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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Since you can’t go out, dig, prune and plant right now in the middle of winter, what you can do is take care of your tools, so that when spring comes, you can do everything faster, easier and more safely.

Leaving tools dirty and dull makes gardening harder for you and harder on your plants – since dull edges on digging tools makes shoveling slower, and on pruners and clippers can create ragged cuts on branches that invite disease.

You can find lots of instructions online, but basically, first clean your tools – scrape mud off shovels and sap from your pruner and clippers. Use steel wool and sandpaper to remove grime and rust.

Then, put a fresh edge on your shovel with a file, and carefully hone your pruner and hedge clippers with a sharpening stone. Watch videos online to see how experts do it and follow along.

Finally, make sure your tools are dry, then rub on a little motor oil or WD-40 to deter rust.

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