Prep Your Garden Tools For Spring

Last year my husband, John, and I were featured in an article called "Grow Greener" highlighting our flower/vegetable gardens, and organic practices in, Nature's Garden magazine, Spring 2008,, written by friend, Debra Prinzing, an incredible garden and design features writer. See below, for more information on Debra. For this article, she asked me my "top ten healthy garden practices", and the last one I chose was "order before beauty", which Debra so aptly penned, "Chores Have Their Rewards".

One of the chores I was particularly thinking about, was caring for your tools. Tools should always be cleaned, dried, and stored away in an orderly manner. If you have the due diligence, go one step further and wrap clean rags or towels around your tool heads before stowing away. Spring is especially a great time to prep your garden tools and have them ready, for all of your busy gardening needs, so you can "hit the dirt running".

Take a good look at your tool inventory and their condition. Do you know where your favorite tools are? Are your tools clean, or a bit rusty? If so, deep clean and lubricate them. Do they seem dull when using, or do they still have their sharp edge? Make sure your tools are sharp, it will save you physically. Are your tool handles rough or soft to the touch? If rough, lightly sand your wood handle tools with fine sandpaper, and apply a generous amount of linseed oil with a soft cloth. If the oil absorbs quickly, reapply. Your tool handles will be as soft as velvet and a treat to work with. Properly cared for tools can last generations, and can be handed down from one generation to the next budding generation of gardeners.

It is all the same, whether it is your personal life, your home, or your garden. If you are organized and tidy, you will be much more effective, efficient, and accomplish more effortlessly. You will soon experience the rewards. There is a great quote that reinforces this message. "When you do the things you have to do when you have to do them, the day will come when you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them."--Zig Ziglar, Author.

Debra Prinzing is a Southern California-based writer and lecturer who specializes in interiors, architecture, and landscape design themes. For more information and articles, please visit her website,, and her blog, Her latest book, with William Wright, architectural and interior design photographer, is called "Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideways".