Get Your Garden Growing with Low-Tech Tools
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More productive soil
My own garden is about 6,000 square feet, and I’ve never regretted switching to hand tools years ago. As the soil improves through soil-feeding and no-till practices, it’s less necessary to cultivate, even with the broadfork. Eventually, it’s possible with most crops simply to rake out the beds and plant.
You can follow the initial kill mulch application with continual mulches in subsequent seasons. This will permit soil care to be largely no-till, and – together with strategies such as cover cropping – you’ll get your soil into deep, friable, fertile condition sooner than you think.
In my experience, creating deep, mellow, fertile soil that is easy to work, plant and weed is faster and easier with hand tools. They have the added advantage of saving money and offering the pleasure of a little physical exercise every year. Now that you know you don’t need thousands of dollars worth of machines to get your garden growing, what are you waiting for?
Harvey Ussery lives on a small homestead in Virginia with his wife, Ellen. You can visit their website at www.TheModernHomestead.us and read more of Harvey’s articles at MotherEarthNews.com (search for Harvey Ussery), including much more about building fertile soil.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds, 955 Benton Ave.; Winslow, ME 04901; (877) 564-6697
Peaceful Valley, P.O. Box 2209; Grass Valley, CA 95945; (888) 784-1722
Scythe Supply, 496 Shore Road; Perry, ME 04667; (207) 853-4750NRG Hand Trowel, www.Grit.com/ShoppingRogue Hoes (Prohoe)
, 204 S. Munden Ave., P.O. Box 87, Munden, KS 66959
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