52February 25, 2015

You know we have had a long stretch of cold weather when the temperature hits 40 degrees on Sunday and it feels like a heat wave has arrived.

I would guess that boredom has set into your life if you like to garden. There is definitely not a lot that you can do outside at this time of the year. Why not take this time of the year and prepare for the coming spring. (Yes spring will arrive this year!)
Do you have any garden tools that may be a few years old? The pruning shears probably need to be cleaned and sharpened. The old sap and the rust that build up on the blades makes it hard to get a clean cut from your pruners. You can clean up the sap by using some rubbing alcohol. Place the alcohol on a rag and wipe the sap until it comes loose. You can remove the rust by using some steel wool or sandpaper to buff off the rust. Once the sap and rust has been removed, you can sharpen the pruners. You will find that the blade has a flat side and a beveled side. It is the beveled side that you want to sharpen. Using a fine metal file, you will sharpen the edge by following the angle of the bevel. Unless there are major gouges in the blade of the pruner, you should only need a few passes with the file to sharpen the blade. Once you are done with the clean up and sharpening, you should apply a bit of oil to the blade to prevent any further rusting. You should also clean and sharpen any other garden cutting tools too. If the pruners are in really bad shape, maybe now is the time to replace the tools before the season breaks and you really need to get a new pair of pruners, lopping shears or hedge shears.
Did you know that your hand trowels and shovels would work better if they were sharpened? If you look closely, you will notice a beveled edge on your trowels and shovels. Using a metal file to put a new sharp edge on these tools will make it a lot easier to do the digging in your gardens. If you have a garden hoe or a pair of grass shears, they too may need to be sharpened. All these tools may have rust that needs to be removed with steel wool. By getting these tools ready now, it will make it easier to begin gardening when the weather breaks.

Another of the things that gets overlooked until the season hits is finding the gardening gloves. If you are like me, the gloves can get pretty beat up by the time winter sets in. I don’t know how it happens, but I always manage to find a usable pair of gloves but they are both left-handed! Take some time now and go through your pile of gloves, check out the condition of the gloves, throw out the useless gloves and match up the right and left hands. Now would also be a good time to decide if you need a new pair of gloves. You will find that many pairs of gloves come in sizes. Gone are the days of one pair fits all hands. If your hand needs extra small or extra large or something in between, you can now find gloves to fit your hand.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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