Garden Tool Care
The end of the season is the time to properly care of your landscape tools today on Southern Gardening.
Let’s face it; we, me included, have not always taken the best care of those tools that work hard for us in the garden. We may buy cheaper tools, but buying a higher quality tool can last a lifetime if we give it a little tender loving care.
Just propping your shovel up in the corner of the garage means the edge gets bumped and nicked on the concrete floor. Hanging tools up protects their edges and keeps the garage clutter-free and you’ll find that shovel when you need it. After use, take a look and clean your tools. Use a wire brush to remove any stubborn dirt. A quick spray with WD-40 will provide rust protection until the next time garden duty calls. Digging in the soil is much easier with a sharp shovel. Using a medium flat mill file will keep the edge ready for action. Learning the correct bevel will take practice. Too sharp and the edge will dull quickly; too blunt and digging will be difficult.
Leaving tools outside, and we all do it, is rough on tool handles, and your hands. Lightly sand wooden tool handles and apply a light coating of boiled linseed oil. Do this once a year to keep them smooth and splinter free.
Taking proper care of shovels and other yard tools will extend the life to those tools. And you will always have the sharpest tool in the shed. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.