Garden Forever
Tool Tips

  • Buy the best quality tools you can afford - they will last longer
  • Good quality hardened steel blades hold an edge better and longer
  • Stainless steel, cast aluminum and some of the newer "space age" materials like Nyglass® (nylon reinforced with fiberglass) don't rust
  • Maintain and care for tools regularly throughout the growing season and do a final thorough cleanup in the fall before storing tools
  • Hang tools up rather than resting them on their points
  • Don't leave tools outside in the elements - always bring them in and wipe them off after use

  • Remove all dry, caked on dirt metal surfaces of tools
  • Rub with oil (motor, VD-40, vegetable) and wipe with a dry rag - oiling will prevent rust from forming - this is particularly important over the winter when moisture finds its way into the garage or shed
  • Wood handles - rubbing a with rag soaked in boiled linseed oil and letting the oil be absorbed into the wood, helps prevent drying and cracking that can lead to splinters
  • Check and tighten any screws or bolts along the handle
  • Sharpen cutting edges with a metal file for most larger tools
  • Pruners and Loppers - remove any sap with soapy water or turpentine - add a drop of oil (V;D-4.0 or household) to pivot points - sharpen with a good diamond or ceramic sharpening stone - check sharpness regularly as a good edge will do a more efficient job and is easier on the plant and the gardener
  • keep a bucket (approx. 5 gal) of coarse sharp sand mixed with about I quart of clean motor oil a sheltered tool area - after using shovels, etc. stab the metal end in the sand mixture a few times and wipe dry - sand will knock off the dirt and oil will prevent rusting

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