Fall is a great time of year to organize, repair and clean your garden tools. After a season of working hard in the landscape it is a good idea to put your tools away in top shape. That was in the spring you can get gardening ASAP! The following a short checklist of tasks you should preform each fall.
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1. Clean and Sharpen Hand Tools – It is important to clean and sanitize your hard took so that you do not spread disease from one season to another. You can remove sticky sap, etc. with a rag soaked slightly in paint thinner. Sharpen the blades by using a grinder, or hand sharpener. Then rub the blades with a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water to sanitize.
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2. Replace Tool Handles – Are the handles on your shovels, etc. cracked? Broken? Now is the time to replace the wooden handles. In the spring these are hot items and many store will sell out.
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3. Clean and Oil Long Handled Tools – Use a wire brush or sand paper to remove rust from long handled tool such as spades, shovels and rakes. Touch up the edge to sharpen it with a grinder if necessary. Oil the metal parts of the tool with unused motor oil or vegetable oil.
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4. Drain, Repair and Store Hoses – Disconnect your hoses and drain all the water out of them. Use hose repair kits to fix any leaky ends, or stripped threads.