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Cleaning Tools and Other Tips for Healthy Plants

Summer days in the garden can be long and hot. It is tempting to cut corners when the rush of spring planting is over and the heat of the sun drives us to the shade. But, there are tasks to do around the garden that will keep your plants healthy and your tools in prime shape.

  • Clean, clean, clean. Now is the time to clean your tools, all of them. Diseases can be easily transmitted from an infected plant to a healthy plant with one cut of the bypass pruners.
  • Sharpen tools. Clean cuts are the first defense against disease and insects that prey on damaged plant tissue caused by dull tools that rip or shred plant material.
  • Clean up leaf litter. A messy garden bed, especially one littered with diseased plant material, can be harmful to your garden. Take a tour of your gardens, collecting twigs, leaves and other fallen plant material as you walk about.
  • Fluff the mulch. When mulch becomes compacted from hard rain or gardener’s feet, water will bead up and roll off the mulch instead of soaking into the garden. By loosening the mulch you will increase air and water circulation.
  • Run the water before watering your plants. Water sitting in a garden hose can become incredibly hot and will scorch your plants. Let the water flow until it runs cool before watering your garden.
  • Water in the early morning and evening to minimize water loss due to evaporation.
  • Fertilizing. Check your calendar. When was the last time you fertilized your plants? Always follow fertilizing directions and requirements for each plant.