By Jennifer Poindexter
Gardening tools are something we use regularly around the garden but frequently take for granted. One thing I’ve learned over my years of gardening is to take care of your tools.
If you don’t, they become excessively dirty, rusty, don’t work very well, and can even spread disease. I like to have a cleaning routine for my garden tools to keep everything working as it should.
My typical routine throughout the garden season is to clean my tools with soapy water any time I deal with questionable plants.
If you see something that looks sick or diseased and your garden tool touched it, clean the tool. This could stop the accidental spreading of a disease around your garden.
I also like to clean my tools with warm water and soap after each use around my garden. Then I place them on the shelf in my greenhouse and allow them to be heated by the sun.
My greenhouse gets pretty hot over the summer months, so I feel confident that my tools are sterilized.
At the end of each season, I round up all of my tools and give them a bath with warm water and dish liquid. This removes anything which may have built-up throughout the garden season.
Then I dry them with a towel and spray each tool with cooking spray. This oils anything that needs it and keeps everything looking shiny.
Again, I’ll place the tools on my workbench in my greenhouse and allow everything to season. I’ll complete the task by putting everything away for the winter.
If I happen to pull my tools out over the winter months (as I like to raise certain cold weather crops), I clean them with soap and water before returning them to their storage location when done.
This is how I like to keep my tools clean to ensure they last and also to avoid spreading disease. Consider cleaning your tools throughout the gardening season and at the end of the season as well.