Have you heard the phrase, ‘Everything old is new again’? This idiom has been resonating a lot lately as quarantine lockdowns have fueled renewed interest in pastimes of yore (victory gardens, puzzles, old-fashioned holiday DIYs, and more.). Recently, we’ve been researching gardening tools from older generations that have stood the test of time. Here are five that intrigue us:
1. Olla Watering Pot
This unglazed terra cotta pot is an ancient watering tool that is buried beneath the soil, where the water slowly releases itself through the pot’s pores to your plant’s roots. Clay pot irrigation reduces runoff, evaporation, and your water bill.
2. Grampa’s Weeder
Invented in 1913, this best-selling weeder uses leverage to make weeding easier; it also eliminates bending over and having to yank pesky garden invaders by hand. What you do is put the steel gripping prongs over the weed, push the tool into the ground and then move the wooden handle toward the foot pad lever. The weed pops out, root and all.
3. Garden Dibble
This tool was first recorded in Roman times and has been used by farmers for planting crops ever since. It’s sharp wooden point pokes into the ground to create a hole into which you can drop seeds, seedlings, or bulbs.
4. High-Wheel Cultivator
Used for generations because it is easy to push and move around the garden, this plow and cultivator will make simple work of preparing beds, weeding between rows, and breaking up dry soil. Not recommended for rocky or clay soil.
5. Weather Stick
Used for centuries by some Native Americans, the idea is simple: changes in barometric pressure cause the stick to move. The stick curves up when clear skies are nearing and the stick bends down when either snow or rain are on the way.
For more on tools we like, see:
- Trend Alert: Mowing the Lawn With a Scythe
- Tools of the Trade: Japanese Garden Tools
- Your First Garden: The Only 5 Tools You Need to Get Started