We are now half way through the year, the garden is in full flush and gardeners all over are working hard. The biggest help we have, other than bees and other insects, is our tools. Whether you only use hand tools or like to use power tools you will need to keep them clean, well maintained and ready for work.
Many people talk about the maintenance you should do at the end of the year when you put your tools away for the winter and when you bring them out in the spring. But the truth is that you need to do continuous maintenance all throughout the year. Power tools need to be greased, edges need to be cleaned and sharpened, and various nuts, bolts and screws all need tightening to keep it all good.
- Putting a semi sharp edge on your spade or hoe will help you when digging and weeding
- Spray hedge trimmer blades with a light lubricant such as WD40 after use
- Clean off any dirt or detritus after each use. Don’t let it sit too long
- With power tools, buff out any nicks or kinks as this can damage sensitive parts
- Check oil levels on machinery regularly
- Cylinder mowers may need the blades realigning to ensure a good cut
- Hand tools such as edging shears and secateurs need adjusting as well as sharpening to ensure a good cutting action
- Garden fork tines should be kept straight and not allowed to point off at odd angles
Not all of these jobs need doing often, but others, especially ones for power tools, need doing regularly – checking of tools for damage should also mean that irreparably broken tools should be discarded and new ones brought in to replace them.
It’s well worth taking 10 minutes on a rainy day to do these small jobs. They will save you a lot more in the way of time and effort later. In the case of power tools, at best you are avoiding a very expensive repair bill; worst case could mean injury.
Have fun everyone and stay safe.