ALLEGANY CO., N.Y. — As the snow begins to fly and settle, it is time to take care of our hard-working partners – our tools. A good gardener doesn’t need many but they should be high quality and you should take care of them. If you do, they will see you to the grave, which is more than can be said for most modern purchases. A $100 tool will last eight times longer than one at half the price!
By now most garden chores should be done; you and your tools can take a four-month rest. Now, what do you need and how do you take care of them?
My last includes: a long handled pointed shovel, a short T-handled four-prong spading fork, a grass rake, a “regular” rake, a hoe, a pitchfork (a midsummer murderer’s weapon of choice), a trowel and a pair of shears, pruning saw.
After use: clean – sharpen – maybe oil. NEVER leave outside.
At end of season: do above extra well and check wood handles for rough spots, splinters – sand down and oil – wipe off extra. Put away until March.
P.S. Have you done the math to see how much you saved by buying the $100 tool?
Also notice: These are all hand tools – no noise – no pollution – no money for gas, repairs. You provide the horsepower – tone muscles, lose weight, help your heart! The list goes on.
Have fun and start planning next year’s adventure in your great backyard.
— M.L. Wells
Cornell Cooperative Extension Allegany County
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