Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cleaning and sharpening your garden tools

Winter is a hard time for gardeners especially if it’s a mild winter like this year.  The urge to go out and plant is hard to resist and one way to keep yourself busy is to focus on other garden chores that you may have forgotten to do at the end of the season; like cleaning and sharpening your garden tools.

Scrubbing your garden tools is a job that is necessary to prevent the spreading of unwanted diseases and the spreading of weed seeds or insect eggs left in the clops of dirt/mud stuck to your tools.   Hard cakes of dirt can be removed with a putty knife and those hard to get in areas can be attacked with a stiff scrub brush.   If you have a big bucket I have found it easier if you soak the smaller tools in very hot soapy water for about 15-20 minutes.   A SOS pad works good on removing rust and removing sap.

After cleaning and drying completely, check and tighten, if necessary, all nuts, bolts and springs. Spray and wipe down metal elements with WD40 to prevent rust and keep moving parts moving.  With a second dry cloth, wipe down tools to make sure they are dry before storing them.

Sharpen tools that need it so that clean cuts can be made in a safe and effective way.

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