Give your tools some TLC while the garden is quiet, as it won’t be long before you’re calling on them to work hard for you again soon – and you’ll want them in tip-top condition when you do.
Start by cleaning your tools, brushing off any dirt and oiling wooden handles with teak oil. Next, turn your attention to sharpening blades.
It’s not only cutting blades such as secateurs, loppers, garden knives and shears which need sharpening; hoes are most effective with a keen edge, and spades also cut through the ground more cleanly when kept sharp.
Invest in a traditional sharpening stone or custom-made sharpening tool – you’ll find a good selection in-store, coming from the main Entrance, towards the rear of the shop on the right hand side. Aim to create a bevelled edge on the cutting blade of your tool, sharpening one side only. Hold larger tools securely and skim the stone in sweeping strokes across the blade, pressing down firmly. For smaller tools, hold the stone, skimming the cutting edge of the tool evenly across.
Finish by carefully wiping over the blade with an oily rag to keep the edge keen until you need it. You may need to repeat the process during the season, especially if you garden on stony or heavy soils. Plus for extra rust prevention. You could try this trick; Fill a 5 gallon bucket with builders sand and pour a quart of new motor oil over it. Use this as a shovel cleaner/oiler each time you put your tools away. Plunge each tool in and out of the oily sand several times after use. You can also use this bucket as a shovel stand!