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.

strayedtable-5180 strayedtable-5184

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.


Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Lizzie Moult

Lizzie Moult

Planning, cooking, chasing kids & running an online business; it might seem like there is a lot going on. Yet Lizzie is all about living simply and creating a flexible lifestyle that enables plenty of travel, adventure and quality time. A lifestyle writer and photographer for over 10 years for numerous publications, working online for over 14 years Lizzie also works as a mentor for women who are looking to create and live a life with passion & purpose at

10 Responses

  1. Oh My! How is Isla growing up so fast! Howard looks like a great addition, and gosh your garden is looking so healthy and prolific. i hope the heat is not too bad in your area, up here it is sooo hot.

    1. Gillian, I can’t believe how quickly Isla has turned into a little human, the next thing is she is going to be walking – eek. Most likely running in our case. The weather has been hot again and we have had no rain to keep it cool. Lucky for me I don’t have much in the garden worth saving.

  2. Goodness, that would make life easier now that the clay has broken down a bit. We hired a post hole digger for our clay soil once and it took 5 minutes to get it bogged in a hole and then a whole day to get it out and free of clay to return to hire shop. So frustrating. Could you use a chook tractor or pigs in electric wire pen to cut your weeds down?

  3. Won’t be long before you’ll have to put Isla on the payroll.

    When I had a big garden in Florida we had a ‘rototiller’ not quite that big but almost. When I lived in Victoria I wanted a Mantis tiller to fit inside the raised garden beds. The guy sent it to me and said if I liked it to pay him and if not to send it back. I’ll never ever forget that. They’re $800 and he had no idea who I was. I did pay for it. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *