Summer has finally arrived and with the coming months set to be the hottest for some time, ex lawnmower racing champion, garden machinery expert and curator of the British Lawnmower Museum, Brian Radam, is sharing his top-ten tips for creating and maintaining the perfect lawn.
Brian’s new book, the Lawnmower Manual, is an extensively illustrated, step-by-step practical guide, packed with useful hints and tips on choosing the best mower for your needs, how to use it to best effect, and how to carry out DIY maintenance to keep it in tip-top condition and save on potentially expensive professional servicing and repair bills.
Brian says: “Lawnmowers are a quintessentially British obsession, and as the days grow longer and the weather becomes warmer, maintaining the lawn becomes a priority for many people.
“If chosen correctly and properly maintained, a good-quality lawnmower should provide many years of trouble-free service.”
Brian’s top-ten tips for keeping the perfect lawn
1. Mow little and often, in dry conditions, and avoid wet grass, as it sticks to machines
2. Check the oil level before starting the engine
3. Before cutting, check the lawn for stones and objects, and set the blades to cut one third of the grass height
4. Use fresh petrol, fuel stabiliser or Alkylate fuel. Petrol from the pump starts to deteriorate after a few weeks. Make sure you always use the manufacturer’s recommended oil grade
5. Choose a cylinder lawnmower for a perfect traditional striped lawn – the more blades, the finer the finish
6. Choose a four-wheel rotary mower for a neat and tidy finish – this type of mower is ideal on rougher or longer grass
7. A mower with a rear roller will give stripes, and will stop the machine from dropping off the lawn edge
8. Change the engine oil and air filter after every 25 hours of running
9. Balance and regrind rotary blades every 25 hours of running, or if the blade impacts an object
10. To encourages grass growth and discourage moss, you should scarify and aerate the lawn
Brian, who is often referred to as ‘The Lawn Ranger’, became involved in the lawnmower engineering industry in the early 1960s, and his interest culminated in him opening the British Lawnmower Museum, which has a total collection of over 1000 machines.
The Lawnmower Manual provides the reader with a brief history of lawnmowers and grass cutters; details of how to choose the most suitable lawnmower and lawncare equipment for your needs; a month-by-month lawncare guide; advice on fuels and lubricants; details of servicing and maintenance; and engine overhaul procedures for most commonly used petrol engines. Appendices include details of fault finding, a glossary of terms, and useful contacts and suppliers.