Answers to your questions about gardening, energy, homesteading and other sustainable living topics.
What do I need to do to my garden tools before I store them away for the upcoming winter?
Clean garden tools by first hosing off any dirt clinging to the tines or blades, and then dry the tools completely. Remove any rust with steel wool. Use a sharpening file to hone the tool’s working edges. If wood handles are rough, sand them, then rub them with paste wax.
To prevent rust, coat metal parts with lubricating oil, or store the working ends of hand tools in a large bucket of sand mixed with a little canola oil. When the weather gets warmer, your garden tools will be ready to go.
Vicki Mattern is a contributing editor for MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, book editor and freelance magazine writer. She has edited or co-authored seven books on gardening, and lives and works from her home in northwestern Montana. You can find Vicki on