Now that the busiest part of gardening is over, you may find that you have a little time to care for some neglected tools. This weekend I took inventory of my gardening tools and pulled out a few that looked in need of some TLC.
When faced with chores, I like to start with the easiest steps first. It doesn’t take a lot of elbow grease to wipe down wooded handles with boiled linseed oil. You’ll want to make sure the handles are nice and clean before you start, though. Wipe off any dirt and sand down wood with fine-grit sandpaper. Wipe off any dust with a clean rag. Now you’re ready to rub on some boiled linseed oil. Hang the tool and allow it to dry for about three days before using.
Next up, sharpen dull blades with a mill file. These are inexpensive and found at hardware stores. Be sure to file in the direction of the blade. Don’t move the file back and forth, just in one direction away from you.
Now for the rusty tools. Our shovel isn’t looking so great, so to remove the rust I’ll need to take three steps. First, prepare a mixture of half vinegar and half water and soak your tool for several hours (preferably overnight). Next, using steel wool, scrub off the rust using soap and water until the metal looks as good as new. Rinse and hang tool to allow it to dry completely.
That wasn’t so bad was it? Caring for garden tools is not my favorite thing to do, but I’ll be so happy come spring when I reach for my good-as-new tools!
Vanessa Tsumura lives in Wisconsin with her family. She blogs about crafts and DIY projects atwww.bluetandclover.com.
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