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As the pregnancy progresses, I am finding it harder to kneel/ bend over to get to the ever increasing weed population. I was going to buy a hoe (a colleague got a giggle from the name lol), but a trip to bunnings made me aware there are heaps of different types and at $30 - $50 didn't want to buy one if it wasn't suitable.

So here I need help from the BLF community, my current tools are a mattock, a spade and a pitchfork along with a small garden fork that I usually get on my hands & knees to use to loosen soil before pulling the weeds out. What would you recommend that I get to loosen the soil - which is sometimes quite hard and usually has cane mulch over it - before pulling out the weeds and why.

Obviously there are a couple of other solutions, have a true permaculture garden which has no room for weeds (which I am trying for but not there yet), or have fully raised gardens to the correct height which I am not willing to do either.

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There's a couple of similar threads on Aussie Living Simply recently, and here's the links:-

What's your favourite weeding tool
http://www.aussieslivingsimply.com.au/forum/viewthread.php?forum_id...

Favourite Gardening Tool
http://www.aussieslivingsimply.com.au/forum/viewthread.php?forum_id...

Personally, the tools I use most are hand trowel, hoe, and pitchfork, while my mum mostly uses hand trowl and Mattock. I think in your circumstance, a hoe would probably be most suitable because you need to get down less and much lighter then a mattock. I got a cyclone hoe from bunnings some time last year, it was on special when I walk past so I grabbed it.. don't remember how much I paid but definately under $20. I was lucky, it was only $30 the next time I visit :P
Thanks Florence, I will probably end up with a hoe of some description - it's interesting to find out what other people use. For broad leave weeds in the lawn I fully recommend one of the two prong hand things to lever out the root system - many an hour I have whiled away sitting on my bottom getting buckets of these little nasties out...

We are pretty hard on our tools and rarely look after them and often misuse them (trying to dig up mango roots by levering with a pitchfork lol), the wooden handles always seem to break so the most recent acquisitions have a fibreglass handle which I fully recommend. I didn't see any at our bunnings except with wooden handles which is why knowing our track record I didn't buy... although I will certainly be keeping my eyes open for anything on special or with an indestructible handle lol.

Just checked out these these at Aussie ..  New links are: 

Favourite weeding tools

Garden Tool Recommendations Please

 

Some really helpful information there.

Another thread with links to The Organic Gardener's "Top Garden Tool Designs" has lots of info and suggestions re shovels, forks, claw and a spork (sort of mix between fork and spade) etc

Hi Donna

As you may know, Bob & I both have disabilities and find it hard to weed the garden. There is a tool that I saw last year on the Garden Gurus for pulling weeds without bending. It was put out by Fiskars for gardeners with disabilities, and was sold at Mitre 10. It was horribly expensive at the time but we were desperate. Now bunnings has a cheaper one and it has a long metal handle with a set of sharp blades on the end. It also has a platform coming from that , that you put your foot on to provide leverage after you put the blades over the weed. When you pull the impliment to the side, the weed pops up and you place it over the bucket/bin and push the handle and it ejects the weed.
That probably sounds clear as mud but it works. You might be better to check the Fiskars website to get a squiz so you know what you are looking for, or if you are able to wait, I will show you if you come for the garden visit.
Thanks Betty, I will definitely have a look when I am there and will keep an eye out in Bunnings as well. Think I might need to go to a 'big' bunnings store to get a better range.

Long delay to your message Betty - but now I'm buying.  Just found a couple of Fiskars products that might be what you're describing.

 

First link is the UpRoot Weed & Root Remover or it could be the Tripple Claw Weeder

I bought a 'grandpa's friend' type of hoe with a hoe on one side & a two pronged fork on the other. Used it this afternoon and am now wondering how I ever did without it!

Will still keep my eyes open and have a look at the one Betty mentioned at the gardening visit - anything that makes gardening easier and more pleasant is a bonus as far as I am concerned!

Donna, is the following link and picture what you're talking about.  Otherwise, can I have a pic, product name or something to help me find it :)

 

Cobra Head Weader

 

Donna, I picked up a small grubber with a short handle at a market years ago. It looks like a miniature grubber with a wooden handle about 40cm long. The action end has a small flat blade and the other side is a pointed pick shape.
This is the best, on slopes, on your knees or bending.
I'm onto my second miniature grubber because I wore out my first one with constant use!


I recently bought a friend one of these for a present, from the greenharvest website, which has a whole list of interesting tools. It looked lovely, and the greenharvest people say its their favourite tool. I'll be interested to hear how she finds using it in the garden.

I rather like a miniature hand-held fork, like a pitchfork, when I have one around (not lost or broken). I also like big pitchforks - great for mixing, aerating soil (I just lever it up a bit) and levering plants out without cutting the roots.

Apart from that my favourite would have to be my beautiful secateurs - felco brand. They're expensive (over $100) but worth every penny - I've had mine since 1989, they're still like new.

My favourite spade was left behind by council workers in the alley behind my house years ago. It has a very long wooden handle (my height just about) which is great for levering, and the spade blade has been snapped off half way up. This gives it a very short sharp blade, and I can really slam it into the ground because the handle is so long - it's great for cutting into the soil, dividing clumps, chopping roots etc.

Any update from your friend on the "Ho-Mi" Asian cultivator from Greenharvest?  I've often looked at it and wondered if it was any use.

 

Despite the Choice secateurs article, I plan to buy a couple of Felco secateurs as well - I have their smallest one and just love it.  Sharpest, easiest to use and doesn't rust so far.  Got a free Bahco one from our Shadehouse supplier - it rusted just sitting in the humid air.  Sharp, but impossible to care for.

 

ps: should I post the Choice secateurs article here, or is that infringing someone's copyright?

 

Sorry I've been out of touch - but spending all this money is HARD work :)

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