Now is the time to clean, sharpen and oil your gardening tools. Spring has sprung early this year.  If you're like me, you're ready to get out and start tending to your garden. One of the first things to do this season is to tend to your tools.

It is so easy to neglect your gardening tools from season to season. I used to leave my tools outside near the garden or shed, rarely ever putting them in a proper storage space. My tools would become dull and rusted in a matter of months. I found myself buying more by the end of the season.  We all know that this is not a savvy saver thing to do. So, I decided it is time to respect the tools. By following these few simple steps listed below, I now have beautiful tools to start the season off right.

What You Need

The above mentioned items can be purchased at Walmart or a local home improvement store.  Click on each item for specific details and prices will vary per store and area.

1. To remove rust, dampen the Brillo pad with solvent and scrub the rust away. Rinse with water and towel dry.

2. To loosen rusted screws and joints, spray the screws and joints with the WD40. You might have to repeat this step or leave the WD40 on longer than normal.

3. To remove sap, spray the area with WD40 and wipe the sticky mess away.

4. To sharpen edges of the tools (shovel, hoes, pruners, shears, etc.) spray the blade with a light coating of WD40. With the whet stone file the blade at a 20 degree angle.

Remember to keep all cleaning supplies away from children and pets.

Routine Tool Care

  • Remove soil after use with a quick spray of water and towel dry.
  • Store tools in oiled sand, or hang on pegs. (To make oiled sand, pour ¾ cup mineral oil into a 5 gallon bucket of sand. This sand mixture will help keep the tools clean and conditioned.)
  • Once a month, sharpen and oil your tools.
  • Find a convenient, dry area to store your tools when not in use (e.g. shed or garage).

Following these simple steps will keep your tools in 'like new' condition, and hopefully you will not have to continually ask yourself, "Now where did I put that trowel?"

This has been a guest post by Johnna from Pittsburgh, PA
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