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As the harsh weather nears, many gardeners take the time to prepare their garden beds and flower plots to withstand the harshness of the winter. The end of fall is also a good time to clean your garden tools properly and put them in safe storage. Here are a few tips to help you do so.

Clean Your Tools Thoroughly

Before you put your garden tools in storage, make sure that you have cleaned them thoroughly. Don’t allow soil and garden debris to remain on your tools over the winter. Doing so might damage their surface and usability while destroying the integrity of your tools.

Remove Signs of Rust

If any of your tools are already showing signs of rust, take the time to move it now before you store your tools over the winter. Use a piece of sandpaper offering a fine grade to gently rub the area that has rusted. If your gardening shears have rusted, rub them gently with a pasty mixture of cream of tartar and lemon juice.

Allow Your Tools to Dry

While thorough cleaning of your garden tools is important, so is allowing them to dry completely before putting them away.

Store Your Tools Properly

The best way to prevent your tools from rusting over the winter is to store them in a container filled with a mix of oil and sand. Otherwise, you might want to consider hanging them on a peg board or storing them safely in a large bin or cabinet.

Clean Your Garden Gloves

Before you put your gloves away for the winter, give them a good washing. If they are still in usable condition, put them away in a secure location where rodents can’t get to them over the winter. Fix any minor tears now to keep your gloves in good shape.

Clean Your Garden Pots

If you have terracotta pots to store, clean them thoroughly with water using a soft brush or clean rag. For pots with white stains created by salt in your water or soil, clean them with a solution of water, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol to remove the damage.

Clean Garden Accessories

Take the time to clean and dry all of your other garden accessories, including tomato cages, watering cans, plant stakes, and measuring cups. Doing so makes it possible for you to continue using these items for many growing seasons.

Wash And Store Heavy Equipment

Use a good car wash hose brush to clean you mower, tractor, chipper, dump truck or any heavy piece of machinery that will not be in use over winter. Store these under cover if possible and you’ll be able to do some basic maintenance work on them and not get too wet and dirty!

If you love gardening or farming, then you understand the value of maintaining your tools while you are not using them. To ensure your tools are ready for your next growing season, put aside an afternoon specifically dedicated to the proper cleaning, drying, and storing of your equipment before you settle in for the winter.

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