Garden Tool Maintenance

Tools can be quite expensive to replace so maintaing them will keep costs to a minimum, plus a clean, sharp tool can often take a lot of effort out of a particular garden task.

The list below gives a few indicators of things that can be done to achieve this.

Week 1:

Check over tools, repair/sharpen if necessary.

Check that handles are secure in sockets and replace damaged wooden ones.

Rub down rough wooden handles with sandpaper to avoid splinters, and apply a protective coat of clear varnish or linseed oil.

Keep hand tools in serviceable condition by thoroughly overhauling them before the onset of spring.

Cheap tools can usually be hammered back into shape on a block of wood and sharpened by touching up the edge with a file.

Week 7:

If not already attended to, check over your lawn mower and if necessary send it to an expert for an annual overhaul and service.

Check that blades are sharp.

Week 35:

In hard water areas, watering can roses and sprayer heads may become badly furred or scaled with calcium deposits.

This will gradually decrease irrigation efficiency, but you can solve the problem by immersing the rose or spray head in a solution of vinegar and water.

Persistent bits may be poked out with a fine needle point.

Week 52:

Thoroughly clean lawnmowers before giving them their annual overhaul before storing for the winter.

Empty fuel tank (this job should be done in the open air) and change sump oil on four-stroke models.

Ensure that filters are thoroughly cleaned and check sparking plugs.

Remove batteries from mowers and check over power leads for signs of insulation deterioration.

Look at condition of cables and adjust or replace as necessary.

Ensure that power leads are disconnected before removing all traces of dirt and compacted grass clippings.

Brush off any flaky paint and rust before applying a rust preventer or remover.

The sharpening of metal rotary and cylinder mower blades is best done by experts.

When removing blades, cover cutting edges (lengths of slit hosepipe are ideal) to avoid nasty accidents.

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