How To: Care for Garden Tools

source: Bob Villa

There's more to gardening than tending to weeds and plants. It also requires proper tool maintenance and care.



A quality garden starts with quality care—and that doesn’t just mean keeping up with your weeding. Maintaining your garden tools will ensure that any chore you complete gets done with the highest potential for accuracy and precision. Not only do tools need to be sharp, they also need to be clean and sterile, so they don’t accidentally spread disease or viruses across your garden beds. And of course, stored in a dry location, not just left in the grass for tomorrow’s chores! Here’s how to keep your tools in good shape for any gardening issue that comes up.


Cleaning

Start by washing the dirt off your tools with a garden hose by scrubbing with a wire brush. Dip the tools in a diluted solution of any household bleach. Turpentine can be used for any items that might be covered in sap and vinegar can be used to soak items coasted in rust. Give wooden handles a light rubbing with linseed oil. Not only does a thorough cleaning mean sterile tools, it also ensures your tools will last longer. Just think of it as protecting your investment.


Sharpening

Hoes, shears, scissors, knives, loppers, prunes, and shovels all need an occasional sharpening.

Contact us today about our sharpening services.

nick@southernrootsnursery.com

(770) 683-7224


Storing

Even when you know you’ll be using your tools the next day, don’t leave them out in the elements. After cleaning them, return used items to the shed, where they will be kept dry and are likely to remain rust-free. A great way to store small spades and trowels is by keeping them in a pot filled with sand that’s been soaked with motor oil. This helps keep the metal well-conditioned. Your larger tools will do best hanging in a dry, ventilated shed. A pegboard will keep everything organized and easy to access. Keep the tools you frequently use within arm’s reach, and place less-utilized items as you wish.

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