Whether you have an armoury of garden machines from tractor mowers to trimmers or just one trusty lawnmower, every gardening tool needs a little TLC now and again. Summer sees your grass shoot up and your bushes grow like crazy so it’s especially important to look after your appliances during peak gardening months. So we’ve put together six super-sensible suggestions to help you!
Replace or Sharpen Blunt Appliance Parts
If you find cutting or trimming is taking longer than usual, chances are your appliance blades could use a good sharpen. Just like blunt knives, blunt lawnmower blades or chainsaw chains are more dangerous. Sharp blades have less chance of slipping and make cleaner, more precise cuts. If you have an electric drill, you can fit it with a blade sharpening attachment to sharpen up your lawnmower blades or garden hand tools. But if your blade is extremely blunt or damaged it may be worth buying a replacement.
Keep the Cable Out of Harm’s Way
Those freshly sharpened blades on your hedge trimmer or lawnmower will be great at keeping your garden trim, but will also cut very effectively through a power lead positioned in the wrong place! If you’ve accidentally severed or damaged your cable, it’s not the end of the world; you can buy a replacement lead rather than having to replace the whole machine. But it’s still best avoided. Keep your appliance power lead well away from sharp moving blades. Also, make sure to untangle your cables fully each time you use your machine, as coiled cables can overheat.
Use the Correct Fuel and Oil
You wouldn’t put petrol in your diesel car (not deliberately anyway, though mistakes have been known to happen...) and putting the wrong fuel or oil in your garden appliance can be just as damaging to the internal workings. Consult your manual if you’re not sure of the right fuel for your appliance and change the oil as frequently as recommended. We recommend using high quality fuel to get the best from your appliance. If you have a petrol lawnmower, drain it at the end of the mowing season. If you don’t the petrol could spoil over winter and come spring your mower won’t start.
Clean Your Tools Regularly
Don’t put away wet, muddy appliances or else they’ll rust and won’t work as well the next time you come to use them. Mud and grass are much easier to clean off when they are still wet than once they’ve dried and hardened onto your appliance blades. So remove any grass blocking your trimmer line or lawnmower blades and give your muddy garden hoe or rake a good wipe down after each use.
Ah, the great British summer. Even in our sunniest, hottest season we still can’t completely rule out the chance of rain. Just remember electrics and water don’t mix. If it’s raining avoid using your electric garden appliances and if you’re using a pressure washer, always dry your hands before you unplug it.
It’s worth investing in some safety gear too. Gloves, glasses (the protective kind instead of your favourite aviator shades) and sensible shoes (not sandals, despite the summer sunshine) will keep you protected. We admit, they’re not the most glamorous attire, but they’ll prevent you from having to pause your gardening to tend a blister or get sawdust out of your eye.
Read the Manual!
You may not have got past the set up page when first leafing through your appliance manual, but it’s worth reading it all the way through, promise. Most manuals will have handy tips for cleaning and looking after your appliance, as well as advice when it comes to diagnosing problems. If you’ve lost your manual in the recesses of a drawer somewhere, the good news is you can most likely download a free PDF version and print out a new one.
Wondering if looking after your appliance is really worth the effort? Well all we can say is the better care you take of it the longer it will last before it needs repairing, saving you money and leaving you more time to sculpt your topiary or feed your flowerbeds.
Not so green fingered? Over on the eSpares website you’ll find oodles of advice, videos and replacement parts to help appliances in your home as well as your garden last longer!