If you plan on maintaining your garden regularly, then you’re going to need to care for your tools. Not only will it make your gardening a ton easier, but they also will extend the life of your tools. This means less time at the home improvement store and more time in your yard.
The tool that is probably the most used and first to get dull is you pair of pruning shears. These guys get a lot of use and when they get dull, it could spell trouble.
Remember, unclean cuts can lead to disease, so if you blade is not quite up to par, you may be looking at some sick plants down the road.
One option is to simply exchange the dull blade with a new replacement blade. Just take off the dull blade, pop in the new one and you’ll be cutting in no time.
If your pair can’t be taken apart, then maybe it’s time to replace that cheaper pair with one that you can actually maintain.
If you’d like to try and sharpen the blade yourself, go for it. All you need is a sharpening stone (available at most home improvement stores) or a knife sharpener and go to town.
About 10 times on the rough side and then 10 times on the smooth should be good enough. But keep in mind that pruning shear blades are sharp on only one edge, so be sure to sharpen the cutting edge only.
Bigger items get dull too, mainly because of San Diego’s rocky soil, so it’s only a matter of time before items like shovels and picks gets dull. For these guys, try a hand file or if you have the room, get an electric grinder (added bonus: cool looking sparks).
One last tip as far as maintaining your tools is to simply put them away when you’re done.
Tools don’t do to well against the elements, and although they are tough, rust will always get the best of them. If you have a shed, keep them housed in there. And try to clean them with a wire brush every now and then to remove any big chunks of dirt.
If you’re not going to use them for a while, spray something on them like WD-40 to help repel old age.