With winter just around the corner, have you put any thoughts into garden equipment storage and maintenance? If you are like most families in the UK with garden tools, furniture and other equipment outside, you may want to sit down, grab a cuppa and continue reading for some expert advice. You’ll thank us later!
Garden Equipment Storage And Maintenance
Every year we write about garden equipment storage and preparation tips as the UK winter can be especially harsh on anything exposed to the elements. Whether you’re an avid gardener or just relaxing in the garden, not taking care of your equipment can be costly down the line. Here is some basic advice you should follow for garden equipment storage and maintenance.
Clean Tools Before Storage
Before you pack anything away, make sure you clean your shovels, rakes and other garden tools. We recommend using a hard brush and a little soapy water to remove dirt and grime. If you don’t clean it properly, it could lead to rust and decay, especially wood handles and metal blades.
A good scrubbing not only makes your tools look better but it increases their lifespan. Whilst cleaning is important, you should also apply a light coat of oil to all exposed metal areas. This will keep help keep moisture from forming and prevent rust in the process.
A popular garden equipment storage tip is to keep things in a dry area and ideally hanging from the wall, rafter or tool rack. Storing garden equipment this way keeps tools from collecting excess moisture while keeping storage areas neat and tidy.
Sharpening Your Tools
Now that everything is cleaned and prepared for winter storage, you should sharpen your shears, clippers, pruners, and even shovels. If you do it properly now, preparing your garden for next spring will be so much easier and faster.
Whilst you can get your tools sharpened, why not get your own file or sharpening stone online? This will cost you much less in the long-run and you can keep your garden tools in excellent condition all-year-round.
As with your hand tools, apply a thin coating of vegetable oil to any metal surfaces to protect them throughout the winter. You should also take this time to lubricate the joints and hinges with a good 3-in-1 oil or WD 40.
Power Tools And Garden Equipment
Remember to include lawnmowers, powered trimmer or hedge cutter as part of the garden equipment storage process. Make sure you clean all power tools and equipment properly before putting anything away. The way you take care of your equipment now will determine how well they work next spring. Here are some simple maintenance tips you should follow to the letter:
- Change the oil in all gas-powered equipment before storage
- Let the engine run for 15 minutes to heat any sludge before draining
- Don’t let it sit all winter as sludge can harder and cause engine trouble
- Grease all joints, bolts and vulnerable parts of the equipment against rust
- Empty the fuel tank before storage by either tilting the machine mower and using a plastic can or run the engine until empty
- Make sure you thoroughly clean your trimmer around the base to ensure there is no remaining grass or dirt
Garden Furniture Preparation And Storage Tips
Garden equipment storage goes hand-in-hand with outdoor furniture, from wood and aluminium to metal and wicker. Regardless of the furniture type, it’s important to clean everything before putting it into away and here we’re summarised some simple preparation and storage tips.
Treating And Storing Wooden Furniture
Clean your wooden garden furniture with a specialist wood cleaner and use a soft brush. Then, wipe away any excess substance with a clean, dry cloth until the furniture is completely dry. Once clean and dry, varnish with a wood-treatment to form a protective layer to strengthen your furniture during extended storage.
Treating And Storing Metal Furniture
It’s important to clean metal garden furniture with warm soapy water and a clean, soft cloth. From there, rinse the cloth thoroughly after cleaning and ensure all pieces are completely dry. It is advisable to rub car wax onto the surface with another soft cloth and buff when it’s dry. It will act as an added layer of protection during moving and storage.
Treating And Storing Rattan And Wicker Furniture
Rattan and wicker furniture is slightly more challenging but a vacuum cleaner and the relevant fitting can really get into the weaves. Use a soft dust cloth to remove any excess dirt and wipe the furniture down gently with a damp cloth. From there, remember to dry it using a soft, micro-fibre cloth.
Treating And Storing Plastic Furniture
Plastic garden furniture is by far the easiest to clean and store. Simply wash with warm soapy water and dry with a soft cloth. For those with white plastic furniture, fill a bucket with one gallon of warm water and three tablespoons of dishwasher detergent. Use a sponge and the solution to wipe the plastic patio furniture. Leave the solution on the furniture for about 15 minutes and then rinse off properly to prevent erosion. The bleach in the detergent will help whiten the furniture to its former glory.
Recommended Article: ‘Definitive Guide To Garden Furniture Preparation’
What’s The Best Garden Equipment Storage Solution?
You don’t need a big garage or garden shed to keep your garden tools, equipment and furniture safe as you can easily rent a self storage unit. You may wonder why this is this such a popular option for garden equipment storage but it’s quite simple really. First off, it’s much cheaper than you think and secondly, you will save so much space at home you won’t know what to do with it.
You can rent a short-term self storage unit for the winter months and then simply end the rental agreement until you need it again. There’s always a risk of damage or theft when keeping things at home and self storage will almost always come out on top when weighing up the cost of replacing expensive garden equipment.