Garden Basics

After a heavy spring and summer workout, it’s time to spruce up your tools with a bit of TLC. Here’s the inside word on what needs doing.


Secateurs rapidly clog up with dirt and drain and become hard to open. Furthermore, dull and filthy knives make pruning a tougher process and produce jagged cuts, so they really should be maintained.

Good quality secateurs can be completely disassembled for easy maintenance. Simply unscrew and separate all the parts. Dab some oil on each piece and rub with a metal souring pad to remove all grime. Wipe clean with some more oil and a fresh cloth.

Next sharpen the blade again by adding oil and carefully rubbing the blade in small circular motions against a sharpening stone. Work along the entire length of the blade, always keeping it at a 20-25-degree angle to the stone. Once sharp, turn the blade over and at a five-degree angle, give a light attrition contrary the stone to remove tiny burrs.

Reassemble the secateurs but don’t overtighten the main screw. Add some oil to the hinges and they should spring apart easily when unlocked.

Hedge trimmers and shears

hedge trimmers

Make use of the fat and checking pad solution to likewise clear loppers securing shears, hedge trimmers rakes, gardening forks and more. Sharpen any knives in an identical fashion as the secateurs and abandon a lighting oil layer for potential safety. Examine wooden grips for cracks and change if required. Sand splintery destinations and end having a cover of varnish or wood oil.

Helpful Resource: The Best Hedge Trimmer Reviews & Complete Buying Guide

Pressure sprayers

pressure sprayers

Many sprayers simply obtain a rapid wash after use, that keep into a build-up of sediment. This deposit, alongside dirt contaminants, could be corrosive, cause blockages and lessen the sprayer’s life span.

Use warm, soapy water to thoroughly wash the sprayer. Then pour one or two litres of the water into the bottle and pressurise the sprayer. Remove the nozzle from the tip and squeeze the trigger.As the soapy author goes through, any internal  sediment wills clear. Once finished, give a run-through to the sprayer with fresh water.

While everything is apart, check the rubber seals and replace any that are corroded. Give the nozzle a rinse in the soapy water before reattaching – and then you’re done.

Lawn mowers

lawn mowers

For safety reasons, pull the cap off the spark plug before working on your mower as some can kick into life when you manually turn the blades.

Turn the mower on its side and inspect the blades for chips and general wear, and replace if needed. There’ll also be a build-up of grass cuttings and dirt all around this area, which reeds scraping away. If left there, it absorbs moisture when the mower is used on damp grass and causes the metal to rust.

Turn the mower upright and brush the entire area to remove did and grass blades. Spray the engine with WD-40 to Ioosen soot and oil stains and wipe with a cloth. If the mower has been difficult to start, replace the spark plug.

Helpful Resource: How to pick the right mower for your lawn



Use the hose and a stilt brush to clean the wheelbarrow, particularly the underside where dirt accumulates unseen. Check the tyre is fully inflated and grease the axle.

If your wheelbarrow has wooden handles, they’ll benefit from a light sanding and oiling to make them easier to hold, Inspect metal wheelbarrows for any chips in the paint these will rust if left alone. Sand the area, apply anti-rust paint and then an outdoor enamel paint over the top for long-lasting protection.

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