For homeowners, property maintenance is a constant, but a constant that changes as the weather turns from colder to warmer and back again. Here, TruFuel presents landscaping maintenance information and checklists for every season.
Spring is peak yard-care season. Here’s a checklist to help you set priorities and allocate time for the little and big things that help you get the most out of spring and summer’s warm-weather months.
What needs to be tossed to the curb might not be limited to items in your house and basement. Check your garage, shed, patio, yard, porch, driveway and garden.
Rain Gutter and Downspout Cleaning
In late spring/early summer, check your rain gutter, and clean the downspout. This also helps with mosquito control.
Irrigation System Setup
If your automatic sprinkler service company doesn’t call you in a timely manner, call them before your lawn starts to suffer.
See our resource on your lawn mower’s first start of the season to make sure your mower gets the tuneup it needs!
Along with your first mow of the season, you’ll need to prepare your string trimmer.
- Check/replace string
- Check/clean/replace air filter
- Check/clean/replace spark plug
- Check oil (4-cycle units)
Add fresh fuel. Instead of ethanol-laden gas station gasoline, consider using a premixed fuel engineered for your trimmer. TruFuel is ethanol-free, high-octane fuel made with advanced stabilizers that keep the fuel fresh for two years after opening and for more than 5 years unopened. You’ll notice the difference in performance and equipment longevity.
Many of the landscaping tasks you completed in the spring set the tone for summer. However, a few things still need to be tackled between regular mowing and weed trimming. Here’s a checklist to get you through the summer:
From June through the end of November is hurricane season for the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, so the time is now to plan and prepare for a hurricane. If a portable gas-powered generator is part of your hurricane plan, keep TruFuel 4-Cycle fuel on-hand. It’s ethanol-free fuel that stays fresh for two years opened and at least five years unopened, making it the perfect fuel for limited-use emergency generators. Four-cycle engines were never meant to process ethanol. Because taking your generator to the repair shop for a new carburetor or gas line is not an option in the wake of a hurricane, play it safe by using TruFuel.
- Eventually mosquitoes will appear and remain into the fall season. To reduce their numbers, inspect your yard for standing-water breeding grounds for these disease-bearing insects.
- Don’t let summer rain collect in tires, corrugated downspout drains, corrugated pipes or wheelbarrows.
- Hose-out bird baths weekly, and drain mud puddles or other pools that form in your yard after rainfall due to poor drainage.
- Find that sweet spot that conserves water and gives your lawn enough extra hydration beyond what Mother Nature is providing.
Monitor Your Mowing
When you mow, be on the lookout for signs of lawn mower maintenance needs.
- If your blades have made contact with protruding tree roots and tree stumps or had some close encounters with rocks and stones, then inspect the work of the blades. Is the grass being cut cleanly like scissors or ragged, as if they were torn? If the latter, sharpen or replace the blades. Tearing grass makes it more susceptible to disease and diminishes the look of your lawn.
- If the engine doesn’t act right, it could be any number of things, including a clogged carburetor. Lawn mower engines were never meant to process ethanol. Consider using ethanol-free fuel with advanced stabilizers engineered for lawn mower engines like TruFuel 4-Cycle.
- Check/replace air filter regularly.
- Check/clean under deck regularly with putty knife.
- Getting harder to push? Remove the wheels, and lubricate them. Summer humidity and moisture from dewy grass can cause corrosion and rusting.
Are you labeling your 2-cycle fuel/oil mix? Good, because it can go bad in as little as 30 days. Not if you use TruFuel. Our 50:1 and 40:1 ready-to-use fuel lasts up to 2 years once opened, plus it will help your string trimmer perform better and last longer.
For many, September through November means cooler weather, and homeowners need to make changes in their landscaping due to the lower temperatures.
Lawn & Garden
- Reseeding: Not happy with the thickness of your lawn? It’s time for a trip to the seed and feed store.
- Mulch the garden.
- Certain spring bulb flowers need to be planted in the fall to be ready by spring.
- Remove any leftover yard decorations.
- Removing autumn leaves reduces the chances of your lawn contracting some diseases like snow mold, and allows the sun to shine fully on your grass when it needs it most.
- One more mow. Before northern lawns disappear under coats of snow, there’s the ritual of the last mow of the year. This usually occurs after the last leaves have fallen from your trees, often coinciding with Thanksgiving. The target height for the final mow of the season is 2 inches.
- If you live in the South, fall is the perfect time to plant trees. The saplings will like the cooler, wetter weather in the winter, and will enter the hot summer months in great shape.
Getting Out Your Leaf Blower
- Hopefully you put away your leaf blower last winter with the gas tank empty. If you didn’t, remove the old separated gas/oil mixture, and put in fresh fuel.
- We recommend fueling your leaf blower with ethanol-free fuel like TruFuel, which is specifically made and premixed with an exact ratio of gasoline and oil.
- Check the spark plug and air filter. Replace, if needed, before starting up.
- Check the starter rope for off-season fraying, and the gas tank for splits or leaks. Also, check to see if the tubes are firmly connected.
- Leaves done falling? Clean out the gutters/eaves as yearly home maintenance.
For many, November means cold temperatures, and homeowners need to make cold-weather changes in their landscaping. Here are some seasonal maintenance tasks to remember for winter.
- If you haven’t had your automatic sprinkler lines blown-out by your irrigation company, get a pro to your home as soon as possible to avoid having your underground pipes and pipe fittings crack.
- Similarly, empty the water from your garden hoses, and bring them in. Then, open the valves on all of your outdoor spigots to drain water from the lines, so pipes don’t freeze and crack during a stretch of low-temp days.
- Some plants need winterization; some need to go in the ground for spring.
- Do you have any small trees or shrubs that could use tree-wrapping or sheltering to protect them from winter wind and freezing temps? Now is the time to do that.
- Many of the plants you might have in your flower beds need care, include trimming back, to ensure they survive the winter and thrive again next spring.
- The trees in your yard are in peak dormancy in late-winter, when the coldest weather is behind you. It’s the perfect time to prune for maximum spring vitality.
Snow Blower Out of Storage
- If winter includes snowfall, it’s time to get that snow blower out of storage, along with your owner’s manual.
- Running last year’s separated gas in your engine is the number one reason snow blowers end up in the shop for repair. If you have old, untreated gas station gasoline in the tank, drain it from the fuel line, or you’ll risk running separated gas straight into your engine. This will create hard-starting, poor engine performance and ruin your carburetor.
- Grease the chute and other adjustable areas for easy operation.
- If you didn’t replace the oil in the spring, now is the time.
Consider keeping TruFuel 4-Cycle on-hand. If your driveway gets hit with major snowfall or snowdrifts, TruFuel 4-Cycle is engineered specifically for snow blowers’ 4-stroke engines. When the drifts are high and the going gets tough, TruFuel will give you improved performance and maximum reliability.
Lawn Mower to Storage
Time to get that mower properly put away for your grass’s dormant season. It might be a few months before you need it again, so make sure you either run the lawn mower dry of gas or use ethanol-free TruFuel 4-Cycle for your last mow of the season. Thanks to our advanced stabilizers and lack of ethanol, TruFuel will stay fresh in your tank during storage and be ready to go next spring.
Have Your Chainsaw Ready
Severe weather that dumps wet, heavy snow or covers your trees in ice can rip branches or even shatter whole tree trunks. Run your chainsaw with ethanol-free fuel for big winter jobs. TruFuel is made for the smaller, hotter-running 2-cycle engines in chainsaws. Don’t put old gas/oil mixture into your chainsaw when you need it most.
TruFuel is available at most home and garden centers.
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