From the Desk of Hume: Caring for Your Garden Tools and Equipment

February 10, 2010 at 12:00 AM 2 comments

Are the blades on your lawn mower dull?  Do they need to be replaced?  What about the spark plugs?  Do you need to change the gas or oil, or does the mower need a general servicing?  How about the hedge shears, weed eater, or your power saw?

If any of your garden equipment needs attention, this is the time of the year to get it done.  And if it’s a job for professionals, do it now when the repair shops are not very busy.  If you wait until Spring, the repair shops get so busy you will sometimes have to wait a couple of weeks to get the work done.

Right now is also a good time to get the rest of your garden tools ready for Spring.  Hopefully you cleaned the tools last Fall when you put them away for the Winter.  If so, all that needs to be done now is to sharpen them and apply a light coat of oil, and voila!  They are ready for Spring.  Don’t forget to sharpen the shovel, spade, and hoe too.  We often forget that these tools also need attention, and that when they are sharp you’ll find it so much easier to dig in the dirt.

Take a little time to check the fertilizer spreader, as well.  Does it need to be washed out, wheels lubricated, or slider blade adjusted?  It only takes a couple of minutes, and then you’ll be ready when you need to use that spreader again.  Pruning shears are another tool to check for sharpness and overall quality.  I know I need to get out in the garage and clean up my trowels and sharpen the blades, too!

Now is a wonderful time to prune trees, so we may want to give special attention to pole pruners, looping shears, and hand pruners.  Again, adjusting the blades, cleaning, and sharpening will be the major tasks in getting them ready to use.  By the way, if you’re pruning trees the handiest pruning tools are pole pruners for reaching branches, lopping shears for branches up to an inch or so in diameter, a pruning saw for removing big branches, and hand pruners for pruning small branches.  One of the handiest tools I have is a tool called “border shears.”  It is ideal for edging between the lawn and flower beds.  It has long handles (about waist high) and long cutting blades like hand hedge shears, so you can edge along the lawn without bending over.

In talking about tools, the one piece of equipment I always forget to get ready for Spring is the wheelbarrow.  Like all your other garden equipment and tools, it can stand a bit of annual attention.  Take time to grease the wheels, tighten the handles, and check the air in the tires.

A little bit of time spent now to get your tools ready for Spring will save you a lot of time over the rest of the year.



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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Roy Bretton  |  February 10, 2010 at 2:57 AM

    This is a very good article, so often, I have seen garden tools and machines that are totally neglected. It is very true, that spending a few minutes now, can save a lot of frustration later.

    • 2. edhume  |  February 11, 2010 at 4:13 PM

      Glad you feel the same way, Roy, and thanks so much for the compliment!


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