The Helpful Gardener wrote:Your deck will last longer without the crust of grass. And sharpening sure is important. If you do use a hose, I'd run it to dry it before storing.
I'll second that. It is also not a good idea to cut grass when wet as it will stick a lot more to the deck and build up.
I've had mowers last for 10 or more years but I clean mine every time I use it. I'll take a cinder block and use it to weigh down the handle to the ground getting the front of the deck about a foot off the ground and hit the underside with my hose to was off debris.
I cut grass year round, just less often in the winter, maybe only 2 times a month. In the spring/summer, I need to cut at least once a week and if we are getting good rain, more often than that.
Part of my maintenance thing is change oil before heavy cutting season and in the early fall. I'll sharpen and balance the blades a couple times a year. If you store your lawnmower during the winter, be sure to put some fuel stabilizer in the tank to keep it from going bad and gumming up the carb. Stabyl (sp) works great for this. I'll use it in my chain saw, pressure washer, and other gas engines that don't get used as often.