Good quality garden tools can last a lifetime with ongoing basic care. When you find a tool that works really well, it’s worth taking the time to maintain it.
Confused by pruners? This shows you how to decide which pruner is best for the jobs in your garden.
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.
Related: See my DIY Garden Tool Shed
4 Tips For Best Garden Tool Care
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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.
- Tighten loose screws.
- Lubricate moving parts with 3-in-1 oil 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 stenciled wheelbarrow and lawnmower, of course. It was worth doing it just to see how it made my husband laugh!
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛