To save time in the bust spring period, use the winter months to maintain your garden tools. Every time you use a cutting tool, wipe the blade with an oily rag, but trim any dried sap or rust with wire wool once every year, then oil them lightly. Garden shears can be improved by tightening their blade tension. Other pruning tools should be sharpened or replaced if damaged. The electrical equipment in the garden and the lawn mowers should be serviced and reviewed since many plugs, leads, and sockets deteriorate with regular use. Replace damaged leads rather than repairing them with tape and ensure that all the connections and fittings are suitable for outdoor use.
Disposing of unwanted chemicals
Dispose of old chemicals, particularly those for which the instructions have been lost. Dilute dregs and pour them away on unused ground; never down drains. Wrap solid chemicals or empty containers in newspaper and put them in the dustbin. If you are in any doubt, or have large amounts of chemicals to dispose of, take them to a local authority waste disposal site where staff can dispose of them safely.
Repairing fences and trellis
Check fences, trellis, pergolas and arches and make any necessary repairs while the plants are still dormant.