Tool Maintenance and Care.

09 Jun

 

One of my bugbears: Dirty tools and poorly maintained tools. I will openly admit failing to keep my own gardening equipment clean every now and then, and I then get irritated with myself about it. Clean your edging sheers, Stuart! Keep them sharp!

Edging sheers are just one example. If you’re a regular to the website, you might have seen the “Tip of the Week” on the ticker already about sharpening tools. I mentioned mowers, hedge cutters, secateurs there, the list goes on though. EVERYTHING needs cleaning and looking after. Cutty things need to be kept sharp, diggy things need to be mud free, noisy things need to be oiled up. It’s seems like a lot when you put it all together, but the easy way to do it is to just clean/maintain things after you’ve used them.

 

 

You don’t know if that area of soil is contaminated with the spores of some fungi or disease, and using it in another area of your garden just helps spread it. If you cut a stem, branch, grass, with a blunt blade, it’s not going to leave a clean cut. It’s more than likely to tear whatever you’re cutting instead, which in some cases can leave the plant open to disease, or just make it look plain untidy. Mowers (now this one REALLY gets under my skin) don’t cut as well if the deck is all clogged up with old decaying grass. It might seem disguising and smelly but you’ve got to get that grass out from down there (with the machine turned off, don’t want to be losing fingers) and clear it. I spent 30 minutes doing this today on a John Deere tractor mower. My arms ended brown, black and green in all manner of shades, but once I’d cleared the deck and chute, the mower was cutting like new: Picked up every blade of grass. Now that definitely wouldn’t have happened if I used it while it was all still clogged up.

 

Petrol powered equipment also needs an extra level of care. Oil, spark plugs, grease, WD-40, air filters, pull cords. These need to be regularly checked. Just give the machine a once over, like you would a car or motorbike, every couple of weeks just to make sure everything’s all tickety-boo. It’s far more cost efficient to buy a bit of 2-stroke oil than it is to buy a new strimmer because the old one went pop due to poor maintenance.

 

If you bare this all in mind, looking after your garden will become a whole lot easier as the tools will do their jobs a whole lot better!

 

Have a good weekend y’all!

 

Written & posted by Stu.

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