We’ve set the clocks ahead, the hours of daylight are lengthening, the sun’s rays beginning to hint at warmth - SIGHHH - It’s about time!
It’s also about time to start planting seedlings for the coming growing season. How nice it is to lay those tiny little kernels on beds of soft potting soil, to water and nourish them, coaxing out those first green shoots from dormancy….
Are you ready for seeding and planting season?
At Howland Tools, we would like to share with you some fantastic products for starting your seedlings, as well as to help you plant them. Our friends Two Bad Cats LLC. in Shrewsbury, VT. created the Top Plant Popper, Speedling Plant Popper and Winstrip Tray Popper. These tools are effectively designed to gently push out whole or half trays of plugs at once - a sure way to streamline your planting by saving you from having to pop out each plug individually. In addition, the design allows the trays to act as a dibbler for seeding your starts.
Pete Gile, (founder / assembler / sales guy) and engineer Rick Gile (also Pete’s father) are the innovative duo who started Two Bad Cats LLC. With input from local farmers, as well as their own farm and garden experience, they make tools designed to shorten tasks and ease the physical demands of repetitive projects, such as planting plugs. Their creative enterprise began when Pete spent a summer as an apprentice on Alchemy Gardens, run by Lindsay and Scott Courcelle. The following is a quote from Scott and Lindsay which explains what sparked Pete and Rick’s agricultural inventing...
“When we apprenticed at a farm, one of our least favorite tasks was using a small wooden dowel (or pencil) to poke plants out of the plastic trays before transplanting. When we started our own farm, we wanted to find another solution to this issue and so enlisted the help of Pete and his Dad, Rick, of Two Bad Cats. Their plant popper allows us to quickly pull plugs out of the trays, saving lots of time and frustration. We have high school students help us in the spring and they were able to use the popper without problems.
The dibble wheel is another idea that came out of our time apprenticing, where we dragged a wooden meter stick along the ground to get the spacing right when we transplanted. Constantly bending down to move the stick seemed like it would eventually be really hard on our backs. The dibbler from Two Bad Cats is easily adjustable to different spacing and takes just a minute to walk down the bed. It's easy on our bodies, lightweight, and very sturdy, even when it's left out in the elements. “
In addition to Two Bad Cats LLC.’s products, Howland Tools has many useful, high quality tools to help you get a good start on your farm or garden.
Potting trowels from local tool maker Ashfield Tools, are in stock.
We hope you’ll give some of these great products a try, and experience for yourself the quality and efficiency they can impart not only to your Spring planting but throughout the growing season.