How to Maintain Your Garden Tools

You may not be able to get out and do a lot in the garden this time of year, but you can make sure your equipment is in good condition and ready for spring when it arrives. Here are some tips for keeping your garden tools in tip-top shape.

Like anything else, garden tools work best when given a bit of care every so often, and today we’re going to share some tips for cleaning and sharpening your garden tools, so they will continue to serve you and your garden well for many years to come.

Not only can keeping your garden tools clean help to prevent rust, but it may even help keep diseases from spreading in your garden.

Here’s how to get your garden tools clean and sharp and ready for action once spring hits!

How to Clean Digging and Cultivation Tools

Any tools coming into contact with the ground should always be cleaned off before storing. Mud can usually be blasted off with a jet of water, but if dirt has hardened you may need to soak metal parts first before wiping clean with an old rag.

Digging tools and other ground-contact tools benefit from an occasional coating of oil, which helps to protect the blades or tines from moisture and rusting…. You can use any vegetable-based oil for the job; just avoid petroleum-based oils, which could taint your soil.

Sharpening Digging Tools and Garden Hoes

Tools with a clean, sharp edge will cut into the soil with much less effort. To sharpen spades, trowels and so on, pass a metal file over the edges of the blade…. Finish by sealing the blade edges with oil.

Don’t forget to look after wooden handles. These can be cleaned then smoothed off with sandpaper or a sanding sponge, before polishing with a natural, protective oil such as teak oil.

Caring for Pruning Tools

Well cared for pruning tools will give a cleaner cut, which reduces the risk of introducing plant diseases and makes pruning physically less effort. Start by making sure your pruning tools are clean….

Pruners, loppers and shears are all sharpened in much the same way…. Use a file, whetstone or sharpening stone appropriate to the size of the blade….

Now tighten up any loose bolts on moving parts…..

Finish by spraying with a tool lubricant….

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Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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