Tool Time for Gardeners

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By Deb Quantock McCarey

Contributing reporter/Gardening blogger

Over the last couple of weeks I have been slowly putting my edible garden "to bed,"  leaving in only the hardiest cool weather veggies, and pulling out and composting the spent ones.

Although,  this year I am leaving my garden and yard a bit messier, with the hope of it becoming an over-winter habitat for those butterflies that seemed to skip my garden beds this year.

Still growing now are the Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, kale and a few lettuces, all cultivations that can withstand a dip below freezing.

The cool season beets, which I could have held out to harvest, I didn't.  

Since planting those seeds in mid-August, I have had plans for them.

My culinary herbs I have potted and brought inside.

All this, I realize now, has been done with way-too-dull snips, trowels, shovels.  

But better late than never,  this season I learned first hand how to care for my gardening tools from doing some research, and chatting up my friend, and local Oak Park gardening pro, Don Nekrosius.

This life-long educator is an active volunteer with the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener program in Oak Park and Chicago, and conducts lots of public educational programming around the area, and at the Oak Park Conservatory from time to time. 

In under 15 minutes, here are a few of his nifty garden tool care tips to help us backyard gardeners correctly put our tools to bed, too.

Reader Comments

2 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Jakob from Oak Park  

Posted: November 10th, 2013 9:34 AM

A good reminder to do a bit of tool maintenance, but this guy Nekrosius is taking this to a ridiculous extreme. Coating all your tools in a thick goop of petroleum jelly indeed!

Aida from Oak Park  

Posted: October 28th, 2013 3:42 PM

Loved your Tool Time for Gardeners video. It was quite informative. I will be sure to pass it on. Proper tool care is good to know beyond gardening.

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