The best gardeners keep and maintain their gardening tools with great care. One of the least talked about secrets to a fulfilling garden are the tools needed to foster a healthy and beautiful garden. The following are a few tips for keeping your valuable garden tools damage free and working in your garden for many, many years.

Garden Hoses and Hose Reels

The garden hose is one of the most valuable and most used tools in the yard and garden. The serious gardener will own a sturdy and flexible garden hose – one that can be would up after use on a garden hose reel. To prevent cracking, the garden hose should be drained in the fall, wound on the reel and stored inside during the winter.

Shears, Blades and Cutting Tools

Every gardener needs the proper tools to cut and trim plants, bushes and flowers. Plan on thoroughly cleaning your electric cutting tools at least every season, preferably twice per year. All hand held shears and cutting tools should be well lubricated to prevent rust – an element that can be the mortal enemy of garden tools. Store garden equipment on hooks away from direct sunlight and the elements. It may not be necessary to store them inside during the winter, but be certain that they stay dry and away from children when not being used.

Hoes, Shovels and Rakes

These types of tools are bulkier and harder to store than simple hand tools or hoses. After each use, spray each tool with a high pressure hose to remove dirt, then dry them and store them upright onto hooks. Most tools made within the last few years are made of a carbon coating or stainless steel and should not rust easily. A light coat of oil in the fall however will keep these metal tools free from rust for many years.

Tool Shed

Many home improvement stores now sell ready-made sheds for storing manual and electric garden tools. It is a good idea to store all of your tools in the same dry place, and these types of sheds fit the bill perfectly. The most important aspect of the shed is simply keeping it organized. There is nothing worse than opening a shed in the spring, only to have tools falling every which way due to lack of organization and proper planning. Instead, organize tools by size and by function. This simple tip will save you a lot of frustration. It will also save you time and money since you won’t be replacing broken tools frequently.