Home Toolbuy News Time to put away your gardening tools -- the right way

Time to put away your gardening tools -- the right way

Nov 27,2008
North Florida gardeners don't have a very long break between winter and spring, but now is the time to get your gardening tools in order; determine what tools you will need for spring; and properly clean and store your tools for the winter. Getting Your Tools in Order: Assemble all of your gardening tools to determine if your tools are all in good working order or if some need to be replaced. While this may be an easy job for many, for those who subscribe to the "Stop & Drop School of Gardening" this may a formidable task. These are the gardeners who after a backbreaking, sweaty session in the garden have a tendency to just leave that rake or a trowel in the garden where they stopped working. This group may now have to do a little detective work to do in order to locate their gardening equipment! Determine What Tools You Need: Basic gardening tools include rakes, pruning shears, spades, hoes, shovels, wheel barrel/cart, gardening gloves, and watering cans/hoses. For the sake of your back and shoulders, using the right tool can be very important, but don't buy expensive tools until you know you love gardening. Flea markets and yard sales are good sources of inexpensive tools. Cleaning Tools: Remove any dried mud or debris from your tools with a hose or a screwdriver. Never put your tools away wet! Use a file to smooth away any nicks on the edges of your shovels and trowels. Sharpen your cutting tools such as clippers and shears with a fine file, sharpening stone, or by cutting through sandpaper. Remove any rust with steel wool and coat metal parts of your tools with a penetrating oil or petroleum jelly to protect them from rust. Sand wooden handles to remove rough spots and condition the wood by wiping the handles with an oily rag. Tool Storage: Drain water from your hoses, and hang them in a garage or shed until spring. This procedure will dramatically increase the life span of your hoses. (Caution: Don't hang your hose from a nail as this tends to produce kinks which damage the walls of the hose!) Long-handled tools such as rakes, shovels, and loping shears can be hung on a nail or peg rack. Not only will they not be in the way, but this will keep their edges from dulling. Short-handled tools such as trowels and shears can be stored in containers or in the gardening bag that travels with you as you work in the garden. Avoid leaving tools on the floor of your garage or shed or in other places that tend to get damp during the winter months. Remember keeping your gardening equipment in good repair means these tools will be ready to help you come springtime when you are ready to start in again!

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