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sickle vs scythe and where do I purchase?

 
Posts: 70
Location: New Jersey
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I have 5 raised beds that are each 50' x 4'. They are mounded or "rounded" raised beds. I am going to plant cover crops this winter to chop and drop in the spring. So I am looking for some advice on what tool I should use for chop and drop. I own a 14" machete but I don't know if thats the best tool for chop and drop on oats, rye, hairy vetch type. I was thinking scythe or sickle but I don't know much about them. Since the beds are mounded I was thinking scythe might be alittle hard to use plus I don't have that large of an area....but like I said I don't really know much. Suggestions?
 
Posts: 323
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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Is using a crimper an option? Some bed frame angle iron on a barrel is a good cheap option. Or a stomp board.

https://permies.com/t/34195/gardening-beginners/killing-cover-crops#361493
 
Posts: 79
Location: Minnesota, zone 4, loamy sand
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All my masculine ancestors were using scythe for hay-mowing, I am the first in the line to lack the skill.
Not sure how well it will work on a surface that is not flat; perhaps it will just take two or three passes.
I have bought mine last year at Amazon.com from an Austrian company named Seymour for $45, plus another $45 for a rather elaborate aluminum handle; tried to use it to mow my 3 acres and gave up. If you want it, I will gladly part with it for, say, half the price.

Sickle they were using to harvest stuff; I never saw it done. One would think scythe is more efficient for mowing (for one thing, it's larger.)
 
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Posts: 341
Location: S. Ontario Canada
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A scythe is made for flat ground, I think very awkward on a raised mound. Sickle for selective dropping around other plants or string trimmer for the blanket approach.
 
Posts: 7
Location: massachusetts
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A scythe will work fine on raised beds, uneven ground, anything like that. The trick is to know how to use it, and how to keep it very sharp. Check out Scythe Connection and any videos of the Vido family scything to see proper technique and learn how to properly use and maintain a blade. A good scythe (closest to you in NJ would probably be Scythe Supply up in Maine. A scythe blade, handle, and the tools for sharpening it should cost all told $160, or $200 including shipping. There are no operating costs, and it should last the rest of your life, if you take care of it. I brush out trails in my Christmas tree farm, hay a meadow and MOW MY LAWN with the very same tool. The scythe is one tool where it pays to do your homework and learn to use it well. Do not assume you can take it out of the box and away you go. That being said, it is one of the most efficient, elegantly simple tools out there.

Good luck!
 
Posts: 43
Location: NH
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Emmet Van Driesche wrote:A scythe will work fine on raised beds, uneven ground, anything like that. The trick is to know how to use it, and how to keep it very sharp. Check out Scythe Connection and any videos of the Vido family scything to see proper technique and learn how to properly use and maintain a blade. A good scythe (closest to you in NJ would probably be Scythe Supply up in Maine. A scythe blade, handle, and the tools for sharpening it should cost all told $160, or $200 including shipping. There are no operating costs, and it should last the rest of your life, if you take care of it. I brush out trails in my Christmas tree farm, hay a meadow and MOW MY LAWN with the very same tool. The scythe is one tool where it pays to do your homework and learn to use it well. Do not assume you can take it out of the box and away you go. That being said, it is one of the most efficient, elegantly simple tools out there.

Good luck!



Thanks for the link to the Scythe supply company in Maine. I was looking at rice knives made in Australia and thought there had to be someone closer. Any recommendations on how to learn to use one or do you take it out of the box and start practicing and go from there?
 
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Location: oregon nw of eugene
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Another source for scythes and sickles is Marugg Company in Tenn. Botan Anderson has some good youtube videos on using a scythe and there are also a number of videos on sharpening (peening).
 
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