Taking care of your garden tools is an important activity. The tools will last long and complete chores as desired. Moreover, proper maintenance of tools especially cleaning and sterilization help prevent the spread of diseases in the garden. You should therefore develop the habit of proper tool maintenance. Let’s have a look at some of the best ways of taking care of your garden tools.
All gardening tools should be cleaned immediately after you finish your chores for a given day. Do not store any tools before they are cleaned no matter how tired you become after a busy day in your garden. Use a brush to remove most of the dirt on the tools. After removing the dirt, use warm water to remove any remaining dirt. Next rise and wipe the tools using a towel before leaving them to dry. This basic cleaning is sufficient for most gardening tools. Some of your gardening tools require extra cleaning using turpentine, vinegar or household bleach. Your cleaning approach will therefore depend on the type of tools you use.
After the tools dry, use a sandpaper to sand the wooden handles. This removes any moisture that could have entered your tools and which can interfere with the texture of the handles. You can use sandpaper of different grit for the best effect. Sandpapering the tools also protects them against rusting. Nowadays, you can even have an electric sander for more efficient sandpapering.
Pruners, shovels, knives, scissors, hoes and shears require sharpening from time to time. This helps you perform chores using these garden tools with accuracy and precision. Before sharpening, it is advisable to lubricate the blades. After lubrication, you can use a range of tools to sharpen the tools. The most common sharpening tool is a flat file. A whetstone can also be used for some sharpening tasks. While sharpening, protect your eyes with goggles and your hands with heavy duty gloves. You should also secure the tool properly before you begin sharpening. In addition, while sharpening, try your best to stick to the existing bevel line.
Applying oil on some of your garden tools is also another important maintenance routine. Oiling wooden handles prevents them from cracking because of drying out. On the other hand, applying oil on the metal parts is an excellent way to prevent rusting. This is because oil creates an effective barrier that keeps moisture and oxygen at bay. When oxygen and moisture cannot react with the metal components, no rusting can take place. A word of caution though; avoid petroleum based oils since these can affect the health of your plants. Organic oils are the best to use on your tools.
Proper storage is also a necessary part of taking care of your tools. Tools left in the open can be damaged by weather elements. Moreover, some tools can be a health hazard to people and animals if not stored in the right places. Therefore, ensure that your tools are kept well. Even if you will use the tools the next day, do not leave them in the open.
Take care of your tools and you will enjoy your time in the garden with the above tips. Your tools will also last longer hence saving you money on replacements or spare parts.