What to do with a 3D Printer: Make Garden Tools

What to do with a 3D Printer: Make Garden ToolsThe gardening season is here and it's time to get out and work the dirt. Even very traditional home tasks and pastimes like gardening can benefit from a 3D Printer.

I've got a few garden accessories that I've designed for myself to use in the garden this season.

Hanging Garden Trellis Netting

First, I needed a way to hang the trellis for my peas and green beans. There was already a cable stretched over the top of this long bed, so I just needed a way to attach the netting to the cable. Rather than tie the netting to the cable with twine or wire, I wanted a solution that would lower the net a bit so it would be easier to secure at the bottom. To do this, I designed a small hook several inches long that could be printed quickly several at a time. Here is the finished garden trellis netting hook on Thingiverse.Closeup of hook holding up garden trellis netting dimensions.

Seed Spacer

I use a hybrid system to lay out my garden, a combination of square foot gardening and hexagonal plant spacing. Hexagonal spacing provides an aesthetic sense or order in the garden, but it also has many benefits to the plants. When planted in a tight hexagonal pattern, the leaves of plants will shade the soil, which keeps the soil cooler and slows evaporation. The denser spacing also helps control weeds because the established garden plants will work to crowd weeds out and keep them from coming in. Lastly, tighter spacing means you can get more produce per square foot from your garden (you may get less per plant, but with more plants you get more per square foot).Hook holding up garden trellis netting John Jeavons. You can also see this reference on the spacing method as it applies to companion planting.

This kind of spacing isn't too hard to do by hand, but is much faster and easier with a tool to help. This seed spacer was designed to place holes at fixed distances which you can then put the seeds in. Just press the spacer into the soil to make three holes, then lift, rotate, and position the spacer with two of the prongs in two of the previously made holes; repeat.

Here are the spacers (4 inches, 3 inches, 2 inches, and 1.5 inches:

Here, you can see a bed of radishes planted using 2 inch spacing, and a few radishes harvested from that bed. Notice how dense the leaves are and how healthy the plants are (aside from a little insect damage, keep in mind it's organic, so no chemical pest controls). You might also notice that they are inter-planted with clover, which helps fill in the gaps and further shade the soil while also fixing nitrogen to reduce fertilization needs.

Garden Seed Spacers Radish Patch, Planted With Hexagonal Spacing First Radishes Printable Garden Slug Trap

Source: www.protoparadigm.com

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Cool free garden design software from the BBC

For a free utility, this thing is bad ass. I found it about a month ago and made some rough designs for expanding my garden and have begun to dig and make it real.
It has aerial view and 3-d view, the flowers look pretty good in 3-d. The picture on the webpage is just what it looks like. Also has water features, garden furniture, different ground surfaces, lots of plant categories.
Two thumbs up to the BBC for virtual garden

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