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Which Garden Hand Hoe Is Right For You? Let's Explain: Part 1

Gardening Hand Hoes

A little research on garden weeding hoes and Wow did I find some cool tools. Weeding is part of gardening face it, so you may as well have a helpful tool to work with. The image of a gardener hunched over his garden hoe, scraping weeds out of the soil, may be cliche, but for a good reason. Hoe's do an excellent job of keeping plants at bay, without having to bend down and grab them. There are several types of hoes -- square, broad, V-shaped, bar-shaped hand hoe and they all do the job. You should try out a few to see which you find preferable. In general, a rolled steel blade that has been riveted to the handle will be the sturdiest. After that, it depends on your needs. Check the selection we have in store for you. I hope you can find one to suit your needs because weeding is everyone's favorite past time? I do not mind weeding. The sun on your back feels right. Unless you are organic and then all you do is cut the flowers off of the weeds and leave roots. I like things neat, so I weed. I will try no-till in the future. I found some Cool tools at hosstools. Yes, American Made! https://hosstools.com/product/push-pull-hoe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4yoYTn0KjQ Clarington Forged 

1. Push-Pull Hoe
Has changed the game when it comes to hand weeding. Amish-crafted in Lititz, Pennsylvania, this hoe has quickly become our favorite hand hoe in the garden shed. The V-shaped head on the Push-Pull Hoe allows you to weed with a push-pull motion which is much quicker and more effective than repeatedly lifting and impacting the soil with a traditional hoe. The hardened steel blade is sharpened on both sides which allows you to cut weeds in both forward and backward directions. The sharp point easily penetrates any soil type to remove the most deeply rooted weeds. Push the hoe forward to cut a plant (root and all) from the soil, then pull the scraper backward to displace the entire weed. The Push-Pull Hoe also works excellently as a scuffle hoe. The push-pull motion allows you to skim the surface and eliminate small surface weeds. This is the perfect garden tool for close weeding to delicate plants. The V-shaped head will enable you to weed closer to plants than any other hoe without the risk of damaging your vegetable plants.

2.Dutch Scuffle Hoe
I've searched high and low for a specialty garden hoe like this, in the "dutch hoe" configuration, and wanted to get high quality as well. There are some import junk options, but this is not one of them. It's pricey, there's no denying that, but you get a lot for your money with this tool. The weld quality is good; the blade is sharp, sturdy and well attached to the handle. Clarington Forged Dutch Scuffle Hoe - amazon.com You won't break this tool using it in the yard and adequately cared for, it should last a lifetime. You can feel the quality in the heft and balance of this tool when you pick it up, and especially when you put it into the ground and use. All around, superbly crafted (made in England!) and something you will be proud to have in your weeding arsenal. Wish I had found this years ago! https://www.amazon.com/Clarington-Forged-Dutch-Scuffle-Hoe/dp/B00D8GS9A6

3.Hula Hoe
An ordinary flat hoe — the only kind you see in most garden centers — is good for moving and smoothing soil. For weeding, though, the Hula Hoe (also called a stirrup hoe or scuffle hoe) is a far better tool for the job. The sharp steel blade skims horizontally below the soil surface, slicing through weed roots while leaving the soil in place. Amazon.com: Hula Hoe: Garden & Outdoor The edge is designed to have a little play in it so that it cuts at the correct angle on both backward and forward strokes.

4. Korean long handle weeders
An heirloom hand-forged garden tool from Korea with a specially designed 7" steel blade. The Korean long handle weeders curvature of the pointed blade allows the soil to be thrown to the side like a plow which makes it easier to dig holes and trenches. The edges of the blade are used to level, mound, loose soil, and cover seeds. Wood handle. 60" overall. The Korean long handle weeder, an heirloom hand-forged garden tool from Korea with a specially designed 7" steel blade. The curvature of the Korean long handle weeder is pointed blade allows the soil to be thrown to the side like a plow which makes it easier to dig holes and trenches. The edges of the Korean long handle weeder the blade are used to level, mound, loose soil, and cover seeds. Wood handle. 60" overall. Buy one today! A KOREAN LONG HANDLE WEEDER / CULTIVATOR these are nice to work with.

5. Korean Weeder and Cultivator
An heirloom hand-forged garden tool Korea weeder and cultivator with a specially designed 7" steel blade. The curvature of the pointed blade allows the soil to be thrown to the side like a plow which makes it easier to dig holes and trenches. The edges of the blade are used to level, mound, loosen soil, and cover seeds. Wood handle. 7" x 3" head. 11.25" overall heirloom hand-forged garden tool from Korea with a specially designed 7" steel blade. The curvature of the pointed blade allows the soil to be thrown to the side like a plow which makes it easier to dig holes and trenches. The edges of the blade are used to level, mound, loosen soil, and cover seeds.

Conclusion: Here are just a few garden weeding and cultivating tools. I will pick out 5 More next week to discuss and present to you for FYI. I would be pretty happy to see a weed about now. 7-11" of snow forecasted for tonight and tomorrow. In Northern WI 3/30/2018


Down and Dirty with Potting Soil Recipes


What is Potting Soil and How is it Different Than Garden Soil?
Whether you use it with houseplants indoors, or for window boxes outside, potting soil is an essential element in any garden container. That's because potting soil is different than gardening soil: It is lighter and airier, so helps to keep water moving from top to bottom and keep plant roots as healthy as possible. Garden soil, on the other hand, runs water to the base and holds it there.
But pre-packaged potting soil can be expensive, mainly if you have lots of containers and flower boxes. Fortunately, you can make homemade potting soil quickly and easily with readily available ingredients.
   Tailor your potting-soil mixture to the types of plants you want to grow to give them maximum nutrition. You can ensure healthy plants by taking control of the soil used to grow them. To make your potting soil, tailor the ingredients you use in your mix to how you will be using it. Below are some sample recipes that can guide your venture, but feel free to experiment with ingredients to suit the nutritional needs of your container garden. Pick up these must-have soil-mixing ingredients before getting started. A slick way to mix soil is in a Compost Tumbler, wheelbarrow, steel tub, I have even used a turkey basting pan, anything with sideboards, not to lose to much soil as you are mixing. For large batches mix in a wheelbarrow and use my mantis tiller to do all the mixing. The mantis tiller also does a good job of mixing compost, it will get clogged a bit.

1. General Potting Soil Mix
6 gallons sphagnum peat moss
1/4 cup limestone
4¼ gallons vermiculite or perlite
4¼ gallons compost
Mix 2 cups rock phosphate, 2 cups greensand, 1/2 cup bone meal and 1/4 cup kelp meal, and add 1½ cups of this fertilizer blend to the finished mix.

2. Potted Perennial and Shrub Mix
1 part compost
1 part coarse sand
1 part sphagnum peat moss
1 part composted pine bark
2 T. lime for each shovel of peat moss
6. General Potting Soil Mix

3. Peat-Soil Combination Mix
2 parts vermiculite
3 parts sphagnum peat moss
2 parts perlite
2 parts dehydrated manure
3 parts garden soil
1/2 part bone meal

4. Soil-based Container Mix
1 part screened compost
1 part garden soil
1 part coarse sand or a mix of vermiculite and perlite
4. Peat-Soil Combination Mix

5. Seedling Soil Mix
Five parts finely screened compost
Four parts garden soil
1-2 parts coarse sand
1-2 parts sphagnum peat moss
2 T. lime for each shovel of peat moss

6. Succulent soil mix
1 part Use all-purpose potting soil as the base ingredient
1 part Perlite and pumice
1 part Coarse Sand
Perlite or Pumice

   Whether you use it with houseplants indoors, or for window boxes outside, potting soil is an essential element in any garden container. That's because potting soil is different than gardening soil: It is lighter and airier, so helps to keep water moving from top to bottom and keep plant roots as healthy as possible. Garden soil, on the other hand, runs water to the base and holds it there.
   But pre-packaged potting soil can be expensive, mainly if you have lots of containers and flower boxes. Fortunately, you can make homemade potting soil quickly and easily with readily available ingredients. I have had my share of recipes over the years mainly for cooking; now we have an arsenal of dirt recipes to play with feel free to modify at your convenience. Spring is still a long ways off for us in Northern Wisconsin. I will be starting some seeds, within the next ten days. Our last freeze is usually in the first week of June. Lots of work to do before then. Happy Gardening to all! 3/22/2018

How to Create a Garden That is Both Beautiful AND Functional!



The knowledgeable gardener's goal is designing and installing gardens that are beautiful, productive and functional. While appearing to be quite easy on paper, reality proves these goals can be quite a challenge to achieve. Here are a few ideas that may serve to challenge the imagination.

Edible Landscaping
Plants that bear fruit are part of the increasingly popular movement promoting edible landscaping. Gardeners find berry plants used as a lovely way to provide ground cover when planting a garden. When searching for plants providing cover for bare spots, consider using traditional fruits. Strawberries, for example, send out rapid growing runners that quickly fill in unsightly patches of dirt. Fruit subsequently harvested is delicious when freshly picked. Strawberries and other fruits planted in the garden provide year-round enjoyment when preserved.

Natural fence
Thorny berry plants are a practical option when planning a fence to keep pests and animals out of the garden area. Berry shrubs are an attractive alternative to traditional fences. When barriers are necessary, mature berry-filled shrubs help create and maintain boundaries.

Bird watching
Finally, enjoy the delightful sight of butterflies, birds, and hummingbirds fluttering to relish the nectar of flowers in the spring and summer, and berries through autumn and winter. Bird lovers can find pleasure in this enchanting display throughout all seasons, no messy bird feeder needed.

Pot's and Planters "Container Gardens"
Urban dwellers have joined the traditional rural gardener in a quest to grow sustainable gardens. Using pots, barrels, and other containers of every shape and size is a creative gardening technique that maximizes the space available to you.

Hiding outdoor appliances
Unusual flower or plants growing in pots offer stunning ornamental effects. On a practical note, pots and containers filled with flowers serve as an ideal spot to place outdoor wireless cameras. They can also conceal ground-level windows from potential intruders, hose coils, etc.

Cleaning the air
Plants proving quite adaptive to living in pots or containers include ferns. They provide a valuable service by keeping weeds at bay while giving a uniform appearance. Ferns provide essential amenities in filtering impurities from the air. Experts recommend using ferns as a way to cleanse the air around your home. By acting as air purifiers, ferns offer significant value, making them highly beneficial to our health.

Natural pest control
Many plants are highly resistant to bugs, pests, and diseases:

Petunias
Marigolds
Lavender
Chrysanthemums
Sunflowers
Tansy
Basil
Rosemary
Mint
Catnip
Lemongrass
Borage
Garlic
Onions

 Furthermore, animal pests like deer and rabbits find ferns distinctly unattractive. As these animals are capable of causing considerable havoc to plants and garden, ferns prove helpful in preventing them from trespassing the garden area.
   Plants do more than just improve your home’s curb appeal. They clean the air, provide natural pest control.

Top Tricks for Better Herb Gardening


Top Tricks for Better Herb Gardening

Do you like the idea of growing and cooking your own herbs, rather than spending a lot of money for them? A kitchen garden of your own guarantees freshness and the confidence of knowing where your plants come from. With a little know-how and patience, you can even create your own essential oils using herbs you grew yourself.


First Steps for Beginners

Choose seeds and seedlings from sustainable sources in your area. Your local plant nurseries are likely to have these. Start with one or two herbs you're likely to use the most. Parsley and oregano are tried and true favorites. If growing outdoors, bring in a sample of your soil and ask the experts which plants are best for it, and how to fertilize and improve the soil. Apartment dwellers can grow herbs in containers with generic potting soil.

Seeds or Seedlings

Growing from seeds takes longer than seedling plants but is less expensive and more satisfying when you see your baby plants first poke their heads above the soil. Seeds are also better if you're growing perennials such as oregano, mint, or chives. Some can be grown from cuttings. Many people start herb gardens indoors during the last part of winter or early spring, transplanting outside when warmer weather arrives.

Where to Start Your Garden

Most herbs should be planted in an area that gets full sun. Some like mint or parsley don't need quite as much and you should grow outdoors if at all possible. Your plants will produce better, attract helpful bees and butterflies, and prevent soil erosion. If growing indoors, put your garden in a sunny window. If you don't have one, get a grow lamp.

Maintaining Your Plants

Keep herbs well-watered, allowing them to dry out somewhat between watering times. Check for bugs often, even indoors. If spiders set up shop near your indoor garden, leave them to it. They're often harmless and will help take care of other pest problems. Economize by making your own compost or natural fertilizers. Crushed eggshells, green tea, and coffee grounds are often used.
Herbs usually keep producing throughout the summer. If you grow annuals, save the seeds for next year's crop. According to doTERRA products, essential oil extraction requires large quantities of your chosen herb, so the more you can plant the better.


You can grow helpful herbs no matter where you live. It is a great way to begin learning about gardening, and it's good for your health, the environment, and your pocketbook.

Way Before The "Weed Whacker" Was Developed

 Way Before The "Weed Whacker" Was Developed
 A weed whacker would work, but it flings the grass about and could damage the plantings.  The garden sickle is very precise since you encircle the grass with the hook before cutting it. I am very happy with the hand sickle.  Cutting grass is simple, but you need to be careful.  With one hand you grasp the tall grass and pull it taut.  You place the sickle blade at the base of the grass and with a slicing motion you sever the grass.  Since some force is exerted pulling the sickle toward you and it can come quickly swinging clear, you should keep limbs well out of the way of its path.  Also, take care not to slice the hand holding the grass.  You can fold the green grass in half (if it is several feet long) and use it to border the planting. These cutting will serve as mulch as it breaks down.

Here you will find a  selection of traditional Japanese garden sickles. It is a pleasure to work with them.
Serrated Blade Sickle


Nobori Gama Sicle



                                                       
Turf Sickle

Traditional Japanese sickles are not stainless. The same thing is true today as in years gone by the best tool blades are made of carbon steel, which simply is not stainless. However, it requires only a little care to keep them from getting rusty. Just dry them after use! From time to time they need to receive a smear of oil. You can sharpen a sickle with a Japanese sickle stone or mini-combination Stone with handle.

A sickle is a hand-held agricultural/gardening tool with a curved blade typically used for weeding, harvesting grain crop or cutting grass for hay. The inside of the curve is sharp so that the user can draw or swing the blade against the base of the plant, catching it in the curve and slicing it at the same time. The material to be cut may be held in a bunch in the other hand (for example when reaping), held in place by a wooden stick, or left free. The blade of a sickle is often cranked to one side, to make it easier to keep the blade closer to the ground; this makes it right- or (more rarely) left-handed. Sickles used for reaping are usually serrated.
 


The sickle was largely superseded by the scythe, which is more comfortable and efficient to use for many purposes, but it continues in use in many parts of the world, and for certain uses where a scythe is not convenient. The most noticeable difference between a sickle and a scythe is the length of the handle.  A sickle is a one-handed tool with a short handle, used while bending down to the ground, while a scythe is a two-handed tool, used standing up, with a long, often curved shaft and a much longer blade. A blade which is regularly used to cut the silica-rich stems of cereal crops acquires a characteristic sickle-gloss, or wear pattern. Be sure to check out the selection at gardentoolscorner.com you will be glad you did! 3/1/2018

Gardener's Paradise: Features To Consider When Buying a Home With a Garden

It is wonderful to have a garden to grow vegetables, flowers, and fruits, but when you are looking for a home, you need to find a proper...