image: summer harves

Have you used a Ho-mi? A soil-block maker?
Dry - Warm - Cool - Pest-free - Productive - Practical ... All Are Possible

image: basket of tomatoes Over the years, we've come across some very handy tools. We'd like to share some of these finds, and look forward to hearing about your favorites.

Hand tools that do more than one job are precious - I can't say enough about the Ho-mi, either the long- or the short-handled version. The centuries-old Korean hand plow, also known as the Short Handle EZ-Digger, loosens soil, pin-point weeds, draws planting furrows, and, with a turn of the blade, covers the seed, cultivates and hills. Years ago, they were hard to find.

Now, they're readily available from:
Kinsman Company
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Lee Valley
ho-mi - Korean Hand Plow

Banish those plastic seed-starting paks from your garden - use a soil block maker. A quality, hand-held version that makes four blocks is made by Ladbrooke. The blockers come in several sizes - a mini-maker for germination (3/4"), a 2" all-purpose block, and a 4" for potting up. There are even some stand-up floor models. While we've used all three sizes, we've found the 2" block to be the most useful. We seed right into the dimple and time our greenhouse plantings to go out before the seedlings outgrow their medium. With raised beds dry and ready, the vaguaries of the weather won't delay planting out.

image: soil block making

Purchase a soil block maker from:

Jason Beam's Potting Blocks
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Peaceful Valley Grow Organic

The narrow collinear hoe is so easy to use - skim just beneath the surface of the soil to cultivate or dispense with the rare weed of the raised bed.

Available from:

Lee Valley Tools
Johnny's Selected Seeds

image: collinear hoe

image: Mantis Classic tiller
We still use our small Mantis tiller, even in the raised beds. It's easy to lift (and start) and after crops like potatoes are dug out, the soil, which has been long undisturbed, could use some loosening. Mantis Tiller/Cultivator makes quick work of tilling in leaf mulch or straw at the end of the season, or the roots remaining after harvest.



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