Taking good care of your garden tools will make them last longer and will also make them work better for you in the garden.
ideally, during the winter season when you are putting your garden to bed, is the right time to get your tools cleaned up and in good condition so that they are ready to start working for you in the summer and spring season.
Harpreet Ahluwalia, owner of Earthly Creations and Anjali Jain, owner of Kala Drishti list some tips on taking care of your garden tools.
- Clean the dirt: The first step you need to do is to clean off the dirt from your shovel, trowel and other gardening tools. Cleaning extends the lifespan of a tool by removing moisture-laden, rust enhancing soil from the surface. Clean the tools with a nice brush and a stream of water. Pruners have sap on them, therefore clean it with little turpentine and a steel wool.
- Get rid of the rust: After cleaning up the tools, clean up the rust using turpentine oil and steel wool. These two are usually used along with elbow grease to remove any rust area on the tools. Cleaning up some tools becomes easier when you take them apart like a hand pruner has a bolt that can be taken off and take the blades apart. It makes it a lot easier to clean them.
- Sharpen your tool: With the constant use in cutting and digging in your garden, the tools become un-sharpened. Therefore, use a nice file, either flat or round to sharpen the edges. The round file is a little bit easy to file blades which are curved like a pruner or a curved edge of a shovel. Tip: File the edges in one direction and away from yourself and in a safe angle.
- Apply rust inhibitor: This is the final step. Even after cleaning and drying, steel tools are still vulnerable to rust when exposed to oxygen. After sharpening the edges of your garden tools, apply rust inhibitors. If required, you can use motor oil, it is an inexpensive and effective rust preventer. Just spray it over the tools and the oil will insulate the metal and will prevent it from oxidizing.
- Facelift your old tools: You can give a new look to your old garden tools with some DIY decorating ideas. For instance, you can paint the old, plain and boring plastic/steel watering cans with colours and draw some images on it. This can also serve as a decorative item in your garden area. You can even decorate the wooden handle of the old grass cutter.