Winterizing and Storing Garden and Yard Tools

With proper care and maintenance, your yard and garden tools can last forever. By winterizing and properly storing your tools, you’ll ensure your gear remains rust-free and in perfect condition, ready to go next spring. Here are a few tips to preserve and store some common yard and garden tools for the winter.
 
LAWN MOWERS:
 
Lawn mowers are an expensive necessity for every home owner. It’s vital to winterize your mower to avoid any damage during cold weather. If you have a gas lawn mower, empty the gas tank by running the lawn mower until it is completely drained. Clean underneath the mower and remove all grass, sticks, twigs, and mud. Sharpen the blade, change the oil and replace the air filter.
 
WEED WHACKERS OR ELECTRICAL TRIMMERS:
 
Sharpen and lubricate the blades and make sure to keep the electric charger in a cool, dry place. You might need to keep the charger inside your home instead of in the garage during the winter months. Run the trimmer until the gas tank is empty.
 
LEAF BLOWERS:
 
Use warm water and soap to clean the machine free of dirt. Check the exhaust vents and wipe out any accumulated dust and debris.
 
RAKES:
 
Clean off any dead leaves from the prongs. Remove sap by using spraying WD-40 and wipe clean with a cloth.
 
GARDEN HOSES:
 
Drain any excess water out of the hose. Garden hoses will freeze and crack if they are not completely drained. To do this, unhook the hose from the faucet. Then start with the end of the hose and hold it vertically, section-by-section, and watch the water drip out of the nozzle. Coil the hose, making sure there are no kinks, and store in the garage for the winter.
 
GARDEN TOOLS:
 
Use a wire brush or steel wool to remove any dried dirt. Residue speeds up the rusting process, so be sure to completely clean the tool. If any of your tools already have accumulated rust, use a piece of steel wool to scrape it away.
 
If your tools have wooden handles, you can use wax or linseed oil to prevent the wood from splitting during subzero temps. If the tool has a metal blade, sharpen using a file. Store the tools in a dry spot in the garage, away from any moisture sources.
 
Taking simple, preventive steps before winter hits can extend the life of your garden tools. You’ll save money and prevent the headache of shopping for new garden tools when springtime arrives. As soon as spring fever hits, you’ll be ready to tackle the outdoor chores!
 
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