As students of the Landscaping Operations program learn the techniques for installing and maintaining plants, they work with basic tools. They include shovels, spades, trowels, pruners, hand saws, loppers and shears. These simple tools are still relied upon to perform daily tasks in our trade. Learning to work with each tool safely and efficiently is important, but of equal importance is how to care for them.
Done regularly, students can count on the tools to perform properly and safely. Well maintained tools take less effort to use, make the job easier and the work more efficient. A few simple steps are all it takes:
– clean each tool at days end
– hang shovels and spades on the wall out of your way and moistures way
– wipe all metal parts with oil to lubricate and fight rust
– sharpen shovels and spades with a mill file
– sharpen pruners, loppers and shears with an oil stone for a sharper edge
Each step is performed and practiced by the students after planting or maintaining exercises. It only takes a few days and you can see their new found appreciation in keeping their tools clean and sharp.
Deborah Dohmen (Landscaping Operations)