Friday, July 31, 2009

Garden Tools

Open secator - Secateur ouvertImage via Wikipedia

Garden Tools

Of the implements for harvesting, beside the spade, prong-hoe and spading- fork, very few are used in the small garden, as most of them need long rows to be economical.

The onion harvester attachment for the double wheel hoe, may be used with advantage in loosening onions, beets, turnips, etc., from the soil or for cutting spinach.

Running the hand- plow close on either side of carrots, parsnips and other deep-growing vegetables will aid in getting them out.

For fruit picking, with tall trees, the wire-fingered fruit-picker, secured to the end of a long handle, will be of great assistance, but with the modern method of using low-headed trees it will not be needed.

Another class of garden implements are those used in pruning but where this is attended to properly from the start, a good sharp knife and a pair of pruning shears will easily handle all the work.

Still another sort of garden device is that used for supporting the plants; such as stakes, trellises, wires, etc. Altogether too little attention usually is given these, as with proper care in storing over winter they will not only last for years, but add greatly to the convenience of cultivation and to the neat appearance of the garden.

Finally, for the home garden a standard power tiller is usually only used once or twice a year, so it’s not practical to purchase and maintain one, you should just rent. I have seen a group of families co-op one, but I’ve also seen where they all rent one and then split the rental fee. The only exception to this rule is the Mantis tiller, because of its small size it can be used year-round for such things as soil cultivation, etc… Therefore, for the gardener who wants a little help or power, because its lightweight and can be used year-round for weekly garden work, if you can afford it, it makes sense as a purchase.

As a final word to the intending purchaser of garden tools, I would say: first thoroughly investigate the different sorts available, and when buying, do not forget that a good tool or a well-made machine will give you satisfactory use long after the price is forgotten, while a poor one is a constant source of discomfort. Get good tools, and take good care of them.

Happy gardening,
--Greg

Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Organic Gardening - Cultivation

Organic Gardening - Cultivation
 
Before taking up the garden vegetables individually, I shall outline the general practice of cultivation, which applies to all.
 
The purposes of cultivation are three to get rid of weeds, and to stimulate growth by (1) letting air into the soil and freeing unavailable plant food, and (2) by conserving moisture.
 
As to weeds, the gardener of any experience need not be told the importance of keeping his crops clean. He has learned from bitter and costly experience the price of letting them get anything resembling a start.
 
He/she knows that one or two days' growth, after they are well up, followed perhaps by a day or so of rain, may easily double or triple the work of cleaning a patch of onions or carrots, and that where weeds have attained any size they cannot be taken out of sowed crops without doing a great deal of injury.
 
He/she also realizes, or should, that every day's growth means just so much available plant food stolen from under the very roots of his legitimate crops.
 
Instead of letting the weeds get away with any plant food, he should be furnishing more, for clean and frequent cultivation will not only break the soil up mechanically, but let in air, moisture and heat all essential in effecting those chemical changes necessary to convert non- available into available plant food.
 
Long before the science, the soil cultivators had learned by observation the necessity of keeping the soil nicely loosened about their growing crops. Plants need to breathe. Their roots need air. .
 
Important as the question of air is, that of water ranks beside it. You may not see at first what the matter of frequent cultivation has to do with water. But let us stop a moment and look into it. Take a strip of blotting paper, dip one end in water, and watch the moisture run up hill, soak up through the blotter.
 
The scientists have labeled that "capillary attraction" the water crawls up little invisible tubes formed by the texture of the blotter. Now take a similar piece, cut it across, hold the two cut edges firmly together, and try it again. The moisture refuses to cross the line: the connection has been severed.
 
In the same way the water stored in the soil after a rain begins at once to escape again into the atmosphere. That on the surface evaporates first, and that which has soaked in begins to soak in through the soil to the surface. It is leaving your garden, through the millions of soil tubes, just as surely as if you had a two-inch pipe and a gasoline engine, pumping it into the gutter night and day!
 
Save your garden by stopping the waste. It is the easiest thing in the world to do cut the pipe in two. By frequent cultivation of the surface soil not more than one or two inches deep for most small vegetables the soil tubes are kept broken, and a mulch of dust is maintained.
 
Try to get over every part of your garden, especially where it is not shaded, once in every ten days or two weeks. Does that seem like too much work? You can push your wheel hoe through, and thus keep the dust mulch as a constant protection, as fast as you can walk.
 
If you wait for the weeds, you will nearly have to crawl through, doing more or less harm by disturbing your growing plants, losing all the plant food (and they will take the cream) which they have consumed, and actually putting in more hours of infinitely more disagreeable work.
 
I hope you’re convinced by the facts given, to get a wheel hoe. The simplest sorts will not only save you an infinite amount of time and work, but do the work better, very much better than it can be done by hand.
 
You can grow good vegetables, especially if your garden is a very small one, without one of these labor-savers, but I can assure you that you will never regret the small investment necessary to procure it.

Happy gardening,
--Greg

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Organic Gardening Devices to Fight Plant Pests

Organic Gardening Devices to Fight Plant Pests

Here's a couple organic gardening devices and implements used for fighting plant pests.

The first and most useful is the covered frame. It consists usually of a wooden box, some eighteen inches to two feet square and about eight high, covered with glass, protecting cloth, mosquito netting or mosquito wire. You can also just create row covers or even just drape see through cloth over the beds.

This method also has the additional advantage of retaining heat and protecting from cold, making it possible by their use to plant earlier than is otherwise safe. They are used extensively in getting an extra early and safe start with cucumbers, melons and the other vine vegetables.

Simpler devices for protecting newly-set plants, such as tomatoes or cabbage, from the cut-worm, are stiff, tin, cardboard or tar paper collars, which are made several inches high and large enough to be put around the stem and penetrate an inch or so into the soil.

Happy gardening,
--Greg

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