Caring for Garden Tools

When we down-sized to our townhouse, I told Mr. Right I was in, but I had to have some dirt to play in.  There was no way he was going to get me into a high-rise with nothing but a balcony.  Even though we have a teeny little courtyard, I like to have flowers, herbs, shrubs, trees, and tomato plants growing out there in the summer.  So, I get to spend a few minutes each day getting my hands dirty and giving my tools a good work-out.  Even though we have a very small space, it is important that I take care of our garden tools.

Fall in the courtyard

Since we do have a limited amount of space, it’s important that I keep all of the plants tamed and growing the way I want them to and not the way they want to.  So, I just pull out my trusty clippers and cut away.  It’s kind of like a little beauty parlor for plants.


But after several years of using my clippers, they were getting dull and looking ugly.  Then I learned from one of my fellow garden club members that the local hardware store (we only have one locally-owned hardware store left in all of Lexington) sharpens, hones, and shines up used tools.  I took my tools to them, waited a few days, picked them up, and they look like new.  The total price for sharpening three tools was $7.50, and I’ll now get many more years of use out of them.  Score!!!



Now, if you are one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have a hardware store that will do this for you, I saw an episode of Martha Stewart once, and she showed us how to winterize tools.  She cleaned them, sanded off any gunk that was left on them, and then she wiped some oil on them (the kind you use on a lawn mower), wiped them off, and stuck them in a can of sand for the winter.  Here’s the link to a video on her site that shows the procedure.  (I think it was a pre-prison Martha, but I have to tell you that I love that woman.  I think she is the one who inspired us all to be more involved with our homes, decorating, remodeling and DIYing.)  Since it is late October, you might want to check and repair your tools before it gets too cold to do it outside.  And then next spring when you are ready to play in the dirt, your tools will be ready, too.

Take care.