With the warm weather upon us, now is a better time than ever to get your hands dirty and clean up your gardening tools. Here’s how:

Shovels: Wipe any loose dirt from the wooden handle and metal bucket of the shovel using a solution of soap and water, then dry thoroughly. Make sure to wear gloves to prevent slivers. Next, apply a thin layer of linseed oil to the handle and bucket of the shovel. Use a steel wool pad to remove any rust spots from the bucket, if necessary. Allow the oil to soak into the bucket and handle for a few minutes, then buff with a dry microfibre cloth.

Pruning shears: Remove any dirt from the blades and handles using a damp microfibre cloth and buff dry. Apply a thin layer of linseed oil to the blades and joints of the shears to loosen them up. Use a steel wool pad to carefully remove any rust spots on the blades if necessary. Again, allow the oil to soak in, then buff with a dry microfibre cloth. The light coating of linseed oil will prevent rust from forming and makes for a smoother cutting motion.

Pots: Now that your gardening equipment is in pristine condition, it’s time to clean out your outdoor planters and garden pots. Remove any remaining dirt and debris from the pot and scrub clean using a steel wool pad and a solution of soap and water. Rinse the pot thoroughly and let dry before planting.