Monday, December 19, 2011


Put together a tool kit...before the Spring digging/planting season hits PART 2:

This week, we look at some alternative tools, some that you may never have heard of before! We will start with the mini-shovel. These are the downsized versions of the full-sized shovels that we profiled in the last blog post. A tiny sized shovel like this makes it possible to carry a shovel on you at all times when exploring the countryside for your next guerilla gardening site. One of the first priorities of a good guerilla garden is a halfway decent starting topsoil. The only way to determine the soil situation is to dig a couple of 1x1 foot holes at least 8 inches down. This allows the guerilla grower to view a cross section of the onsite topsoil. Compared to a full sized shovel or spade, it is definitely easier to carry these lightweight shovels across the countryside.

1.) US Army folding entrenching tool/shovel: HERE This is a handy little mini-shovel; about 2.5 feet in length, including the 8 inch blade, with a locking collar on the handle that allows the user to fold the blade at a 90 degree angle to the handle, and lock it down, securing it to form a sort-of pickaxe and trenching tool. This handy device is used by US soldiers to dig foxholes, latrines, garbage pits, and the like. The old-school model has a straight, wooden handle, making it hard to grip when digging in tough soil. This tool works the best when digging in decent topsoil, or in sandy soil, and can also be used for cutting roots and prying rocks out of a hole. It is very hard to break one of these shovels; they are made for the armed forces, after all. Still, when busting through tough, overgrown sod, I would much rather have a full sized shovel or pickaxe to start the hole initially, then using this tool to add finishing touches, like cutting corners, etc. These shovels can be found used and surplus everywhere.

2.) M-1910 T-handle entrenching tool: Another military issue shovel, issued during WW2. Instead of a simple, straight wooden handle, this shovel adds a T to the end of the handle, vastly increasing digging leverage. If funds are scarce, the guerilla grower can look for world war 2 army surplus T handle shovels; they are everywhere. A little more expensive, but of a much higher quality is the M-1910 T handle replica shovels; manufactured using modern technology.

Gerber E-Tool model 22-01945: My personal favorite, at least as far as "mini-shovels go". This is a folding spade which folds in two places, as opposed to the two prior mentioned shovels which only have one folding joint. Because of this, the 01945 folds down from an overall, extended length of 23.75 inches, to a folded length of only 9.25 inches. Lightweight, and small enough to hang on the belt when exploring. The ability to carry one of these small tools when exploring allows the guerilla grower to pre-dig prospective grow sites, in order to determine the type of soil found there.

This tool has a forged, carbon-steel, blade that is serrated along one side, and has a nice point on the end for sod busting, and actually has a hardened pick attachment on the other end. The guerilla grower can use the pickaxe to chop, and the blade to scoop, with no changes or adjustments needed. This shovel has a D-handle for superior grip, and leverage, when digging and chopping. The entire handle is made of glass-filled nylon, so the entire shovel weighs in at only 2.3 pounds.
SOG Entrenching Tool F08: another nice choice in a mini-shovel. This one is smaller, and lighter, than the 01945 profiled above, but still packs a punch, with plenty of functionality. The SOG entrenching tool can be used as a shovel, or a pickaxe. Because the handle is made of steel, it is a very durable and sturdy tool. It also has the pick attachment on the opposite end of the serrated shovel blade, just like the 01945. Fully extended at 18.5 inches,with a folded size of 7.25 inches. This one is even easier to carry at only 1.5 pounds.
Chinese Military Shovel WJQ308: if you want to get a real good idea of what these mini-shovels are capable of, check out the Chinese military shovel WJQ 308 in the youtube video here. This is the state-of-the-art mini shovel design on the market today. At 80 to 90 dollars, it is on the high side as far as cost goes, but it is really unbelievable. Just to give you some idea of what this shovel, or any of the shovels covered today, are capable of: shovel, pick, ax, pickaxe saw, hacksaw, machete, potato slicer, barbed wire cutter, grappling hook, weapon, shield, hammer, nail puller, bottle and can opener, oar, boat anchor, and it even has a ruler on the wooden handle.
What happens when the guerilla grower hits what seems to be an impenetrable barrier while attempting to dig a garden in the great outdoors? This is a job for a spud bar!

Spud Bar: A glorified, oversized crowbar that weighs 15 pounds. A spud bar is a 6 foot long, digger/tamper constructed of forged steel with a hardened chisel point; better described as a giant chisel! Used as a lever to move heavy, or immovable (with a shovel), objects. Typical uses include breaking up clay and hardpans, frozen ground, and other hard materials. Used for digging, prying, or cutting through rocks, roots, or frozen soils. Used to move or break up large tree roots, and other obstacles, and also used to dig pilot holes for fence posts. A spud bar is often used where space limitations will not allow the use of a pickaxe. Everyone should have a spud bar for those "impossible" digging tasks!
Root Jack: No, not the Portland, Oregon rock band...what I am talking about here is a tool that is an old time favorite in the herbicide free organic garden. Quickly and efficiently uproots small trees, bushes, roots, blackberry, sumac, suckers, and manzanita. Use the head to grip the unwanted plant at the base, then use the handle to "lever" the plant out of the ground. This tool yanks the plant out of the ground, root sand all. Great for clearing areas that have a very good topsoil base, but are covered over with scrub plants and small trees. Makes an almost impossible job (using normal hand tools) easy!

Good Luck,
Vinnie Kaz

Author: Guerilla Growing Trade Secrets: Hints Kinks and Tips for the Clandestine Cannabis Grower

1 comment:

  1. Nice content, I trust this is a nice blog. Wish to see fresh content next time. Thanks for sharing this post with us. Keep it up. legal marijuana