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Tips for Proper Garden Tool Maintenance

Updated on March 13, 2011

If you're planning to grow a vegetable garden this year, you've probably spent some time thinking about what you are going to plant, where you are going to locate your garden, and how you are going to take care of your plants.

To make the most of your backyard vegetable garden, you also need to make sure that you take good care of the tools that you use to prepare the soil and tend your plants. You can't expect to grow a healthy garden without using the proper tools, and you can't expect your tools to function at their peak if they aren't cared for on a regular basis.

Garden tools will last longer and work more efficiently if you take care to maintain them properly. Purchasing garden tools can be quite costly, so it only makes sense to take steps to keep them in good order for as long as possible.

How to Take Care of Your Garden Tools

1. Proper Storage Location
Even though garden tools are designed to be used outdoors, they do need to be protected from the elements. When you are finished working in your garden for any given day, be sure to put your gardening tools in a location where they are protected from the elements. Store your garden tools in a shed, garage, utility room, under the carport, or in some other location where they will not be exposed to rain, the drying effects of the sun, and other weather conditions that can damage them.

2. Clean Before Storing
When you use your garden tools, they will get dirty and wet. While they are designed to be used in such conditions, garden tools shouldn't be placed into storage with caked on dirt or mud on them, or if they are still wet. Instead of putting away your tools "as is" the minute you finish working in your garden, take the time to rinse them off, and allow them to dry before putting them away.

3. Complete Regular Maintenance
As with any type of tool, the items that you use to work in your garden will require some regular maintenance in order to help you get the most out of your backyard vegetable garden. The blades on shovels, spades, and hoes will need to be sharpened from time to time. Any tools that have moveable parts, such as clippers and pruning shears, will need to be greased periodically. Completing appropriate maintenance will help your tools last longer and will keep them functioning as they should.

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