Least Useful Tool

flowerbug

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Different needs, circumstances and styles.

Climate, soil and crops ... Probably, left out a half dozen differences.

I have found some very useful small tools, @Artichoke Lover and @flowerbug . My favored weeding style is sitting on a stool. I wear out plastic gloves like crazy pulling tiny weeds with my digitS'. But, small tools help as the weeds grow deeper into the soil. Some are just little, steel "pokey" things, others are conventional 3-prong cultivators, one looks remarkably like a grubbing hoe - about 1/5th of its length and about 1/20th of its weight.

Steve
gardening (w)imp

if there are few enough weeds that i can move along the row quickly i can do that bending over, but once there are enough close enough to the plant stems then i use a ground pillow. sitting down instead of bending saves a lot of lower back and knee stress and i can scoot along the row without having to get up again for each move of the pillow. even if the rows are narrow i can at least fold the pillow in half and use the pillow to kneel on which is better than kneeling on the ground.

only a few (dandelions and the thistles) weeds usually need the full pokey removal of the roots that the big steak knife can provide, the mason trowel is quicker for scraping away small weeds instead of pulling them one at a time.

i still wear a few pairs of gloves out each season because we have many square feet of gravel mulch that can get weeds in them and often the only way to get all the roots is to move the gravel aside so i can find all the bits under there and get those out of there too.
 

Zeedman

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Garden seeder. Even with all the plates, it’s useless. I have tilled sand and depth control is beyond horrible. Hanging in shop.....
Oh yeah, that would be #3 on my semi-useless list too. I mainly wanted it for peas, but it broke seeds, jammed often, and was too inconsistent in depth coverage. It resulted in poor stands in the row, so I only hand sow now. I wish it were otherwise, it would be a real back saver if it worked as advertised.
 

flowerbug

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Oh yeah, that would be #3 on my semi-useless list too. I mainly wanted it for peas, but it broke seeds, jammed often, and was too inconsistent in depth coverage. It resulted in poor stands in the row, so I only hand sow now. I wish it were otherwise, it would be a real back saver if it worked as advertised.

when i was having a particularly bad year for back pain i would do my normal prep work for a row (spading to break the soil down about 15cm, the use the four prong rake to break up the worst of the clods and then the pointed hoe to give me a seed drill to the depth i wanted) and then i had a piece of pvc pipe with a funnel i could drop seeds down to place them where i wanted them. once in a while i needed to adjust that, but a small bit of a flat blade of something rubber banded on the end of the pvc pipe would let me push the seed to where i wanted. it wasn't as fast as my normal method of just bending over and dropping seeds every so often at the spacing i wanted, but it was better than not planting at all. :)

after a row is planted and i've written down the seed count and record for the row then i use the pointed hoe to put the dirt back over the seeds and tamp it down. the piece of metal that holds the pointed hoe together leaves a bit of a mark so that i can tell where the row is when i water (when i get the whole area planted).
 

Artichoke Lover

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Oh yeah, that would be #3 on my semi-useless list too. I mainly wanted it for peas, but it broke seeds, jammed often, and was too inconsistent in depth coverage. It resulted in poor stands in the row, so I only hand sow now. I wish it were otherwise, it would be a real back saver if it worked as advertised.
We discovered ours only works well with rounded more uniform seeds. We couldn’t use it on the kidney beans but it worked fine on the neighbors pintos. It also worked well for okra. Even if we did still have to plant some things by hand it was definitely a back saver. Dad insisted I plant over 500ft of okra last year. 50ft would probably give us more than we can use. But man did I not want to plant it by hand. I know there are ones out there that work but I don’t want to pay for one!
 

digitS'

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I can imagine that the Garden Weasel could be useful ... however, it was hard on my wrists. 😬

@flowerbug is a 4 prong "rake" the 4 prong cultivator that I make so much use of?

(here, I'll pretend to be a personal trainer and not be a wimp ;)) The sciatic nerves leave the lower back and travel off to the legs. Remember to position yourself squarely to do anything that requires bending. Even if you are holding milligrams of seed, don't be casual how you bend to reach ground level.

Steve
 

flowerbug

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I can imagine that the Garden Weasel could be useful ... however, it was hard on my wrists. 😬

@flowerbug is a 4 prong "rake" the 4 prong cultivator that I make so much use of?

(here, I'll pretend to be a personal trainer and not be a wimp ;)) The sciatic nerves leave the lower back and travel off to the legs. Remember to position yourself squarely to do anything that requires bending. Even if you are holding milligrams of seed, don't be casual how you bend to reach ground level.

Steve

always warm up your back before doing a lot of bending, especially in the morning.

the "pronger" we call it - it looks like this (but not exactly the same):

 

ducks4you

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DEFINITELY the full sized hoe is my least useful tool. I use MINE to manage fires in my firepit.
I still use my tiller to break apart piles of used stall bedding. I figure that it might slow down the decompostion, but it will take forEVER to flatten the piles shaped by my wheelbarrow, so it's worth it, especially since I am about to plant oats in them in the pastures.
Btw, George Morris (Intl Hunter/Jumper, USET rider/coach) says to save your back and NEVER carry anything that can be transported in another way.
 
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digitS'

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the "pronger" we call it - it looks like this
Yes, that's my 4-prong cultivator. Nice long handle ... I use it for a cane when I'm out there.

Beat clods into a semi-flat surface and, I can do a pretty good job making a furrow for seeds. A garden rake is preferable taking on the task from 90°. And no, I don't use a hoe for that. There are just too many rocks to simply pull something thru the soil by hand and make a straight furrow - up, down, bounce sideways! Better to "beat" the furrow into position.

Steve
 

Finnie

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We'll see how often I use the garden weasel. I bought that last year after a friend told me how much they love theirs.

A weasel design is my goto for spot seeding the lawn.
Oh gee. As soon as I read the title of this thread, my mind said “Garden Weasel”.😂

I guess I should try it for spot seeding grass, but I don’t think we have it any more.
 
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