Prepping Your Tools for Their End of Season Rest

Prepping Your Tools for Their End of Season RestOne of the best things you can do at the end of this year’s gardening season is to spend an hour or two prepping your tools for their winter rest. You just might save yourself many hours of frustration next season, not to mention some real money.

Your Mantis Tiller

Here’s a quick checklist of the most important preventative maintenance tips for your tiller:

1. Empty the fuel tank and run the tiller until all the fuel in the lines and carburetor is used. This will prevent gas from gumming up the works, and will ensure that your tiller will start quickly and easily next season. Learn how ethanol can damage your tiller engine.

2. Clean the tines and coat them with a light covering of rust-preventing oil. A light application of WD-40 is easy to apply and will keep your tiller tines and axles in good working order. You can also coat the handles and fender to prevent rust.

3. Tighten the nuts and bolts on the handles.

4. Check your air filter and replace it, if necessary.

5. Remove the spark plug and add about a teaspoon of oil into the spark plug port. Then gently pull the starter cord two or three times. A minimal amount of oil may spatter out of the spark plug port, however, the majority of the oil will coat the interior of your engine.

Prepping Your Tools for Their End of Season Rest

Hand Tools

1. Clean the metal parts of all your hand tools, and coat them with a thin coating of WD-40 or similar rust-preventing oil.

2. Clean the handles of hand tools; if they’re made of wood, a light coating of linseed oil will help to keep them from drying out. And, they’ll look nicer, too.

Water Hoses

1. Remove all water from hoses. This is especially important if you store your hoses outside where they might freeze and crack.

2. Now is a good time to check to see if you need to replace any of the hose washers; this can save you some precious time in the spring.

Pots and Planters

1. Remove old plants and soil from pots and planters, especially if they will be stored outside where they might freeze and crack.

2. Soak pots and planters in warm water and scrub the inside surfaces with a plastic bristle brush to remove any fertilizer build-up. (Avoid using wire brushes, as these can scratch the surface.) Clean planters will be much better for next spring’s plantings.



  1. I appreciate your storage tips, just makes it easier to know what or how to get my tiller ready to hibernate this winter.
    You mentioned tighting the bolts on the handle and made me want to ask you question. The bolts I received to put the handle together when I got my tiller had a square head and it doesn’t let the bolt fit snugly into the round hole on the handle, thus as I use my tiller the handles always loosen and constantly have to move tightened. Did I just receive the wrong bolts? Is there an explanation?

    • Hi Jean –
      We are unsure why this is happening. The square head is the correct design; can you give us a call so we can go over the handles? Perhaps, we are talking about different locations of the handle. The handles should not loosen. Thanks!

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