Winterizing Garden Tools

By paulgrow
October 19, 2011

All of the leaves have been raked and added to the compost; frost has put all of the plants to sleep for the winter. The outdoor furniture has been covered or moved into the garage. We still have one final task to accomplish before completing our outdoor work for the season. We need to winterize those tools, both power and manual, to ensure they will be ready to go in the spring

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Avatar for rebeccag
Oct 19, 2011 9:41 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Rebecca Gardner
Gold Beach, Oregon (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 2
Just wanted to pass this along. I always had a can of wd40 in the greenhouse and used it to keep cutters, etc. from sticking. Someone told me that wd40 causes metal to rust, no wonder they are all rusty. Now I use a silicon spray instead, I had no idea wd40 caused rust on metal.
Oct 19, 2011 10:10 AM CST
Name: Paul
Allen Park, MI (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Vegetable Grower Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Roses Region: Michigan
Canning and food preservation I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Container Gardener Composter Enjoys or suffers cold winters Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Never heard that one, been using it since my navy days over 40 years ago.
Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. ~Author Unknown
Oct 19, 2011 11:38 AM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
I've been told by many gun buffs that WD-40 tends to attract and hold water, promoting corrosion if used for long-term storage..

The WD-40 website doesn't seem to agree - they claim that it prevents corrosion. Maybe the difference lies in using it for long-term storage vs. removing some water today.

I stopped using it when I found a thumbprint rusted into some blueing that had been "protected" with WD-40.

I've heard people who were positive on both sides of the WD-40 question.

It does tend to get thick and gummy and dirty even more than a thin layer of real oil does.

Now I only use WD-40 to break up rust, unfreeze a bolt, or displace water ... then I wipe it off, clean with a solvent, and relace it with real oil or silicon-based grease. I don't know what I'll do when my tube of RIG runs empty - it isn't made any more.

Some people suggest using Johnson Wax to put a hard, slick, rust-proof coating on metal. However, on a garden tool, it would be abraded opff rather quickly in use.
I love the idea of a bucket of sand plus oil, but get the metal clean (and maybe dry) before plunging it or you'll fill the oil with dirt and water.
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