Gardening Tool Maintenance

This week one of our readers, Mackenzie Fox, has written in to share an article with Aussie Green Thumb on how best to look after your gardening tools, with some simple tips for getting more out of your gardening gear. Take it away Mackenzie!

One of the most important (and often overlooked) aspects of gardening is knowing how to care for your gardening tools. My own collection of gardening tools cost upwards of…you know what, I’m not going to say, but it’s a lot. For the amount of money I spent on them, I want them to be in good condition for a very long time to come.

So, let’s sort the tools into groups and have a look at what proper maintenance needs to be done on them:

Gardening Tool Care and Maintenance

Cutting tools

Sharpening garden shears and other cutting tools needs to be done regularly to keep them in good working condition. Make sure you use eye and hand protection before doing this!

Secure your tool firmly, remove rust with a wire brush and use lubricating oil (not petroleum oil) on the blade before you begin to sharpen it. Make sure you don’t sharpen it too much, as a too-sharp blade will just get damaged more easily.

Digging tools

gardening- pixabay

Always clean spades and trowels thoroughly after use – just regular water from a hose should do the trick. If your tools have been exposed to fertiliser or any other chemical, make doubly sure you give them a good clean, because gardening chemicals tend to make short work of metal.

Remember that the best digging tools are ones that are easy on your hands! You can work towards a healthy spade handle by rubbing boiled linseed oil on it, which will prevent it from splintering and make it last a lot longer.

Simply rub it on with a cloth, let it absorb for a while, and then rub it off. (Then, make sure you throw the cloth away, as leaving oil-covered cloths lying around in a shed is a major fire hazard.)


Always make sure to be very careful and wear protective equipment whilst working on your mower. They’re very useful tools, but they are dangerous ones. And don’t let your children near it, either!

Be sure to frequently clean out the undercarriage (disconnecting the spark plug first) where the grass will have stuck. Use a simple brush and hose to get rid of it all.

More blade sharpening may be involved at some point to keep the lawnmower blade in good condition. Some people can do this themselves, but if you’re not experienced in blade sharpening it’s best to pay a professional to do it. It’s fairly inexpensive.

And lastly, make sure to always drain the gasoline after you’ve used your mower. Old fuel is very bad for it. Use fresh gas at the start of every mowing season.

Power tools

Again, make sure to wear protective equipment whilst maintaining (and using, for that matter) power tools.

Frequently check your tools for damage, and check the blade brake every time the tool is used. If anything is wrong, call in a professional to repair it – never try and fix it yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing.

The moving parts of your tool can be sprayed with machine oil to keep them in good condition. Turn on the tool to ensure the oil reaches all of it.

But don’t forget about one other very important thing: storage! When winter comes, you may need to store your tools away for a long time. Here’s what you need to remember when the weather turns cold and the tools go into the garden shed:

  • Tools should never be wet when they’re placed into storage! This will cause rust and rot, and give you a nasty surprise when you go to retrieve them.
  • Having a sturdy assembled steel shed, rather than a wooden one, is recommended. Mine also has security features added on in order to protect the power tools from being stolen.
  • Remove the batteries from whatever tools require them, and store them somewhere in the house – not in the shed, though, because any extreme cold will affect it.
  • Make sure to drain any excess water from your garden hose before you store it away, otherwise if the water inside it freezes the hose could be ruined.
  • If you’re not sure how to store something, check the manual! This is why I always keep manuals. Make an extra drawer inside your shed for them if possible.
  • And don’t forget to drain the gasoline from anything that uses it!

Last Updated on April 7, 2022

Related Posts

Best Aeroponic Tower Gardens in Australia

Best Aeroponic Tower Gardens in Australia for 2024

Aeroponics offers space-saving gardening solutions for anybody and everybody. Whether ...

Subpod In-Garden Compost System Review

Subpod In-Garden Compost System Review

Of all the worm farms you can build into your ...

Best Garden Sheds Australian Buying Guide

11 Best Garden Sheds | Australian Buying Guide 2024

Anyone familiar with unspoken allotment lore will know that anybody ...

Vegepod Raised Garden Bed Review

Vegepod Raised Garden Bed Review

Gardens are changing. They are becoming mixed spaces, where our ...

About the author 

Jim Horton

Hi, I'm Jim; I work on a farm in Dunalley, Tasmania, and took over the reigns of Aussie Green Thumb in 2014 from James Middleton, who built this website over a few years to what it is today (thanks James!).

I'll be bringing in other passionate gardeners to share their stories, and would love to hear from you if you want to join the Aussie Green Thumb community!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

  1. Really great info. Actually, I’m a new gardener and need some gardening tool. I had visited .toolsidea blog and got some idea. It would be very helpful if you have any suggestion. Thanks

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Stay Up To Date With Aussie Gardening Tips

Join our newsletter to receive helpful gardening tips specific to Australian gardens.


  • Seasonal gardening tips
  • Monthly gardening tasks for each Australian climate
  • Native plant of the month
  • A curated selection of helpful gardening articles
  • Exclusive promotions for Australian gardeners

Stay in the loop for valuable insights for a flourishing garden.

We promise to only send you helpful gardening emails and nothing more.