Honestly this is the best $500 investment we have made for our market garden to date. Howard the vintage 1960’s rotary hoe is a keeper! Earlier this week we picked up Howard from some farmers in a neighbouring town and yesterday we took him for his first test run on the farm.
Roy is chief operator as it looks far too wild for me to use. At the moment our garden is in quite a state after the recent rains and the extreme heat, Howard has made the task of replanting more optimistic. Both Roy and I have dreaded the next round of planting due to the growth of the weeds along with the soggy soil. Putting it off for days, we have finally seen that there ARE easier ways to turn soil other than doing it by hand. Previously we would turn each row with a pitchfork and a three-pronged hoe and pulling the weeds as we go and throwing them to the side for compost. Now with Howard he chews through the weeds and they can return to the soil adding so much goodness. Making life so much easier.
As you can see I was site manager for the initial attempt of putting Howard on to our mix of volcanic and clay soil. I was a little nervous as we have stupid amounts of rocks that just magically come up to the surface in all shapes and sizes. After a few attempts Roy got the hang of going up and down each row and the soil turned into a beautiful friable substance. Perfect for planting. Gone are the days of big clumps of clay that would just stick together. I have to admit over the past couple of years we have added plenty of manure, gypsum and plenty of mulch to our soil to help condition it.
What do you think of Howard? Isn’t he just lovely, got to love a machine that makes life just a little bit easier.
Roy and I hard at work in the veggie patch, Roy ploughing and me spraying the grasshoppers and cabbage moth. Below Julian and I pulling the extra large weeds out before Howard makes his way through this section. Isla enjoying her time in the veggie patch as always.