Storing garden tools
Whether you’re a keen gardener, or you reluctantly drag your mower across the lawn twice a year, winter is the ideal time to clean and store those tools until you need them again in the spring. But what’s the best way to take care of and store your trusty rake or turbo leaf blower?
Storing tools for winter is a smart move
Before we look at the ‘how’ of tools storage, let’s check out the ‘why’. Aside from giving yourself a little more space in the garage to, for example, park your car, garden tools work better when they are clean and cared for. Anyone who has pulled the lawnmower out and found the poor thing clogged with dried grass will know this pain.
Secondly, the cold and damp conditions of many garden sheds, basements or garages is the perfect atmosphere for rust and corrosion to set in. That’s why we recommend storing your gardening tools in a self storage unit that’s clean and dry.
And any good gardener knows, clean, looked-after tools also reduce the spread of diseases from plant to plant.
Preparing tools for storage
– Cleaning comes first. Use methylated spirits and a scourer to clean away congealed sap and any signs of rust from all metal parts.
– Simple soap and water will clean most handheld gardening tools, just be sure to dry thoroughly as soon as you’re done.
– Sharpening all blades, such as lawnmowers, sheers and secateurs is easily done with a sharpening stone. You don’t have to do much, just keep a clean, defined edge which can be dulled even after just a few uses. If you don’t feel like risking your fingers, search for a professional tool sharpening service in your area and have them take care of it for you.
– Finally, rub all blades with a rag dipped in oil to help prevent rust, then wrap small tools or blades in dry, clean rags.
A lifetime of use
Properly cleaning and storing garden tools is the simplest way to extend their life. Take proper care of your tools over winter and when the time comes to let them loose on your patch, those fresh spring gardening jobs will be a breeze.
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