Gardener’s love their tools especially their tools for gardening. When tools are maintained they keep performing at their best, they’re a pleasure to use, and will last many years. Maintaining your tools cuts down on having to buy replacement tools. I’m using my Grandfather’s gardening tools from the 30s.
Tips for Maintaining your Gardening Tools
Keep all Tools Clean; after each use:
- Brush the dirt or dust off with a brush
- Wash off the dirt and grime
- Dry it thoroughly
Inspect the Wood Areas of the Tool for any Signs of Wear or Areas Needing Repair:
- Check wood handles for signs of splintering, cracking or chipping
- Sand and file the handles as needed
- Wipe the handles with tung oil to keep them conditioned and prevent moisture seeping into it
Inspect the Metal Areas of the Tool for Repair:
- Sharpen the beveled areas on hoes, shovels, and spades (Only the single beveled side is sharpened.) A sharp tool performs better than a dull tool
- Straighten tines on pitch forks or spading forks
- Oil the metal areas to prevent them from rusting
Tires on Tools:
- Clean the tire tread and hubcaps
- Check the air pressure and fill as needed
Tools Used on Diseased and Infected Plants:
Tools for Gardening that were used on diseased or insect infected plants need to be disinfected prior to the next use. Do this after using it on each plant, or you could spread the disease or insect infestation:
- Brush the dirt, debris, or dust off with a brush and throw it in the burn pile or garbage
Next select one of the two methods to disinfect or sterilize the tool. If a heavy infestation or disease, I use the first method. If I’m pruning black spot leaves off a plant, I’ll use method number two as its faster and the tool can sit while I remove the infected leaves.
- Use a mixture of 1 part rubbing alcohol or bleach to 9 parts water. Soak the tool for several minutes and then dry.
- Keep hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle that can be carried with you. Spray and saturate the tool and let it sit for several minutes. Rinse off; dry it, and its ready to be used again. This is great for expired hydrogen peroxide.
Tips for Your Tools for Gardening:
- Use foam insulation for insulating pipes on the handles of your tools, especially the small hand tools that are used frequently.
- Mount a boot brush on the side of the tool shed or near it for cleaning dirt and mud off of tools.
- Keep files and sandpaper in the tool shed for easy maintenance.
- Keep your tools organized in the tool shed
- Look at second hand stores and junk shops for used tools that still have life in them
- Old kitchen knives make useful garden tools; if stainless steel they won’t rust
- Large long handled spoons are also useful tools for gardening
- Use 5 gallon buckets for carrying tools, mulch, compost or whatever for a lighter load
- Use five gallon buckets to sit on when working in the garden
- Old cushions from lawn furniture make great knee pads for kneeling in the garden; plus they save your back!
- Hang up an old barn mailbox close to the garden and keep small hand tools in it
- Close to the garden, hang up a #10 can (3 quart capacity) or a large coffee can with the top and bottom removed. Large or long handled tools can be kept in it while working in the garden.
- 1 gallon milk jugs work just as well as watering cans