Groom your tools
Sharpen a spade
If you haven’t already done so over the winter months, now is the time to spend a few hours grooming the gardening tools stored in the basement, garage, or shed. Cutting tools, such as hand pruners and flower shears, can be sharpened on a high quality Arkansas (pronounced R-kansas) sharpening stone, then lightly oiled with penetrating oil, which cleans and prevents corrosion.
Many digging tools work more efficiently after being cleaned, sharpened, and oiled. To sharpen a hoe, spade, trowel, or other digging tool with a single beveled edge, use a mill file about 8 inches long equipped with a strong, comfortable handle. Set the tool in a vise or hold it securely on a flat surface. Hold the file at about a 30-degree angle and draw the file across the beveled surface of the blade, pushing the file away from your body. When the cutting edge is sharp, turn the tool over and use the file to remove any burrs from the back edge. Lubricate the blade lightly with penetrating oil and wipe with a clean rag.