You’ve Been Taking Care Of Your Garden Tools Wrong All Along
There are certain things you need to know before you begin planting a garden. For example, you may want to attract certain creatures, such as hummingbirds, so you’ll need to plant specific plants to attract them to your garden. You also need to know how to take care of your garden tools because you’re not going to get far with worn down or broken ones. After all, garden tools, like anything else, can rust and break down. The first step you want to take every day is simply ensuring you’re storing your garden tools. Don’t leave them out in the elements, and don’t store them wet either. Doing so can rust them over time (via Garden Design).
In fact, to prevent rust, Garden Design recommends not only making sure your tools are dry before storing them, but also occasionally treating them with mineral oil. This will help keep your tools lubricated and ready to use another day. However, refrain from using petroleum-based oils because this oil can transfer to your soil and ruin it — instead, use linseed oil, which is much safer for the ground (via Garden Tool Company).
If your tools do acquire rust, you can soak them overnight in a mixture of vinegar and water, scrub them the next day with steel wool, and rinse and dry them to bring new life to your favorite tools (via Garden Design).
Here are even more tips on caring for your garden tools
In addition to oiling and managing rust on your garden tools, you want to do complete periodic maintenance on them, such as sharpening them or sanding them (via Garden Tool Company). Moisture can make wooden handles on garden tools rough, so briefly sanding them can give you their smooth texture back. At the same time, you want tools such as little gardening shovels to remain sharp, so you’ll want to hone them just like you would your kitchen knives. Moreover, any small cracks that appear on your wooden handles can be covered with any form of heavy duty tape (via Garden Design).
Finally, it’s important to always take care of yourself, too. Garden Design notes that you should always wear eye and hand protection when sharpening your tools. You can’t garden without your tools, but you especially can’t garden if you’re injured.
Ultimately, whatever your tool care practices are, just make sure you give them a good clean and proper storage at the end of the gardening season so they don’t rust or become worn down during winter.
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