- Empty all gas-powered tools, including mowers, string trimmers, and edgers.
- Tackle mower maintenance now so you can start mowing in spring without a hitch. Sharpen the blade and replace the air filter, if needed.
- Send out riding mowers for service now to avoid the spring waiting list.
- Clean metal trowels, shovels, and spades. Sharpen digging edges, and scour rust off tools. Apply a thin layer of oil to metal parts to prevent rust.
- Sharpen all pruners and cutting tools. Apply oil to moving parts and joints.
- Paint tool handles with bright colors to make them easier to spot in the garden.
- Rub linseed oil into wooden handles after first giving them a light sanding.
Test Garden Tip: Fuel your snow blower. Give it a test start to make sure it's ready for the season. Lay in a supply of plant- and surface-friendly ice melt. Store at least a small amount in an accessible place -- in the house or attached garage, not in a shed.
Continued on page 5: Long-Term Storage