Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Start Your Engines -- Another February Reminder

Start your engines, rev-up your motors, check your fluids -- February is another perfect time to clean up, tune-up, inventory, organize and replace your broken or misplaced tools. Ideally, tools should be maintained after every use and storage, especially the last time you use them in the fall and store them for the winter. I don't always follow through with my good intentions or my words of wisdom, I often work harder, not smarter the next spring to get them ready for chores in the yard and garden. I bought this 21 inch Troy Built push mower (pictured above) three years ago. Troy Built products are good quality, dependable, and reasonably priced. Knock on wood but Herman (as I call him) has never failed to start.

Inventory your hand tools. Over the last several years, I've had to replace many of my older hoes, rakes, and shovels and you can quote me on this "maintenance is cheap, buying new tools is expensive." Keeping this in mind, I recently, went to the local dollar store, (Dollar General, Thomas Crossroads) shopping for other items and discovered they stock garden tools and supplies, as pictured below.

After looking over their inventory (and checking some prices against other local stores), I found the quality to be comparable and the prices to be less, unless on sale at the other major chains like Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe's. Certainly, I'm not the best shopper to give advice, but I do love to shop for yard and garden supplies and I try to buy the best quality tools and supplies at the cheapest price.
Pictured above is my Mantis Tiller, weighing less than 25 pounds, it's great for flower beds and removing weeds in the vegetable garden around established plants and rows. Bought in 1991, this little jewel has been a plus for me (her name is Sally). She is easy to maneuver and maintain, I don't recommend breaking ground covered with grass or foliage, nor packed or hard soil.      

Pictured above is Pebbles and Bam Bam, (Pebbles is the regular weed eater with string, Bam Bam is the weed eater with the blade). Both are Echo weed eaters and parts are still available at Lowe's and Home Depot. Over the years, (approximately 15) they have served my yard and garden needs well.

Another important tool I use is George. He's an air tank. Trust me, an air tank is very important when the tires on your wheel barrow, lawnmower, or even your car goes flat. If you connect with a good tire dealer you may get the air free, if not you may have to pay for it, around 75 cents at a local convience store like Flash or Quick-Trip. 


Although, it appears I make light of tools, I don't because there is nothing more frustrating for me than to execute a plan in the garden or yard in early spring, or anytime and discover the tools are either broken, missing or not working. I suggest that you find an individual or reputable business that you trust, (unless you have a mechanic in your family) that can start your engines, rev-up your motors, tune-up the parts and make sure it's a go for spring.

-- Posted by Wilma Smith

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