Prepare Your Gardening Tools for Winter

comments (0) October 6th, 2015

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ladenzie ladenzie, member
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Small Gardening Tools
Gardenig Tools Storage
Small Gardening ToolsClick To Enlarge

Small Gardening Tools


Once the growing season comes to an end, it can be tempting to throw your gardening tools in the shed and forget all about them. However, showing your tools just that little extra care and maintenance before storing them away for winter can help them last for much longer, saving you both time and money in the long run.

General Maintenance

I'll start with some general maintenance tips you should follow regardless of the weather or time of year – these steps are the bare minimum required to keep your tools in good working order.

Clean after use: One of the simplest ways to add many years of life to your tools is to clean them after each use using a bucket of warm water and a wire or stiff bristle brush. Remove soil from your digging tools and dry them off completely before storage. This will help to prevent rusting and keep your handles from rotting. You can see how it's done in this video by the University of Illinois.

Preserve handles: To preserve your handles and prevent them from drying out or splintering, take care to remove soil from dirty handles using a stiff brush. Rub linseed oil on bare wooden handles, allowing the first coat to be absorbed by the wood before applying another coat.

Power Tools: These require specific care compared to your average garden tools. Plugs and flexes should always be checked for damage both before and after use. If you find damage, get it looked at by an experienced professional. Occasionally spray your tools with oil (the general purpose variety will do just fine) to combat rusting. Don't forget to turn on your tool, ensuring the oil seeps into all areas.

Preparing for Winter

General maintenance throughout the year will make a big difference when it comes to preparing your tools for winter storage. If your tools are in need of additional care before they are put away, then these extra tips will help.

Remove rust: Proper maintenance throughout the seasons will help to avoid rust from forming, but if your tools do have any rust spots then you can remove these by using a stiff-bristled brush. For tougher rusty spots, use fine sandpaper or steel wool. Make sure you don a pair of goggles for added safety.

Sharpen your tools: With continued use your tools will become worn, dull and less efficient. Sharpening them with a suitable file will help to keep them sharp and ready for the next season. Make sure your tools are properly secured before sharpening, using a vise if possible. You should also wear heavy gloves while undertaking this work in order to protect your hands.

Restore handles: If the handles show signs of splitting or you notice cracking in the finish and the graying of the wood, then it might be time to restore the handles with a simple treatment. Avoid just going for glue or tape; these will merely act as a temporary solution.

Store indoors: It's important to store your tools away in a cool, dry place over the winter. By storing your tools in a dry storage shed, you can help to prevent extreme weather conditions from causing damage or unnecessary wear and tear to your tools. You can take the extra step of placing your tools in a dry sand and oil mixture to offer additional protection.  

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posted in: tools, maintenance