When should you use your garden trowel?

On this page, I’m going to explain when to use the grelinette in your garden and vegetable patch.

The main place to use the grelinette is in the vegetable garden, where annual vegetables are grown. But when should you use the grelinette? These fast-growing vegetables need fertile, loose soil for their roots to develop properly. So they are mainly used in spring. But some gardeners also use it in summer in their beds to limit watering. Others use it at any time to plough the ground before sowing a lawn.

Before we talk about the best time to use a grelinette, it’s important to talk about the soil.

Soil that is too wet should never be worked. You have to wait for it to dry out. If it’s too wet, you risk doing more harm than good by compacting the blocks. What’s more, the soil will stick to the grelinette’s teeth, making handling more difficult.

On the other hand, in very dry soil (as in the video below), it will be difficult to push the tool in. The resistance of the soil may even overcome an ecological spade bought cheaply in a garden centre. If your grelinette is not of good quality, its tines are bound to bend. And it will be difficult to crumble the clods anyway.

So, having seen when not to use a grelinette, here are the times when you can use it in the vegetable garden.

Above all, you need to choose the right moment, with soil that is neither too wet nor too dry.

Use the grelinette for a light autumn pass to allow water to infiltrate

In my vegetable garden, I make a light pass in the autumn. This allows water to infiltrate and air to penetrate my compact soil. By breaking up any surface crust, I break the waterproof layer that would allow water to run off. But you mustn’t turn the soil over too much at this point. This will lead to mineralization. In other words, it makes nutrients available. If the soil is worked too much in the autumn, there is a risk that it will sink.

And it’s also when the rain returns in autumn that the earthworms are most active. They digest the abundant organic matter in the soil to create fertile soil and stable humus. The most important thing to do after this light sprinkling is to mulch or sow a green manure crop to nourish the soil’s biology and prepare it for the following season in spring.

While you’re waiting for the right moment to use the grelinette, you can maintain it by rubbing linseed oil into the handles and teeth to keep it in good condition over the years.
Admire the tapered teeth of the “La PLaisible” grelinette, which are perfect and strong for penetrating hard-packed soil.

The time when the grelinette is most commonly used is spring. We make a more intensive use of it when we need to dig up the garden to release nutrients for the plants we’re going to grow.

Yes, spring is when I work the soil. I return to the land when it’s a bit dry after the heavy winter rains. Aeration of the soil in spring brings up the mineral elements so that they can be quickly assimilated by the plants. They must be present in sufficient quantity to prevent growth failure due to a lack of nitrogen.

This gives the plants time to complete their growth cycle before a cold autumn, which is fast approaching in some regions. You can improve the yield and speed of growth of vegetables by adding an organic fertiliser such as Pro Bio Terre. In other regions with milder climates, a second yielding crop will be planted, or an intercrop that improves the soil by sowing a green manure.

Now that you know when to grelinate, if you want to order a quality grelinette, don’t wait.

So if you want to order a quality grelinette, there’s a season for that too. Of course, as everyone wants them in spring and at Christmas, it’s best to plan ahead and buy your greliner in advance, against the season. That way, you can avoid the queues that form every year among blacksmiths who only have two hands.

So don’t delay, order your French-made La PLaisible grelinette today.

I hope I’ve made myself clear. But if you’d like more information about when to use your grelinette in the garden, don’t hesitate to ask your question as a comment on this page. I’ll be happy to answer it.

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