Friday, May 30, 2014

Short-handled Weeding Tools

Weeding is most effectively done when the weeds are young and in the morning on a sunny day. Together, those two tactics will result in the highest mortality rate. Young weeds are simply easier to kill and all weeds are easier to kill when the afternoon sun is available to desiccate their disturbed foliage and roots.

Also, although there seems to be an unending supply, there really are just so many weed seeds available in the 'weed seed bank' — that collection of weed seeds lying dormant in your soil, awaiting favorable conditions to germinate and cause you problems. Weeding while the weeds are young and have not gone to seed, works to effectively deplete the weed seed bank and eventually will result in relatively weed-free conditions. But, you have to be diligent and proactive in order to ever achieve that.

Explore our collection of short-handled weeding tools:

Hand Hoe
The Hand Hoe
Also known as the Nejiri Gama Hand Hoe, this low-cost, lightweight tool becomes an extremely sharp and precise extension of the user's arm when in use. It is by far our best-selling, small hand tool. It sports a D-shaped, high-carbon steel blade welded to a steel shank, set in a wooden handle. These are great low-cost tools for growers to equip their entire farm crew with for detailed in-row weeding in the field. 
Hand Hoe 

The Lucko Wire Weeder
This tool was recommended to us by Paul and Alison Wiediger of Au Naturel Farm in Kentucky. The Wiedigers prefer this European-made tool for detailed weeding in their hoophouses. The round wire design creates the business end of a tool that won't cut drip tape but will easily upend young weed seedlings. It has a narrow end for weeding between closely spaced crops like dense plantings of baby leaf lettuce, and a wider end to cover more ground in open areas.

The Lucko Wire Weeder

The Wire Weeder
The Wire Weeder
This short-handled version of one of Eliot Coleman's favorite tools is perfect for in-row weeding of closely spaced crops like salad mix, carrots and onions, as well as perennial flowers and herbs.

The Spring Tine Cultivator
The Spring Tine Cultivator
Three round, spring-steel tines scratch the soil just enough to uproot smaller weeds while loosening the surface soil, allowing water and oxygen to penetrate. Great for cultivating tight areas. 

The Ho-Mi EZ Digger
The Ho-Mi EZ Digger
This is also known as the traditional Korean hand plow and dates back over 5000 years. It has multiple curves in its forged design that impart strength as well as function. It can be used to dig, furrow, weed, cover seed, transplant seedlings, and loosen, level, cultivate, and mound soil.

The Cobrahead Weeder and Cultivator
The Cobrahead Weeder and Cultivator
This short-handled version of the Cobrahead has a tough, sharp steel blade and comfortable handle that makes fast work of tedious garden chores. Used to weed, cultivate, make small furrows, and even as a mini trowel for small transplants. 

Pre-emergence Weed Control
This is a practice that many farmers swear by, especially for dense, hard-to-weed crops like baby leaf lettuce or greens. In this method, the bed is prepped for planting a couple of weeks prior to seeding and weeds are allowed to grow. Just before seeding the grower will flame the bed, killing any weeds that have started to grow, and then seed into a so-called 'stale bed.' After that, the crop should come up nearly weed-free. The labor and fuel costs associated with flaming are usually far less than the cost to hand weed these dense beds or cull out weeds in the wash water, so the method pays for itself.

Thanks for reading and best of luck in your own personal battle against weeds.

Adam Lemieux
Tools & Supplies Product Manager 

Learn More

To learn more about Weed Management in Sustainable Agriculture Systems, see the following articles on our website:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Grow a Gardener this Spring

Shop Sunflowers
At last, spring has come back to the northern hemisphere. Most gardeners spend the better part of a winter leafing through seed catalogs, planning out their garden row by row, and dreaming of warmer weather. Seed catalogs are inspirational, but no seed catalog - not even one as comprehensive as Johnny’s - lists the most important thing that can be grown.

Whether it is remembered or long forgotten, every gardener had a first garden - their first attempt at planting a seed to harvest a meal or pick a flower. For some this happens in adolescence or later in life, but for the lucky, their first garden was during childhood. Once the seeds are planted, an entire host of emotions are usually felt; at first apprehension, then impatience, usually followed by excitement, and satisfaction. When the first seeds begin to germinate and break the soil, an indelible mark is made on the gardener.

Spring is the time that transplanted crops are sown. Peppers and tomatoes, perhaps onions, are being sown in trays to await planting alongside direct-seeded crops like squash and pumpkins. This spring, invite a child to help with the gardening. Have him or her help plant and transplant, weed, and harvest the garden. It can be your child, your grandchild, or a neighbor’s child; the relation is fairly unimportant. The entire process will teach the child foresight and patience, the satisfaction of a job well done, the pleasure of success, and unfortunately in some cases, the bitter taste of defeat. Either way, you’ll be passing on a priceless gift. 

This spring, grow a gardener.
-Anthony Stevenson

Anthony joined Johnny's International Sales Department in 2007 and is the Sales Representative for all countries excluding the U.S.A and Canada. Every spring he looks forward to starting his own garden — something he has done nearly ever year since childhood.
Toll-Free: 877-564-6697, ext. 5310

Friday, May 9, 2014

Get Growing Maine - Enter to WIN

Johnny's is proud to sponsor Get Growing Maine, a statewide fundraising raffle for the Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets and individual participating Maine farmers' markets.

Mainers: Enter to WIN a $100 and $500 Grand Prize Johnny's gift certificate!

Buy your raffle tickets at participating local markets (Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Belfast, Waterville, Norway, Sanford, Skowhegan, Thomaston and Rosemont Markets) starting this weekend and/or online at starting May 10th