If you want your garden gear ready for spring, tune it up before storing it. What only takes a few minutes can add years to the lives of your tools.
Here's what our garden writers do: Remove dirt and sap from hand tools, then wipe metal parts with an oily rag. Rub unfinished wood handles with linseed oil, and sharpen the cutting edges of everything from hoes to grass clippers (it may be cost-efficient just to replace the blades of rotary mowers and pruning shears).
Run power tools dry of gas, then change the oil, spark plug, and air filter, if necessary.