Wheelbarrows are expensive, and they may be a little bigger and bulkier than your other garden tools but having one on hand can mean saving your back. Why lug heavy bags of mulch around the yard when you can wheel it instead? These handy gardening tools are great, but they also need care. Maintenance for wheelbarrows is crucial for keeping them rolling, clean, and free of rust. Learn more about how to care for a wheelbarrow in this article.
Basic Wheelbarrow Care
The Handle. You never really think about the handle of your wheelbarrow until it breaks or gets so rough that it gives you a splinter. Caring for wheelbarrows starts with the often-overlooked handles. Many wheelbarrows have wooden handles and to maintain them, first keep them clean. Wipe them down with a cloth after every use.
If your wooden wheelbarrow handles get a little rough around the edges, use sandpaper to clean them up every once in a while. An occasional rub down with linseed oil or another type of oil is also a great way to keep them in good shape. Just let them dry before storing your wheelbarrow.
The Barrow. The bucket, or barrow, of your wheelbarrow is what really gets dirty when you’re working in the garden and is also an important part of caring for wheelbarrows. Clean it often, giving it at least a basic clean out after every use, scraping out any remaining dirt or mulch. Then, every few uses, give it a more thorough clean.
Use a wire brush to scrub it clean and make sure it is dry before you put it away. This will help prevent rust if you have a metal barrow. If the wheelbarrow is painted metal, touch up any chips in the paint as they form to further prevent rusting.
Maintaining the Wheel and Axle. Wheelbarrow care must include maintenance for the wheels and axle, or your tool may stop rolling. Keeping the axle going is as simple as giving it a good squirt with a grease gun every couple of months. For the tire, use a bicycle pump to keep it well inflated as needed.
Knowing how to care for wheelbarrows isn’t difficult, but you do need to put these steps into action to make sure your handy garden tool remains in good shape and will serve you for years to come.