Different gardening supplies in barn

Gardening Housekeeping

Stay warm and productive indoors with some cleaning and decluttering. Whether you have a whole shed dedicated to your gardening goodies or just some shelves, there is always room for improvement.

Hang it

Go vertical by hanging your tools on the wall. Keep it simple with various sized hooks or mount a pegboard. Using a pegboard gives you room to adjust for different sized tools and baskets.

Shelve it

Give existing shelves or carts an upgrade by adding casters, making them mobile. You can also include wall mounted shelves or bins for added storage space.

Edit it

As you rummage through your garden supplies, toss out broken or chipped pots, check dates for expired seed packets and take note of tools that need repairing or replacing. You’ll also have visibility of what you are running low on for restocking.

Label It

Take your organization to the next level with a label maker. Add labels to totes, shelves, and drawers to find what you need quickly!

Group it

Items that survived the cut can be grouped into a drawer or a tote for safe keeping. Wipe down shelves and sweep any lingering soil or plant debris while you’re at it.

To-do lists

Clean Out Empty Pots

Get your container collection organized and cleaned. Come spring, they will be ready to go when you are! Remove residual soil and debris with a soft brush and then give them a good rinse with water. Get rid of all the stubborn bits with steel wool or a knife, if necessary. Soak and sanitize your pots for at least ten minutes using a diluted bleach and water mixture. (Use one part bleach to nine parts water) Make sure they are completely submerged during soaking. Rinse off your pots and allow them to air dry. If you have porous pots like terracotta, give them a second soak in water to ensure all the bleach is gone before air drying.
To-do list for January

Tool Maintenance

After months of use, your tools are more than likely in need of some maintenance. Winter is an ideal time to clean and sharpen your tools like loppers, hand pruners and mower blades. A well-maintained tool can last for years. If you have reservations about taking this task on by yourself, reach out for help. Resources such as a local university extension office may have published articles on how to clean and sharpen your tools. Contacting a nearby hardware store or landscape shop is another great option if you feel more comfortable leaving it to the professionals. Whichever route you decide to take, getting them serviced or doing the work yourself, you’ll be thanking yourself later. Well-tuned gear makes the work easier and the tools last longer. It is a win-win!

This article was published by

Michigan State University Extension

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