Choosing the right gardening tools – Spade and Fork

If you are new to gardening, you can easily spend hundreds of pounds on a complete set of new tools. However, you can just as easily choose the basic tools to buy and spend relatively little money.  Bear in mind, though, that you should always buy the best tool you can afford. Cheap tools do not last and you will have to spend more money replacing them in short order. Worse, they will make your work harder. So, if you are on a tight budget, buy one good tool at a time rather than a range of poorer quality tools.

The most useful tool is probably the garden fork.

garden fork

It is used for loosening the soil without turning it over. If you have no other tools, you could use the fork for most jobs, including those you would usually do with your spade. A fork will double as a rake as well. Buy a fork made of forged-steel fitted with a wooden or metal handle. Never buy a fork made of pressed steel – it will distort and bend as soon as you put pressure on it.

The second most useful tool is a Garden Spade.


A stainless steel spade is almost certainly the best;  soil, however sticky falls off of it making digging much easier. If you cannot afford a stainless steel spade, then buy a strong forged-steel spade and always keep it clean. You could keep a container of oil in your tool shed and dip it into this when you have finished using it. This will ensure it stays in top condition.Don’t overdo the oil, though – you don’t want to contaminate your soil.  Once this type of spade is worked in (when the blade becomes sharp and the corners rounded) digging is much easier. As with all large tools, choose the size to suit you. That way you will avoid back-ache.


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