Use these 4 tips to keep your garden tools in top shape
Have you got a favourite garden tool? Mine is a goofy little weeding fork (painted to match my stencilled lawnmower and wheelbarrow!). I use it all the time. Once in a while I try something else, but always return to my trusty old buddy. Just like true friends, when you find the right ones, you hang onto them.
No two gardeners seem to prefer the same tools: it depends on what you’re growing, how you like to work, and the type of maintenance your garden requires. But there’s one thing we all come to realize: cheap garden tools are cheap garden tools—more often than not, you get what you paid for.
Once you know which tools you like, start investing in the best ones you can afford and take the time to keep them in good shape. You’ll not only save a lot of money but have a collection of treasured tools to rely on throughout your gardening years.
4 Tips For Best Garden Tool Care
Product links go to my affiliate’s account at Amazon.com.
Tip #1 – PAINT
This is particularly useful for locating small hand tools that disappear into weed bins.
- Paint the ends of your garden tool handles so they stand out in the garden.
- Or mark them with a distinctive color of duct tape.
Tip #2 -CLEAN
- After use, scrub off dirt under garden hose.
- Rinse in diluted household bleach if necessary.
- Dry thoroughly.
Tip #3 – STORE
- Make sure tools are completely dry.
- Store tools hanging up. See how I create tool hangers (below).
If every tool has a designated place, you’ll notice what’s missing at the end of your gardening day.
Tip #4 – MAINTAIN
- Protect wooden handles with boiled linseed oil. See it here at Amazon.com.
- Tighten loose screws.
- Lubricate moving parts with 3-in-1 oil (see it at Amazon.com) or WD-40.
- Sharpen – learn to do it yourself or take tools with dull or nicked blades to professional sharpener.
Painting tool handles and making hangers
1. Drill holes through top of wooden handles. Position the hole so that bulky rake heads will hang parallel to the wall.
2. Sand wood to remove any finishes.
3. Apply painter’s tape if you want a crisp edge.
4. Paint end of handle. Allow to dry.
5. Apply stencil (optional). I created a simple leaf stencil with cardstock and used white spray paint. Allow to dry.
6. Add wire to form a ring.
7. Hang on wall-mounted board with cup hooks.
My black and white tool handles are easy to see in the garden plus they match my stencilled wheelbarrow and lawnmower, of course. It was worth doing it just to see how it made my husband laugh!
If you’re curious about my favourite weeding tool, it’s an older version of this one.