How To Prepare Garden Tools For Winter
Winter is almost here and it is high time to start wrapping up your garden.
Ideally the gardening tools must be washed after every use. But, it is an imperative that they should be properly cleaned before being stored away for winter. If the tools are cleaned their lifespan will increase and they will be easier to use in the future. Besides, you will thank yourself when you don’t remove the stubborn fossilized dirt from the tools at the beginning of the spring.
Keeping the tools clean will also prevent the formation of rust when stored. It will also remove the disease laden particles of sand and soil. If you have a batch of infected plants or shrubs, you must be very particular about washing the tools regularly in order to prevent the spread of disease. For more on this and other winter topics, visit here.
Methods of cleaning the garden tools
For cleaning the tools like shovels and hoes that are used to dig soil hold it under hose pipes or some other powerful water source. Then dry it with a clean cloth before sending it to the storage. Use brushes to remove the stubborn soils like clay. If there are any dents in the shovels, smoothen it with a honing device before storing.
The tools like pruners or saws are used to cut the leaves. There are chances that they may end up with stubborn plant sap that cannot be washed away with just water. Use paint thinner or alcohol to get rid of it and then wipe it with a clean piece of cloth.
The gardeners often struggle with rust formation in their tools. Even if they are cleaned on a regular basis, they can end up with stubborn rust especially if they are made of high grade steel.
In order to prevent it use a light coat of motor oil on the tools. You can also use kerosene with the oil and spray it on the tools. For cleaning the rust from the hand held tools, brew some strong black tea and soak the tools in it for a few hours. Then wipe the rust with a piece of cloth. The extremely tough rust can be removed with the help of steel wool.
Most of the handles of the gardening tools are made of wood. Do not ignore it when you are preparing them for storage. Rub linseed oil on the wooden handles or they may crack or split in the cold.
The storage space also plays a pivotal role in your tool’s longevity during winter. Arrange them in a rack in a way that they do not fall over. Check for damp or anything wet as the wooden handles can rot if stored in a damp place.
Before the winter sets in disconnect your sprinklers and the hoses because they may burst during the cold months. If you have a lawn mower make sure that you do not send it to storage with fuel inside it. The fuel can damage the engine and corrode the plastic.
If you take these few precautions, your gardening tools are all set for winter.