How to Clean and Repair Garden Tools

Don’t give your garden tools the cold shoulder this winter. Use this time to provide some well-deserved maintenance for your hardest working tools so they’re ready to swing into action come spring.

By Luddene Perry
Winter 2016-17

Not that long ago, I could work in the garden for eight hours or more a day — every day. Now, as I approach 70, I can do about half of that on a nice day — even less in hot weather. I suddenly hit a wall and have to go inside. The result? I don’t get all the work done, and I end up leaving my tools out in the garden more often.

Not putting tools away can take a toll on their longevity, and not cleaning or repairing them before winter makes them more difficult to work on in spring. To increase their useful lifespan, get tools in shape before storing them for the season. You’ll be glad you did when, come spring, you’re placing your garden plants in rows rather than scrubbing mud and rust off your shovels and hoes.

Dirty tools

Photo by istock/ollo