Subscribe to Growing for Market for more great ideas about growing and marketing!
For more topics in the series, click on Market Farming Basics in the left column.
Get Your Tools Ready
Ideally, tools should be cleaned, sharpened, oiled, and put away in the fall. But if you didn't get to it, there's no time like the present. You do not want to start a new season with rough, splintery handles or dull blades. Johnny's has the supplies you need to maintain and revitalize your hand tools.
Wooden handles will last for many years if you treat the wood annually. We recommend that you rub a new coat of Tried & True Danish Oil into the handles. This product, available from johnnyseeds.com, is the same finish that is applied to our tool handles when new. Tried & True finishes are 100% linseed oil, and have none of the solvents or chemical drying agents found in "boiled linseed" products available in most hardware stores.
Tried & True oil should be applied at a temperature between 70F/2C and 120F/49C, which can be accomplished by warming the can in a container of hot water not by holding it over a flame. Use a cloth or sponge to apply a thin coat of the oil to the tool handle and allow the finish to soak in for five minutes. Wipe off until dry, and allow to cure 8 to 10 hours. Additional coats can be applied the same way and with the same curing times. After the final coat has cured, buff the wood. The finish becomes harder and more durable as it ages.
Sharpening tools is quick and easy with the new Rotary Tool Sharpener. The aluminum oxide angled wheel fits any electric drill. A non-turning back plate holds the stone on the blade at the correct grinding angle to sharpen all kinds of hoes, wheel hoes, shovels, spades, and mower blades. For sharpening smaller tools, such as pruners and harvest knives, use our diamond hone.
If you have a broken tool, don't consign it to the scrap heap before you check for replacement parts at Johnny's. We have wooden handles for hoes and wheel hoes, and replacement blades for most of the hoes we sell. See our 'Sharpening and Caring for Tools video.
Visit Johnny's Selected Seeds for more free information about growing produce, herbs, cover crops and flowers.•
Subscribe to Growing for Market for the latest news and ideas.
Reprinted from JSS Advantage March 2010