Figure 4.04 All-Pro digging tools
These unusual stainless steel gardening tools are excellent for working with all types of vegetables. The narrow blade widths make it extremely easy to use around closely planted vegetables, handy for heavy-clay soils. Each is especially designed for cultivating, transplanting and weeding.
WILCOX ALL-PRO TOOLS & SUPPLY
Montezuma, IA 50171
and cleaning lawns.
Heavy-duty: These flat-headed rakes are designed for raking large stones or for smoothing asphalt They can be useful in heavy soils or when putting in garden walks and paths.
Traditionally an important tool for all gardeners, the hoe is a versatile piece of equipment There are many sizes and models available, each is designed to accomplish different tasks around the home garden. The following is a description of the most common hoes and their primary uses:
All-purpose garden hoe. The sandard hoe, useful for turning up soil and for some weeding.
Warren cultivator hoe: A heart-shaped hoe with a point, useful for making short rows or hills to plant seeds. Turn the hoe point up and use the other face to hill dirt over new seeds.
Weeding hoe: This has a flat blade on one side and one or two prongs on the other; extremely useful for cultivating around plants.
nurseryman's hoe: This resembles a standard hoe but with a tapered top; useful for many garden jobs.
Scuffle hoe: It has a flat blade that can be used to cut the tops off of weeds simply by pushing the hoe along the ground or slightly underneath. Also comes with an open center, so weeds can be cut by either a pushing or a pulling action.
Action hoe: An easy-to-use cultivator-weeder and edger, this comes with a sharp double-edge blade that cuts weeds and grass in both directions. It will cut right up to the edge of bricks and other border materials.
There are two basic kinds of cultivators—the small hand-type, which we'll deal with here, and the larger mechanical variety, which is covered later in this chapter.
A cultivator is a pronged, forklike tool used to cultivate or turn over the dirt between plants. It is available in three or four pronged, curved-tine style or in a three prong, adjustable one. The cultivator will not slice off weeds that have gotten a good start, but it does an excellent job of loosening the soil. If used regularly, the cultivator will keep the soil open and discourage weeds from growing.
Some gardeners who manage to make do with the smallest number of tools claim that they get along very well without a trowel. Others consider these small shovel-type tools a necessity. A trowel is handy for digging small holes in which hot-weather plants like tomatoes can be set out And for quick, one-step transplants, the proper trowel is indispensable. Trowels are also useful for many other minor but necessary digging jobs. Besides the standard trowel there are several other designs to consider.
A long-handled trowel ($7-15) has a handle of two feet or so, and is the choice of gardeners who have trouble stooping. It helps to reach into hard-to-reach spots in a vegetable factory bed.
A steel-bladed trowel ($5-18) has a sharp blade that cuts easily into the soil. Many of them use a thin connecting rod, in the handle, that bends easily with heavy use.
The narrow cupped blade of the transplant trowel ($3-8) makes it excellent for transplanting tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage and other seedlings into the garden. It is not useful for general digging.
Aluminum trowels ($5-10) are usually one piece, with plastic covered handles for extreme sturdiness. Aluminum trowels are not nearly as sharp or as strong as those of steel.
The offset trowel ($7-10) has a pointed blade that is good for digging out seedlings from flats.
An aluminum trigger trowel ($6-8), with a hook under the handle, is especially useful for anyone with arthritis or a weak grip.
figure 4.05 Heavy duty cultivators/diggers
These heavy duty tools are perfect for heavy or rocky soils. They hold up well under all types of soil and gardening conditions.
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