Dotcom garden first steps, and a cool new machine

The Guide Gear 1/3 HP 6We had been searching for a tool just like this: a 6-inch wide, 1/3 HP electric tiller, to help with the hard annual job of prepping Dotcom Garden – digging out the dense accumulation of roots that grow up into the boxes from below. Surrounding trees are the culprits I think – it used to take me 20 minutes a box with a hoe and shovel to hack them out every year.

Once I got the hang of the slip clutch in this machine, a Guide Gear that I found on Amazon for $79, it made amazingly short work of the job. I tilled 3 boxes in the time I alloted for one, and it chewed the roots up into so much organic amendment (when I dug them out by hand, I wound up with dense balls of roots that I had to toss).

We walked the footpath on Alpine Road today, and then stopped at Ladera Nursery on the way home for sacks of mulch and chicken manure, which we’ll soon begin digging into the planter boxes. The manure is really a store of so much microbial life which will begin the process of turning the boxes into healthier places for plants to live. Ladera Nursery is becoming more upscale, and doesn’t have as much for the vegetable gardner as it once did – no early lettuce or herbs this year… so I’m off to the mail order catalogs…


About Chris Gulker

Chris Gulker, a self-described Infuential Blogger, lived in Menlo Park, California with spouse Linda. He passed away in late October 2010.
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