To avoid problems in spring, give the lawn mower a maintenance check to ensure that it will run properly, says Margaret Wicks, co-owner of the Mid Coast Mower & Saw in Atascadero, Calif. Check the machine's spark plug and its fuel, which could go stale if it sits around a long time. Sharpen the blades and have the machine serviced to check for other issues, Wicks advises.

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