Garden season preparation: Ready tools for the growing season

One of the purposes of Gardening On A Dime is to give you economical tips and hints to get you started down the gardening path. Tools are bought, plants are planted, and then what?  Care for those tools is often forgotten as they are laid aside until the next time they are needed. Read these tips and take care of those shiny new tools.

(ARA) – As the seasons change and outdoor living becomes a reality once again, visions of bountiful gardens and green grass fill the heads of most homeowners. It is likely, however, that a few items in the tool shed need some attention.

Even the most experienced gardener has tools for working in and around the garden and lawn. Although the lawnmower, spreader, shovel or rake may get taken for granted, all tools work more efficiently and last longer with proper care.

Essential tools:

A quick inventory of garden and lawn tools will make things easier this growing season. Most tool sheds contain a shovel, hoe, trowel and hose. Lawn care can be even easier with just a few additional items such as a mower, a rake and a high-quality spreader like the Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard DLX Spreader .

You can find many variations on these basic tools and numerous other options on the market such as trimmers, edgers, aerators and tillers, but the key is to have a few essentials on-hand and ready for use.

Care tips:

Most garden and lawn tools have metal parts containing iron and, therefore, attract rust. Oxygen present in the air and water combines with iron to create reddish-looking patches on metal, known as rust. Left unchecked, rust can eventually destroy a tool – but it is easily prevented. Simply keep tools clean and dry.

After each use, tools like shovels and hoes need a quick cleaning with a stiff wire brush and rag to remove moisture and debris. Oiling or waxing the blades on garden and lawn tools is a great way to prevent future rust while keeping tools in tip-top shape. If a tool is already rusted, simply apply a small amount of mineral oil and scrub with steel wool, or consider a commercial rust remover if necessary.

Lawnmowers need care each season. A properly cared for and maintained mower will last for several years. To ensure the best possible performance, treat your mower to a tune-up, oil change and blade sharpening each spring.

Spreaders also need annual maintenance to ensure peak performance. After each use, empty the leftover contents back into the bag. Finally, place the spreader on the grass and hose it down. Any metal parts may also benefit from a spray of oil to prevent rust.

Proper tool storage is very important. Remember to keep tools clean and dry. Never leave tools outside, exposed to the elements. If possible, hang shovels, spades, hoes, rakes and hand tools from hooks on the wall, making tools easier to find when needed.

Some attention at the start of the season really pays off in the end, and extends the life of your favorite garden and lawn tools. So this year, take a few minutes to care for these items and reap the benefits for many years to come.

We hope this helps in your new gardening adventures.

Happy Gardening,
Dave and Trish

Two Florida gardeners living in a sub-tropical paradise. Find us on Google+!

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