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How to Clean, Prep, and Store Your Garden Tools This Fall

17th Nov 2016

Could your gardening tools use a little TLC before they are stowed away for the winter? Take the time to clean and store them properly now, in the fall, and they'll be ready and waiting for you in the springtime. That way, when you get the itch to start spring planting, you can jump right in instead of wasting time cleaning last year's grit off your tools.

Power Washing

First, gather up the spades, hoes, rakes, shears, and other tools and line them up on your patio. With the hose attachment on a high-power setting, spray those tools down until most of the accumulated dirt and grit washes away. If there is clay soil clinging stubbornly to your tools, grab a putty knife and chip away until it's gone.

Sap Removal

Is there sap caked along the edges of your shears, pruners, or loppers? With a little fine steel wool and some rubbing alcohol, it should come right off.

Rubbing Out the Dents

Check your trowels, shovels, and spades for dents along the edges. You can use a fine file or a honing tool to smooth out those problem areas.

Sharpening the Blades

Use your honing tool again to sharpen any tools with blades. Work with the natural angle or bevel of the blade, and be careful while you are working.

Smoothing the Handles

Run your hands over the handles of your rakes, loppers, and other implements. Are the handles rough and uncomfortable to touch? Grab some sandpaper and smooth those surfaces, then rub them down with linseed oil to ensure that the wood stays moist enough and does not crack or split during the cold months.

Oiling the Tools

Once you're all done cleaning and sharpening, use a clean, dry cloth to rub the metal parts of your tools lightly with WD-40 or vegetable oil. The oil will keep them from getting stiff or developing a layer of rust and grime during the winter.

Do you want some help with debris removal, lawn reseeding or fertilization, or other important tasks to get your outdoor space ready for winter? Contact us at Kurtz Bros., Inc. We're ready to help you out with the supplies and services you need.