Good hygiene...

I've been given a shed full of allotment tools, some look like they were made when Adam was a lad. 

The guy who had the lot has reached 80 and decided to hang up his scataurs. 

His soil was infected, I don't think, as a result, it was brassica's he couldn't grow without liming the soil.

Q is I've washed the tools with hot soapy water, used a metal brush on them and was going to rub linseed oil on handles and oil on the metal bits. Will this be enough to prevent any spread and what to do with the wheel barrow, I've already wheeled it on to my plot.



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 21,021

    I've never cleaned any of my tools ,ever. Not one. I'm still alive to tell the tale and so is my garden and the 100s I've looked after.

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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,850

    Lucky you on getting the tools.  I think you've done enough to ensure good hygiene and cleaning tools after use is just good husbandry and makes them last longer and work better.

    My tools hang on the wall in the shed so I have been in teh habit of rinsing them off after a session and occasionally a squirt of WD40 on blades of trowels and spades.    They all get a good clean and oiling to see them through winter.   I think it helps keep the business end in good nick.

    OH doesn't bother so I can always see which tools he has used.

    Yesterday I discovered that this new garden has a claggy yellow clay soil in parts so I may well sharpen trowel and spade blades to help them work it with less resistance.

    If you do find you have club root anywhere in your garden there are ways round it.  Firstly you can use lime to counter act it and it's also good for brassicas even without club root.   Sow brassicas in cells and grow them on into 4 or 5 inch pots so they have a really strong root system before you plant them out.  You should then get a crop.  Otherwise I believe it can take years for the active infectious fungus bits to die out - less in well drained soils and 10 or more in clay or damp soils.

    The RHS has this info and advice - 

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,156

    I've cleaned the tools some had alot of rust on, they've come up really well, a bit like discovering gold.

    The fork and spade have metal shafts, ever so light. I've three different types of hoes now. Some look quite old, they don't make tools like they used to,. These were made to last, a very simple set of scataurs, after sharpening are great. There was evening a pr of seamstress scissors, managed to get all the rust of them.

    Also acquired three galvernisd watering cans and a bucket. Three leak so thought I'd paint  them and use as planters.

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,156

    Thanks for the information about club root. Think I"ll wash my wellies and the wheelbarrows too, won't do any harm.

    The barrows were at the back of a shed , covered in cobwebs and huge spiders.

    Last edited: 19 February 2017 20:44:31

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 3,436

    My grandad used to have a box in his shed filled with sharp sand soaked in oil.  He used to shove his tools into that at the end of the season once he'd rubbed any soil off them.  I never saw rust on any of his tools.

  • M-K-M-K- Posts: 30

    Lucky you, Zoomer! I do love old tools.

    KT53 - good system of your grandad's. I'm going to mull it over and see if it would fit in here.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,850

    KT - AT advised that system on his How to be a Gardener series.   Kept his spade sharp and clean.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • iv'e two plots and two sheds  ,i have a wire brush and a scaper in each shed and when i'm done i clean em off  (sometimes ) but i aways make sure i clean em before going on to the other plot , thanks for the oil and sharp sand mix sounds like a good tip  i'll get a tub set up and may even add some sort of disinfectant fluid .


  • I use the oil and sand on mine.  Very easy and effective. 

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