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If your new allotment has not been worked by a previous owner or you have one of the many ‘new’ allotment plots being created in the UK you may find just a patch of grass when you arrive.
One of the toughest tasks is to clear this and get down to some soil that can be fertilised and made ready for crops.
Digging a typical plot area with a spade or fork can be very hard work and may cause back injuries because of the amount of repeticious bending involved.
A better tool for the job is a Chillington hoe, often called a grape hoe or Azada.
It is a long handle with a flat blade at 90 degrees to the handle. This tool is the most widely used cultivation tool in the world with many millions used overseas. The Chillington hoe has a great and long history going back to 1822 when the then Chillington Iron Works near Wolverhampton produced mainly horse and became known as the largest maker of hand-made horse in the world under the brand name “King of the Road”.
The company was hit hard by the recession in the 1870s and as a result a change of direction to making edge tools or hoes was made. The tools were sold under the “Crocodile” brand name and included axes, forks, shovels and spades, many of which were exported to all corners of the world.
The Chillington Tool Company Limited was formed in 1892 and has been supplying the agricultural and construction industries with quality hot forged Hoes and Forks using high carbon British steel ever since. Chillington manufactures a large selection of hoe and fork patterns in a wide range of sizes to suit many local needs across the world.
Back at our allotment the Chillington hoe with its long handle gives the user the opportunity to swing the hoe into the ground using gravity to get the hoe head into the toughest grass meadow. Using the power of levers means the user can easily pull the handle and turn over a big sod of soil/grass thus exposing the soil underneath.
Some users turn over the sod so the grass is facing the soil and let it rot into the soil before planting; others that want to plant sooner take the sods and build a pile with the grass facing down, water it and cover it and then leave it to form compost. After some time you will have some great compost for free. They can then fork over the exposed soil on the plot and start fertilising and planting.
The Chillington hoe is very versatile and comes in many hoe and fork shaped heads and is made in the UK by traditional forging techniques so will last a lifetime. It is the one tool most allotment holders cannot do without and many have a standard handle and several heads for specific jobs on the plot.
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write by Azura