Like any other tools, you need to take good care of your garden tools so they can be useful to you for the longest time possible. Remember that garden tools are the type of tools that is most frequently exposed to dirt and heavy use, so cleaning and maintaining them is of utmost importance. This will not only ensure that you will have tools to use for your next gardening chore, but will also save you some money by not having to buy new tools every now and then. So what are the proper ways to keep your tools in tip top shape? Here are some helpful tips.
Cleaning Your Garden Tools
After every use and before putting your power tools in the garden shed or garage for storage, you should make it a point to always – that means ‘always’ – clean your garden tools. If there are any soil or debris that is stuck on the tool, be sure to remove them by either wiping them away or scraping them off. Washing your garden tools with water is also okay, for as long as you remember to dry them completely so in order to them from rusting.
Some tools (such as most shovels for instance and rakes) come with wooden handles. Washing them with water is not really recommended since the water can seep deep into the wood and stay there, causing it to weaken and swell up. Instead, just wipe them with a damp cloth and leave them out in the sun to dry.
Cleaning your tools also comes with another benefit. Aside from protecting your tools, it also helps to protect your plants by ensuring that your clean tools prevent the spread of diseases that can harm them.
Storing Your Garden Tools
There are also some basic things you need to remember when it comes to storing your garden tools. For one, you should store them inside a garden shed or a garage and never leave them outside where they are exposed to natural elements. This will help to prevent rust buildup, and keep mechanical and electrical problems (as in the case of electric lawn mowers) at bay. If you don’t really have a choice, try to invest in a good quality cover for your lawn mower to help keep moisture from damaging it.
In addition, hang tools like shovels and rakes on the wall instead of leaving them standing or lying on the floor since the ground contains moisture which can cause your tools to rust. This is also for safety purposes since stepping on a rake’s tines or forks is a serious injury that can lead to various health complications. Moreover, make sure that the hooks where you hang them are solid and strong to keep them from falling down.
Maintaining Your Garden Tools
There are different ways to maintain your tools to ensure that they keep working for longer. For one, be sure to oil every moving part of your tools. For instance, you can (and should) rub your pruners and loppers with oil – starting from the blade to the screws and bolts. There are some gardeners who are skilled enough to disassemble such tools for better cleaning and oiling, but this is not recommended to beginning gardeners or even long-time gardeners who are not familiar with tool mechanics.
You should also sharpen your bladed and toothed garden tools like pruning saws. Again, professionals toolers can do this using a file, but for the non-pros, bringing them to a professional is a better option – not only will they be able to ensure quality job but is also a safer option.
Garden tools helps to make a gardener’s life a lot easier and more productive, but this is only true if they are in good working condition. Thus, do spare some time in cleaning and maintaining your garden tools to ensure that they can be useful to you for the long run.