While there’s not much happening in the garden during winter, it’s the perfect time to head to the shed and give your garden tools a bit of TLC. An afternoon of sharpening, oiling, greasing and cleaning will have your garden tools ready to go for the busy times of spring and summer ahead.
Start by giving your secateurs and shears a clean with steel wool and oil. This will remove any rust and built up grime. If they can be easily disassembled, or more importantly re-assembled, take them apart and get right into the mechanism of the tool. Sharpen the blades with either a sharpening stone or a fine file. Before putting them back together, give them a once over with lubricating spray.
Steel wool and oil will clean up your digging tools as well. If it’s been a while since they’ve been looked after, you might have to remove any built-up rust and dirt with a wire brush first. If the edge has become dull, give it a quick sharpen with a file to make digging and dividing plants easier. Wooden handles should be given a light sand followed with a dose of linseed oil applied with a rag.
Before doing any work on your mower, disconnect the spark plug to prevent accidental starting. Turn the mower over and drain any unused fuel. Give the inside of the body a quick clean to remove any gunk. Remove the blades and sharpen them with a file. If they have any large dings, buy a new pair and fit them. If the mower engine hasn’t been running well, replace the spark plug and air filter. Make sure you take the old ones with you when you buy so you get the right replacements.
Remove the batteries from your cordless tools and check the amount of charge in them. To ensure a longer life for your batteries, store them at about 40% of capacity. This’ll still give you a little bit of charge in case that odd job pops up.