How to maintain your garden tools: 3 simple steps

A good gardener is nothing without good tools. And for good reason, quality tools in good condition are more efficient in the garden and less tiring to use. Not to mention that maintaining your garden tools also reduces the risk of injury and avoids spreading disease from plant to plant with contaminated tools. And let’s not even talk about the ecological benefit of keeping your tools as long as possible! In general, when winter approaches, the maintenance of garden tools is therefore a necessary step. Here’s how to do it!

1. Clean the tools

Normally any garden tool or rural part must be thoroughly cleaned after each use. But, in reality, it is rarely possible, due to lack of time or motivation. A major annual cleaning is therefore all the more necessary to be able to use your tools again in the spring.

To do this, you have to rub. Unfortunately, there is no other miracle solution. So gather up your pruners, rakes or even sticks and clean them with a brush and soapy water. Then remember to dry them well prevent rust. And if the rust has already appeared in many places, then use steel wool to remove it. If that’s not enough, soak the rusty tools overnight in a mixture of white vinegar and water.

Also note that you can use rubbing alcohol on tool blades to more easily remove stubborn debris such as resin. It will also have a very useful disinfecting action to prevent the spread of disease. Ideally, this should also be done after each use.

gardening tools
Credits: iStock/AlexRaths

Good to know : if you have the soul of a craftsman, feel free to repair anything that can be repaired or replace worn parts (handles, screws, springs, etc.).

2. Sharpen the tools

Gardening with dull tools can be choppy and uneven dangerous. It is therefore highly recommended that you regularly sharpen (always from the inside out) the blades and other teeth and claws of the tools.

Well, get one metal file for ground tools such as hoes, spades or hoes. For cutting tools, such as knives or pruning shears, a Whetstone it matches perfectly.

3. Protect the tools

Finally, it is necessary to protect it gardening tools before storing them for the winter. The target? Find them in such good condition in a few months.

First, go from sandpaper all wooden handles tools to remove all debris. Then apply a layer of linseed oil on these same handles to waterproof the wood and thus protect it from bad weather conditions.

Then make way for the metal parts. These actually should be coated with paraffin to prevent rust.

Finally, store your tools in one clean and dry placeif possible in height.