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November 29, 2008

Winterizing Yard Tools

Another THANSGIVING has come and gone and with the first flurries of the snow season upon us won't belong before Christmas an the real snow storms will be here..Lawn mowers have been been stored, weeds have been sprayed and the vegetable garden and flower beds have been cleaned up.I can safely say that the 2008 gardening season is over. But, it isn't time to relax just yet. Now is an excellent time to winterize garden tools and yard equipment. A little preventative maintenance now can prevent frustration and costly repair or replacements in the future. Proper premitive maintenance also extends the life of are vauable tools and equipment and makes working with them easier and more efficient.

While water hoses don't need a great deal of care, the care that we provide is important if we want them to last. Rule one--don't kink the hose. Any kink becomes a weak point in the hose and kinks restrict water flow. Quite often the hose will crack in those locations. Store hoses on hose supports or reels or coil loosely rather than hanging them on nails. Hose supports or reels prevent sagging and kinking. Before storing hoses away for the winter, drain all the water from them and store in a dry location. Same with water rain barrels now is time to drain them.

Remove caked on dirt or vegetation from all tools using a wire brush, scraper or a strong stream of water. Lubricate all pivot points and springs. Sharpen hoes, spades, pruners, loppers and saws. Check all tools thoroughly for loose screws or nuts and tighten them accordingly. Replace or repair broken handles and other bent or broken parts. Finally, spray all bare metal parts and cutting edges with penetrating oil like WD-40 to prevent rust. Wipe wooden handles with boiled linseed oil to help prevent wood from cracking and drying. Warming the oil before use allows deeper penetration into the wood. Hang tools in their proper storage spot so you can easily find them next spring. Some time a fresh coat of out black spray pain is in order.

Sprayers used for insect, and weed control should be thoroughly washed and rinsed(Add a bit of soap an warm water) pesticides recommend rinsing atleast 2 times. This includes all parts of the sprayer from the holding tank to the nozzles. Apply oil to moving parts as required; follow the directions provided for your particular sprayer. Tip the sprayer upside down or hang upside down when not in use so that they can drain and dry thoroughly. Wheelbarrows, carts and wagons may also need some attention before winter. Clean them thoroughly and touch up paint chips with spray paint to prevent exposed steel from rusting. Grease wheels to prevent squeaking.

Just some simple tips to keep our tools around the homestead working smoothly so once again in the 2009 season everything works properly....