Lawn Care Starts with Taking Care of Your Lawn Tools

by Keith Markensen

Be it large or small, the right tools can come in handy and speed and simplify the process of tending to your lawn and garden. To this end your first order of business should be to take care of your tools themselves, so they can help take care of your garden. If you don’t have a separate area where you can store all of your tools, stakes, insecticides and other tools of the gardener’s trade, you should really consider creating one. This can be as simple as moving things around to create some space in your garage, or as robust as creating a separate tool shed or locker that these items can be safely stored and organized in.

There plenty of tools which can be considered either basic and vital, or more specialized and dependent on your personal needs. In the category of basic tools that most gardeners will want to have we have the metal shank spade or spading fork, hand fork and hand cultivator, and your small planting shovels. A good pair of shears is almost a necessity if you have hedges, a weed spud is vital just about everyone with a yard, and an iron rake is also a great tool. Lastly there’s a hose, your garden variety watering can, and a wheelbarrow to easily transport the fruits of your labor around.

On the not so vital scale we have items like the edging sickle, a stapling gun, a pruning saw, soil sieves, long-handled shears, a dibble and a reel for your hose. You’ll also want to have plant ties and stakes, labels, chicken wire, a yardstick, measuring cups, insecticides, fertilizers, sand and plant foods.

If money is not an object and you want the ultimate ease and comfort at your disposal when gardening, you can consider picking up a pressure sprayer, a spreader, a garden tractor, a garden lawn sweeper, an electric hotbed, and a garden mower with mulcher.

As you can see there are plenty of tools at your disposal, and this is really only the tip of the iceberg. Now you can understand the importance of having a space devoted to all of these items. Keeping them organized and accounted for is only part one of the battle though, keeping them rust free being the next objective. With most tools being stored in unlit and damp environments, and not being wiped off after use, garden tools are a prime target of rust. Be sure to wipe down your tools after use and keep them stored in an area where they’re less exposed to air.

Your garden hose may be another tool that is not getting the proper care. One thing to ensure while using it to help preserve its lifespan as well as your landscape designs is that there are no kinks in the line while water is running through it. Also coil it loosely when storing it away. Tool storage needs to be part of any landscape plan.

Lastly, keep the wooden handles on any of your tools sanded down and preserved with linseed oil. You’ll also want to ensure that the blades on your hoes and sickles are sharp by filing them.

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