Monday, 21 April 2008

hand in hand

Raised bed gardening gives us the chance to plant closer without losing yields - if we can stop competition from weeds.

This bed of White Solent garlic was planted in November and will be ready to harvest in June. The bulbs have been planted about 150mm apart. But that presents difficulties for traditional western tools. The blade of a dutch hoe may be too wide and cause damage to the bulbs or the foliage. A traditional garden hand fork was not intended to get between and does not remove weeds effectively. A trowel may go down too deep and there may be root damage. It is clumsy.

The tool shown is a Punjabi dataree. It is a combination hand hoe, scythe and garden fork. You can see how effectively it was used to 'clean' the soil and take out weeds between the garlic bulbs without any damage.


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