If you love gardening, you’ve probably invested in a number of specific tools. Shovels, forks, secateurs and other grelinettes that seem to be foolproof but that, if not properly maintained, can quickly become damaged over the course of use. Contact with the earth, wear, rust can damage them, not to mention the risk of injury to the gardener and the spread of diseases for plants. To avoid this and preserve your garden tools for a long time, regular maintenance is required!
Maintaining the cutting tools
The cutting tools must be especially maintained to keep their sharpness and to guarantee an easy and safe use.
Care of the handle: A good grip is essential for a clean cut and a reduced risk of injuries and blisters. Clean the wooden handles and check for splinters or protrusions such as wooden nails.If necessary, sand with a piece of fine sandpaper to smooth the surface. Finally, apply a cloth impregnated with linseed oil, the latter will protect the wood from the weather.
Sharpening the blades: Over time, the blades become dull. Clean them with soapy water and then sharpen them with a whetstone on both sides and always outwards. If you have a grinding wheel, you can also use it to sharpen the cutting equipment. The hoes and spades, even if they are not strictly speaking cutting tools, can also find their bite if you pass them to the metal file.
Disinfect the blades: You do not always think about it, but badly cleaned blades can spread diseases from one plant to another. Ideally, you should disinfect your sharp tools after each use with a rag soaked in 90 ° alcohol or rubbing alcohol. This operation will also eliminate any resin residues of the blades.
The case of shears and pruning shears: In order to facilitate the cleaning and sharpening of the blades, you can dismantle your shears and shears by removing the central spring.
Maintain earth-working tools
Gardening tools in direct contact with the ground such as spades, rakes and forks must be given special care. Avoid as much as possible to leave them outside, especially in winter, and clean the mud glued to the metal without waiting too much. You can rub them with a brush, sandpaper or iron straw, or immerse them in a tray or seal filled with sand.
Overcoming rust on garden tools
Over time, the metal parts of your tools may rust, especially if they are exposed to moisture or you have neglected their maintenance.To eliminate it, several solutions are possible: you can rub with a cloth or newspapers impregnated with white vinegar or pass a onion or a lemon cut in two on the zones piquetées.
If the rust is more extensive, it may be helpful to soak the tools overnight in vinegar, and add an abrasive such as coarse salt or baking soda when scrubbing the metal with a brush. Then rinse and dry the pickled areas.
Maintaining motor appliances in the garden
Electrical gardening equipment in good condition is the guarantee of a neat job but also of a safe use. Hedge trimmers, mowers and brushcutters must be cleaned after each use, once disconnected and de-energized.
The lawn mower: Remove the grass that has stuck to the machine and the one that has got stuck under the crankcase. Clean the cables, disengage and oil the wheel axle. Regularly, sharpen the blades or have it done by a professional.
Brushcutter: Wait until the tank is empty or drain it. Clean the guard and the filter. Change the cutting line and sharpen the blade with a file or sharpening stone.
Watch out for damaged gardening tools
Do you think this cracked spade or loose fork will do the trick for your day’s work? Do not even think about it! With a damaged tool, you risk getting hurt, superficially or more seriously. The priority is to repair them before use: change the defective sleeves, broken or cracked, check the fasteners, welds, tighten the screws, reclose what should be and change the springs distended.
Simple gestures for garden tools that last
Do you prefer to avoid the large annual maintenance of your garden tools? Prefer a quick but regular maintenance all year long: wash them with soapy water and wipe them as soon as they are dirty, regularly lubricate pruning shears, cutters and shears, and spend some linseed oil on the wooden sleeves.
Storage is also important. To store and organize your garden tools with care is to reduce maintenance time and ensure a long life for your equipment. Choose a dry place, put the tools upside down and preferably hanging. For safe storage, put the cutting elements up and out of the reach of children.