A little hoe

There are half a dozen little areas at High-Water that would make good planted plots.  They get all day sun and have a nice gentle slope.  

I decided to convert one of them today and having recently bought a little cultivator I figured that it would be a good test for the machine.

The little cultivator is a 4 stroke unit from the US company Troy Bilt. I paid the princely sum of $144.00 as it was the last one left at the shop. (Reduced from $399)   

It’s basically a 50cc whipper snipper head unit on a tiller. 

  
These are fine for established beds or soft soil but I really need something heavier for breaking through grass.  

The area that I wanted to do was unfortunately a bit tough for this machine as it still had a lot of grass.

So I went to work on an area that had no grass but just a few weeds and hard dirt.  Here it is in action.
  
After a little while, a much lesser while than doing it by hand, the area was tilled.  The little cultivator did a great job and every time I see the soil here it amazes me how rich it is. 

 
I mixed in a bit of chook poo for good measure and made some diagonal garden beds to allow for drainage.
  
I planted some corn, beetroot and carrots.  I’ll plant some more next week.  

I finished it off with a heavy layer of organic sugar cane mulch. 

  
The mulch will settle down after a week or so in the weather and provide a great weed barrier. 

I’ve been accused of being a bit pedantic with maintenance and care of my tools. Whenever I use a tool, whether it be a screwdriver, socket spanner or tractor, I always clean it down and apply a coat of lanolin oil.  I am a big fan of Lanotec.  Having lived on a boat for almost a decade, I have an intimate relationship with rust. 

   
These cheap little Chinese machines rust very quickly if neglected. By washing them down thoroughly after each use, drying them and giving them a squirt and wipe over with Lanotec, they will last a lot longer and also be easier to service when I need to undo those nuts under that guard. 

 
It’s definitely worth doing. For a little effort each time you use your tools, you will be rewarded with a longer service life and easier maintenance.  It’s a sustainability thing! 

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