Eric Hanson wrote:Also, if one is tilling a garden, a good, heavy grub hoe is better than a gas tiller. It is more work to be sure, but it does less damage to the soil.
Eric Hanson wrote:Will a broadfork dig a new garden bed?
Jordan Holland wrote:I will give my standard plug about trying to find old hand tools from the time period when they were meant to be used by skilled workers all day long. Subtle (and not so subtle) differences make all the difference. Many people would be amazed at how quickly hand tools can work, but all they have ever seen/used is modern renditions that leave much to be desired.
Jordan Holland wrote:Dan Boone, that brings up another point. Using hand tools in the correct manner is a very big part of their efficiency. The old auger bits were designed to be turned by hand, so they cut as efficiently as possible. There were even different designs for different types of wood, it was that important. I see many people use modern bits designed for power drills in a brace, and the results are not optimal. When there is power to spare, efficiency is not typically their main design goal. They are more likely to go with speed of cut, longevity of edge, or even more likely, lowest cost of manufacture. But even the highest quality tools possible can only do so well when not used as intended.
I have a PTO auger for my tractor that seldom sees use. Yes, for many post holes in an open field, it is great. But if I am digging one post hole .... or even a half dozen, it is faster to do by hand. Then there is the issue of putting in a post hole where a tractor cannot easily go. The majority of the time, I use the manual digger.
Yes, we've started new beds with a broadfork. It does a beautiful job of loosening the soil. For me, it's not so back-breaking as a hoe. I think it goes faster too because it's so, well, broad.