Regularly cleaning your garden tools not only keeps your garage clean, but it also keeps your garden healthy. “Our plants can have viruses or bacterial infections,” says Hennepin County Master Gardener Marilyn Arnlund. “If we’re in one area and cutting something and we move to another part of the garden, and we cut something in the other part of the garden, we can actually transfer that problem to other plants in our garden.” Arnlund says there are three different types of cleaning products we can use to sanitize our tools. You could use a bleach solution of nine parts water to one part bleach. However, Arnlund says she has stopped using bleach as a tool cleaner because bleach is corrosive to tools and can cause skin irritation. Rubbing alcohol can disinfect your tools. However, because it can be expensive, you might want to use it only for small jobs. Arnlund suggests putting it in a spray bottle and spraying your tools between plantings for quick clean-up. She says Lysol or Clorox disinfecting wipes are also a good go-to for small, fast cleaning jobs. She says, surprisingly, the best cleaning solution is probably already in your kitchen. Arnlund says, “Demitri Mollov, who is with the plant disease clinic at the University of Minnesota has told the Master Gardeners of Hennepin County that he believes just using plain old soap and water, our dish soap that we use to wash our dishes with, would be the best way and the cheapest way to wash our tools.” She says it takes hardly any time to clean your equipment. Simply remove any excess soil or dirt by using a heavy duty brush. Then, using your cleaning solution of choice, take a few seconds to wash or wipe away what you can. If she’s putting […]
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