If we don’t have to dig up our existing soil, then why would you have to buy a lot of expensive, strong, heavy duty tools? You don’t have to! It’s as simple as that.
Tools are heavy and expensive. They rust and their handles break. Forget all about that. You won’t even need a tool shed anymore because Square Foot Gardening doesn’t require any tools except three.
Number one is a trowel – a hand trowel. You don’t have to buy those 24 dollar stainless steel ones from Switzerland. You can get the simple home-made kind we use in third world countries. It’s called a stick. If you want something fancier, there are very inexpensive ones at all of the garden supply centers. I suggest you stay away from metal. They’re more expensive and they will eventually rust. The plastic ones are quite strong, especially in a Square Foot Garden because there’s no pressure in the soil. You don’t do it heavy digging. You just move the soil around a little bit and that’s why we can get by with a stick if you wanted to. You just stir up the soil.
In our classes and workshops we have people make a list of all the tools you don’t need any more and, boy, it gets to be pretty long. We ask them, ‘What do they cost new?’ When you add all that up, you’ve got a lot of money that’s invested in tools. In fact, in my first book I said, ‘Because you don’t need any tools, everything you’ve got in your tool shed and your garage, clean them up. Paint them up and have a yard sale and buy yourself a hammock, because that’s all you’re going to need for Square Foot Gardening.’
In conclusion, you’re never going to have to go find a new handle because it broke on any of your tools and just think of all the rakes that have teeth missing or the handle comes off because it rotted away. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’d had that happen.