Why it’s important to keep your garden tools clean and how to do it – ABC News | NutSocia

When you’re pruning in your garden, do you put away your secateurs when you’re done with them, or do you take the time to give them a thorough clean?

After a day in the garden, the last thing many of us think about is tool care.

Garden educator Claire Bickle says the importance of keeping our tools in check is often overlooked.

“Taking care of your tools will give them longevity — they’ll last longer and you’ll stop moving diseases around your garden,” she says.

Organizing your tools also helps prevent the spread of disease in the garden.(ABC Rural: Charlie McKillop)

“Especially with secateurs as you cut branches and get sap and other things on them so it’s good to wipe them off straight away with water.”

If you forget, don’t despair. Claire recommends some dish soap or soap to remove any sticky sap that may have hardened.

“A little sandpaper can also help if the sap is hard, but be careful not to do it on the edge of the blade.”

Stop the spread of disease

When it comes to cutting and pruning in the garden, Claire says it’s always a good idea to clean the tools between each cut if you think the bush or tree has a disease.

“Between rose bushes, cleaning tools is important because it stops the spread of disease,” she says.

Cleaning your tools after pruning each rose bush can stop fungal diseases.(ABC Rural: Sarina Locke)

“If you die on a rose bush and then cut another bush without cleaning, then you have passed a fungal disease from one to the other who may not have had it.

“Dipping the tool in denatured alcohol between each cut can really help.”

If you’re looking for other ways to sanitize your tools to help fight disease, Gardening Australia recommends:

  • Dip tools in 1 part household bleach to 99 parts water;
  • Or wipe tools with a few drops of tea tree oil on a cloth before and after pruning to sterilize them.

“The best course of action really is to give the tools a good deep clean after a day of pruning, and when you feel like it, pull the secateurs apart and give them a good clean,” says Claire.

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