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The Upland Gardener: Gardening tools, how to keep them in shape

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by M. L. Wells, Master gardener volunteer Allegany County Cooperative Extension

I know you were busy–cannot finish everything on the list. So now in mid-January let’s finally clean those tools. Remember, if you buy quality and take care of them, they will outlive you!

Here’s how: 1) Clean off any dirt. 2) Dry well. 3) Sand down any rough wooden handles and rub lightly with linseed or mineral oil (remove excess).  4) Sharpen all blades–a flat file works well. 5) Lightly oil. 6) Put away. Goodness–they will again be in use in two short months!

A final reminder: the simple life is best–you do not need many tools to be a good gardener. Here is what you would find in my back room: a long-handled shovel, spading fork, hoe, grass rake, pitchfork, wheelbarrow, pruning shears, trowels and a hose.

That’s it folks…. ‘til next time, dig out those garden maps and catalogues–time to plan next year’s perfect garden!

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