If you want your gardening supplies and tools to last, you have to give them the proper care and attention.
The way you store and maintain your tools and implements is key. Take good care of your garden equipment and they will serve you well for years – or even decades. As gardening season gets into full swing, this is the perfect time to get everything cleaned up, sharpened and ready to go.
For both handheld pruners and loppers, cleaning the blades after each use is essential. After cleaning, use a cotton rag and a squirt of lubricating oil to wipe the blades down. Sharpen your pruners regularly and store them in an open position to reduce tension on the springs. The ideal storage approach is to either hang them upside down on a hook or pegboard or place them upright in a container of clean, dry sand.
Like pruners, your digging tools should be cleaned after every use. To prevent rust, use lubricating oil to wipe down the metal parts of the tool. Use a grinder or file to sharpen the edges of your digging tools as they become dull and sand out any nicks and splinters. To prevent dulling, store them in a such as way that they don’t rest directly on the sharp edge.
After each use, after turning off the spigot, release pressure by opening the hose end – but be sure to close it again once it drains, to avoid being sprayed with the next use. To prevent kinks and tangles, always coil your hose for storage. A hose reel works well, or simply wind the hose around the outside of a large pot. You can also pick up a decorative hose container if you prefer a more aesthetic approach to storing your garden hose.
To keep your wheelbarrow at its best, clean out the bucket after each use. Stand it up to dry before storing to prevent water from sitting inside and causing rust. Check to make sure the tire is inflated to the proper pressure and apply a light machine oil to the wheel axle periodically to keep it turning freely. Use sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots on the wheelbarrow handles, to protect against splinters.
Although you might be tempted to store your extra soil in an airtight plastic container to preserve moisture, this is a big no-no. Premium soil blends need air to prevent mold growth and decay. Gardening supplies like soil are sold in bags intended for storage. When you’ve used all you need, tie up the bag with a twist tie or rubber band and poke a few tiny pinholes near the top to allow air to circulate through the soil. Store the bag in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and heat sources.
Extra bagged mulch can stay bagged if you only need to store it for a few weeks – just make sure to poke some holes in the bags for air circulation. For long-term storage, pour the mulch onto a tarp and cover the pile loosely with a second tarp.
Keep leftover garden pesticides in their original containers and take care to follow the storage recommendation on the product label. These chemicals must be stored in a cool, dry location that’s well out of the reach of children and pets.
Store extra garden fertilizers in their original containers, as that will allow you to easily see the nutrient analysis and recommended application rate. For open bags that aren’t well-suited for storage, place the bag in a plastic container with a tight-sealing lid.
For all your gardening and landscape needs, visit Millcreek Gardens in Salt Lake City. We have all the trees, shrubs and plants you need, and our friendly, experienced staff can answer your questions and provide expert advice. Stop by today to browse our selection of affordable, high-quality gardening supplies and tools.