After a tiring gardening session, it’s tempting to dump all your tools in the shed without cleaning them. But just as you should maintain the beauty and health of your garden, so should you take care of your garden tools. Having a set of clean and properly maintained tools will be a great joy to use. Not only that, but it also prolongs their life span, thus enabling you to take better care of your garden for a longer time.
Even the smallest maintenance effort will create a tremendous change in the functionality of your garden equipment. It will help sharpen and strengthen them, as well as prevent rust. Here’s a step-by-step guide to maintaining gardening tools.
Step one: Clean your tools
Regular cleaning will go a long way in preventing rust and strengthening the life span of your garden tools. Hosing it down is not enough. Give the tools a good scrubbing to remove all the mud and dirt build-up that it may have accumulated. Scrub all the way from the blades to the handles thoroughly. Use old towels to dry them and set them aside to dry overnight to avoid trapping in moisture.
Step two: Remove rust
Rust can severely damage your gardening tools. They make them thinner and weaker, and they will wear down if you don’t remove the built-up rust. Use steel wool or wire brush to scrub away any rust in all your gardening tools. You’ll want to keep the grinding and scraping to a minimum, so you don’t damage the equipment.
Step three: Smoothen out handles
Everything, including garden tools, is prone to wear and tear over time. For equipment with wooden handles, prolonged use can cause the wood to chip off. You need to keep yourself safe from this by smoothening wooden handles using sandpaper. The sandpaper can also be used to get rid of rust on the surface of the tool and to give it that polished finished.
Step four: Sharpen
When it comes to some particular gardening tools, you want them to be as sharp as possible for maximum comfort and ease when using them. Sharpen your tools using a metal file. You don’t have to grind away much of the metal. Just make sure to sharpen and smoothen out the edges.
Step five: Apply oil
To give your tools a finished look and extra protection, it’s a good idea to apply some oil. Use a clean rag to apply oil on the handle and on the blade itself. This will help prevent rust build-up and trapping in moisture. If needed, you can apply a second coat of oil.
Step six: Repeat periodically
Now that you know the basics of how to maintain your gardening equipment, you have to stick to a routine. Make it a habit to clean your tools after every use and conduct frequent maintenance.
Other advanced gardening tools might need more preventive maintenance efforts. If you have garden machinery, make sure to take a look at all the parts, like the hydraulic cylinder, wheels, etc. Ensure they’re working optimally. If not, you should have them repaired or replaced immediately.
For your garden tools to do their job in gardening work, you also have to do your part. Take care of your tools so you can maximize their use and benefits. Simple maintenance efforts will go a long way in improving the durability and quality of your tools, helping you have better gardening experience.