Garden tools are an essential part of everyday gardening, and yet they are sometimes neglected which can create big problems with your roses and other plants.
Tools used for pruning roses and trimming other plants, removing weeds, and digging in your soil should be disinfected regularly to prevent the transmission of diseases and pests.
Keep it clean. Using a disinfectant will help cleanse your tools and keep them in tip-top shape before returning for another round of use in the garden. Be sure to regularly clean your tools to remove the dirt with warm soapy water. Dry thoroughly. Drying your tools completely ensures the disinfectant has a prepared surface and can adhere to the entire surface of the tool. You may have to scrub with a cleaning brush or sponge to remove all the dirt if it is heavily caked on.
Spray a disinfectant like Lysol, wipe with an alcohol solution made of 70% isopropyl, or soak the tool in the disinfectant, mixing one part cleaner to five parts water. There is no need to rinse your tools after using alcohol as it will naturally evaporate. You may also consider using disinfectant wipes, such as Lysol or Clorox wipes for a quick and easy way to clean.
If you have diseased plants, the most common disinfectant to use to help prevent disease from spreading is any hydrogen peroxide-based cleaners. In severe cases of disease in your garden, mix one-part liquid bleach with nine parts water. Dip your tools in the mixture, then remove and let the solution drain off. Be sure to disinfect your tools after every bush you use your tools on to prevent the disease from spreading throughout a plant or between plants.
Wet tools are a “no-no”. Never put your garden tools away wet. Wet tools encourage rust and can reduce the quality and longevity of your tools.
If your garden tools get a case of the squeaks, a light spray with a penetrating oil such as WD40 will do the trick. This will not harm your plants.
Don’t be dull. Always keep your garden tools well-sharpened. Remember, your tools are an important part of plant care; they help you make clean cuts on your canes and stems helping you prevent the introduction of disease.
With a little care and maintenance, your essential tools will be in tip-top shape to help keep your garden blooming and problem-free.