Prepare Your Landscaping Equipment for Winter Storage

As fall draws to an end, it’s time to store all of your landscaping equipment for the winter. Quality landscaping and gardening tools and equipment are costly. It’s important to take the time to properly clean and store them at the end of the season so that they are ready to use in the spring. Proper care and storage will also help prolong the life of your equipment.

The key to proper storage is to establish an organizational system for your tools. Group and store them by function to make them easy to find and easy to return to the proper place.

Before you put any of your tools into storage, take time to clean and condition them. Start by removing any caked-on or dried dirt using a wire brush. It may help to let them soak first. After they’ve been cleaned, rinse them off and allow them to dry thoroughly.

Don’t overlook the wooden handles on your tools. They should also be inspected and repaired. Look for splinters, cracks, breaks, or areas of rough texture. Rough or weathered handles can be smoothed with a medium-grit emery cloth. An emery cloth is more durable than sandpaper. Don’t try to tape or glue a handle that is broken. On high-quality tools, it may be worthwhile to replace the handle. Once you have made any necessary repairs to your handles, cover them with a light coating of linseed oil or paste wax to preserve them and protect them from cracking or splitting.

Small tools, like hand trowels, can be stored in a bucket of sand soaked in linseed oil to provide additional protection against rust. Larger tools, like hand rakes, and sharp tools should be hung by the handle for safe storage.

Blades on tools that dig or cut need to be sharpened or replaced before storing them for the season. You can use a file or a whetstone to sharpen them. Rust spots should be sanded off using fine sandpaper or steel wool. After they have been cleaned and sharpened, use a lubricant or protectant to coat the blades and other metal surfaces.

If left outside over the winter, water hoses can freeze and burst or develop other damage. Be sure to properly drain them, coil them and store them indoors and out of the weather. If they have any leaks, repair them with a hose repair kit before storing them for the season. These repair kits can be found at most home improvement stores.

Your mower may be your most expensive piece of equipment, so it is imperative that you properly prepare it for storage and prevent the need for costly repairs in the spring. First, drain the gas from it before you store it for the winter. This can be done by running the motor until it runs out of gas and the motor stops. Next, change the oil and remove the spark plugs. Without connecting the ignition cable, reinstall the spark plugs, or replace them with new ones if needed. Then add a small amount of oil to the crankcase. Once you’re finished, clean the engine and the frame of the mower thoroughly, including the underside, to remove any grass clippings and dirt. Be sure to clean and sharpen the blades, as instructed above, to help prevent them from rusting.

Remove the battery and charge it completely before storing any battery-powered equipment, like tractors or riding mowers. It’s a good idea to charge it again at least once before spring to make sure it’s ready to use. Before storing it, clean it thoroughly to remove dirt and debris. Battery-powered equipment should be stored indoors, out of the elements, in a garage, shed, or self storage unit.

All that lawn and landscaping equipment can take up a lot of space, especially if you have large items like garden tractors. If your garage can no longer accommodate your car, it might be time to consider other storage options. A self storage unit from AAA Self Storage of Lansing is a great option for storing equipment, especially items you use infrequently. A storage unit will keep your equipment safe and secure while protecting it from the elements. When you’re ready to use it again in the spring, it can be easily accessed. Best of all, it will clear room in the garage for your car before the snow and ice arrive.

A self storage unit provides adequate space to properly organize and store your tools, which will help protect them from damage and make your tools easier to find when you need them. Shelves and plastic containers work great to keep all your tools organized. AAA Self Storage of Lansing has a variety of unit sizes to select from and with month-to-month leases you can store your landscape tools for the amount of time you need. A month-to-month lease also allows you to move your tools to a larger unit as you think of more items from your house to store in the unit.