Tools of the trade

Spring is a great time to maintain your tools, clean out your garden shed and prune back hedges, fruit trees and roses.

 

Whilst a ‘bad tradesmen blames his tools’ the right ‘tool for the job’ can make all the difference between a good job and a bad one.  Gardening is no different.  Digging a hole with a blunt spade can be hard yakka, so do yourself a favour and buy the right gear.  When looking for gardening tools, look for high carbon steel, alloyed with chromium and nickel.  A square nosed spade and good pair of parrot beaked secateurs will be worth their weight in gold.

 

Once you have a basic kit, keep them in tip top condition.  Tie a loop of string through the hole in the top to hang your hand tools neatly on a tool rack or in the garden cupboard.  Sharpen your secateurs regularly – it’s easy you just need a small sharpening stone, which can also be used to keep you spade sharp.  Wipe any timber handles down regularly with linseed oil and use fine sandpaper to remove any splinters, and pop a spot of your favourite nail polish on them before taking them out to any community working bees so you can easily claim your kit back!  And, if you’re pruning disease prone plants like roses, always wipe your tools down with some disinfectant between pruning bushes so that you don’t spread any infections.


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