There is nothing quite as rewarding as making sure that your yard looks picture-perfect and the accomplished feeling you get because of it. Having a green thumb is definitely something to be proud of. As a father, it’s a great way to show your kids how putting the effort into something pays off big time. However, it does take dedication and some hard work, which means having the right garden tools at hand.
The following are four tips all dads should know about taking proper care of gardening tools.
1. Use The Right Oil
When it comes to oil and gardening tools, there are two very different kinds to consider. The first is the oil for a lawn mower and other tools that are motorized. This oil is for keeping the internal parts from grinding up against each other and wearing down your equipment.
Essentially, it coats the different parts of the engine in a layer of protection to keep it going smoothly. Depending on the size of the motorized tools, the climate you live in, and how often you use them. Oil should be replaced every year or so, and there are different varieties of it as well.
The second, more common kind of oil is what you want to use on shovels, rakes, hoes — anything that might have a wooden handle or metal head. It is important that you not use any type of household item for this. But instead only spray the tool down with some type of lubricating oil. This will protect them from rust and corrosion, which can be very damaging to your tools.
2. Adequate Storage
The way you store your tools is equally as important as the care you put into them. Depending on the size of your backyard, you may have a lot or a few gardening tools. The best way to store them depends on how big your yard is. If it’s on the smaller side, perhaps consider investing in some rust-proof metal bins that are placed outside to stow your tools away.
This will keep them from getting rusted or corroded, and they will last longer because of it. If your yard is bigger, you might want to consider installing a tool shed or using your garage but make sure that they are put in there at the end of each day. This will keep them away from rain, snow, and other elements that can cause rusting or corrosion. If you’re storing them in a shed or the garage, you want to make sure that you have plenty of room.
If you don’t, that too can cause damage to your equipment and tools. A good idea might be to have peg boards installed with hooks to hang the smaller tools on. As for the large ones, you can put them on a workbench, or better yet, get a tool rack to put on the wall. This way your tools will be out in the open and visible when you need them.
This is a very important step that only some people think about when it comes to their tools. People with green thumbs know that you have to use a cleaning compound on your hand pruners in order for them to function the way they should.
This compounding is often an oil mixture and will not only lubricate the blade but also keep the sap from forming on them which will cut down on rusting or other problems. However, before using the compound, you need to make sure to remove any old oil or dirt so that it can all be cleaned off. The best way to do this is to use soap and water. Which you should have on hand anyway if you want to use the compound afterward.
For bigger tools like rakes and shovels, most of the time, a quick scrub with a wire brush will do the trick but you might want to spray them down with carburetor cleaner occasionally just to be sure. Just make sure that you dry your tools completely after using the carburetor cleaner so that they won’t rust.
4. Sharpened Blades
One last tip that all dad gardeners know is to make sure your shovels, hoes, and rakes have sharp blades on them. It will make cutting through dirt and such much easier and faster. Not only will it help with the appearance of your yard but it makes working in it a lot more efficient.
The best way to keep your blades sharp is to invest in a good scissor sharpener or stone that you can use after each time they get dull. It will only take a few seconds and afterward, you’ll be able to work faster and more efficiently with the same amount of effort. If you don’t, it could cause damage not only to your tools but also to yourself and the yard.
If you really want a good way to make sure your shovels and such stay sharp. Invest in a cultivator and it will keep them sharp automatically. Also, make sure that they are always stacked away by size so they don’t get ruined or damaged when not in use.
Having the proper care for your gardening equipment will not only keep it functioning properly, but will also make the appearance of your yard much better. The best thing about taking proper care of tools is that they can last a lifetime if you do it right.