Tools need regular maintenance to keep them in top condition and the winter months are the perfect time for giving everything a good service.
Clean hand tools of dirt & sap and spray with oil to prevent rusting. Keeping blades sharp will give cleaner cuts when pruning, allowing the plant to heal effectively. Hoes and spades are also much more effective when their cutting edge is maintained. Sharpening blades needn’t be difficult as long as these simple steps are followed:
You Will Need
1) If the blade is dirty or rusty, clean with wire wool.
2) Hold the knife so that the blade is facing away from you, raise the back of the blade by 20° and draw the blade across the sharpening steel or stone, maintaining a constant pressure. This will need to be done 3-4 times.
3) Secateurs and shears usually have a single sided blade - these have a flat side and an angled side. Knives will usually have a double sided blade, meaning both sides of the blade are angled. For double sided blades repeat step 2 on the unsharpened side. For single sided blades, hold the flat side of the knife against the stone/steel and draw the blade back and forth to remove any burs.
4) Spray with the light machine oil to prevent rusting.
Spades and forks will often have a lot of stress exerted through the handle, and if the tool is not properly cared for the handle will eventually snap. For tools with a wooden handle, apply linseed oil directly to the handle and work into the wood using a cloth. Regularly treating the handle in this way preserves the natural flexibility of the wood and helps prevent it from snapping.
Once your tools have been sharpened store them with the sharpened end facing up to prevent the blade from dulling and undoing your hard work.
For general cleaning and polishing of your tools, you can also use concentrated organic soap, which is ideal for cleaning just about anything in the garden.
Did You Know?
A pot brush is an ideal tool for cleaning pots, whether they are terracotta or plastic. It’s a cleverly shaped brush that will reach even the toughest parts of your pots thanks to its tightly packed bristles.
Our Gardening Angels are here to help you grow strong, healthy plants with bumper harvests. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions on 0845 602 3774 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always here to help!