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Prepare Your Garden Tools for The Winter. With Helpful Tips

As the winter season approaches, the last thing you want to think about is your gardening tools, especially with the upcoming holidays. However, planning and having your gardening tools cleaned and stored correctly is the only way to ensure they do not rust when the cold weather sets in later. Since gardening tools aren’t cheap, there is no better time to winterize your tools than now, to increase their longevity.

Prepare Your Garden Tools for The Winter:

Preparing power tools for the winter differs from tool to tool, but generally involves cleaning them thoroughly, check for damages, sharpen and store them in a dry place. When gas is left in the tank, a stabilizer should be added. Handheld Gardening Tools also need to be cleaned thoroughly and need oiling.

The preparation is not as complicated as you might tend to think since most of these tools can last for years if well-maintained and stored. From your lawnmowers to shears and shovels, cleaning them thoroughly, disinfecting, and oiling these tools increase their lifespan during winter, as you await spring. After the gardening is done, have an inventory of the tools and supplies that you might need the next season to know the best ways to prepare them for winter.

If you are stuck and have no idea where to start when preparing your tools for a winter rest, read on to know some of the best tactics of taking care of your gardening tools before the winter season begins.

1.  Safety Precaution

You should have your working gloves, glasses, and other safety equipment needed to avoid accidents if the machine accidentally started running. All the gardening tools have safety precautions, so read the manuals before you begin to winterize your garden equipment.

2. Gardening Power Tools

Your motorized power tools should be well taken care of during this period by taking the necessary precautions before storage. Below are a few power tools you should prepare for winter, and the best tactics for doing that include:

● Winterizing your Garden Tiller

Tillers are the ideal tools for aerating your lawn or garden so that your plants get enough water and nutrients, leading to optimal growth. The best way to prepare this tool for winter is:

  • Drain the fuel: Use the tiller until the fuel is finished, but if that does not happen, then drain it.
  • Clean: Clean the tiller’s body by washing off the pieces of plants stuck in the machine.
  • Check the blades: Look at the condition of the blades to determine if they need to be sharpened or replaced.
  • Check the tires: Ensure the tires are of optimal weight and well-pumped before storing the machine.
  • Check the bolts and nuts: Look at the bolts and nuts to ensure they are lubricated and well-tightened so that the levers can move without issues.

● Winterizing your Lawnmower

These are perhaps some of the unique home tools, and keeping them in good shape during winter is critical. However, you should pay attention to lots of parts when storing the equipment during winter.

  • Spark plug: Disconnect the spark plug wire and remove the oil from your mower.
  • Clean: Thoroughly clean your mower to ensure there is no debris or plants suck in the mower’s blades.
  • Mowing deck: Clean the mowing deck by scraping it well and rinsing it using a hose to remove mosses and grass clippings stuck in this section.
  • Sharpen: Sharpen the mower blade but if it is too damaged, consider replacing it.
  • Air filters: Look at the air filters and if they are in a bad state, consider replacing them with a new set.

If you decide to keep the mower with fuel in the tank, add some fuel stabilizer to keep it fresh during that period. Keep your lawnmower away from corrosive chemicals and cleaners as they could cause harm if not kept in a safe distance.

● Winterizing your String Trimmer or Weedwacker

Now that the grass trimming season is over, you need to clean and store your trimmers or weedwacker in the right place. The proper care is best done if you understand the type of machine you have and follow a few of the company’s guidelines.

  • Check the fasteners: For an electric trimmer, check the fasteners and ensure all the straps are in good condition before storage.
  • Sharpen: Sharpen the blades and clean the string heads.
  • Storing: Store your string strimmer by placing it in a dry and clean area.

● Preparation for All Your Power Tools

Whether you want to store your tractors, string trimmers, lawnmowers, or any other power tools, it is best to ensure that you remove the fuel before storing them. That is because the fuel gums up during winter, which could affect how your engine runs. If you choose to leave it in the machine, add a fuel stabilizer. Grease the joints of different tools since it helps protect them from rust over the winter period.

3. Handheld Gardening Tools

Your collection of handheld gardening tools ranges from garden forks to pruners and rakes, which must also be winterized on time through taking these precautionary measures:

● Cleaning and Drying Your Tools:

Start by soaking your tools in a bucket with warm water to loosen the soil. Use a scrubbing tool to remove the plant materials and other dirt from the tools, then rinse and let them dry.

● Sharpening:

Sharpen the tools in a single direction until you see shiny metal. It is more efficient to use a whetstone to sharpen pruners and loppers than a file. If the blades are too nicked-up, it is time to replace them.

● Sterilize:

Disinfect your tools before storage using bleach like hydrogen peroxide or running alcohol on the tools. It prevents you from accidentally spreading plant pests and diseases around your home.

● Oiling:

Seasoning with some oil is the only way to ensure your gardening tools do not rust. There are different oils to consider, including motor oil, but the best options are:

  • Tung Or Linseed Oils: These oils dry quickly, and coating your wood handles with them helps to repel dirt and moisture, hence keeping the handles strong.
  • Coconut or Walnut Oil: The oils work best at room temperature, making it easy to penetrate the wooden handles.
  • The tools’ metallic parts should also be oiled, but you can use any oil for that, including vegetable oil. It stops the formation of rust spots and keeps your tools looking amazing.

4. Other Gardening Tools

If you have other gardening tools such as sprayers and hoses, getting them winterized on time is all that matters. Wash the sprayers with soapy water using a brush and sponge. The soapy water should also be flushed through the lines and then rinse them with clean water. Let the sprayers dry before storing them. For the gardening hoses, drain and mend the leaks with a hose repair tape before storing them. Check the hoses’ ends to see if they need a replacement, then coil them before keeping these tools in your storage unit.

5. Storage

Your storage is mainly dependent on where you live and the storage buildings available. All your gardening tools, whether motorized, handheld, or any other type, should be kept in well-ventilated rooms to avoid dampness and ensure free air circulation. Ideally, keep these items in a dry location by hanging or keeping them in a bucket full of sand and oil mixture. It keeps your tools clean and is an ideal strategy of protecting them from rust. Some of the options are:

● In your Barn:

Such places have enough space and ventilation, allowing air circulation, preventing the area from being damp. Moisture makes your wooden handles brittle and causes your metallic tools to rust. Your small tools like rakes and trowels can be stored on a pegboard, while the big ones can be hung on the wall.

● Toolshed:

If you do not have a barn, tool sheds should be your ultimate storage solution. These storage units vary in size, and that depends on how much storage space is needed. Pick a shed made from galvanized steel as it can withstand the winter season and is resistant to rotting, unlike its wood counterpart. Add cat litter or charcoal briquettes in your shed to absorb moisture and keep the place dry.

● Compact Storage:

If you lack enough space in your home, look for tool organizers or cupboards to store the handheld tools. You can also make a tool organizer through buying a few hooks and hangers for your garage.

Switch off the cordless tools before storage and also remove the batteries. Keep the batteries in a warm place where the temperatures will not drop below freezing levels, such as on the wood surface, to avoid unexpected failures. Ensure you follow the cleaning and storage instructions as per the manufacturers’ guide when storing your gardening tools for the winter.


● Can You Store Your Garden Tools Outside During Winter?

The best advice would be to perhaps get the right storage facility instead of hanging your tools outside. Proper tool storage will protect them from moisture and ensure they stay effective for years.

Final remarks

Your gardening tools need a little TLC during the offseason; therefore, cleaning and storing them in a cool, dry place means that you will comfortably use them in the spring season. It will take a couple of hours to winterize your tools if you have a few of them, but if you have an extensive collection, you need a couple of days to finish prepping them for the season. However, the rewards are so many that you cannot ignore properly taking care of these precious gadgets before storing them. After all, you will be using the same tools in spring to carry out different gardening tasks.

  1. Lucy Kuhn says:

    Thank you for stressing the importance of preparing the tools for winter storage

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your kind words! Winterizing tools is crucial for their longevity. I’m glad you found the information helpful. Enjoy the holidays!

  2. Kenneth Freeman says:

    I wonder if I can leave some tools outside if I cover them properly?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Kenneth, storing your tools outside is not advisable. It’s best to clean, sharpen, and store them in a dry place for the winter. Proper maintenance will ensure their longevity.

  3. Sharlene Ray says:

    The section on storage options was very helpful in planning where to keep my tools

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Sharlene Ray! I’m glad the storage options were helpful in planning for your tools. Proper maintenance ensures they last for years. Happy gardening!

  4. Carl Johnson says:

    Great tips, I never thought about winterizing my gardening tools before

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Carl! Winterizing your tools is crucial to ensure they last. Remember, a little prep now saves you time and money later on. Enjoy the holiday season!

  5. Brooklyn Lee says:

    Are there any specific tools I should avoid oiling to prevent damage?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      To avoid damage, avoid oiling any areas that have rubber or plastic parts, as the oil can cause deterioration. Focus on oiling metallic parts and handles instead.

  6. Stacey Hoffman says:

    I never realized how important it is to properly clean and maintain gardening tools

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your comment, Stacey! Properly cleaning and maintaining gardening tools can definitely increase their longevity. It’s a simple step that can make a big difference when it comes to preserving your tools for future use.

  7. Brian Anderson says:

    What’s the best way to drain the fuel from power tools before winter storage?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Brian, before storing power tools for the winter, be sure to drain the fuel and add a stabilizer. Keep them clean and dry in a safe place to prevent rust. Enjoy the holidays!

  8. Tracy Herrera says:

    I never thought about the importance of disinfecting my gardening tools, thanks for the tip

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Tracy. Proper maintenance of tools is key to their longevity. Enjoy your gardening and have a wonderful holiday season!

  9. Chester Chapman says:

    Is there a way to make the winterizing process quicker for those with many tools?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Chester, start by cleaning and oiling your tools to prevent rust during winter. Store them in a dry place to increase their longevity. Hope this helps!

  10. Eric Elliott says:

    I appreciate the detailed explanation on how to winterize different types of tools

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Eric! I’m glad you found the winterizing tips helpful. Keeping our tools in good condition during the winter ensures they’ll be ready for use come springtime.

  11. Constance Cook says:

    I’m excited to try out the tips for winterizing my gardening tools this year

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Constance! Taking care of your gardening tools now will pay off in the spring. Enjoy the winter rest knowing your tools will be ready for action when needed.

  12. Tonya Rodriquez says:

    I feel more confident about winterizing my gardening tools after reading this article

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Tonya! I’m glad you found the article helpful. Best of luck with winterizing your gardening tools – it’s definitely worth the effort to protect your tools for the upcoming season.

  13. Karl Meyer says:

    I never knew I had to clean and store my gardening tools in a specific way for winter

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Karl, it’s important to properly maintain your gardening tools to ensure longevity. Now that you know how to prepare them for winter, you’ll have them ready to go for next spring!

  14. Russell Graham says:

    Can I use any type of oil for the metal parts of my gardening tools?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, you can use any type of oil for the metal parts of your gardening tools to prevent rust during the winter season. Happy gardening!

  15. Cherly Lowe says:

    How often should I oil my gardening tools to prevent rust?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Cheryl, to prevent rust on your gardening tools, oil them after cleaning and before storing for the winter. This will help increase their longevity.

  16. Tomothy Peck says:

    Can I use regular motor oil to oil my gardening tools?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, you can use regular motor oil to oil your gardening tools, but coconut or walnut oil may be better options for wood handles. Make sure to clean and store your tools properly to increase their longevity.

  17. Camila Lee says:

    How do I know if my gardening tools are damaged and need replacement before winter?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Camila, to know if your gardening tools need replacement before winter, clean and inspect for damages. Store them in a dry place. Proper maintenance increases longevity.

  18. Ian Weaver says:

    This article was so informative, I feel more prepared for winter now

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Ian! I’m glad you found the article informative. It’s essential to prepare your gardening tools for winter to ensure they last longer. Happy gardening!

  19. Alicia Mitchelle says:

    Thank you for the video links, they were very helpful in understanding the process

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Alicia! I’m glad the videos were helpful in preparing your gardening tools for winter. Happy gardening and enjoy the upcoming holidays!

  20. Gabriella Thompson says:

    Is it necessary to sharpen the tools before winter storage?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, it is necessary to sharpen your gardening tools before winter storage to increase their longevity and ensure they are ready for use in the spring. Happy gardening!

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