Pro Tips: Maintaining Your Garden Tools

If you're reading this post, I'm betting you have some garden tools laying around.  Maybe a trowel, or hand pruners, or a shovel. . .and whatever the tool, at some point you'll need to maintain it.  In fact, regular maintenance ensures your tools are going to be more effective, safer, and require you to put in less effort as you work. 

Here are 5 helpful videos that show you how to maintain your garden tools!

You'll find that some of these videos offer different advice on how to do things like clean or oil or sterlize. . .and that's a good thing! Because often, different methods will work just as well.

So watch, and experiment with their suggestions, and figure out what works best for you.

1. Clean and Sterilize

Video by GardenNerd. 

As you use your garden tools, they're going to get dirty.  Of course trowels and shovels and the like will get dirty, but pruners can get messy too! You may have to remove sap, or dirt, or even insects from tools in order to make sure they work properly and don't spread disease or infestation to other plants.  This video, by GardenNerd, has some tips for removing stubborn dirt, rust, and sap as well as how to sanitize. 

2. Sharpen

Video by GrowOrganic Peaceful Valley

Keeping your garden tools sharp improves their performance, and also keeps YOU safer as you work.  Grow Organic Peaceful Valley shares some great tips on properly sharpening a variety of different tools, as well as properly cleaning them first in an earth friendly manner. 


3. Oil

If you clean your tools, or you use them a lot, or perhaps they've been left out in the rain. . .you may find them very difficult to use.  They just don't want to open or shut like they should, or some of the moving parts refuse to, well, move.  Usually, this means it's time to add oil.  But, it's helpful to know where to apply the oil, how much, and even what kind!  Nearly all of the videos I linked to mention oiling, and provide tips, so I'm just going to encourage you to watch them again.

4. Fall Cleanup

Video by UNL Extension 

Although it's important to maintain your garden tools all through the gardening season, more in-depth cleanup, sharpening, and such is a smart move right before you store your tools for winter.  This video by the University of Nebraska, Lincoln Extension gives some great tips! Keep in mind that you can do any of the things the presenter mentions are pretty much any time, but do especially try and do them before long periods of not using your tools.

5. Organize and Store

Video by GrowYourHeirlooms

Keeping your tools organized is an often overlooked maintenance step! When your garden tools are properly stored and organized, you can easily see what you have available to get a job done, and you're less likely to misplace something if it has a dedicated place to stay. Plus, the tools are less likely to break or damage each other (or something or someone else)!  A tool rack is a great way to organize everything, and that's what Grow Your Heirlooms shows you how to do in this video.

Have any pro tips of your own when it comes to maintaining garden tools? Share in the comments!

Linda KelsoComment