Friday, July 31, 2015

Tomato cages and broad forks

The tomato cages in the photo are 6 1/2' tall with the ends cut almost to a point for ease of pounding into the ground. All the boards are 2"x 4" boards split lengthwise. The cross pieces are 24" long. When making additional ones next year we'll put the top rung of cross pieces an inch of so below the top for a little buffer when pounding them into the ground.
Why so tall?  To accommodate the tall heirloom varieties, and for when the bottom ends rot after years of use, they can be cut back to sound wood  and we'll be able to get a few more years out of them. Thank you neighbor Jen for the idea!
In the foreground is a broad fork from 'Meadow Creature', my new favorite tool. For loosening up the soil in new areas we want to plant, as well as the garden sections that sometimes get compacted when an area is left to long without mulch. There is less damage to all the organisms living in the soil than when a tiller is used, along with being much more user friendly inside the garden sections. This is the tall broad fork. I like the longer handles for leverage, and 14" tines for deeper cultivation. Moving it a few inches  to the right and left each time works very nicely. This size is a better fit for the taller members of the family, and at 5'6", 125 pounds, it works well for me too. 
My other favorite tool is the Wilcox trowel. In my estimation the only one to ever buy. I have destroyed all other trowels, usually in a short period of time. I was given a Wilcox trowel many years ago, and it's in perfect condition still, even the rubber handle.  I found them online a year or so ago and bought three more  for a spare and as presents, hoping they were of the same quality, which thankfully, they still are!
In case you are wondering, the little metal cages in the photo are for keeping the chipmunks and woodchucks from eating the young plants.  They seem to think it's their garden!
Have a joyous and blessed day 🌻

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