Clean Tools for Winter
A good-quality shovel, rake, or garden hoe, can last 30 or 40 years, if you take care of it. Chuck Otte, an agriculture and natural resources agent with K-State Research and Extension's Geary County office, says a few minutes on a warm, fall day is all it takes.
"To get the equipment cleaned up, all you need is a good steel brush, and then just go to work getting all the dirt and debris off. Once you get all the dirt and debris off, you'll want to protect it from any rust during the year... all you need is a little bit of oil and a paper towel, squirt a little bit of oil on it, and wipe it down.
Once the metal part of the tool is wiped down, it's time to move on to the handle. Over time, wooden handles become rough, and can leave splinters in your hand. A little work with fine-grain sandpaper will do the trick. Once you ' ve got it smoothed up, you want to protect that wood from future weathering - easily done You can just get a can of outdoor lacquer, outdoor varnish, a spray can will work just fine. Spray it down, set it aside, let it get good and dry, maybe a second coat; then, when it's dry, you can put it away, you're ready for next season with a piece of equipment.
You can find more information at your local extension office, or on our web site, at k-state ag today.org.