Disinfecting Pruning Tools

Back in the “old days”, we never worried about disinfecting pruning tools, or maybe I just was not paying attention. But now, there is a lot of talk about preventing the spread of disease-causing pathogens in your landscape. Maybe there are more disease-causing pathogens??

Felco hand pruners

I am convinced that disinfecting garden tools is an absolute necessity and I am most aware of it in the spring. When pruning the grapes, fruit trees and the roses, I notice the spots and blotches on the stems that could possibly be spread to other parts of the plant or to other plants.

Black or purple canes may indicate that your roses have bacterial cane blight.

What to use to clean your tools? There is bleach and it can be effective. For a few years, I ran around with a white rag that I would dip in bleach and all my jeans pockets turned white. Recently, I read that bleach also loses its efficacy by 50% after two hours. The bleach companies do make those pop-up cleaning wipes, I guess they would work. I don’t care for the wasted wipes that I then have to carry around and hope they don’t blow away in the wind.

My favorite shears
My favorite shears for pruning grasses, lavender, caryopteris.

I have most recently been carrying around a bottle rubbing alcohol and a rag to clean my pruning shears and loppers. Apparently, it is effective. Also recommended is a 5 to 1 pine oil in water solution. “Pick your poison”, as they say, just remember to use it!. And, then there is the issue of transmission with your gardening gloves- be sure and wash them frequently.

Information gathered from: http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/care/tools-and-equipment/disinfecting-tools.html

Published by Vicki

I love gardening and when it comes to vegetables, organic gardening is important to me. I am an Advanced Master Gardener with the University of Idaho, and my favorite garden activity is pruning. When I'm not cutting down plants, you can find me shooting photos on my Canon DSLR or out smashing overheads on the tennis courts.

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