CLEAN AND STORE TOOLS
Make sure your equipment is in top shape
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