As we head into the winter months and the ground begins to harden it’s time to set aside your gardening tools for the season. Before you do so, it’s important to ensure that you are prepping your tools for the dormant winter months. This can help improve the longevity of your tools and overall functionality. Check out these 7 easy cleaning and storage tips for your gardening tools.
Before you store your tools away for the winter, you should remove all and any debris that is left on them. This can include dirt, sap, and rust. You can use your garden hose and a putty knife to remove hardened dirt. To make this step easier at the end of each season, it should be common practice to wipe off your tools after each use.
After all the debris is removed you’ll want to soak your tools in a cleaning solution (soap and water will work just fine). This will help remove any more stubborn debris and give them one final rinse before being stored for the season.
Once your tools are finished soaking you want to make sure you dry them completely. Leaving them wet for an extended period of time can cause rust to grow impacting the functionality. Take time to ensure that every part of the tool is dry and ready to be stowed.
After you have removed all debris from your tools, it’s time to disinfect them. It’s good practice to disinfect your tools after each use as this can prevent spreading any bacteria or fungi from plant to plant. Additionally, you should disinfect them once more before stowing them away for the season to prevent growth of bacteria and fungi on the tool itself. Once disinfected, make sure you dry them fully to help with rust prevention.
During the season, you can take steps to help keep your tools clean. One of these is creating and using a bucket of sand and oil. By placing your tools into this bucket after use, it can help to remove any debris while also protecting the tools finish.
To extend the life and overall functionality of your tools, regular sharpening is key. Any tools that have an edge or are used to cut or dig require sharpening every so often (depending on how often you are using the tool). You can sharpen your tools yourself, however we recommend hiring a professional to do it for you.
Lastly, it’s important to store your tools in a dry place all year round. Leaving your tools exposed to the elements will wear them down quicker, forcing you to replace them more often. Whether it’s a backyard storage shed, weatherproof box, or something as simple as bins inside your garage, organizing and proper storage for your tools will make your life easier.
By following these 7 easy cleaning and storage tips for your gardening tools you can have peace of mind that you’re doing everything to protect them and extend their use. If you’re interested in installing a storage shed, get connected with a Pro here. And if you want to learn more about your gardening tools and seasonal tool care, get connected with a Pro at HomeStars.com today.