Clearing the deck of debris
How can I prevent grass from sticking to my rotary mower? I now have a like-new engine on a rusted-out mower deck.
— Bernard, Baltimore, MD
Roger Cook replies: Sounds like you'll be needing a new mower soon. Once you've done that, get in the habit of clearing out the grass and dirt after every mowing. (They hold moisture against the metal, which causes the rusting.) Do your best to brush, scrape, or wash off all the accumulated clippings from the underside of the deck, then spray a lubricant on the underside of the deck to make it easier to clean. There are sprays specially formulated for this purpose, but WD-40 also works, as does cooking spray. Reapply the spray after each cleaning to keep accumulations to a minimum.