Cleaning gardening tools

 
Clean your gardening tools before the weather cools down and they’ll be ready to use when spring arrives. Here’s how to get the job done right.

 

Clean your gardening tools before the weather cools down and they’ll be ready to use when spring arrives. Here’s how to get the job done right.

You might have already pulled up the dead annuals in your garden and put away your seasonal garden decor, but you haven’t finished your fall gardening chores yet. Proper care of gardening tools often goes overlooked, but it can make a huge difference in how you tackle the tasks at hand. Cleaning gardening tools might sound unnecessary — after all they’re supposed to get dirty — but a sharp shovel can make a huge difference when you’re digging things up. Plus, properly sharpened tools are safer to use.

First clean tools by wiping dirt off. If mud is caked on, give it a powerful blast with a spray hose or soak it in water until the dirt comes off easily. Use a wire brush to scrub dirt off if necessary. If rust spots exist, run a piece of steal wool over the metal surface to remove.

Safely sharpen the edges of gardening tools with either a sharpening stone or metal file. Place the tool on a firm,steady surface. Position the file along the edge and in one sweeping motion move it away from the blade.

After the edge has been sharpened, oil the metal surface with a lubricant like WD-40 to prevent rust.

If the wooden handles are in rough shape, consider giving them a little TLC too. Clean dirt and grim from handles. If wood is splintering, run a piece of fine sandpaper over it to smooth the surface out. Finally, rub mineral oil over the handle to keep the wood in good shape. Some people like to paint the handles red so tools are easier to find.

Finally, store tools in a dry place for winter and they’ll be ready to use come spring. Cleaning and sharping gardening tools not only extends their life, it makes them easier to use too!

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