How To Care For Gardening Tools
Nothing beats the joy of using properly maintained quality garden tools, especially cutting tools. The truth is it’s not just your plants and soil bed that needs a little tender love and special care from time to time.
Your tools like hedge shears, rakes, mower blades, and shovels need a little extra love too!
High-quality gardening tools are designed to last a long time. However, that doesn’t mean you can just leave them lying around willy-nilly after you use them. Investing in proper gardening tools is just half the battle.
You need to take care of your tools properly so they can perform at their best every time you use them and last for a long time. After all, nobody wants to use a crusty shovel or dull blades on a pair of pruners in the garden or buy new sharp tools every growing season.
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What’s more, your garden tools also need to be sterile and clean so you don’t spread any plant diseases or viruses across your garden beds.
When you use good-quality tools on one plant, whether you realize it has a pest or disease or not, using the same tool without a good cleaning just spreads the pest or disease from one plant or tool to another.
Let’s talk about how we should care for gardening tools, so they’re always in good shape. Gather your gardening implements, some rags, a wire brush, and files, and let’s get started!
Proper tool maintenance begins with keeping clean tools. Get a bucket of warm soapy water and start by washing any dirt off your tools using a stiff bristle brush. This will help you get rid of a majority of the dirt on your gardening tools.
For tools covered in sap, you can dip them in turpentine to dissolve any buildup. Meanwhile, rust-coated items can be cleansed using white vinegar. Meanwhile, large digging tools may require you to use a strong spray of water to remove dirt buildup.
On the other hand, when it comes to pruning shears and pruner blades, it’s best to disinfect them after each use with bleach diluted in water. This helps kill off any pathogens that may spread to your other plants.
Tools used for chemical applications also need thorough cleaning since substances like fertilizers eat through and corrode metal surfaces and parts.
Another important thing to remember when making sure we care for gardening tools is that we don’t forget to dry our tools thoroughly with a clean rag to prevent rust from forming.
Dull utensils aren’t only frustrating to work with, but they can also be dangerous. It’s important to keep your shears, scissors, knives, loppers, pruners, and edge of your shovels sharp so they can always perform at their best and get a clean cut every time.
Make sure to file your metal blades at a 20-degree angle to keep the leading sharp edge at an optimal sharpness. This ensures that your tools are both sharp and strong enough to handle stress. If you aren’t sure, it’s best to follow the original bevel of your tool.
You can use a flat mill file, a whet stone, or a motorized sharpener for this task. You can get them at any local hardware store. Be sure to wear protective gear like heavy gloves and goggles or safety glasses when using any type of sharpener.
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Linseed oil is heaven-sent for every gardener when it comes to care for gardening tools. It can be used to protect the metal parts from rust and it also keeps wooden handles supple and splinter-free.
All you need to do is apply it liberally on any tool, leave it for fifteen minutes, and then wipe off the excess. This creates a barrier that protects them from moisture damage.
Proper storage helps prevent any accidental damage too. Don’t just leave them out of your shed where they’re exposed to the elements.
Smaller tools like spades and trowels can be stored in a bucket of sand soaked in motor oil to keep them well conditioned, like the old trowel that you’ve had forever.
Meanwhile, larger tools and implements should be hung in a dry location and well-ventilated place to prevent rust from forming. Avoid leaning them against the walls of your shed or garage, where they’ll end up touching the floor.
Most importantly, never store tools when they are wet. Let them dry completely before putting them away. This not only prevents corrosion of metal parts but also ensures that the handles of your metal tools are safe from rotting.
Quality tool care is the key to making your gardening utensils last a long time and perform well every time. With proper garden tool maintenance, they’ll be ready to assist you in your next gardening adventure.
Do you advice on how you care for gardening tools? Let me know know in the comments below!
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