In this video, South Surrey Garden Club member Roger Phillips demonstrates how to use the Lee Valley Diamond Sharpening Stick and provides suggestions on how to keep your pruners in good working condition.
Recently a question was posed to our discussion list regarding disinfecting pruners. Roger and Mary Dunn answered the question and both also suggested looking at Linda Chalker Scott's website.
Main Site: https://puyallup.wsu.edu/lcs/
Specific Pages: The Myth of Cloroxed Clippers and
Sterilized Pruning Tools: Nuisance or Necessity?
Mary Dunn' s advice:
Probably the best disinfectant for pruners is a Lysol or Dettol solution, 1 part lysol to 9 parts water. A jar is useful so you can put the pruners right into it. 70% Isopropanol is also effective, and evaporates quickly. Bleach (1:9 with water ) is sometimes recommended, but is corrosive and causes damage to the blades (oil after using it, but Lysol is a better choice). Always clean off any dirt or sap before disinfecting.
Here's Roger's advice:
Here in South Surrey, the plants that need the greatest care are roses (the dreaded black spot) and fruit trees (black knot on plums, canker on apples).
1) Check the state of the pruners. They should be clean, sharp, and free of any pitted surfaces where bacteria can build up.
2) Avoid cleaners like bleach or TSP--these are corrosives and will lead to pitting the surfaces of your pruner blades.
3) Hand sanitizers that contain alcohol are good but expensive. Rubbing alcohol is cheaper.
4) Household cleaners like Lysol, Listerine, Pine-Sol, are effective. Lysol comes in a spray can, very convenient to pack around the garden (but it's an aerosol, so not too environmentally friendly). Put enough fluid to cover the pruner blades in a canning jar with a tight lid.
5) Wipe off any excess cleaner after disinfecting so that the next plant gets pruned with a dry blade.
6) After finishing the pruning, wash the pruners in warm soapy water, scrub off any sticky deposits from plant sap, rinse, drain, and dry. *** (now is a good time to get the file or kitchen steel and sharpen the cutting edge of the pruners).
7) To get those unreachable surfaces where the blades hinge, add a couple of drops of sewing machine or other light oil and open and close the pruners a few times to smear all metal surfaces.