Winterizing landscape equipment | Living the Country Life

Winterizing landscape equipment

Proper care now ensures reliable operation in the spring

Radio interview source: John Fech, Extension Educator, University of Nebraska


Listen to the radio story mp3 or read below

As you winterize the yard and garden, don't forget the landscape equipment.

John Fech is an extension educator with the University of Nebraska. He says most people are good about scrubbing up the trowels and hoes. But seldom-used equipment such as lawn fertilizer spreaders are often overlooked, and should be cleaned up as well.

"First of all just wetting it with a good soapy water mix, and then giving things a good scrubbing to make sure that there's no caked-on fertilizer, no caked-on insecticide product in the actual hopper, or in the dispersing piece underneath it," says Fech. "Often that gets caked-on with material as well."

Apply oil to the bottom of the hopper and all moving parts, and store it with the shutter or gate fully open. Fill compressed air sprayer tanks about a-quarter full with a mild dishwashing solution, and shake to loosen any inside residue. Pressurize the tank, spray out the water, and let it drain upside down. Once it's dry, put a few drops of oil into the top of the pump cylinder, and pump it a few times to disperse the oil.

Remove and clean nozzle tips and screens with soapy water. Fech says if there's a stubborn clog, a paper clip comes in handy for clearing it out. If you use a garden hose to rinse off everything, be sure you remove it from the faucet. Otherwise, you may be in for a surprise.

"Chances are it's got water in it, and that water will freeze, and then probably burst a pipe in your house," says Fech. "There's usually a 14-or-15-inch piece of copper pipe, it just splits like a sausage if you don't take that hose off the house. Having said that, if you simply coil it up and bring it inside, it will usually extend the life of the hose by 2-or-3-years."

Find more tips for cleaning up garden tools



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