Make sure your equip­ment is in top shape

Amateur Gardening - - This Week In Gardening -

DAYS when it’s blow­ing a hoolie and the rain hits you side­ways are meant for hid­ing in the shed and sort­ing your tools. Qual­ity equip­ment doesn’t come cheap and takes quite a bat­ter­ing over the course of a busy year, so you need to look af­ter it.

Re­move soil from those tools used for dig­ging and fork­ing, then sharpen your spade blades and slide them through a bucket of oily sand. This leaves an oily sheen on the metal and helps pre­vent rust­ing.

Cut­ting tools need to be wiped over with a damp cloth to re­move any resid­ual dirt and sap. I use an­tibac­te­rial soap to get rid of any resid­ual pests and fun­gal spores. Sharpen the blades, oil the mech­a­nisms and store the tools some­where dry.

Use these qui­eter days to wash out plas­tic pots and trays ready for when seed sow­ing restarts next spring. Most plas­tic pots are ro­bust enough to with­stand sev­eral years’ worth of use, which greatly re­duces the amount of plas­tic be­ing sent to land­fill.

1Oily sand is a good way of clean­ing spades and keep­ing their blades tar­nish-free.

2Give your se­ca­teurs a thor­ough over­haul by dis­man­tling them, and clean­ing and oil­ing all the work­ing parts.

3Keep blades sharp for au­tumn and win­ter prun­ing. I clean mine by wip­ing them down with anti-bac­te­rial hand­wash be­fore oil­ing them.

Sharpen tools and store them some­where safe and dry

Wash and re­use your plas­tic pots

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