Jean-Luc Pasquier, Master Gardener and #FELCOLover
Spring is the time of awakening in the garden and on the balcony: the soil warms up and the winter vegetables make way for the first planting of salads and other hardy vegetable seedlings. Mediterranean vegetables such as tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, or cucumbers will be planted after the last frosts. To get ready, the soil must be cleaned, prepared, and improved with the best tools for each job, whether in raised beds or in the garden.
The first blooms brighten up the landscape and the garden wakes up. The soil still has the remains of crops, and it is time to prepare it for the first seedlings. Our expert Jean-Luc Pasquier explains, "To start the vegetable garden, first decide what will remain on the surface, such as perennial vegetables like chard, rhubarb, horseradish or strawberries. These perennials can be grouped together in a dedicated area or simply cleaned out with a weeder designed to remove weeds without damaging the roots.
"Next I continue to clean up the areas to be planted by weeding out overwintered weeds with taproots, such as dandelions or dock, by carefully removing them with the help of a swiss hori-hori. Thanks to its long, narrow blade, this versatile tool can also effectively remove tough weeds such as buttercups or clover. "I also use it for planting bulbs or making furrows for seedlings," says the expert.
"I finish by raking the soil with a cultivator to remove crop residues as well as annual weeds such as speedwells and chickweed.” During this process, the specialist also aerates the soil by breaking up the crust formed during the winter. This facilitates gaseous exchange in the soil and the penetration of rainfall into the deeper layers without run-off. "I also use the garden claw to superficially roughen the surface of plant containers and also to block capillary action by forming a protective layer against the evaporation of the water stored in the soil, as when weeding.
Now that the surface is clean, the specialist assesses the soil and, depending on the previous crops, will make an amendment. "This operation consists of burying compost or well decomposed manure with a hand fork and mixing it with the soil. As it decomposes, this humus will feed the soil and stimulate all the organisms in the soil in a natural way. The hand fork is also very useful for extracting plants to be moved without damaging their roots. The surface is now ready to receive the seedlings, which have been dipped in water beforehand to replenish the soil with water. "Planting is so much easier with a good trowel: it's a real pleasure to bring life into your garden and to see it blossom quickly thanks to the excellent preparation of the soil", concludes the master gardener.
Jean-Luc Pasquier's tool selection :
FELCO 401 trowel is a must-have tool for any gardener. Made out of forged boron steel with a sharp cutting edge, and comfortable ash-drop grip handle. It's perfect for digging holes, transplanting perennials, and planting bulbs. The blade is sharpened from top to bottom, making gardening a breeze. The FELCO 401 Trowel will revolutionize your gardening experience.
Introducing FELCO 411 Cultivator - the perfect tool for keeping flowerbeds weed-free! With 3 hardened steel tines and a smooth ash-drop grip handle, it's ideal for aerating hard-to-reach places. Loosen soil early for better growth and blooming. Great for getting between rows of vegetables and preparing a growing bed for Spring planting. Experience the best tool for gardening jobs with FELCO 411 Cultivator!
Keep your garden weed-free with the FELCO 421 weeder. Crafted from high-quality alloy steel, its perfectly angled head and long slender design make it ideal for rooting out weeds in tight spots. With a comfortable ash-drop grip handle and long tang, this tool slices and cuts through the ground with ease. Don't let weeds take energy away from your plants and flowers - weed regularly and on time with the FELCO 421 weeder.
The FELCO 431 fork is an essential gardening tool. Its forged boron steel blade and sharp tines easily loosen soil, mix compost, remove old plants, and transplant them. With a comfortable ash-drop grip handle, it's perfect for mixing dirt with compost, loosening heavy soil, and removing annuals without getting too much dirt out of the border. Keep your garden in top shape with the versatile FELCO 431 fork.
The FELCO 441 Swiss Hori-Hori is a versatile and durable tool perfect for digging tap-rooted weeds, narrow holes for plants, herbs, and bulbs. Its sharp, narrow blade is made out of forged boron steel, ensuring its robustness. The blade's cutting edge runs along its entire length, making it easy to cut through soil and roots. Its comfortable ash-drop grip handle provides excellent control, even in damp conditions.
A passionate gardener since his childhood, Jean-Luc Pasquier is a complete horticulturist with a diploma from Lullier in the canton of Geneva. He continued his training in Oeschberg in the canton of Bern where he obtained his diploma and then his federal master's degree. He is a lecturer for plant knowledge in the framework of higher horticultural training. He is also a consultant and horticultural columnist. Passionate about roses, he presides over the International New Rose Competition of Nyon and the group of rose breeders within the World Federation of Rose Societies.