My Favorite Gardening Tools

Image: Vintage gardening tools.

We’ve been busy gardening and trail breaking, now that the rains have finally stopped.  I’ve definitely developed some tool preferences …

Our garden is still pretty rustic – lot’s of rocks, roots, and a never ending supply of new salmonberry, thimbleberry, and rose shoots.  The tools we use have to be pretty robust.  While not my favorite tool, the mattock is one of the winners for greatest number of hours of use.  We now own three, having broken the handle on one this spring and found ourselves wishing we had an immediate replacement (rather than having to buy a new handle the next time we got to town).

Image: A funky new implement called a “backhoe”.

I bought this funky tool called a “backhoe” at Home Hardware last summer.  I wasn’t too sure how well it would perform in our rough and tough garden, but I’m impressed!  After we’ve done the major ground breaking with the mattock, this tool is my favorite garden weeding and maintenance tool.  Cleans up fresh salmonberry shoots like a hot damn.  The triangular shape lets me get in underneath the plants and pull out weeds so I don’t have to do the on my knees thing as often.  This appeals to me, since my knees are known to be a bit creaky at times!

Image: An American scythe.

I also picked up an American scythe from one of the second hand stores in Campbell River that caters to antiquity.  I had a sense that this might be good for clearing salmonberry out of our paths.  I just got a chance to use it a week ago.  Our homesteading ancestors clearly knew what they were about!  Ken used the bush saw, and I went at things with the scythe.  I think the scythe won, hands down.

And just so you know this rough, tough homesteading lifestyle wears well, here’s my tool mate, looking lean and mean on his 62nd birthday a few weeks back.

2 thoughts on “My Favorite Gardening Tools”

  1. My granite cliff doesn’t lend itself to many tools so I have to be content with my float garden and deck pots. All can be easily tended from a sitting position if desired. Helps with my back when stooping gets uncomfortable. We only have one trail up into the bush, kind of an emergency exit to the next float cabin. He uses nippers to keep a small path clear. I was up there last night gathering some moss for a homemade graywater filter device. Looks like he should go back up again before the ground wasps get their nests built. – Margy

    1. With 50 acres, clearing roads and paths are just part of the homesteading experience for us. Hopefully, we will get most of them opened up enough to be ATV accessible. This will allow us to access more of our property, and will also make road maintenance easier – dragging a metal bar behind the ATV clears salmonberry bushes easily!

      Wasps seem to be less of a problem this year than last – we had to destroy two nests last year as the wasps had become dangerous. A swarm of them chased me all around the yard, and I finally ducked into the house with three on me trying to sting. Fortunately, I was wearing a heavy jacket, and their ferocious attempts didn’t succeed. We still had to kill all three to get them to stop attacking. Man, those things have attitude!

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