- Organic Gardening
Sustainable Agriculture | Quality garden tools are what support the backbone of accomplished gardeners
The difference of buying a quality made or cheap garden tool quickly becomes apparent when they are put to the test.
Would you rather invest in two broken garden hoes or one good that will last for a lifetime?
Many who decide to take up home gardening often run off to the hardware store or home center to purchase garden tools. Many times they use them a few times and either become discouraged with the aspects of growing a garden or the tool breaks.
Cheap garden tools are likely to create more fatigue in the arms and lower back. The square head hoe most commonly found in hardware and home centers is just not the choice of accomplished self-sufficient gardeners. They are bulky use low grade steel and thus are hard to keep sharp.
Most find them useful for mixing concrete or scraping out compost, but when it comes to working for hours in the garden they are just not comfortable, thus the reason many newbie’s throw up their hands and declare they don’t have a green thumb after using cheaply made garden tools.
The true secret to successful gardening is to use compost and mulch to block out most of the weeds. Then using a small head sharp garden hoe to clean out where weeds still tend to grow.
Finding quality garden tools that fit and stand up is the key to successful self-sufficient gardening.
Garden tools come in many different shapes and styles to fit personal preferences’.
Consider purchasing quality garden tools as an investment towards becoming more independent and living healthier with home grown vegetables.
Some lady gardeners prefer a smaller lighter weight hoe so they do not become as fatigued. When shopping in a typical hardware the selection of garden hoes is rather limited.
The light weight hoe tends to be the cheap imported model with a skinny handle and tack welded or riveted head. After a few whacks at solid ground the head pulls out of the handle or the head breaks off. The self-sufficient gardener will select the hoe with a smaller light weight head to do the job.
Some men prefer the Eye Hoe also known as the "Grape Hoe" the head is made of heavy forged carbon steel with a loop built into the top, “The Eye” to slip the handle through. The metal edge is sharp and the head is curved slightly to provide a cutting arc as the hoe is forced down into the soil.
The Amish are professional self-sufficient gardeners. The entire Amish family becomes involved in the gardening process, so lighter weight hoes are commonly used.
One of the most popular Amish made hoes is the "Amish Hoe" it is also called a "Sickle Bar Hoe". because it is actually made from a carbon steel tooth used in sickle bar mowers. This makes an extremely light weight head that maintains a sharp cutting edge.
The “V” shape of the Amish Hoe makes it ideal to cut shallow seed beds as well as turning to the side and reaching under delicate plants to trench out weeds.
Other popular Amish hoes use different heads such as the large “V” shape, the narrow head and a crescent shape. The large “V” provides deep furrows for planting deep rooted crops such as potatoes. The crescent head allows the hoe to roll side to side to cut through weed beds.
Accomplished self-sufficient gardeners also take care of their tools. They are never left out to get wet, the cutting surfaces are cleaned after each use and the edges are sharpened by stone or a file frequently.
The old timers like my grandparents who lived through the depressions valued their garden tools. They actually would spread a thin layer of grease on the heads and wrapped them in parchment paper tied with a string for winter storage.
Cottage Craft Works Sustainable Living General Store carries American made high quality garden tools for the accomplished self-sufficient gardener. You can purchase on line at http://www.cottagecraftworks.com or click this direct link Cottage Craft Works Garden Tools