Fall Projects Needing Done – Before Your First Arctic Winter Storm Arrives

chimney sweep


Chimney Sweep

Now is the time for those of you that use a fire place, wood or coal burning heating stove or kitchen cook stove to set a and date to have your fire place brick and chimney inspected and cleaned. Stove pipes need inspected, cleaned repaired or replaced as needed.

Fire wood. Carefully inspect fire wood for insects. Termites can and do live in fire wood and you don’t want to bring an infestation of undesirable insects to your garden or home. Keep fire wood stacks far away form your home. Check your Natural gas, Propane and Electric space heaters. Insure they are clean inside and outside. Check gas heaters to insure the pilot-lights, and thermocouples are working. Check your central air systems heaters for proper operation and change all air filters.

Automobile care: Check your tires for tread, uneven wear, proper tire pressures are very important. Check and if needed refill coolant levels with the proper type antifreeze recommended in your cars owners manual. If you need more help/information ask the service desk at your local auto supply parts house. All antifreeze is not the same!

Drain old fuel or add fuel stabilizers to gas powered tool, lawn mowers, chain saws, weed eaters and such. Be sure you are using the correct fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers formulated for ‘normal’ gasoline and stabilizers formulated for alcohol added fuels are not the same. Remove and replace or sharpen blades on grass cutting equipment be it gas or electric powered.
Riding lawn mower(s) tillers, string trimmers and such should be serviced as well. Clean all dirt, oil and grease from your equipment. Grease and lubricate as described in your owners manual before storing your power equipment for the winter.

Cleaning and care of Garden Hand Tools. Wash using warm bleach and soap water to sterilize and remove all remaining dirt. Use fine sand paper or steel wool to remove all signs of rust from metal parts. Coat metal parts with a light coating of good quality oil like 3-in-one oil.
Linseed oil is good for wood handled tools like shovels, rakes and hoe’s. Don’t forget to clean your wheel barrow metal parts re-paint as needed, and treat all wood parts with a wipe down using Linseed oil.

Keep cutting edged tools shovels, hoe’s and lawn mower blades sharp. Invest in a good quality 12 or 14 inch Mill Bastard file. Yes, Mill Bastard is the real name of a utility file. If properly cared for and kept rust free a file will last 100 years or more.

Most important of all: Keep your tools indoors, and hang them up! Don’t lean them against the garage/garden shed wall. Never allow them to touch the floor. Even if it’s cement. Moisture is your enemy, keep your tools dry.

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5 responses to “Fall Projects Needing Done – Before Your First Arctic Winter Storm Arrives

  1. Great tips! Thank you!!:)


  2. Thanks to your blog I actually washed all my hand trowels and forks and the bigger ones for the border. They were really dirty and I felt a sense of pride about having taken care of them. Here in England though, the Winters are not so bad, so I will be able to use some of the tools again throughout the season. A little bit of oil on those I won’t use though sounds a really good idea.


  3. It is interesting to read the Northern hemisphere blogger preparations. I am in Queensland, Australia and we tend to prepare for the summer bushfires (now) and then storms (usually around Feb). But some of your advice is still applicable here.

    For example cleaning up tools, making sure your vehicle is prepared etc.


    • Re tikitikitembo – thanks for taking time to visit my tiny blog. I do know that I have a good number of visitors living in the Southern hemisphere and try to remember to make my posting to apply in the northern and southern hemisphere’s.
      With that said it is not always and easy task.
      Happy gardening


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