Whether you’re a beginner or master gardener, cleaning and taking care of your tools is essential. It not only protects your tools from rust, but also keeps your plants healthy.
Each time you clean your trowel, you’re removing soil that may have been contaminated by diseased plants. The same goes for your pruners. You want to sanitize them before each use so you don’t spread disease or bacteria around your pretty garden.
Which Tools to Clean?
Even the simplest patio garden requires a few tools, such as a trowel, pruners or kitchen scissors. And these hand tools are the most important ones to keep tidy. You use them the most – and they’re more likely to touch more things in the garden.
A few good ones to consider…
Tip: If you’re new to the hobby of gardening, this is one of the best articles I’ve found on understanding garden tools and what you really need. It’s definitely worth a read.
Let’s Get Crackin’
Here are a few simple ways to keep your hand tools in prime condition.
Right now would be a great time to do these 4 simple steps – especially if you’re getting ready to do some fall planting.
- Spray each tool with WD-40.
- Dip each tool in and out of a bucket of sand until the grime is gone.
- Brush off the sand and let air dry.
- Once dried, store the tools in a bucket of sand.
After Each Use
Rinse with soapy water, dry your tools, and then store them (sharp ends facing down) in a bucket of sand. Why sand? It absorbs moisture and keeps your tools squeaky clean.
For pruners, be sure to sanitize with Lysol wipes or a sanitizing spray after each use.
Once you’ve had a hard freeze and the season is wrapping up for winter, you can clean your tools with WD-40 again, as you did for the season opener.
If you have wooden handles on any of your tools, smooth out any rough spots by gently rubbing with sandpaper. Then rub a small amount of linseed oil to preserve the wood and reduce splintering in the future. If you notice any rust, scrub the area with steel wool and try spraying with a rust-resistant primer.
Once your tools are clean, smooth and dry, you can store them in the bucket of sand in your shed.
I hope that was helpful. Be sure to stop back on Thursday for some garden inspiration. I’ll share a few of my favorite veggies and plants for the fall.