Follow these tips to extend the life of your tools so you can save money and garden worry-free!
Gardening can be messy, not to mention damaging to your shovel and other gardening tools over time. Luckily there are simple steps to keep your gardening tools clean and usable time and again.
1. Clean with a barbecue brush
To clean digging tools easily, invest in a barbecue brush with a scraper attachment. Use the scraper to remove layers of mud from the tool as you dig, and use the brush to brush off the dried dirt before you put the tool away.
2. Use sand to prevent rust...
Don’t just toss your garden tools in a bin or bucket when you’re done with them; they’ll eventually rust. To prevent this, submerge the metal parts in a bucket of sand whenever the tools are not in use. (Better yet, add some mineral oil to the sand.) Make sure the sand is stored in a dry place where rainwater can’t get into it, though. If you decide you don’t want to store your tools in sand, then a good thing to do is to toss a handful of tea leaves in whatever container you keep them in. For whatever reason, the leaves will help keep the metal nice, new, and rust-free.
3. ...Or use car wax
Make sure your garden shears never rust with a little car wax. Just rub a little paste over the shears (including the hinge) to prevent them from ever getting stuck again.
4. Bleach disinfectant
Use a solution of bleach and water to disinfect pruning shears after you’re done so you don’t spread diseases between plants. Rinse with tepid water until the bleach is gone.
5. Moisturize garden tools
Care for wooden garden tools as you would your skin—moisturize! Over time, wood dries out and splinters. Apply a thin coat of linseed oil to wooden handles on rakes and shovels; it’ll keep them safe and usable. A little goes a long way, so use the oil sparingly.
6. Store your hose properly for maximum usage
Your garden hose will last twice as long if you store it coiled, rather than folded. Try coiling it around a bucket. Note that the hose will be easiest to work with when it’s neither very cold nor very hot outside.