It’s cold, it’s wet, and it’s the post-holiday season. What’s a gardener to do? You’ve read all your back issues of Louisiana Gardener, you’ve ordered seeds and plants for your spring planting and you’ve completed your soil sampling for any improvements needed. I suggest you use some of this winter season as “tool time.” Keeping your gardening tools sharp, clean, and well maintained will add to your outdoor pleasure in the coming months.

  • Sharpen the shovels, hoes and hatchets to make your chores easier. Dull pruning shears and saws may require professional sharpening services. Loppers, hand pruners and hedge shears will also need special attention to be sharpened properly.
  • Clean up the garden rake, pitch fork and garden forks to prevent rust and pit marks.
  • Repair and/or replace any loose wooden handles. Coating wooden handles with a sealer, helps preserve handles for a very long time.
  • Use an oil lubricant on any of the moving parts of your tools like shears, pruners, and heavy scissors.
  • Check all electrical or battery operated tools for cracks, damaged wire and sticking triggers. Repair and replace as needed.
  • Drain/change oil in your small engines. Use a gas stabilizer for any gas-powered tool that will be stored two months or longer.

There’s plenty to do before the planting season begins. Spending quality “tool time” will provide great dividends later.

1/9/2012 8:22:40 PM
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