Get Tools Ready for Spring — It’s Good for You and Your Property

In the midst of today’s scary health crisis, there is gardening and landscaping, which reconnect people with the Earth and provide a wide range of benefits, both physical and mental/emotional. The emotional or mental aspect benefits involve relaxation, communing with nature, working off stress and focusing on creating beauty. The physical work of gardening builds strength and fitness, and burns off or reduces stress as well.

Giving your landscaping or gardening tools a good checking, cleaning, sharpening and lubricating will get you in the “spirit of the season” and ready to spring into action as soon as the weather lives up to the calendar.

We hope all of our readers, suppliers and customers are safe and healthy, and offer these tips for getting your gardening tools ready for spring so we can all enjoy the benefits of a beautiful home or business environment.

A dull blade is a bad blade. Not only will it do a lousy job of cutting back plants and branches, but it could cause injury. It might not cut you as deeply and dangerously as a sharper blade, but the extra amount of pressure you would need to exert could cause muscle strain and even a dull blade can still cause wounds to hands and limbs.

Take a good (but careful — we don’t want any injuries) look at any of your tools with blades, from pruning knives to lawnmowers. If their edges aren’t as sharp as possible, prepare them for spring use by sharpening them. Replace any removable blades, or entire tools, that are too far gone to be sharpened safely or effectively.

Many landscaping tools require lubrication to work their best and prevent injury to the user or the garden. This is the time to give everything a good dose of elbow grease and real grease or oil, so every tool runs or moves smoothly and functions at its best.

Check with our landscape professional or a garden center for the best product to use on various tools. WD-40 is the go-to lubricant for many of us, and it’s often already in your toolshed, but other products might be better for different items.

Look for signs of rust, which can often be polished away while leaving some tools still usable.

Don’t forget to check four-cycle tools or equipment like lawn mowers, which are likely to need oil changes before you crank them up and put them to work in your spring landscape.

Be sure to do this work in an open or well-ventilated space, especially if you use any spray products. Especially at this time, with an international health crisis underway, a respiratory condition or attack caused by inhaling a lubricant is the last thing any of us needs.

Trade old for new
Ergonomic tools are relatively new to the world of landscaping and gardening, but there are a lot of them and they are well worth investing in. Your old tools might be in great condition and still usable, but they might be contributing to backaches, muscle pain, poor posture and related reactions to using things that were designed for productivity or specific functions, but not for health and fitness.

Many of today’s gardening tools have been “retooled” to be easier and safer to use for your wrists, shoulders, back, knees and legs. Older gardeners are especially prone to such problems, and experiencing them could make you avoid the landscaping work you’ve always loved doing.

You can find pruners with rotating handles, weeders with grips made of natural materials, padded kneelers, long-lasting “bionic” gloves, handle extenders, shovels designed specifically for women, wheeled garden caddies, extended and telescoping tools, lightweight bulb planters … the options appear endless. Your landscape contractor, garden center or favorite gardening magazines can provide product names and sources, as well as tips for doing gardening chores in ways that are ergonomically correct.

Welcome to spring, and our hopes for a safe and successful season.

2 comments on “Get Tools Ready for Spring — It’s Good for You and Your Property

  1. Some of my old tools will never be traded for new replacements. They were made to last a lifetime, and might last for someone else after me. Heck, I still use some of my great grandfather’s tools (although not much). I know that some modern tools are better than what I use, but I enjoy mine more, which is a major reason why I work in the garden. I can use the better tools for work, where better tools are important. Incidentally, my old shears are Corona shears, and were made back when they were still made in Corona.

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