Your home is your castle and your castle grounds should be a reflection of the pride you take in owning your own sanctuary in today's modern world. One of the easiest things you can do to maintain an appealing yard is to consistently care for the grass. You need not be an expert gardener with a green thumb and a passion for posies to do this. A reliable lawn mower is all you need. If you have a large yard, a John Deere Riding Mower might be just the right tool for you. When you know how to operate it safely and properly, a lush green lawn will be your reward.
Make sure you have enough fuel in the gas tank, and check the oil level using the dipstick. It is important to regularly check the fluids in your lawn tractor according to the directions in your owner's manual to be certain it operates properly. A good rule of thumb is to check the fluids before each use.
Sit on the seat and adjust the cutting height of the blade deck using the deck adjustment knob, which should be clearly marked on the control console below the steering wheel. Some older models may have a lever on the side of the machine to be pulled back or pushed forward to adjust the cutting height. If you are simply moving the lawn mower from point A to point B and you don't intend to cut, the deck should be raised to its highest level.
Engage the clutch, which is the foot pedal on the left that also acts as the brake. This must be engaged to release the parking brake on most models. Adjust the choke to the full position and turn the key to the right to the start position, holding the key in place for up to five seconds. When the engine engages, release the key and let the engine idle for a few moments. Disengage the choke and the engine should run at a smooth idle.
Keep the clutch/brake depressed and, with the parking brake released, switch the gear shift to the desired gear. Slowly release the clutch and off you go. When you're at the location where you intend to engage the blades to cut grass, apply the clutch/brake to stop, adjust the deck height, and engage the blades with either a switch or a lever, depending on your model. Remember to put the throttle in the full position (usually marked with the image of a turtle for low and a rabbit for full) when you engage the blades.
When you are finished cutting your lawn, apply the clutch/brake, disengage the blades, raise the cutting deck and drive to where you park your lawn mower. Apply the parking brake, turn the key to the off position and enjoy your freshly-trimmed lawn.
Each model of lawn mower has slight variations of where the controls are located. Be sure to read and understand your owner's manual before operating your John Deere.
Children should not operate a lawn mower. Always wear ear protection. Never reach under the deck of a running mower.