Now that it’s fall, it’s time for the perennial Fall Garden Checklist, a staple of garden writers everywhere. Go ahead–pick up a newspaper’s home & garden section, a gardening magazine, or visit one of those other kind of gardening websites–you know, the kind that provide actual advice or information–and tell me if they don’t just smack you over the head with the Fall Garden Checklist. It includes such gems as:
- Rake leaves.
- Prune shrubs.
- Clean and repair tools.
- And so on.
It’s the tool thing that always gets me. I have never, ever, not even once, cleaned or repaired a tool, and truthfully, I feel just awful about it. My tools get tossed into their little hovel without so much as a splash of water or a swipe against my jeans to thank them for their hard work. But you know what? I’ve had some of these tools for a decade or more. And they still work.
I think Martha started this "fall tool tune-up" craze. Just look at the list at the bottom of this page, which cites Martha as the source. It includes:
- A stiff bristle brush will clean shovels, spades, forks, and hoes.
- A stiff putty knife will help to clean off caked-on soil.
- Be sure to oil all cutting blades after use and cleaning.
- You can sharpen the blades yourself by running a Carborundum stone or file along the beveled side of the blade
And then there’s that tip about filling a bucket with sand, pouring in some motor oil, and sticking your tools in it to store them. Do you know what would happen to a bucket of sand and oil in the little laundry room closet where I store my garden stuff? It would get knocked over, and the sand and oil would get rubbed into the floor, and become a part of the floor, and the tools would go right back to sitting in a happy little dirty heap.
Is this wrong? Does it help if I feel guilty about it?