By Stephanie Hyland, Storage.com
With the number of tools and pesticides typically used by home gardeners, it can be hard to find a safe place to store them when they aren’t being used. This task can be especially difficult if you live in an area where living quarters are tight and extra storage space isn’t available.
“Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in the U.S., but it’s also a hobby that requires a lot of large tools and other equipment, and it’s not the sort of stuff you want to keep inside your home or apartment,” says Adam Sank, Communications Manager for Edison Properties, parent company of Manhattan Mini Storage.
Though people don’t think of New York City as a gardening city, Sank sees a number of individuals in the Manhattan area reserving storage units for gardening equipment. “There are actually more than 600 community gardens across the five boroughs, the majority of which are in Manhattan. Ordinary New Yorkers use these gardens to grow their own herbs and produce, but they also visit the garden to unwind and destress.”
“Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in the U.S., but it’s also a hobby that requires a lot of large tools and other equipment.”
Adam Sank, Communications Manager for Edison Properties
Even for people who aren’t living in large cities where storage is lacking, mini storage is a great way to get gardening equipment out of the way during the off-season. “You can store your tools during the [winter], and then during planting and harvesting seasons, you have access to your equipment whenever you need it.”
If you decide to move your gardening tools to self storage, though, be sure to protect fertilizers and pesticides with climate-controlled storage and keep all of your equipment organized.
Protect Gardening Supplies with Climate Control
“Pesticides should be stored in a climate-controlled building,” says Devon McWilliams, Technical Product Support Specialist at GEMPLER’S in Wisconsin, which carries more than 42,000 hand-picked outdoor work products. “As a general rule of thumb, they should be stored somewhere cool and dry and out of direct sunlight.”
McWilliams adds that “cold temperatures, high heat, sunlight, and moisture can reduce the effectiveness of pesticides, damage storage container[s], or create other safety problems.” These are also issues for fertilizers, which can lose their quality over time when not kept in a stable environment.
That’s why storing gardening tools in climate-controlled storage is best. Though a garage or shed may be dry and dark, products would be exposed to fluctuating temperatures and humidity. Climate-controlled units, on the other hand, are located indoors and kept between 55-85°F year-round.
“Cold temperatures, high heat, sunlight, and moisture can reduce the effectiveness of pesticides, damage storage container[s], or create other safety problems.”
Devon McWilliams, Technical Product Support Specialist at GEMPLER’S
Matt Fulop, owner of Urban Garden Supply in Portland, Ore., agrees with McWilliams, saying proper storage techniques are essential not only for protecting products, but for keeping those who come into contact with the product safe as well.
“Keeping [fertilizers and pesticides] in a storage area is ideal,” Fulop explains. “A consistent temperature is going to keep the products better for longer…Many people keep these types of items in sheds, but it’s important to store them correctly. Keep these items off the floor and in sealable containers that will not leak or spill.”
Keep Gardening Equipment Organized in Storage
By keeping your gardening equipment organized in a mini storage unit instead of a crowded corner in a garage, shed, or closet, you’ll be able to find the tools you’re looking for faster and avoid injuries or damages that could be caused by the equipment shifting and falling over.
Fulop says one of the best ways to keep your handheld equipment organized in a storage unit is to use a pegboard and make sure the equipment is upright. “You want to keep equipment off the ground to avoid injury. Use a pegboard to mount your handheld tools. They’re cheap and work really well.”
“You want to keep equipment off the ground to avoid injury. Use a pegboard to mount your handheld tools.”
Matt Fulop, owner of Urban Garden Supply
“You want to make sure that your tools are totally clean [as well],” says McWilliams. “Wash and dry all tools thoroughly before storing them. Gardening is all about dealing with living organisms, but you don’t want any of those organisms in your storage room because that can lead to mold, mildew, and even live insects.”
When it comes to cleaning gardening tools before storage, McWilliams suggests using a bleach-water solution that both cleans and sterilizes the equipment.
By reserving a storage unit for your gardening equipment, you can keep your equipment in top shape and get a jump-start on your hobby next spring since you won’t have to spend extra time finding or cleaning a particular tool.