Winter is here! Well, at least for the rest of the country it is. For those of you who are bundling up in thermals and earmuffs, here are some ways to get your tools ready for winter storage.
Clean and inspect your wheelbarrow. If you see any rust, sand the spot down to bare metal and paint. Spray paint works well, or if you aren’t worried about looks, grab whatever extra paint you have on hand in the garage. The weeds won’t care.
Care for tools with wood handles. The fastest way to ruin these tools is to leave them outdoors. Sun and rain can cause the wood to warp, split, or rot. If you have left tools outside in the past, sand any rough spots and apply a bit of linseed oil to keep the wood from cracking.
Clean your tools before putting them away. This applies to daily use as well as winter storage. You want to prevent any moisture from causing rust. If you see any rust, scrub it off with a wire brush or steel wool. Give it a shot of rust-preventing primer to save you from having to do the same thing next year.
Sharpen the blades of cutting tools. I haven’t done this myself and am not sure if I’ll try it or have a professional do it. Seems like the kind of thing I’d learn best by watching someone (as opposed to reading about it).
Remember, those seed catalogs will be here in a couple of months and you’ll be itching to get outside. Take care of your tools now so they’ll be ready when you are!