Spring Garden Tips
Create a Tool Cleaning Station

Make a resolution to keep your tools clean and ready for use by creating a tool cleaning station in your shed or garage.

JavaScript is disabled!
To display this content, you need a JavaScript capable browser.

If it is easy and convenient you are more likely to do it. So set aside a small space where you can clean and care for tools.

mgm audio 123013 tool cleaningYou'll need soap, access to water and a scrubby to remove dirt and grime from all your tools. Keep a jug of vinegar handy to help dissolve rust and mineral spirits to remove stubborn tree sap from pruners.

Include steel wool and wire brushes to help with soil and rust removal. Don't forget the linseed oil for cleaning tools and lubricating oil for keeping tools working smoothly.

Buy needed sharpening tool and files and replacement blades for pruners with removable blades.

Make sure you have plenty of rags. And don't forget safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying dirt and debris.

A bit more information: Reduce your workload by washing the dirt off tools after every use. Stop by the faucet and wash away the soil before stashing them in the shed or garage. And remove any plant debris wedged in the tools. This is a great place for disease organisms to linger and infest the garden with the next use. And always store tools inside to reduce rust and extend their life.

Share
 

Related Garden Moments for Radio

Algae Control in Water Gardens

Keep the algae at bay and your pond water clear with a few strategies to keep your water garden in balance.

Read more...

Basic Tools for the Garden

Using the right tool for the job can reduce stress on your body and improve the health and beauty of your landscape. Here are a few basic garden tools to help you throughout the gardening season.

Read more...

Blossom Drop and Fruit Rot on Vegetables

Don't let blossom drop and fruit rot reduce this season's harvest. A few adjustments in your garden care can help reduce the risk.

Read more...

Brown Spots on Plums, Peaches and Cherries

Shriveled plums, peaches, apricots and cherries are a symptom of brown rot fungal disease.

Read more...

Cankers (Sunken Discolored Areas) on Trees

The answer to your tree problem may lie just below the surface, of the bark that is.

Read more...

Cedar Apple, Quince, or Hawthorn Rust

Don't panic if your red cedar, a type of juniper, looks like it has been slimed. The gelatinous orange substance is the fruiting stage of cedar–apple rust.

Read more...

Celebrate Earth Day - Everyday

Make everyday Earth Day and commit to managing your landscape and gardens in tune with nature.

Listen to Celebrate Earth Day - Everyday...

Child's Pool Becomes Valuable Garden Tool

Don’t throw away that worn and leaky kid’s swimming pool. Instead, put it to work in your garden.

Listen to Valuable Garden Tool...

Cleaner Air Mowing

The grass is up and growing and the roar of lawn mowers can be heard throughout the neighborhood. Minimize the negative impact of your gas mower on the environment with a few easy tricks.

Listen to Cleaner Air Mowing...

Cleaning Garden Tools

Burn off a few calories and get ready for spring with a trip to the garden shed or garage.

Listen to Cleaning Garden Tools...

Clematis Stem Wilt

Your clematis looks beautiful until suddenly the stems and leaves start turning black. Though it looks bad your clematis will survive.

Listen to Clematis Stem Wilt

Colorado Blue Spruce

Colorado blue spruce are a favorite tree of many gardeners. Their bluish green needles and pyramidal shape are a nice addition to the landscape. But several diseases can kill branches and distort their beauty.

Read more...

Containing Aggressive Plants

Mint, beebalm, and purple coneflower are garden favorites that often get out of hand. Tame these and other garden bullies with a few planting and maintenance strategies.

Listen to Containing Aggressive Plants...

Convert Mailbox into In-garden Tool Storage

Decrease wasted time and increase your gardening efficiency by keeping your tools and gloves handy whenever gardening.

Listen to Repurpose old Mailbox...

Cook (Solarize) Away Weeds and Soil Pests and Diseases

Manage weeds, insects and diseases that have taken over your garden with the help of plastic, sunlight and summer's heat.

Read more...

Crown Rot Causing Sudden Wilting and Death on Ajuga (Bugleweed)

Sudden wilting, yellowing and death of ajuga, also known as bugleweed, means crown rot may have invaded the planting.

Read more...

Cutting Back Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses add motion, sound and texture to the winter garden. Prune them back once the worst of winter weather has passed and before new growth begins.

Read more...

Cytospora Canker on Spruce Trees

Your blue spruce is just reaching maturity when suddenly needles start turning a purplish brown and eventually the branch dies. The problem may be Cytospora canker.

Listen to Cytospora Canker on Spruce Trees...

Deadheading Flowers for Maximum Beauty

Keep your flowers blooming longer and your garden tidier with a bit of deadheading.

Listen to Garden Moment..

Deadheading Leggy Annuals and Perennials

Add new life to your summer landscape with a bit of deadheading, pinching and planting.

"Listen to . . . Deadheading Leggy Annuals

Dealing with Floppy Perennials

Avoid floppy perennials and eliminate the need for staking with proper selection and care.

Read more...

Design Strategies for a Low Maintenance Landscape

A thoughtful plan or a few changes in your current design can help reduce your workload and improve the beauty of your landscape.

Read more...

Design with Maintenance in Mind

Reduce your maintenance and increase the beauty of your perennial garden with proper design.

Plants are dynamic, always growing and changing requiring some care. But a good design can help minimize maintenance while creating a beautiful garden you'll enjoy for years to come.

Read more...

Dividing Spring and Summer Blooming Perennials

Late summer through early fall is a great time to dig and divide overgrown spring and summer blooming perennials.

Read more...

Don't Top That Tree

Stop – don’t top that tree. Instead, make sure it is properly pruned for years of health, beauty, and enjoyment in your landscape.

Listen to Pruning Trees...

Downy Mildew on Basil

Yellowing along leaf veins, black spots and fuzzy gray growth on basil may mean downy mildew has infected the plants.

Read more...

Eco-friendly Control of Apple Scab

Leafless crabapple trees are a common sight in summers following a cool wet spring. Start now to eliminate the problem next season.

Listen to Eco-friendly Control of Apple Scab...

Eco-friendly Control of Botrytis and Phytophtora Blights on Peonies

Keep your peonies looking good and healthy with a bit of grooming.

Listen to Eco-friendly Control of Blights...

Edging Garden Beds

Boost your landscape’s looks and reduce maintenance with the help of a straight edge shovel and a bit of your time.

Listen to Edging Garden Beds...

Eliminate Floppy Perennials

Flopping perennials can ruin the beauty and enjoyment of your garden. Take note and prevent future problems with a bit of proactive care.

Listen to floppy Perennials...

Fall Care for Perennials - Let Them Stand

Let ‘em stand for winter - perennials that is - for a healthier more floriferous garden next year.

Listen to Fall Care for Perennials...

Fall Clean Up for Pest Control

A bit of fall cleanup can save time and energy controlling pests next season.

Listen to Fall Clean Up for Pest Control...

Fall Cleanup - Don't Forget the Tools

As you pack it in for the winter, don’t forget about your garden tools.

Listen to Storing Garden Tools...

Fall Soil Test

Grab a trowel and clean bucket and then head out to the garden to gather a soil sample for testing.

Listen to Fall Soil Test...

Fireblight

On your next winter walk, check apples, pears, quince and other members of the rose family for signs of fireblight disease.

Listen to Fireblight...

Five Minute Garden Maintenance

Improve your garden’s beauty, increase your enjoyment, and reduce stress five minutes at a time.

Listen to Garden Maintenance...

Flower Garden Design Basics

Creating a beautiful flower garden can be overwhelming, but understanding a few key concepts can make it much easier.

Listen to Flower Garden Design Basics...

Garden Longer with Less Aches and Pains - It's National Garden Week

Avoid sore and strained muscles that often arise after a long day in the garden. A few simple changes in your gardening habits can keep you gardening longer and with fewer aches, pains and strains.

Read more...

Garden Math - Ordering Mulch and Topsoil

Don’t end up with a driveway full of excess topsoil and mulch waiting for friends and family to haul away the surplus for their gardens. Do a bit of math in advance and order just the amount needed.

Listen to Ordering Mulch and Topsoil...

Gardener's Tool Kit; Pruning Tools

Before you head out to the garden to do a bit of pruning, make sure you have the right tool for the job.

Use a bypass hand pruner for deadheading and pruning woody stems up to ¾ of an inch in diameter. These pruners have two sharp blades like scissors, resulting in a clean cut that closes quickly. Look for a quality pruner with replaceable blades.

Read more...

Gift Ideas for Father's Day

Looking for the perfect gift for dad? Consider the gift of time.

Help him enjoy gardening more or reduce time spent gardening, so he has more time to fish, golf or just relax under a shade tree.

Read more...

Golden Canker on Pagoda Dogwood

Don’t let hot dry summers damage or even kill your Pagoda dogwood. Proper care and a bit of pruning can keep them healthy.

Listen to Canker on Pagoda Dogwood...

Hosta of the Year

Hostas are great for shade and low maintenance gardens. But with hundreds of choices it can be a bit overwhelming. So the American Hosta Growers Association has stepped in to help.

Listen to Hosta of the Year...

Increase Your Garden's Beauty with Late Spring Grooming

Save yourself some maintenance and improve the beauty of your landscape with some late spring grooming.

Read more...

January 12-24 Birth Tree is the Elm

If your birthday falls between January 12th and 24th your birth tree is the Elm. You are said to be cheerful, noble minded, have a good sense of humor and are practical.

Listen to... Birth Tree is the Elm

Keep an Eye on the Weather and Grow a Better Garden

Be a weather watcher and grow a better garden. Weather events like spring floods, summer droughts, temperature extremes and unseasonable weather episodes can have long term impact on our plants.

Listen to Grow a Better Garden...

Landscape Plans & Planting Records

Fading plant labels and disappearing tags can make planning and maintaining your garden a bit challenging. Avoid these frustrations by writing it down.

Read more...

Last Minute Gifts for Gardeners

Looking for the perfect gift for your favorite gardener? Don’t worry, you still have time and lots of choices.

Listen to Last Minute Gifts for Gardeners...

Last Minute Holiday Gifts for Any Budget

Looking for the perfect gift for your favorite gardener? You can get creative and stay within your budget.

Listen to Last Minute Holiday Gifts...

Leaf Spot on Rudbeckia

Once thought to be the answer to low maintenance perennial gardens, Goldstrum Rudbeckia's reputation has been tarnished by several leaf spot diseases.

Read more...

Less Mowing and Hand Trimming, Better for You and Your Landscape

Eliminate hand trimming around garden statues, playsets, narrow spaces and individual trees and shrubs. Invest a bit of time now to eliminate time spent on these tasks in the future.

Read more...

Limbing Up (pruning lower branches) Trees

Put away the saw and enjoy the beauty of your mature evergreen.

Listen to Limbing Up (pruning lower branches) Trees...

Low Maintenance - Big Impact Perennials

Don’t let a lack of time, energy or space stop you from growing perennials. Instead select and grow low maintenance plants with big impact.

Listen to Low Maintenace...

Low Maintenance Design Tips

Listen to Garden Moment...

Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Garden Looking Its Best

Keep your plants looking their best and weeds under control with just a few adjustments to your gardening.

Read more...

Monitor and Adjust Tree Care

Improve the health and longevity of your trees and shrubs with a bit of preventative care.

Listen to Tree Care...

Mulch Your Way to a Beautiful Low Maintenance Garden

Summers are filled with barbeques, vacations, and caring for our landscapes. Mulching is one way to save time and effort over a season or two, giving you more time for fun.

Listen to Garden Moment..

Must-Have Garden Tools Make Great Gifts

Whether new or experienced, every gardener appreciates the gift of good garden tools.

Read more...

Panicle Hydrangeas

Brown thumb? No worries, brown and green thumb gardeners alike can have success growing panicle hydrangeas, the hardiest and most adaptable of the hydrangeas.

Read more...

Pinching Indoor and Outdoor Plants into Beautiful Specimens

Gardeners and garden books often tell you to pinch back your plants for fuller more compact growth. But we often fail to give the details that put you at ease and increase your success.

Read more...

Powdery Mildew on Peonies

Peonies are long lived, low maintenance plants. But in recent years many gardeners are finding the leaves of their peonies covered with a white powdery substance. The culprit is powdery mildew and seems to be an emerging problem on peonies in the landscape.

Read more...

Prepare for Winter Bird Feeding

Fall is a great time to prepare for the winter bird feeding season. A bit of house cleaning will help attract more birds and keep your winged visitors healthy.

Listen to... Prepare for Winter Bird Feeding

Preparing the Lawn Mower for the Season

Prepare your lawn mower now for the grass cutting season ahead. You will minimize breakdowns, frustration, and improve the health and beauty of your lawn.

Listen to Preparing Your Lawn Mower...

Prevent Future Insect and Disease Problems

Take some time now to reduce insect and disease problems in next year’s garden.

Listen to Preventing Future Insect and Disease Problems...

Preventing & Overcoming Disease Problems

Keep your plants looking good and be kind to the environment despite the risk of disease problems.

Listen to Preventing Plant Diseases...

Prune Out Raspberry Pest Problems

Put away the chemicals and break out the pruners to control pest problems on raspberries.

Read more...

Pruning Fruit Trees

Increase your harvest with proper pruning.

Listen to Pruning Fruit Trees...

Pruning Perennials

Tame those unruly perennials with a little early season pruning.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Rake Away Snow Mold in the Lawn

As the snow recedes from the lawn break out the leaf rake and fluff up the grass.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Reduce Your Risk of Skin Cancer When Gardening

Cover up before going out. Protect your skin from Ultraviolet radiation as you get out and garden.

"Listen to . . . Reduce Your Risk of Skin Cancer When Gardening

Removing Faded Flowers for Better Looking Plants

Removing faded flowers can promote repeat bloom and more compact, healthier growth.

Listen to Removing Faded Flowers...

Renovating Overgrown Shrubs

Quickly tame overgrown shrubs with renovation pruning in late winter or early spring.

Read more...

Southern Blight (Crown Rot)

Crown rot, southern stem rot or southern blight are different names for the same disease. Infected plants develop yellow leaves that eventually collapse and die. A close look at the crown of the plant reveals rotting tissue.

Read more...

Spring Cleaning in the Garden

It's time for a bit of spring cleaning. No, I'm not talking about organizing closets and emptying the garage, but rather getting the garden in shape for the upcoming growing season.

Read more...

Strategies for a Low Maintenance Perennial Garden

Look for ways to reduce maintenance and still have a beautiful perennial garden.

Read more...

Stretch Out Before Digging In

Don’t let gardening become a painful experience. Warm up your muscles before you dig into gardening.

Listen to Stretch before Digging In...

Summer Care for Dahlias

Keep Dahlias looking their best with a bit of summer care.

Read more...

Tar Spot on Maples

Don't let the black tar-like spots on your maple tree make you fret. Though one of the more noticeable, it is one of the less damaging of the fungal leaf spot diseases.

Read more...

Time to Evaluate and Plan for Changes in the Garden

Stop and take a few minutes to evaluate the success, challenges and failures of the past growing season. Investing time now can save you additional time, money and frustration in next season's garden.

Listen to... Time to Evaluate...