these snowy days are the perfect time to start “spring cleaning” your garden tools. in a perfect world, all gardening tools would be cleaned and oiled after each use. HA- right! doing so does keep diseases, fungi, insect eggs, and weeds from being unwillingly spread, while also extending the life of the tools.
here are a few quick and easy tips:
i can’t say this enough, oil, oil, oil. you can use WD-40 or even motor oil, i prefer 3-in-One multi-purpose oil. it’s pleasantly light scented oil with a nice long spout to get in all the nooks and crannies.
keep tools free of rust. if it’s a light coating of rust i use about 80-grit sandpaper, although for a thicker more determined rust, a wire brush works best. and remember, oil!
sharp as a Ginsu knife! tools that are sharp are not only highly effective, but make for a safe work environment. some tools are better sharpened with a hand file (ex: shovel, hoe, trowel, axe). pruning shears and knives call for a honing stone. i try to use a 20- degree angle, using strokes that move away from me and only sharpen the factory-cut bevel. you don’t want to compromise the blade. and then remember, oil!
the best way to keep all your tools in great shape is to take care of them year round. well, get started, and i’ll see you out in the garden patch.