The garden is done, it’s too early to start planning for spring, so it is the perfect time for giving your hard working garden tools some TLC. We all do it, leave the rake or shovel out in the weather, the garden trowel is found laying in the dirt where you last used it. We know and understand the care and maintenance of our power tools but too often we don’t think about the hand tools. A few simple steps can make a huge difference in the lifespan of these simple hand tools. Clean tools also reduce the spread of disease or fungi in your garden. 

Drip Depot has a large selection of Garden Tools and Accessories to help with all your gardening tasks.

Clean: Wash all the dirt off your garden tools with a stiff bristle brush and let thoroughly dry.

Sand: Wood handles can be sanded smooth and then rubbed with linseed oil to keep them from drying out. If the metal parts have a bit of rust on them, use a wire brush or 80 grit sandpaper to remove.

Sharpen: Any dull edges can be sharpened with a simple flat file. You can find this type of file at most hardware stores. Many will have a coarse and fine side. Cutting tools like shears and pruners can be finished with a whetstone to get a finer, sharper edge.

Oil: Apply a light coating of linseed oil on the metal parts for long term winter storage.

Storing the tools in a dry location, preferably hanging up off the ground or floor is best for you larger tools, like shovels, rakes, and such. The small hand tools can be hung on pegboard hooks or stored in a pail filled with oiled sand for easy access and protection from rust damage. 

To make oiled sand you will need:

  1. A large bucket, pail, or even a flower pot that can hold all you hand tools.

  2. Enough sand to fill the container deep enough to push your tools into it to cover the metal parts.

  3. Enough oil to mix in the sand to make it damp but not moist. You can use whatever type of oil you want, such as motor oil, mineral oil or even vegetable oil.