Cleaning and Storing Your Garden Tools

Cleaning and Storing Your Garden Tools

Cleaning and Storing Your Garden Tools 560 315 Eco Garden Systems

Think Spring! This time of year in colder regions it is hard to imagine gardening. Snow covered ground and cold whipping wind have us all hibernating indoors for a long winter. However there are some garden tasks that can be completed to get you ready for the spring garden season. One certain task that can get overlooked is cleaning your garden tools. Garden tools are really an important asset to anyone who gardens. I say asset for the mere fact that some tools can be very expensive! If you do spend a lot on your tools it is important to clean and maintain them just as you would your lawn mower or lawn clippers. Here are a few steps to follow to ensure your garden tools last a long time:

Gather supplies and remove any soil that remains on the tools.  Supplies needed include vinegar, baking soda, mineral or linseed oil, paper towels, a scrub brush and a bucket of sand. Using rubbing alcohol or bleach can also be used to ensure no disease or soil bacteria is left on the tools. Remember that soil left in pots or on tools can still harbor bacteria that can infect your soil the following season. After removing soil, rinse and dry.

Spray vinegar on any parts that have rust. Some of your tools may have rust forming on them due to lack of cleaning each time you use them. Moisture is essential in the garden and without a doubt your tools come in contact with a lot of moisture all the time. Many gardeners tend to neglect this task due to using these tools often. Plus, it can get time consuming cleaning after EVERY use. Believe me you are not alone! Many of us have done it, which makes this winter task easy to complete.

Add linseed oil or an oil of your choice to lubricate. Any of your tools that have moving parts such as your pruners, clippers, or shears, it is important to oil them to keep them functioning properly. This will make sure there will be no squeaky parts when you go to use them the first time in the spring! This is also a good time to sharpen any blades on pruners or clippers to ensure proper cutting and to avoid possible injury from dull blades.

Wrap in paper towels and soak with more vinegar. Place in a small container and leave for two hours or leave overnight. Soaking in vinegar will help remove the rust that has developed. Using a toothbrush or scrub brush, scrub the remaining rust. Rinse and dry

Place back in container and sprinkle with baking soda. Add more vinegar and continue to scrub and clean. Rinse with water and dry.

Store in sand or hang on hooks. These are two ways you can store your tools. Just putting your tools in a drawer or bucket in the garage or garden shed can still cause moisture to develop. Hanging the tools on hooks is a better option but storing them in sand is an even better option. The sand helps wick moisture away and keeps your tools dry until the next use. Storing in sand keeps your tools clean, dry, and free of rust. Adding a little oil such as the linseed oil or vegetable oil to the sand will help with the storing process.

A simple task that can take a few minutes to an hour, depending on the condition of your tools, can save you time, money, and without a doubt frustration. When the time comes to use these important assets in your garden they will be ready to work. Spring is just around the corner and now that this task is done bring on the seed catalogs!

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