Tag: tools

How to Properly Clean Your Garden Tools

Various gardening toolsTools are an investment in your work and hobbies. If you’re a mechanic, tools are your livelihood. If you’re a gardener, tools may or may not be your livelihood, but they’re still pretty important. Either way, it’s in your best interest to keep tools in good working condition.

Remove Soil and Potential Problems

Clean your tools after every use so you’ll be sure not to spread things like plant diseases, insect eggs or weed spores around the garden. Preventing rust is another great reason to clean tools after use. Wet soil promotes rust, which can dull and even erode sharp edges.

Any tool that’s been used in the soil should be pressure-washed. To remove clay mixtures, you’ll need a stiff brush and a little elbow grease. After a wash, always dry tools with a cotton cloth before storing them.

Cleaning Sap

Use a thick cloth to remove any sap on pruning shears, hedge clippers and any other tool that you used on trees and other plants with gum-like substances. If you use tools on a pitch-producing plant, try using paint thinner on the cloth to help remove the substance. Dry your tools to remove all traces of paint thinner. 

Oiling Prevents Rust

Take care of steel tools by oiling them after cleaning and drying. The oil prevents rust from forming by blocking oxygen out. If you’ve got motor oil, you’ve got what you need. To thin the oil and make it easier to work with, mix two parts of 30W oil (non-detergent only) to one part lamp oil or kerosene. Use a cloth to apply a thin layer. Don’t worry about the oil mixing with the soil; it’s a very small amount and oil is organic-based so it breaks down quickly.

You have invested a lot in your garden and gardening tools; time as well as money. Show your tools the same love you show your plants and they’ll keep producing, too.

6 Tools Every Gardener Should Own

garden toolsWhat better way to get in touch with nature than through gardening. Whether you are an experienced gardener, hobbyist or just someone who likes to get your hands dirty, here are the six most important tools for you to have. 

  1. Trowel

This is the tool that will see the most use in any size of garden. Use it to transplant vegetables that you’ve grown from seeds into your garden soil. It’s just the right size for potting flowers, removing larger weeds and digging around corners.

  1. Shovel

When you need to dig bigger and deeper holes, reach for the trowel’s big brother. You need a sturdy shovel for jobs such as planting shrubs and trees.

  1. Hoe 

Save your knees! Cut through bigger weed patches with a long-handled hoe that you can use to move soil around, too. Make sure to get one that can stand up to repeated chopping. For veggie gardens, opt for a wider blade. For a flower garden, you need an easier touch, so try one with a thinner blade.

  1. Fork

Use a garden fork to help break up roots and soil clumps. It’s also handy to move rocks out of the way and for turning compost.

  1. Soil rake

A good metal rake will help keep your garden tidy when you use it to remove large areas of leaves and weeds that you’ve just pulled. Flip a rake over and use it to move gravel and even out soil.

  1. Pruners

Use handheld pruners for a variety of needs, from cutting roses to trimming shrubs and even small tree limbs. They’re very portable and fit right in your back pocket.

Invest in strong, durable tools, preferably those made of stainless steel. Clean them when they need it and store them away properly to protect blades from dulling. Take care of them and they will be usable for a long, long time.