While winter is a wonderful season for various reasons, gardening is one activity that doesn’t cross your mind. So, when winter is on the horizon, it is important to not only put away your gardening tools into garden tools storage. But also to ensure that they are not spoiled by the moisture that the chills of the winter carry. Yes, you heard it right: winters can be moist…for closed environments such as your sheds and garages. These are the places where you will be storing your tools, right? So, it is important to ensure that your tools can withstand the moisture and not be affected by corrosion.
Below are some of the measures that you must take before storing different kinds of gardening equipment:
Draining the fuel before storing your lawnmowers away for the winters is important. Particularly if you want them to be usable afterwards. It is because the alcohol in the fuel detriments the plastic parts that it comes in contact with and, at the same time, causes the fuel tank to rust. It is better, to drain your lawnmower out of fuel by running it until its fuel reserves are completely depleted (unless specifically specified by the manufacturer).
Also, it is important to disconnect the battery so that the lawnmower cannot start accidentally. Does it sound funny? Remember, all that’s need for your lawnmower to start is for the right wires to meet and not the flipping of a switch. Sure, flipping the switch is one way to make the wires meet but there are other (accidental) ways to make it happen as well. Remove the spark plug too, just to be sure. Remove the blade, next. Consider sharpening it before putting it into storage, or replacing it if it looks too worn out. It is better to spend a little more time now on maintenance, while you are at it, rather than getting back to it after the winters.
Now it is time for a little elbow greasing. Clean the frame of any dirt and grit that may have accumulated over time. Wash the area underneath the lawnmower, with a hose by tilting the mower to its side. Consider giving your lawnmower a layer of a protective lubricant, such as WD-40. It helps to ensure that it does not get rusted by the moisture in the air, which is usual for winter seasons. This layer will, certainly, be an icing on the cake of a magnificent maintenance job. Finally, replace the spark plugs and store the lawnmower in your garage.
It is important to keep your hand tools clean, at all times. If you had ensured it throughout the gardening season and kept your tools clean and tidy then there won’t be much trouble in storing them for the winter. However, if they are dirty then it is important to get them cleaned up before placing them in your garden tool storage.
To rid your tools of dirt use, a bristled brush. In case your tools are corroded in some spots then take a sandpaper or steel wool to take care of them. Ensure that you are wearing goggles, at all times, while carrying out this cleaning job. The pieces of rust, have the capability of damaging your eyes. While you are at it, consider putting on those gloves of yours and giving your digging tools a bit of sharpening up.
It is important to check the wooden handles of the tools for any splinters and cracks that may exist. If they do then it is better to replace them rather than patching them up with glue or tape.
The most important part, when it comes to storing your hand tools, is spraying them with a lubricant. The need for spraying your tools with an oil spray cannot be stressed upon enough. Especially because it forms a protective layer over your tools ensuring that they are not tampered with, by the elements throughout the winter. A great lubricant spray for all such needs is WD-40. This multi-functional spray will ensure that your tools are protected throughout the winters, leaving you to enjoy the cosiness of the holidays free of any concern for your garden tools.
Contrary to popular beliefs, pots need to be maintained before storage also. Rather than just being put, casually, into your garden tools storage. It is because moisture can increase the chance of fungus inside the pots which renders growing plants in them.
To clean any fungus that might be present on pots, scrub them with a special pot scrubbing brush. Then soak them into a bleach solution for at least ten minutes. This technique kills all of the germs on the pots’ surfaces. After they have dried, consider spraying them with WD-40, for it prevents the accumulation of water on surfaces because of its water displacement function. No fungi will be formed on your pots, because of moisture, throughout the winter with one layer of WD-40.
The Wonders of WD-40
WD-40 is one of the most important tools that can be used when storing your gardening equipment for the winter. WD-40 can be used for jobs such as protecting your shears, mower blades and clippers not only from the debris but from the moisture that it carries or, it could be used to, simply, clean your equipment. The spectrum of its uses is vast and without end.
In the winters, when the air is full of moisture, WD-40 lives up to its name and offers great protection from water and moisture. One layer of WD-40 ensures that you will find your tools, post-winter, as you left them—rust-free.
Garages and sheds indeed protect your tools against most threats. However, they can do nothing about the moisture that forms because of the closed environment during the winters. Your tools will last your entire lifetime if you spend a little time on maintenance before putting them away for the winters.