How grungy, muddy, and rusty are your garden tools? Do you leave them out in the elements? Are the cutting ones not so sharp anymore? The winter months are the ideal time to take stock of your tools.
1. Store tools inside: garage, carport, shed, or greenhouse.
2. Make a habit of every time you finish using a tool, scrape off extra dirt and rinse thoroughly. Sometimes residual sap needs steel wool to remove.
3. When pruning diseased plants, us a solution of 5:1 water and bleach to sanitize the cutting blades.
4. Sharpen hoes, spades, and shovels once a year with a metal file. They need to be just sharp enough to cut through sod and clumpy soil.
5. My favourite tool maintenance tip is in how I store my hand tools to prevent rusting. I fill a bucket or tub with clean sand which I saturate with mineral oil, just enough to make the sand damp. I then plunge the blades of the tools into the sand and leave them until the next usage. These tools can include weeders, knives, hand shears, trowels, and scissors.
Sitting on your porch in the winter with your back to the sun, dreaming about your spring garden doesn’t have to be idyl time. Keep your hands busy with tool maintenance and dream constructively!
When was the last time you cleaned your garden tools?
Farming looks mighty easy when your plough is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the cornfield.