the mower to be overworked and reducing the overall cutting ability. Therefore, it is wise to mow during a time when the grass is dry. Once you have completed your yard, you will want to quickly inspect it for areas you may have missed, taking care of them if you find any. Then store your mower in some covered area such as a garage, shed, or even just under a tarp.
This will keep it out of the rain and dry, because an engine that is wet will rust and develop all kinds of problems. Most people think that mowing is a simple, menial task that doesn’t require any thought. But as you see, having the know-how to mow your lawn correctly and efficiently can make your mowing experience breezy and easy. By buying the right mower, keeping the fluids in check, choosing an efficient pattern, and taking good care of your lawn mower, you can assure that your lawn will be the best looking on the block.
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