Tn did you know that mine and your digger was made in the 40`s ? They are so light yet very strong.I would like to have all of the ginseng laying in one pile that my digger has ever dug up from the Mountians :o) weeeeeeeeee that would be sweet and all at one time form every year
I'm kinda surprised that's what you use, to be honest. I'm seeing so many roots chopped, cut, and stabbed by the diggers' tools. So, so, so, sad, at the roots that have been destroyed from careless digging.
If you watch his vid and mine you will see that we both use the same long handle tool and we both basically dig exactly the same way.
You just have to use a little common sense and use the tool to dig out far enough around the root so that you really just loosen up the soil all around it and then do the rest of the extraction with your hands/fingers.
Do watch both vid's and see how similar Billy and I dig and notice that we both got all of the root and all possible root hairs with absolutely no damage to the root.
Now if I took a flat head screw driver or any small/short handle tool and started jabbing it in reckless like right where the root system is - I could sure whack it up.
Screwdriver, Short Handle Tool, or Long Handle Tool - it really just comes down to exactly how you dig it, how careful you are, and how much commen sense you use as far as if you are going to get the root out without damage.
I am sure a lot of it just boils down to personal preference and what you feel comfortable with.
I have used flat head screwdriver, and short handle diggers like the one in the previous post many times in the past and they work well enough.
But if you are reckless with them you can sure mess up a root just the same as you could with any digging tool if you are not careful with it.
What ever you dig with you need to be able to control it well enough that you can dig exactly where you want to dig and not chop up the roots.
If using a long handle tool is a bit too much for you \"control wise\" then by all means stick with something you can control and dig exactly where you want.
The main thing when using a larger tool like a long handle hoe is to only put that blade in out far enough from the root system so that you just loosen up the dirt out around the edges of the root system, then you extract the root with your hands/fingers.
If you watch how Billy dug that BIG 4 you will notice he worked up a circle around the plant like I did and he stayed plenty far out from where the stem went into the ground while doing that.
Of course the larger the top the wider you need to make that circle dig allowing for a larger root system underneath.
But once you get it all worked up and loose, then go in with your hands/fingers and get the root out.
Plenty safe as long as you do it right.
If you get reckless and just chop around anywhere out of control does not matter if you are using a toothpick or backhoe you can mess up a root either way.
Some things I really like about my long handle hoe is:
1.. also serves as a good walking stick
2.. rattlesnake/copperhead - got what I need to deal wiht that
4.. you can sure beat the briars and stinging weeds back
3.. useful when climbing very steep places (see youtub vid below)
It is not the digger that is causeing the roots to be cut up etc. That is very frustrating to me as a dealer it is hard to resell them....As you can tell by the title to my dealership I resell mostly fresh ginseng,,I sell it perfect to the buyer no flaws,neck in tact,no cuts,hair root in tact e.t.c.
I dig with that same tool that Tn has posted and I do not cut,chop the roots,,,watch my video titled --- proper way to harves and replant ginseng
The problim is not the tool but the digger,,,they do not take the time to dig the root properly,mostly because no one has ask them to...
I noticed that when a digger brings me messed up roots and I talk to him about it and tell him that I do not want any more like that,,,1 of 2 things happens he brings me better root,,,or he dont come back....I like the ones that come back...
My digger is my digger first,then my walking stick,,then my weed beater,etc.... I wouldnt go dig with out it