Guide on How To Care for Your Garden Tools
Compared to other tools, garden tools are usually the neglected ones. They go through a cycle of use and abuse with hardly any cleaning. After some time, these tools begin to rust and become less effective. However, with proper care and attention, your tools can be made to last a lifetime and I figure if you’ve paid top dollar for quality tools, you will want them to last a lifetime.
PROPER STORAGE OF TOOLS
It’s really important to keep your tools in an appropriate place. When I have you guys call me to ask if a handle on a Bulldog fork will really last for 15years, I say the most important thing is to keep the fork out of the elements so the handle doesn’t have prolonged exposure to moisture and harsh sunlight. Also, moisture is the number one enemy of steel and metal tools. Even in the absence of rain, your tools can still be exposed to the damp which can lead to rusting.
If you can, hang up your tools in the shed or garage using hooks or screws. Using hanging racks is an efficient way of storing tools with long handles. With your tools all hung up, your tool shed will also be more organized and I know that creates less frustration. For me, when I’m ready to plant out my veggie seedlings and my trowel isn’t where it should be, I get annoyed. Lucky, that being out in the garden makes me happy so once I find that trowel, my annoyance disappears 🙂
CLEANING AND DRYING TOOLS
Ever put away a spade that has had dirt on the end of it? I have…so for starters before putting that spade away, clean it by washing off the dirt using a heavy spray from a hose. For tough-to-clean dirt, scrub it thoroughly with a brush. Before putting your tool back in storage, make sure that is dry. Use a dry towel if you must.
The same method of cleaning can be used for cleaning small tools such as garden pruners. These tools however can be more challenging to clean as they tend to have a lot of dried plant and tree sap. You can opt to use turpentine to remove hardened sap. Be extra careful when handling these tools as they can be very sharp. Again, dry the tools before putting back in storage.
Rust prevention is yet another important aspect in tool care. An effective way of preventing rust on your tools is to cover the tool with a protective coating. The Felco 980 spray can be used for this purpose.
Next time, we will look at some general maintenance tips and tool sharpening…and if you have any tips to share with us, we would love to hear them.
More on Tool Care Tips:
- Taking Care of Garden Tools | MomSpace – Taking Care of Garden Tools. Keeping garden tools in good working order not only makes gardening tasks easier, it can help plants thrive, too. Sharp hand pruners, for example, make cleaner cuts that heal more efficiently – which results in a …
- Garden Tool Care and Maintenance | Garden Tool Company– Becoming knowledgeable about caring for and the appropriate use of your gardening tools will not only increase the lifespan of the tool, but it will also help.