Ok Hudson Valley, we have been seeing the signs of spring, the snow is melting, time changes are coming, days are slowly getting longer (by one or two minutes per day) and before we know it the backyard is where we are going to want to be, either with the family or as an escape from the family.

Here are a few things that you can do now to be ready to get your "backyarding on" as soon as the temps get to where you want them to be. These tips are assembled with the help of Kris Kiser, President and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, via email.

  • Look over your equipment now. Get your oil changes done now, if needed. Check belts and hoses. Make any repairs now so you're ready.
  • Drain your fuel tanks. According to Kris, fuel deteriorates after 30 days if it is not treated with a stabilizer. So take this time to drain the fuel and get new gas in the machines. Make note of when you bought the gas on the outside of your gas can, add stabilizer and make sure that you purchase the recommended grade of gas that your manufacture suggests.
  • Charge those big batteries. Have you left the battery to the weed eater on the work bench over the winter? Go ahead and put the batteries into the charger to get them ready as well.
  • Store your rechargeable batteries neatly. Keep them away from nails, screws and other small metal objects. You'll especially appreciate that as a reminder if you have ever had to go out and purchase a replacement battery.
  • Keep your equipment clean. Take a moment to clean things off before you put them away or store them. Another note from Kris, don't store your equipment in a damp place. Damp places encourage mold, rust and corrosion.
  • Check the yard toys and pool equipment. Maybe this is the year you get an air compressor?
  • Stock up on sunscreen. Everything you do outdoors should have this added to your check list.
  • Don't put that snow shovel and salt away just yet. Hold off on that just a few more days. Don't want to jinx yourself!

Do you have any of what I call "Dad Tips" that we should include? You might think that others are already aware, but believe it or not, there is a reason "Dad" has done something a particular way for a long time. It works!

Enjoy your backyarding!

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