Every green thumb guru knows a few basic garden tool maintenance tips. My Dad had some crazy ones. At least I thought they were crazy. Now that we’re not sharing a yard with neighbors, we have a larger garden. This year I’ve had a chance to put some of Dad’s garden tool maintenance tips to the test. Guess what? It seems Dad’s crazy tool maintenance trips weren’t so crazy after all. They work!
Keep garden tools clean with sand and oil.
Dad always kept a bucket of sand mixed with a bit of oil in the garage. When he was done in the garden he plunged his tools into the sand/oil mixture for cleaning. Dad was a jack of all trades. He used the same method for his mechanics tools. It worked wonderfully to remove dirt and grease. Plus, the light coat of oil was an everyday rust preventative.
Sharpen your shovels, hoes and trowels.
While this isn’t exactly crazy garden tool maintenance, most people these days don’t know you have to sharpen shovels and such. You might think this chore is limited to knives, scythes and lawn mower blades. Give it some thought. A sharp shovel works more efficiently. We certainly figured this out when tilling our huge garden by hand this spring.
Sand and paint wooden handles.
Can’t imagine going to all this trouble with your garden tools? This crazy garden tool maintenance tip makes tools easier to use. Prevent slivers by sanding and painting wooden handles. This serves another unique purpose. You’re less likely to leave a brightly painted tool outside to rust. It’s too easy to spot. Sometimes rust prevention is as simple as that.
Clean rusty tools with a coke and a smile.
What if you do leave your tools outside? Can you salvage them? Sure. Just immerse them in Cola, scrub with a stiff brush and use the next crazy garden tool maintenance tip. How do I know it works? Well, let’s just say it’s not a good idea for a ten year old to leave her Dad’s tools out to rust. There are many more uses for Coca Cola in the garden as well.
Prevent garden tool rust with car wax.
What about rust free winter storage for tools? My Dad had a crazy tip for that too. Every year, after harvest and yard clean-up was done, he coated all the metal parts of his yard and garden tools with car wax. Then he hung the tools off the ground for storage. This way, they stayed clean and dry all winter.
Portions of this article were originally published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.