If you’re keeping your tools outside you need to make sure they’re safe and protected from the elements. They must be kept out of the sun, and protected from moisture. Find a shady area, and keep them elevated.
Otherwise, you end up with rusty and damaged tools. Ideally, garden tools are stored in a shed or garage.
Unfortunately, we don’t all have a tool shed. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to keep your tools safe. Storage boxes and storage are widely available. These are a compact alternative to a shed. You can also try making your own storage box.
If you only have a few tools that need storing, there are other options. An old mailbox is easily converted into a mini tool shed, and can be purchased for a small cost.
An even cheaper option is to make use of an old bucket. A 5-gallon paint bucket is large enough to hold several tools, and is a portable storage solution. Just be sure to keep the plastic out of the sun, or it can degrade.
Take advantage of the features of your garden. If you have any overhanging shady areas, you can set up a tool rack there. Be sure to rub the tools down with linseed oil, and they’ll be in a better condition when you go to pick them up again in summer.
How do I make a garden tool box?
A wooden tool box can keep your tools organized, and safe. It can be constructed out of just five pieces of wood. You may have scrap lying around that can be used. Otherwise, look for cedar.
One flat piece is required for the base, cut to size to accommodate your tools. Two long side walls should slightly overhang the length of the base. These may need to be wider as well, depending on your tools.
Two pieces are needed for the thinner end sides. They should be square to the walls, and then taper upwards to a rounded point. These sides are where the handle will attach.
The handle is the tricky part. One solution is to find a branch roughly 1 ½ - 2 inches in diameter. Use any materials you have. Drill a hole in each tapered side, around 1 inch from the top. Whittle the end of your branch to fit the hole tightly.
To assemble, fix the first tapered end piece to the base with wood glue and screws. Thread the handle through the hole of the attached side, and then through the unattached side.
Then fix the second tapered side in the same manner. Fix the longer sides to the base. Finish by sanding, and stain or paint.
Making a garden storage box is even easier, as all you need to make is a box with a hinged lid. You can make this from scratch, or try converting a large wooden crate.
How do I organize my garden tool shed?
When organizing a garden tool shed you want to ensure all your tools are safe, accessible, and aren’t wasting space. Before you start, step back and assess the space. Don’t forget to use the full height of the shed. Organize your tools by size and use.
There are different ways to go about organizing your tools. Old bookshelves and metal storage units are great, because they allow you to use the height of the wall. Then you can keep your tools in smaller plastic or wooden storage boxes. Label each box, and you can pull it out easily.
Similarly, keep small screws and nails in labelled glass jars. These can be kept on a shelf, or fixed using a magnetic strip. Attach a magnetic strip to the underside of a shelf, and to the lid of each jar. This way, they can hover above tools, so no space is wasted.
Otherwise, keep smaller tools organized on a peg board, or make a board from an old pallet. Giving each tool its own space encourages you to put things back when not in use.
For long handled tools, building a simple tool hanger keeps them out of the way and easy to access. Screw a set of hooks to a plank of wood, and you’re ready to go.
How do I prepare garden tools for long storage?
Before putting your garden tools away, they need to be cleaned and oiled for protection. After a long winter’s storage, tools that have been improperly stored turn dull. Some may even rust. It’s much easier to prepare tools before storage, than to try and fix them after.
The very first thing to do is to give everything a proper cleaning. You don’t want to put garden tools away covered in mud. Use a stiff bristled brush, or a coarse metal brush. These are necessary to get rid of the really caked in muck.
Start with a wipe down, and then use warm soapy water. Finish by rubbing with a clean, dry rag. They need to be properly dried before you move on to the next part.
Remove any rust by rubbing the tools down with sandpaper. Then, we want to stop rust from forming. Oiling your tools prevents moisture from sticking and forming rust.
A light coating of vegetable oil across metal areas is a good, non-toxic solution. Rub wooden handles with linseed oil
It’s also a good idea to sharpen your tools before long storage. A sharp tool is much easier to use, and sharpening them now means you have less work in the spring. Using a small handheld sharpening tool gets the job done quickly.
How do you hang garden tools in a shed?
Hanging tools in your shed is a great idea, because it keeps them off the ground and well aired. It also makes them easily accessible for you, the gardener. And, if everything has a correct place to go, you’re more likely to store things properly.
Long tools especially should be hung. Long handled tools bunched up in a corner take up unnecessary space, and they’re a pain to access. There are lots of ways to go about it, and ways to make it work with items you already have.
Hooks are perfect for storing tools. Anything can be used, from old coat hooks to bathroom towel hooks. These just attach to the wall, and you have easy, ready-made storage.
Installing a bar and hooks is another way to hang short and long tools quickly. By using a tension rod, you can make a storage system ideal for whatever space you have. Simply hang some hooks over the rod, and you’re ready to start organizing.
For smaller tools, magnetic strips and pegboards are a space-saving solution. These make use of the wall space in a shed. They also mean you don’t have to sort through boxes whenever you need a tool.
Hanging tools is always a good idea, as it keeps them off the ground and away from moisture.
How do you install long handled tools?
Long handled tools are a vital part of any gardeners kit, but their bulky shapes can be annoying to store.
Many of us know the pain of closing a garden shed door only to hear every single rake and shovel clatter to the ground behind us. Using simple hanging tricks is necessary to install long handled tools for easy use.
Basic hooks are the best solution for storing long handled tools. These keep everything neatly organized, and stop tools from falling down. Either buy a ready-made set of hooks, or make your own using a strip of wood.
Alternatively, screw hooks directly into the shed or garage wall. This way, you can make the most of the full height of the wall. Keep the sharp and heavy equipment at the bottom, and use the top hooks for lighter tools.
If you have limited space, it may be worth keeping long handled tools outside. Use a tool rack on the outside of the shed wall, so everything is to hand when you need it.
It can even be fixed to the side of the house, or to any walls and fences on the property. Try and find a shady spot, and keep the tools elevated to avoid moisture damage.
How do you store garden power tools?
It’s important to store garden power tools correctly, or they can become damaged. Improperly stored tools can break, or cause harm. It isn’t hard to store power tools correctly, and it’s definitely worth doing.
Begin by making sure that everything is clean. Remove any caked on dirt and mud, and wipe everything down. For power tools with blades, they should be sharpened before storage.
Check everything’s working fine, and then disconnect the power supply. For long winter storage, remove any batteries. Gas powered equipment may need to be emptied of gas. Alternatively, the fuel might need to be stabilized. Check the instructions on the tool to see what they recommend.
Once everything is safe for long storage, the next decision is where to keep it. All garden tools should be kept in a dry, covered, and shady place. This is especially important for power tools.
Ideally, they’ll be kept in a shed or garage. Invest in some basic storage boxes, and place these on shelving. Or, look for secure outdoor storage boxes.
For larger pieces of equipment, make sure they’re unlikely to be damaged over a long storage period. Covering them in a trap is a good choice. Any disconnected batteries should also be kept in a cool and dry space.