As Gardeners, we all now have an amazing array of tools and machinery at our disposal, however, we must ensure we look after these tools and mechanical aids to ensure they continue to work and function safety and help us undertake the many jobs required to maintain gardens.
With regard to hand tools it always starts with the appropriate selection and buying of right tool for the job, whether it is secateurs, saws, pruning knives, spades, hoe or forks. You must ensure you buy a decent robust quality made tool.
As often stated, you get what you pay for! Less expensive tools often break, buy from a reputable manufacturer that offer good warrantees and after sales service.
When it comes to larger hand tools such as spades, forks and rakes, ensure they are the right size and weight for you to handle comfortably.
It is then a case of looking after your tools, keeping them clean after use, usually washing them down and wiping over blades and steel parts with an oily rag.
Also, it pays to store your tools properly, hanging up spades and forks and keep small tools in tool boxes. Finally ensure you keep blades sharp and replace when blunt.
As for mechanical equipment, preventive maintenance, moreover, the planned maintenance of equipment will help to improve equipment life span and ensure it is more reliable particularly when starting up.
You should regularly check, fuel and oil levels along with checking air filters, hoses and grease any moving parts. Tighten up any loose bolts and nuts before use.
A reputable garden machinery servicing company will look at a whole host of things. When they do a full service on a petrol rotary / cylinder mower.
In the main this this will be to remove all covers and guards, steam clean the machine to remove any grass build up and oil residues. Service the carburettor and clean it , flush the fuel tank to remove any stale fuel and contamination.
Replace the pull starter cord and re-wind the return spring and lubricate all moving parts.
Check the air gap on the ignition coil and fit a new spark plug/s, replace the air filter and change the engine oil.
Sharpen and balance the blades, check all drive belt and cables and make any necessary adjustments to height adjuster mechanism and all control levers and cables.
Tighten the engine mounting and handle bar bolts.
Run and test all machine functions.
Check engine running speed and tune carburettor.
There are many benefits of a properly operated preventive maintenance program, equipment downtime is decreased and the number of major repairs are reduced.
So, my advice is you buy / invest in good quality tools, equipment and machinery. And then spend time looking after it and getting it serviced at the end of the year.
By doing so you will get a better return on your investment and more importantly have peace of mind that your tools and machinery are fit for purpose.