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Top Garden Tool Tips for Winter

Get a jump-start on spring by tending to garden tools this winter.

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Photo: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Garden Tools

Dedicate some time while the snow flies to getting your tools in shape. Time spent on tool maintenance in the garden’s off-season gives you more time to garden when spring arrives. Learn what you should do to put your tools in top working order.

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Photo: Tomas Espinoza

Clean Cutting Tools

Clean blades of cutting tools, like pruners and loppers. For large chunks of dried sap, scrape blades using a piece of metal with a straight edge. If pruners have sticky pitch or sap residue, wipe blades using a cloth dampened with paint thinner. Once blades are clean, dry them with a clean cotton rag.

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Photo: Image courtesy of Gardener's Supply Company

Garden Gloves

Now is the perfect time to clean up garden gloves. Nitrile-coated gloves can be hand washed or tossed in the washer and line dried. Slip your hands into gloves to inspect for holes. Recycle worn gloves as scarecrows or garden fence ornaments. Brush dried soil from leather gloves. If seams are splitting, consider sewing them to extend the wear.

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Photo: Image courtesy of

Repair Hoses

If your hose leaked last summer, replace washers now. For hoses on hose reels that have developed a leak, bring them into a warm basement or garage area with a drain and make the necessary repairs now. You may need to remove the hose from the reel to replace washers inside the hose-reel connection. For hose splits, purchase a repair kit and tackle the job now. If hoses are stored in an unheated shed, bring them into a warm spot for a few hours so they’re flexible and easier to handle.

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