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Small Garden Tools

 
gardener
Posts: 1205
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Jay.... I didn’t want to do this but it’s time to let my secret out. That hand mattock is a bit much for me sometimes too. I’m not sure what my “invention” originally went to but I love it. Here’s a picture. The original piece was around thirty inches long and had the hook on both ends. I cut one of the ends off and shorted the entire piece to 24 inches. To start with I wrapped the soon to be handle in duct tape. It’s getting rough so I plan to buy some real handle wrap and do a permanent job. I have done nothing to the business end yet but will be experimenting this winter. It’s light weight and easy to handle. It works great as hand hoe and makes planting seeds a breeze. It also works pop out weeds. When I’m not chopping and dropping I Pull a Weed and Plant a Seed! I’m sure something professionally made would work better but I’m cheap.
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Posts: 300
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
39
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I keep wishing for a miniature potato fork, suitable for prying up single carrots, strong enough for leverage but not so wide it disturbs more of the row.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3893
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Mike Haasl wrote:Just encountered another opportunity.  Maybe this exists already though...   I was harvesting cut and come again greens.  To collect a salad, a small scissors works.  To run a CSA, the drill powered brush/mower/bag machine works great.  To harvest a pound of greens is in the middle.  Kind of a pain to use the scissors and no where near a large enough job to buy the machine for.

Is there a little sickle or curved scissors or other device that would help you cut greens by the handful so you can harvest efficiently?  I'm guessing before they invented the brush machine people used something.  Was that the thing I should get?  And if so, what was it?  If that thing sucked, could Patrick invent something better?

Beats me, just throwing it out there



cordless electric bread knife, if it exists.  It didn't exist back when I needed it, so we used a 12v electric filet knife rigged to a cordless tool battery.
 
pollinator
Posts: 613
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Most of British Columbia is prolific and never lost its wildlife — it also indulges an incredible range of ‘weeds’… both native plants and introduced ones that have escaped. For good harvests of healthy veggies & fruits, virtually everyone here has to put in time weeding.

Here’s a very useful, simple tool you can make. I made mine because I found the the common small three-fingered garden claw to be too clumsy when working right near the roots of our productive plants.

I cut a piece of 1/4” mild-steel rod about 9″ long. You can bend this by heating in a forge or… I heated nearly half of the rod into the bright-orange heat range using acetylene, and used a piece of 2″ diameter steel pipe (in a vise) as a form for shaping. Used a hammer to form the hot end of the rod into the question-mark shape. After making the basic shape and letting it cool, I re-heated the very tip-end of the rod and hammered it to a taper, also causing a slight flaring at the end of the profile. After this taper was established, I did a bit of grinding to remove any burrs and to give final shape to the tip.

I made a handle from a piece of ash wood, a 5″ section of an old broken shovel handle. I shaped that into a comfortable handle, and once I liked the feel of the shaped handle I drilled a 5/16″ hole about 2″ into one end and cleaned it out well. I scored shallow grooves into the shank end of the rod, and then coated about an inch and a half of this shank-end with a fairly thin layer of epoxy glue. After pushing the shank into the handle, I let the glue set and cure for a couple days.

When we have to do heavy weeding, we use a hoe for the broad-scale work. But a lot of the work of weeding needs to get down into tiny areas just around the roots desired plants in a vegetable bed, and this tool weasels right in there.
weeding_tool.png
The tool
The tool
hook_end.jpg
Hook-end detail
Hook-end detail
 
Posts: 55
Location: Inland NW USA
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Thank you Joel
 
master gardener
Posts: 4628
Location: southern Illinois, USA
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This stool/knee pad my wife got for me is the greatest.
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John F Dean
master gardener
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Location: southern Illinois, USA
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Here is the knee pad angle
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Dre Oeschger
Posts: 55
Location: Inland NW USA
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John F Dean wrote:This stool/knee pad my wife got for me is the greatest.



Thanks John!  Patrick actually just added one of these to the lineup this last year.

 
John F Dean
master gardener
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Location: southern Illinois, USA
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As you can tell from the picture, it gets a lot of use.
 
Rez Zircon
Posts: 300
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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I have a tool very similar to the above weeding tool, except with a long handle.. it started life as a hoe, but the weld was bad and the blade came off. I've actually used the resulting long-handled hook more than I ever did the hoe. Tho a bigger hook would not be amiss.

 
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