Keep you Garden Tools in Top Shape
There are any number of tips and tricks about how to maintain garden tools, but probably one of the main things to consider is how you look after them. Yes, they need to be cleaned, dried, sharpened, oiled and mended, but most importantly, they need to be properly stored. Leaving them lying around the yard won’t help with longevity no matter how many times you sharpen and mend. So the underlying factor in maintaining those often expensive garden tools is quite simply, proper storage.
Rain and Damp
This is a big factor in proper storage of your tools. If you store them in a rain and damp free zone, you are actually ensuring that rust is largely avoided. Even when no rain is on the horizon, moisture in the form of wet grass can be enough to start rust if you are in the habit of leaving tools outdoors in the yard. The simple act of storing your tools in an outdoor shed will go a long way towards maintaining your garden tools. If you take this a step further and create a place with a label for all your tools, it will help you to not only keep track of them, but act as a prompt to put them in the place you have specially created.
You can organize a system of hooks, shelves and storage baskets for your tools as a way of keeping them off the ground inside your shed. A hanging rack for example, is a good way to store long handled tools in a small space and will also aid in the prevention of damaging edges you might have painstakingly sharpened. If you are in the habit of glancing around your shed and notice there is a blank space where a particular tool should be, you will automatically be alerted to the possibility of a tool which is still somewhere in the yard.
These work really well for storing small tools such as clippers, trowels and shears for example, or you could use a shelf and label where each tool sits. Things like nozzles and connectors for garden hoses will never become lost if you have a handy basket to store them in and the plastic won’t crack and break from constantly being left out in the weather.
Other Maintenance Tasks
While appropriate storage of your tools will in itself prove to be a major maintenance activity, you will still need to do a few minor tasks to maintain your garden tools and keep them in good condition. The most obvious of these is to make sure they are clean and dry when you put them away. You can hose the dirt off easily enough, but you should also dry them off as well with an old towel or a rag kept specifically for the purpose. This also applies to small tools like shears and pruners which may also need a wipe down with turpentine to remove any sap from the blades.
It doesn’t take much for rust to take hold of metal garden tools so a preventative spray with a protective rust proof coating is also handy. A little linseed oil will also work wonders on the wooden handles of your tools to prevent them drying out and cracking. And yes, keeping pruners sharp will always ensure they do the job for you.
If you maintain your garden tools, they should last you a long time and keeping them out of the weather in a garden shed is the best thing you could possible do. Following up with a little cleaning, oiling and sharpening will put the finishing touch on your garden tool maintenance efforts.