In this article today, Jane Martin of the Columbus Dispatch offers some good advice about caring for your garden tools over the winter. From the article:
Soil and plant sap left on tools hold moisture that can cause rust on metal parts. Start by rinsing tools with water and using a wire brush or coarse steel wool to remove soil. To remove rust, use steel wool on small tools, and medium-grit sandpaper on larger flat surfaces such as spades, shovels and hoes.
Use a whetstone to sharpen pruning shears, doing your best to follow the original factory edge. Spades, shovels and hoes can be sharpened with a metal file or grinding wheel, also following the original edge. Then coat metal surfaces with lightweight oil. Wooden tool handles should be cleaned with a brush and sandpaper, then coated with boiled linseed oil.
There’s a lot more good advice there. Check it out; it’s a good read.
To Avoid Rust, Tools Need Some TLC During Winter Lull [The Columbus Dispatch]