Archive for April 6th, 2011

April 6, 2011

Lookin’ sharp!

It was a beautiful day today.  Sunny and hovering around 50.  Since we still had some snow on April 1 and my son was on spring break, I didn’t get around to cutting back my perennial grasses until today.

My 6-year-old son helped me cut the grasses back.  (I did the holding and he did the cutting.)  The first one was a little rough to say the least.  We were using the hedge trimmer, which is a little tough for him to maneuver but he made it work.  Then it dawned on me… I didn’t treat them too well last fall.  They were in desperate need of some sharpening!

A while back, while visiting my favorite garden center, Willowglen Nursery in Decorah, IA, I learned the ease and importance of having sharp garden tools.  It seemed obvious at first, until I realized I should check (but not necessarily sharpen them) each time I use them.  The thing is, I was thinking about things with blades: my pruning shears, my hedge trimmers, clippers, etc.  What never crossed my mind until then – sharpen your spades and shovels too!  This sounded crazy to me at first, until I realized that I’ve always struggled. So when I got home from my annual garden tour, I ran and bought a set of flat files and started sharpening.  I had my spade so sharp it glistened – and cut through the ground “like butta”.  It was amazing.

So, if you don’t already have files, add them to your list.  Then grab all of your garden tools and give them the once over.  Clean them up with a chore boy or steel wool.  Then give them some love and the attention of a file to remove chips, dents, rust, etc.  and make them look and feel as sharp as a knife.  Trust me, it will make the labor intensive parts of gardening less labor and far less intense…. just ask my son!