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Servicing your Garden Tools for Winter (Video)

How & When to Service your Garden Tools Ready for Winter

Late November, early December is a good time to start thinking about cleaning and servicing your garden tools ready for winter. It's good practice to prevent wood from drying out and cracking (preventing broken handles) and metal from rusting.

You will need a metal rust pad, bowl of water, linseed oil, WD40 and a cloth to wipe off any dirt on your tools.


We’ve had the first frosts, so now we're going to start thinking about cleaning some tools up, and they can get stored for the winter. So the first ones we're going to look at are secateurs. So I like mine to be nice and clean. They’ve been used for pruning snags off trees, and they get black marks on the side of the main blade, it's just the sap. It's always nice to kind of get it cleaned off before winter.

So get a metal rust removal pad, which you can buy cheaply on ebay. It needs to be wet, so dip it in a bit of water. Then rub gently over the surface and the black sap should start coming off. I've got it nice and clean ready for the winter. Dry them off a bit, try not to cut yourself as you clean them up. Then get your WD40, just spray it on and give them a wipe off and that’s them done for the winter.

Next one we're going to have a quick look at is just your bog standard garden fork. So all we're going to do with this one, I'm just going to rub it down a bit and get rid of the old dirt.

You don’t need to clean it up that much. Just get rid of the old dirt off there. With the handle, if you've got the wooden handled ones, if you don't do anything with them, they tend to crack, and then they get weak. So just give it a quick wipe over and then just get some linseed oil and just rub it in. This will give the wood a bit of protection and a bit of moisture. It'll replenish it. All the way around the handle as well. Just get it in all the bits and pieces and places that you need. Once you've done that and it’s dried off, give it a quick spray over with WD40. That will repel any water - and that's ready for winter.

We've got a bulb planter that we've been using to plant some bulbs on site, so it's kind of a bit grimy at the moment. Give it a quick wash and get all the old dirt off and do exactly the same.

The oil will protect the wood from starting to split. And then do exactly the same, wait until it’s dried off a bit and then a bit of WD40 and rub it in. That’s ready for planting spring bulbs again.

If you haven't got a wooden handle, it doesn't matter. Just do exactly the same as you would do to the bottom: just get all of the mud and the rubbish off it and then just give it a wipe over, dry it off and then spray it with the WD40 all the way up the handle. It'll just protect it over winter from any moisture, anything that happens over winter. Once you come to pull it out, there's nothing worse, which happens in our house, you go to start digging the garden and it breaks.

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