Tool maintenance is often regarded as a chore to be done only when other gardening jobs are exhausted, usually on rainy or bitter days when the great outdoors is less than inviting. Sometimes it is avoided altogether, although deep-down most gardeners know their tools deserve better treatment. Modern tools are made either from carbon steel or stainless steel. Carbon steel tends to be stronger but can suffer from corrosion; stainless steel tools have gleaming blades that remain rust-free and prove easy to clean without need for oiling, although they are not suited to the toughest jobs.
•Many gardeners have in their sheds trusty vintage tools handed down from generation to generation; caring for these carefully ensures they can continue to see good service. Using and maintaining old tools helps minimise a gardener’s carbon footprint.
•Modern tools certainly deserve good care; replacements are costly and the annoyance caused by a tool failing in the middle of a job is considerable.
•Well-maintained tools allow gardeners to make a much better job of particular tasks in a shorter amount of time; removing a tree branch with a rusty, blunt saw takes far more effort leaving a jagged cut, than when using a sharp, clean saw.
•Clean, oiled metal parts are less likely to corrode and wooden handles that are well-oiled and supple remain comfortable to use without cracking.
•Cutting blades accumulate dried plant sap that becomes hard to remove and may transmit plant diseases around the garden.
•Sharp, gleaming blades make clean cuts without crushing or tearing plant tissues; a clean cut will heal more quickly with less chance of infection.
•Cleaning tools is indeed a job best done at quieter times of the season, but year-round cleaningRead more on theenglishgarden.co.uk