Win­ter is prun­ing time!

Keep your prun­ing shears sharp

go! Platteland - - GARDEN DIARY -

He re­pairs and sharp­ens about 6 000 pairs of prun­ing shears a year for farm­ers from Lim­popo to Citrus­dal. Meet Danie Malan, a cit­rus farmer from Paten­sie.

• Why is main­te­nance im­por­tant? Clean, sharp shears re­sult in a clean, smooth prun­ing wound that heals quickly. This helps pre­vent fun­gal dis­eases. A smooth, sharp blade also cuts eas­ily through the wood and min­imises the pres­sure on your hand. CLEAN Ev­ery time you’ve used them, clean your shears: re­move dry sap with steel wool or a wire brush, wash them with hot water and soap, and use sand­pa­per to shine them so they’ll glide through the wood next time you use them. SHARP The blade must be sharp­ened reg­u­larly with a whet­stone or a good file. It’s im­por­tant to sharpen it from one side only. GREASE Put a drop of oil on the bolt and blade af­ter clean­ing. The cen­tral bolt should be set ac­cu­rately – not too loose and not too tight. • Favourite prun­ing shears? Felco is the Rolls-Royce of prun­ing shears. A pair could cost you more than R500, but it will serve you for up to 20 years if you take good care of it. Prun­ing shears shouldn’t have too many fid­dly bits that can break. Carpa is my se­cond choice. These shears cost about R100 and don’t break eas­ily. If they do, they can be re­paired. Con­tact 072 262 9822


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