Dec 292007

Redhead water breakerWater seedlings quickly, with no flattened plants! The Dramm Redhead water breaker catalog description is, in my experience, perfectly accurate: “Softest flow of any water breaker that we have tested while still offering enough water volume. Perfect for all watering needs, especially for young seedlings. Stainless steel screen for years of reliable use.” The flow is high volume and incredibly low pressure and gentle. Admittedly, as I often water from a well, the water pressure is quite low to begin with, but I also use it with the pond pump, which puts out 50-60 psi (luxury!), and the Redhead is excellent. And, I’ve had the same head for three or four years banging around in the greenhouse and out in the field with no problems.  Continue reading »

Nov 212007

Ho-mi digger

The ho-mi digger is an odd tool that I’ve had for three or four years and still haven’t gotten around to figuring out. It’s a traditional Korean farm and garden tool, around for 5,000 years, according to one source, so I guess it’s time-tested! It gets quite the write-up wherever I’ve read about it, which is why I bought it: weed, dig, make furrows for seed. Versatile! All-purpose! It may be the only garden tool you need. Just now I found this page of impressive testimonials. Well, guess I’ll be sure to really try it next season. It comes in long- and short-handled versions. I’ve seen it in a few catalogs, Lee Valley has one (where I got mine) that’s actually made in Korea!

Nov 212007

U-Bar Digger, Lee Valley’s broadforkThe broadfork holds a lot of promise. You can break up soil without turning it, and, according to Eliot Coleman, you can prepare vast areas of garden in little time, with little effort (let gravity do the work). My broadfork is not the Coleman design (available at Johnny’s Seed), instead, the U-Bar Digger from Lee Valley. I tried to try it, but the ground has always been too hard to even get the tines in beyond a couple of inches. And this is in garden beds. I suspect the design. The tines, rather than being pointed, have a chisel edge (the ends of the rods are cut off at an angle, they don’t come to a point) and they don’t easily pierce clayey ground. And at 19 lbs, it’s quite a heavy hand tool to haul around. Maybe it works great on lighter soil, but the clay-loam we have here is where it would really make a difference. I’ll try again next spring.