It’s always easy not to bother with your garden tools as the cold nights come and it’s dark not long after 4.00, this is only human nature, however, you can end up regretting this in the Spring. With the cost of garden tools and lawn mowers stored in your garden shed it pays to take good care of them as it often does not take very long in real terms. By doing so you can make these garden tools last much longer, it will make them easier to use and save you money which has to be a good thing. Your lawnmower should not go into your shed until is have been thoroughly cleaned and you can use a hose to rinse off the worse of any caked on grass and mud. You may have to get some form of scraper from your shed or garage if it too hard. When you have done this dry the lawn mower off with an old cloth and then spray with WD40. This will ensure that the mower will be nice and clean for the 1st cutting in Spring. If it’s an electric mower check over the cable to ensure there are no breaks in the wire, if it’s a petrol mower then empty the fuel tank of any fuel before you put it away nice and dry in your shed.
As far as your other garden tools are concerned you need to take the same sort of action. As these tend to be much smaller you can often do this in your shed where it’s not quite so cold. Take a look at your barbecue and clean off those fatty remains as this will only get worse. If you can’t face this just think forward to the summer where you will be able to have few more burnt sausages, rock hard half cooked burgers and crusty rolls all swilled down with some of the amber nectar.
As I say it a good time to give your gardening tools a good scrub so it will lengthen the life of these items. Mud left on the spade, trowels and secateurs can blunt the their blades and make them less effective and harder to work in the garden. Another bit of cleaning advice is to use linseed oil and old newspapers and cloths which often will be found in sheds. The wooden handles should be wiped clean before putting a wood oil on or sanded down if there are splinters showing. This will ensure that come this spring they will be in pristine condition and will be a pleasure to use (relatively speaking). Oil can be rubbed onto any metal surface after sanding off any rust and this will help the life span of these garden tools as well.
When you put these away in your garden shed try to ensure that they are raised up off the ground a little and so that air can circulate as this will help to keep them dry. However, in most garden sheds, unless you have a monster 20X12 shed, there is not room for this so getting them as dry as possible and coated with a little oil will ensure your garden shed will bear the brunt of the winter weather.
It is also suggested that gardeners should deal with weeds, such as thistles and dandelions during the winter months as this is the time when it’s easier to get rid of them. In most sheds there will be a range of weed killers to help with this job. However, if weed killers are in the shed ensure that the shed door is kept locked to keep children out.
After a fire in a 20X12 shed in Douglas Isle of Man, which spread engulfing a van, the Isle of Man Fire Service issued a warning against keeping gas cylinders in garden sheds. This fire happened at about 3.00 BST this Tuesday and took fire crews more that 3 hours to put out. The shed and a van was ‘well alight’ when the Fire Service arrived, at Linden Gardens.
The Fire Service spokesperson said that he urged ‘home occupiers to ensure that no large amount of fuel or gas cylinders are stored in sheds’. Along with the other inflammables, such as paint, crescote which is banned, and other bit and pieces, there is a substantial risk to property if care is not taken. The cause of the fire is unknown at present and fortunately no one was hurt in the incident.
Meanwhile down in Brighton an house was evacuated after a garden workshop was destroyed. Arson was suspected in this case in an adjoining property. Fire crews led the home occupants to safety after smoke from a blazing shed and play equipment in the garden filled their home in Barcombe Road.
The house from where the fire spread was empty as the owners were believed to be away on holiday. The fire had started about 2.30 in the morning. Thankfully the Fire Service put out the fire, cleared the smoke from nearby and informed the police.
This just goes to show that we need to be aware of the dangers of the various items which we store in our sheds even one as large as 20ft x 12ft. These shed tend to be a dumping ground for all manner of items, which we keep ‘just in case’.