Sunday, May 20, 2012

Soil Knife

Ward's new soil knife

I have a new favorite garden tool.  It cuts, it digs, it measures, it saws, it makes coffee. Well, actually I'm not sure about the coffee part, but it might. What is it? A soil knife also known as a hori hori knife.  The miracle tool is the shape of narrow trowel with a sharp knife edge on one side and a saw-tooth edge on the other. The one we have is also marked off in inches for measuring.

Apparently, it's been around for a long time. It was first implemented in Japan to dig mountain vegetables. (Thus the original name of hori hori which means "to dig" in Japanese.) However, I only heard of it recently when Aunt Martha suggested that Ward might like one for his birthday. I got it for him, but I kind of felt like when I was a kid and for my sister's birthday bought what I really wanted. Ward has gotten to use it a few times, but I have had it out almost every day.

Each time I use it, I find another thing it does better than any tool I've used before. It makes digging very easy. Its sharp blade cuts into hard soil almost effortlessly. And if you run into roots while you're digging--no problem. You can saw right through them. You can measure the depth of your hole when you are planting, and it cuts better than any razor blade I've ever used when opening a bag of mulch. I love it. The only problem is that Theodore has discovered it too. Maybe Ward needs another one for Father's Day.