Once the frost point hits, our growing season in Lancaster County is over. That’s when it’s time to prepare garden tools for winter. Your garden tools worked hard during the spring, summer and fall. Now it’s time to clean your garden tools and put them in winter storage.
We’ve put together a handy guide for how to prepare your garden tools for winter. The steps are simple, but absolutely necessary if you want to keep your tools sharp and in good condition.
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Do these simple maintenance tasks to make sure your lawn mower starts next spring.
Change the oil. Old oil contains all kinds of things that could corrode the engine over the winter. After changing the oil, let the lawn mower run for a few minutes to coat all the parts.
Drain or fill up the gas. Check your owner’s manual to see if your gas tank should be completely empty or completely full over the winter.
Chipper / Shredder
Clean out debris. Make sure no soggy leaves or branch bits sit inside your shredder or chipper over the winter. They could corrode or gum up your machine.
Brush off grass and debris. Scrub stubborn sections with a toothbrush or use a degreaser to clean it up.
Unplug the cord. If you have an electric weed trimmer, unplug it and wrap the cord around a large piece of cardboard or a plastic wheel to avoid tangling.
Empty the gas tank. If you have a gas-powered weed trimmer, empty the gas tank. Garden Guides has instructions for how to empty the gas tank.
Remove the spark plug. The spark plug for your electric weed trimmer should be replaced every year. Remove it now and install a new one in the spring.
Drain the oil. Just like in mowers, the oil in weed trimmers at the end of the season are full of small particles. Completely drain the oil, then replace it next spring with fresh oil.
Replace all caps loosely. Leave caps loose so they don’t create a vacuum seal.
Hang the trimmer upright on a hook, or nail in a dry location.
Garden tools like spades, shovels, trowels and weed-pullers can be prepared for winter the same way.
Clean your tools. Remove all the mud and gunk from your tools before storing them. Leaving on moist soil or other debris can rust your tools over the winter. Use a wire brush on stubborn bits.
Remove rust. If you spot any rust on your tools, use sandpaper or a wire brush to scrape it off. Then, oil your tools to protect them. You can purchase special winterizing oil at your local garden center.
Sharpen your tools. Sharpen spades and shovels with a sharpening stone. You should also sharpen your pruning shears. Opening your shears and placing them in a vice is a safer and easier way to sharpen them.
Drain the hose. Completely turn off the water to the garden hose. Then, spray water until it runs dry.
Store loosely. Try not to loop your garden hose too tightly. You might create kinks or even split the hose. Just loop it loosely over a hook.
Got big plans for spring? We’d love to help you install a new patio or outdoor kitchen, or just spruce up your old flower beds and landscaping. Call us at (717) 951-5950 or contact us via this website.