Maybe you’re already a competent gardener, or maybe you’re only just discovering your talent for cultivating and growing things. No matter where you are on your gardening journey, you will have realised the necessity for garden tools.
The more serious you are about gardening, the more tools you will have. From watering cans to rakes, shovels and the all-important garden hose, you are probably getting overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of them and wondering where on earth to store them all over the winter months.
Don’t worry, there are a variety of storage options out there which will allow you to declutter your garden and make sure that your tools are stored safely away once the weather starts to turn bad.
Can I Store My Garden Tools Outside?
Leaving your garden tools outside overnight during British summertime is unlikely to cause a problem. What you don’t want is for your tools to be subjected to continuous heavy downpours and extreme temperatures. That’s why, once the winter months begin to roll in, it’s best to gather up the tools you’ve left lying around the garden and find somewhere to keep where they will be protected from the bad weather and unlikely to cause an accident. You also want to keep them away from sharp objects which could cause damage.
As a rule of thumb, it would be best to store your tools properly way after each use, even during the summer. That way they won’t become a tripping hazard, get into the wrong hands (think curious children or teething pets, or vice versa!) and you’ll avoid even the slightest damage to your tools as a result of constant exposure to the sun or getting damp on a regular basis.
What is the Best Way to Store My Tools?
Before putting your tools away for the winter they should be given a good clean. You don’t want them being put into hibernation whilst still covered in clumps of mud and tufts of grass. These small pieces of your garden contain moisture which could lead to the gradual build-up of rot, mould or rust on your precious garden tools. Remove dirt with a dry brush and rinse if necessary. Vinegar will do a thorough job of treating any existing rust, although hopefully, you can prevent any from ever forming in the first place.
Take care of wooden handles by treating them with linseed oil. It acts as a skin to protect them from the damp, as well as stopping them from cracking and splitting.
Your tools should be left to dry completely before storing them away. The best places to store your garden tools are off of the ground (remember, moisture is their enemy!) and under some kind of cover. Garages and garden huts are ideal locations as they tend to be well protected from the elements and can be locked up securely.
Garden sheds come in all shapes and sizes. A metal shade may provide more security, but a plastic shed won’t rust. There are even wooden or concrete sheds; many different choices to suit the look of your garden and your storage requirements. For extra protection from the damp and cold, you could even invest in a storage box to keep inside your garden hut or garage. The tools you keep inside will be dry and secure all year long.
For your tall garden tools such as your rake and shovel, a simple solution would be to hang them up on the wall of your garden hut or garage by hooking them on nails. Why not arrange them in order of size for an aesthetically-pleasing layout?
Another solution is to invest in a hook or bracket made for this purpose. By simply attaching the bracket to your wall of choice, you will be able to hang up your garden tool or tools in a way that maximises space and keeps them safely above ground (and out of reach, should you have children).
A tool chest is made with the small to medium-sized garden tool in mind. They are bigger than toolboxes, allowing you to store many of your important garden utensils together. They can also be locked for security. Keep your tool chest out of the damp and cold in your garden hut or garage, or indoors if you have space.
For the creative-minded, there are plenty of DIY solutions for your garden-tool storage. Why not upcycle an old crate or pallet, make shelves and attach it to your wall to line with your smaller miscellaneous garden equipment? This is probably not the best option for heavier, metal garden tools, however, as you don’t want anything falling out and causing injury.
For a unique solution, why not tuck small garden tools into an old-fashioned mailbox? Or, do you have any old wooden barrels kicking around in your garage? These can make excellent storage spaces, however, they shouldn’t be left outside all year as the wood could rot over time if left exposed to the elements.