Plants can get diseases just like people. Plant illnesses can pass from plant to plant through infected pruning sheers and other landscape supplies in much the same way that human germs are passed through infected needles. Proper maintenance of your landscaping tools is the only way to prevent your pruning sheers and other gardening implements from spreading illnesses. To disinfect your gardening tools, follow the tips and recommendations below.
Disinfect your pruning sheers after every use--or at regular intervals.
Pruning sheers should be disinfected every time you use them on a new plant. Your plants may not look sick, but like people, plants don't always display symptoms when they first contract an illness. The only way to ensure that your pruning sheers won't spread sicknesses from infected plants to healthy plants is to disinfect your pruning sheers every time you trim a new plant.
Of course, if you're like many property owners, disinfecting your pruning sheers every time you trim a new plant probably sounds unrealistic. To limit the spread of diseases between plants, plan to disinfect your pruning sheers at regular intervals. Set a limit--like 5 or 10 plants--and resolve to disinfect your pruning sheers every time you prune that many plants.
If this is your approach, you'll also need to disinfect your sheers every time you prune a plant that has an obvious disease. Sick plants will display symptoms like blackening or browning stems, shriveling leaves and open cankers. Disinfect your pruning sheers after trimming plants that have obvious signs of illness.
Follow proper sanitization and storage procedures.
To disinfect your pruning sheers, soak them in a solution of equal parts rubbing alcohol and water for 5 minutes, then rinse the tools and allow them to air dry. Over time, repeated disinfection can cause the surface of the sheers to develop microscopic pits that can harbor bacteria. To keep your sheers safe for plants, replace them on a regular basis, or soak older sheers for longer periods of time to kill all the germs.
Store your sheers off the ground and away from gardening gloves, gardening soil and other tools that have been exposed to dirt. This will help ensure that your gardening tools are clean and ready to use every time you pull them out of storage. For more tips and helpful advice, speak with a customer service representative at your local nursery or gardening store next time you purchase landscape supplies. Click here for information about topsoil in London, Ontario.