Prepare Equipment and Tools for Winter

I am concerned about what happens to my equipment and tools over winter. I have difficulty starting my mower and trimmer after winter storage. My hand tools get rusty. Could you make some suggestions about how to prepare them for winter?

Equipment and tools should be stored in a dry place for the winter. Metal parts rust quickly when exposed to moisture. One way to give extra protection is to spray metal surfaces with WD-40. Both hand tools and tiller and mower blades can be sprayed.

Wooden handles of tools can be wiped with linseed oil to keep them from drying and cracking. Even WD-40 is helpful, but does not penetrate wood like linseed oil.

Small engines on mowers, trimmers, blowers and tillers can become clogged with shellac-like residue in the carburetor if they sit several months without being run. The best way to prevent problems is to drain fuel from the tank and run the engine until all fuel in the lines and carburetor are used. You may also want to dispose of left over gasoline and start with fresh fuel next spring.

November is a good time to get equipment sharpened and serviced so it is ready to go when spring comes. Equipment dealers are often very busy in the spring, causing long waits for servicing.

If you are considering new equipment, look at the new combination models. I recently purchased a single engine body with several attachments, including a blower, edger, trimmer and small pole chain saw.

Hoses should be unfastened from faucets. Water collects in faucets connected to hoses and can freeze and break them. Insulated faucet protectors are available to place over faucets for the winter. Hoses should be drained of water and stored inside for the winter because alternate freezing and thawing can cause them to crack.


Allen Wilson

Allen has been writing about gardening for over 30 years. He is a retired professor of Horticulture.

Scroll to top