4 Ways to Maintain Garden Tools | Reader's Digest

4 Ways to Maintain Garden Tools

Keep your garden tools in good condition with these helpful tips.

from Householder's Survival Manual

Cheap tools perform poorly and will need replacing sooner, so, purchase good-quality tools and keep them in top shape.
1. Clean tools regularly. Brush or scrape off dirt and debris after each use, and store them out of the weather.

2. Keep metal parts lubricated by rubbing or spraying them with household oil or penetrating oil. An easy way to clean tools is to fill a bucket with sand, and mix in some automotive or lawn mower oil (leftover oil from your car’s last oil change is ideal). After scraping off excess dirt, plunge a tool into the bucket of sand several times. It will emerge clean and well oiled.

3. Sharpen tools. Take your tools to a professional sharpener once a year, or sharpen them yourself.

4. Keep tools in good repair. For example, you should tighten the bolts on wheelbarrows periodically and check the air in the tires. Mend or replace splintered wooden handles on rakes and hoes. Patch leaking hoses. If rust develops on metal parts of a tool, remove it with a wire brush and apply a coat of naval jelly.