Yard and Garden: Storing Garden Supplies and Tools

October 25, 2018, 10:40 am | Richard Jauron, Willy Klein

AMES, Iowa – The strawberry beds are covered with mulch, chicken wire is around the young trees and the hybrid-tea roses are covered with several inches of soil and straw for the winter. Next gardening task is to store supplies and tools for the winter. Horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offer a few late fall storage tips. 

garden tools hanging on wall kdshutterman/stock.adobe.com.How should I prepare my garden tools for winter?  

Proper care of garden tools and equipment prolongs their lifetime, prevents costly repairs and improves their performance. In fall, remove caked-on soil from shovels, spades, hoes and rakes with a wire brush or stiff putty knife. Wash the tools with a strong stream of water, then dry. Sharpen the blades of hoes, shovels and spades. Wipe the metal surfaces with an oily rag or spray with WD-40. Sand rough wooden handles, then wipe with linseed oil to prevent drying and cracking. Hang or store the tools in a dry location. Drain water from garden hoses. To prevent kinking, store hoses on reels or coil and place on a flat surface.  

How should I store garden pesticides over winter?  

Keep pesticides in their original containers (with labels attached) and store them in a dry, secure location, such as a locked cabinet. Most pesticides should be stored at temperatures between 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not allow granular materials to get wet or liquid products to freeze. Moisture may cause granular products to cake. Freezing of liquid pesticides may reduce their effectiveness. Freezing temperatures may also cause some containers to break. Keep pesticides away from food, animal feed and flammable materials. See the product label for specific storage recommendations.  

What is the best way to store an opened bag of lawn fertilizer?  

Store lawn and garden fertilizers in their original bags or containers so you will know the content and analysis of the product next season. Store granular fertilizers in a dry location. Granular products may absorb moisture from the air, causing them to cake like cement. An excellent way to store opened bags of lawn and garden fertilizers is to place the bags in large containers, such as 5-gallon buckets, and cover with tight-sealing lids. 

garden calendar cover.2019 Garden Calendar – Gardens through the Season

Whether it's flowers, fruits, vegetables, trees, turfgrass or annual chores, the 2019 Garden Calendar provides tips on a variety of topics so gardening tasks are easily scheduled. Gardeners may refer to the monthly tips for timely cultural information for fruits and vegetables, lawn care recommendations, as well as tree and shrub guidance. The large calendar grid offers space to create a gardening journal to record the garden progress.

Purchase calendars from a local county extension office or order online from the Extension Store.


PHOTO: Garden Tools, credit kdshutterman/stock.adobe.com

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