Hand tools are preferred at Le Grand Potager, which respect the soil structure.
Invented by André Grelin and patented in 1964, the grelinette is a clever tool that consists of two parallel handles connected by a steel bar with 2 to 5 25 cm bevelled teeth.
Based on the principle of leverage, the grelinette requires less effort than a conventional spade. The teeth are driven vertically into the ground, placing the foot and the weight of the body on the middle of the tool. By tilting it from left to right, the clod of earth divides itself thanks to the bevelled shape of the teeth. Then pull on the sleeves, taking a step back without straining your lower back.
The use of the grelinette is preferred in organic farming because it preserves the soil ecosystem. The soil thus worked becomes less compact and can absorb and conserve rain and nutrients more easily.
The roots can also penetrate more easily. Weeds remain on the surface and do not tend to regenerate in the soil from year to year. The bacterial life of the soil and its structure are fully respected.
The vegetable hoe
The vegetable hoe is a versatile, scalable and very practical tool that adapts to all types of soil. It has been used for a very long time in organic market gardening for the maintenance of crops. The principle is simple: a wheel at the front carries the weight of the tool, a handlebar allows you to work while keeping your back straight and a system of attachment to the chassis allows the use of different interchangeable tools: oscillating weeder, weeder crow’s feet, claw, ridger, beamer, etc. The vegetable hoe facilitates daily actions such as sowing preparation, hoeing, weeding, and hilling. It allows you to weed more quickly between rows with much less effort.
The crushing roller
The crushing roller is used to stop the growth of green manures sown on the plots at rest.
The action of this roller is to stop the flow of sap from the plants and leave a mulch on the ground.
The cutting blades break the stems in several pieces and the weight of the roller layers the vegetation. After a few days, the plants wither, and the cover turns yellow. This technique promotes the appearance of legumes while mowing, we favor rather the grasses. This manual roller is an adaptation of rollers that generally fit on tractors.
It consists of a closed steel cylinder, with a cap on the side which allows to fill it with water to increase its weight, and empty it for easier transport or storage.