Winter Tasks on your Plot

Winter is the time to carry out maintenance and repair tasks that we don’t have time for during the other months of the year on your smallholding.
Plan your jobs, so that there isn’t a mad rush to finish everything in time for spring. Also it helps to draw up a budget now for the materials that you are going to need, so that you can spread the expense over the winter months, which is easier on your pocket.
You are finished with your mower, brushcutter, slasher and haymaking equipment, so you will put them away until the next growing season. However they need to be prepared for winter storage. If it has an engine, drain the remaining fuel from the tank, for use in an appropriate machine elsewhere. We do this because fuel absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, so you will have difficulty starting the engine in spring. If it’s a metal tank, spray it with a couple of bursts of a light lubricant such as Q20 to discourage rust on the inside.
Next, remove the spark plug and pour a teaspoon of engine oil into the cylinder. Then crank the engine by hand to coat the inside. Replace the spark plug and clean the air filter.
If any repairs need to be carried out on your lawnmower, now is a good time to take it in, when the mower shop is quiet.
Now is also a good time to check and repair your fences, as well as to paint your gates and fence posts.
If you have a greenhouse you can now replace or repair the plastic, clean out drip-feed nozzles and repair leaks in your irrigation system.
Now that there is little chance of rain, you might also paint your implements.
Read more about your winter jobs in the June edition of the Gauteng Smallholder magazine.

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