Carrying out Allotment tool maintenance helps them to last longer and in return, they’ll look after you.
Over time your tools will get caked in mud, and the moisture trapped in the soil will encourage rusting.
Rusting can weaken your tools (as this leads to corrosion in the long term) and you’ll find that your once sharp tools are blunt.
Start by chipping off old mud and wash what you can in some warm water with a little bit of fairy liquid and a stiff brush – I unscrew the head of my broom to use as brush.
Cleaning your tools
A scouring pad will get off any persistent layers of rust. For the tougher areas, you may want to use some steel wool and some WD40.
With a little bit of elbow grease thrown in, you’ll instantly notice a difference.
Drying the allotment tools
Allow your allotment tools to dry thoroughly and you can maybe help this along with the use of some rag.
Applying an aerosol oil or a lubricating oil with a rag will form a barrier between the air and the steel, reducing the chance of rust.
If you have stainless steel blades, it could be a good idea to consult a local steel sharpening specialist if that’s of interest.
Certain brands of shears are designed to unscrew so that you can sharpen them using them a carborundum stone.
When it comes to pruning season, you’ll be glad you carried out this well earned allotment tool maintenance.
Oiling the shears will help to keep the mechanism running smoothly meaning cleaner cuts when pruning and healthier plants.
The RHS has some handy allotment tool maintenance guide here also for further reading.
When and how do you carry out allotment tool maintenance? I’d love to know in the comments below.