Here are a few tips to keep your garden tools in great shape so they can be used year after year.
On a nice cool afternoon gather your tools and clean them well before storing them away for the winter. Here are some tips to help make the process easier.
Hoses and Faucets
Disconnect all hoses from the faucet and drain completely. Straighten out any kinks in each hose and then roll up hose. Tie a rope or string around hose to keep it in place. Hang in a shed or garage, even better lay on a flat surface. Protect your outdoor faucets from freezing with a fiberglass hood made to prevent winter freeze up.
- Frost King Plastic Faucet Cover – Insulates faucet to prevent winter freeze up. Hard plastic outer shell plus poly foam inner cover provides long lasting insulation of outdoor faucets to protect them from freezing wind and chill.
- Slide On Slide-On Faucet Cover – Designed to easily slide onto outdoor hose bibs to help prevent faucet freeze ups. Compression fit for quick and easy slide-on installment. Fits all standard outdoor hose bibs. No nuts to tighten; no cords to pull. Simply slide it on.
Remove the spark plugs and battery. Remove dried grass from the blade chamber. Clean and inspect blades and sharpen or replace as needed. Wipe down with oil to protect from rust. Store in a dry place.
*I have researched where to remove the fuel completely from the fuel tank or to add a quality fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank before storing the mower or other fuel needed tools for the winter and have found mixed results. Some say to run the mower until the fuel is used up, leaving the tank empty. Others say it is better to leave fuel in the tank with the addition of adding fuel stabilizer. I can’t really recommend the correct way to go…other than to give you both points of view.
Sta-Bil Fuel Stabilizer – STA-BIL fuel stabilizer keeps fuel fresh for quick starts after storage and all year round. Prevents fuel deterioration (fuel begins to break down after 60 days). Prevents the formation of gum and varnish. Corrosion inhibitor prevents rust. Protects the fuel system during storage. Helps keep the carburetor, fuel injectors, and fuel line clean. Eliminates the need to drain fuel. Comes in sizes that fit your specific needs. Twin-neck bottle offers quick, convenient measurement and dispensing for large or small amounts. STA-BIL will stabilize fresh fuel and protect an engine’s fuel system up to 15 months when used as directed. For best results, treat fresh fuel promptly when opened, once bottle is opened it has a shelf life of 2 years.
Loppers, Pruners, and Trimmers
Did you know that you should be cleaning your small garden tools after each use? This is to prevent transferring disease from one plant to another. Before storing away for the winter, take them apart and give them a thorough scrubbing, drying, and oiling before reassembling. Store the tools in a dry area where they won’t be exposed to moisture.
Remove any plants from pots and discard or put the plants and soil in the compost pile. Remove the top one-third of soil from large containers. Add new potting soil in the spring to these large pots. Thoroughly clean empty containers with a very mild bleach solution and set out in the sun to dry. If you are washing the pots outdoors, be sure the washing water does not puddle anywhere that birds can drink it. Store the pots in a dry area where they won’t be exposed to moisture.
Shovels and Digging Tools
Hose away any dirt or debris and scrub the metal with a stiff wire brush if necessary. If you want, this would be a great time to sharpen any dull blades. Wipe down the metal parts with a little vegetable oil and allow to dry. Lightly sand any rough wooden handle parts and wipe down with linseed oil. Shovels, rakes, hoes, and other like tools can be hung or placed in racks in a dry area where they won’t be exposed to moisture. See more > Tool Racks & Storage