Your gardening tools, like your power tools, require proper care and do need to be regularly maintained in order to lengthen their lifespan, even if they are made to last for years. Perform regular maintenance checks and make a habit of cleaning your tools after each use to not only protect your investments but to keep them sharp, sterile, rust-free and ready for the next use. A few minutes of cleaning after every use, will care for your tools tremendously.

See our tips on how to properly care for your garden tools here:

Thoroughly Clean Tools

Wipe down all cutting tools with a dry cloth after each time they are used, with a disinfecting product to sterilise them. Clean all tools that came into contact with any soil so that you don’t spread diseases between plants and cause major problems in the garden. Make sure to sterilise any tools that have also been used near chemicals, as they will destroy any metal parts. Blades that are built up with sap can be difficult to work with and solvents can be used to remove sap build. Tools with springs and joints should be dismantled and deep cleaned at least once in a season, which can be done at the end of the season before putting away tools for winter.

Keep Cutting Tools Sharp

Cutting or pruning branches with blunt blades will only damage your plants, allowing them to become vulnerable to disease. You can use a sharpening stone or an expert pruner sharpening kit and always sharpen the bevel-edged blade. A hone or whetstone should be used for sharpening cutting tools and a sharpening file should be used to remove any nicks to smooth out rough edges of your spades and trowels, and then followed by using a sharpening stone. Give your tools a quick sharpening annually or at the end of a season.

Store Tools Away Properly

Store your garden hose correctly after each use and it will last double as long. Rather put it coiled, avoiding any knots or twists, rather than folded as it protects the hose from mishaps, like being driven over by a car. Coil the hose around a bucket or a large pot or think about investing in a hose reel. It’s suggested to store hoses indoors as frequent exposure to cold weather can weaken the hose material. Prevent leaks by using plumber’s tape when you connect the hose to the faucet to amend any drips and keep connections free from leaking by replacing washers. It’s advisable to keep a washer supply for quick fixes. Remember to always drain hose nozzles and wands properly before storing them away to prevent corrosion.

Put Tools in a Dry Area

Do not put your tools away wet. Rather allow them to dry completely before storing, to prevent metal from rusting and any wooden handles from rotting. Moisture and wet soil are the biggest reasons of corrosion. After use, always store your tools in a dry, sheltered area like the garage or a garden shed, to avert any possibility of them getting wet limiting them from any exposure to unexpected weather such as: rain, frost and hail. Hanging your garden tools up on a wall works well. Keep your wheelbarrow rust-free by cleaning any debris after each use, and if you rinse it with water, then stand it up to let it fully dry before packing it away. This will ensures that the metal stays intact with less corrosion.

Take Care of Wooden Handles

Help preserve your wooden handles on your tools by caring for them properly and keeping them well-oiled and moisturised. After the season has ended, examine all handles on your gardening tools for any hints of splintering. After a while, the wood dries out and starts to splinter. Keep your tools in tip-top condition by applying a thin layer of lubricating oil to wooden handles on tools like rakes, shears and spades, as it will protect not only the tool but your hands as well. If necessary, sand any nicks or splinters completely smooth. Rub a small amount of oil on with a dry cloth and allow the oil to penetrate before packing them away, which will prevent rust from forming as well as any possible corrosion. Also don’t forget to apply oil to the joints of blades too in order to protect your tools.

Maintain Electric Tools

If you use a lawnmower, then there are a few more maintenance tasks that are required to keep your lawnmower in working order until the next mowing season comes around. Start by giving your lawnmower some fresh oil and replace the spark plug if necessary. Then proceed to clean the air filter but ensure the spark plug wire is disconnected before doing this. Also, make sure the petrol tank is empty before lifting the mower. Keep mower blades sharp and examine that all screws and bolts and are all there and are tightened. This goes for other electrical items like a leaf blower and a chainsaw and remember to always refer to the user manual before fixing any electrical item.

You can purchase any gardening tool or tool cleaning equipment you need from your nearest Mica Hardware!