Garden Tool Prep—It’s Time!

If you’re itching to start some kind of work in the garden but feel it’s just a little too early to really get your hands dirty, why not spend some time and get your trusty garden tools in tip-top shape.  Here are some jobs to do now that will pay back big dividends come spring time…and will also whet that gardening appetite. 

Totally clearing out your storage area and giving the floors, benches and shelves a good sweep to clear away cobwebs, dirt and dead insects is a great start—and you will also get a good idea of what you have, what you may need, and what you can get rid of. 

Gather up your shears, pruners and loppers.  Using a wire brush, scrape off any loose rust or dirt. Then give them a soak in Evapo-Rust. Evapo-Rust is an amazing rust remover and will get rid of any rust that you didn’t easily remove.  It’s biodegradable, safe on skin and eyes, and is reusable (I’ve reused mine for 20 years!).  Its available online at Lee Valley or Amazon.  Lee Valley sells a 32 oz size for $15.

You can sharpen your own pruner and lopper blades easily—the company Multi-Sharp has a tool called the Pruner & Lopper Guided Sharpener that is designed to re-sharpen blades at four different angles.  Cost is about $18 and it is available at Lee Valley or Amazon.  I’ve used mine for over 20 years—I’m sure it’s not a professional job but it’s nice to be able to do it yourself. 

Once your blades are rust free, a thin coat of protective oil will prevent rust build up and keep the gears limber.  Sea Foam Deep Creep Lubricant (available at Canadian Tire for about $14) is an excellent product and also loved by mechanics everywhere.

While you have the Deep Creep out, if you have a wheelbarrow, oil up those wheels now and put some air in the tires.  Linseed Oil is nice to use on the handles if they are made of wood (first give them a quick sand with a piece of 80 grit sandpaper).

Digging and weeding tools that have wooden handles can also be spruced up with Linseed Oil (and a quick sand as mentioned above). 

Finally, you might as well toss out those gloves with too many holes, the crumpled seed packets and the broken plant markers!  Some gardeners tend to be hoarders and starting spring with a clean slate and fresh, sharp, tiddled up tools will feel wonderful!