Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 2, Issue 4
August 2007
First Aid Kit for Garden Tools

Love Your Tools

I love my tools. They help make my garden dreams come to life and represent a substantial amount of money. Like any responsible person, I try to care for them dutifully, but on occasion, I forget them in the garden. Days - or weeks - later, I will go to use a tool and realize I can't find it in the shed. I'm then overcome by the dreaded thought, "Oh no, I must have left it in the garden!" If I've been careful, I wisely placed it somewhere high and dry. If I was in a hurry, I left it in the nice moist dirt. Now I have a problem. Most tools have iron in them, which sometimes reacts with water in the garden soil. What results is rust. Many tools also have a wooden handle, which absorbs water and subsequently dries out. The result - a rough, cracked handle.

If you've left your tools outside exposed to the elements long enough to do damage, don't despair. Here are some suggestions on what to do.


Seasoned tools.
You can easily salvage tools such as these, which were inadvertently left to "season" in the garden for two weeks.

First Aid Kit for Tools
The best thing to have is a dedicated care kit. Keep it in a pail in the same place where you store your tools. I suggest placing it as close to the doorway as possible. Mine is positioned so that I practically trip over it whenever I go in my garden shed. It may sound silly, but if you keep it front and center, you tend to take the time to clean your tools before putting them away. I've added items to the kit over the years that make cleaning (and sometimes restoring) tools easier. My experience has been that if it's a simple task, I'm more likely to do it. Here are my suggestions on what to put into your kit.


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