Top Tips on Preparing Your Lawn Mower for Falling Leaves and Autumn Weather

In many states, fall brings a beautiful change of scenery. The leaves begin to changes and wither from the tree, making for a beautiful watercolor of reds, oranges, and yellows. What isn’t so beautiful, however, is the mess that it leaves for our lawns and lawn mower, giving us a seemingly endless number of tasks to keep our yards in the best shape possible. While the leaves haven’t quite started to fall yet, it is time to start preparing our lawn equipment, like our lawn mowers, for a rougher season, which will not only make our jobs easier but also keep our equipment in the best shape possible all season long.

It’s probably time to sharpen your lawn mower blades

A man mowing the grass on a fall day
A man mowing the grass on a fall day | Philipp von Ditfurth, picture alliance, Getty Images

In the fall, your lawn mower is responsible for tackling more than just cutting your grass. Chances are, no matter how many times you rake the yard, you’ll still find yourself plagued with debris — which is always important to remove the bulk of prior to mowing. Sharpening your lawn mower blades can be an easy DIY task, and it can make your chore of mowing go much more smoothly, as the blades have to cut through more debris to trim the grass. This will also help prevent your lawn mower from clogging with wet, mushy dead leaves and twigs from the hibernating trees.

Check on your tires

Lawn mower tires are about as annoying to replace as vehicle tires — no one likes doing it, and we often put it off until the last minute. Unlike with car tires, having older, worn-out mower tires doesn’t serve as an immediate danger, having old mower tires can really put a damper on your mowing experience and efficiency, especially in the fall. In the damp grown, having worn-out tires can pose more of a threat than most owners realize because they aren’t able to get as much traction. Checking to make sure the air pressure is good before each mowing is also important, as low tire pressure can decrease your efficiency and also be dangerous.

Woman cutting the lawn in autumn
Woman cutting the lawn in autumn | John Greim, LightRocket, Getty Images

Remove rust, dirt, and debris from your lawn mower

It isn’t a bad idea to clean up your lawn mower at any point in the year, but if you’ve been pushing it off until the fall, now is a good time to start. Rusty patches on the mower deck and other areas can sometimes be repaired if they haven’t been left to fester, and removing wet dirt can help prevent future rust or damage. In the fall, your lawn mower sees more debris from falling leaves and dying trees and plants, so ensuring you start with a clean, unclogged lawn mower is essential to fall mowing and lawn maintenance and keeping your lawn mower in the best condition possible year-round. If you notice that you’re yard is particularly damp, or you’re running over moist, dying leaves, giving your mower a quick wash after mowing the lawn isn’t a bad idea, either.

Lawn mower maintenance in the fall means, for most people, that we get a break from mowing for a few months when winter approaches — except that means switching to colder tasks like shoveling snow from the driveway. Preparing for fall means breaking out the rakes and shovels and trash bags, but it also means preparing our more expensive equipment, like our lawn mowers, for the long, rigorous season ahead.

RELATED: 3 Common Mistakes That Will Damage Your Lawn Mower