Published at Monday, June 18th, 2018 - 03:36:28 AM. . By Pansy Byers.
Spading Fork - A spading forks four tines are much heavier than those of a pitchfork. If well-made, its a rugged tool, built to do battle with soil and the rocks it contains without bending. It pierces the ground more easily than would a shovel or a spade and is great for pre-loosening soil that you can then lift out with a shovel, and for breaking up heavy soil clumps so that amendments can be added. The stubborn, matted roots of meadow grasses yield to it and can then be yanked intact. Dandelions are pulled out unbroken if a spading fork has probed around them. The digging fork, a similar tool with flattened tines, is the best one for prying out root crops such as carrots and potatoes.
Cultivator - The cultivator comes in two different flavors; long-handled and hand models. The long handled one is better on the back and the schedule, but the small one is the tool of choice around delicate plants and tight spaces, like containers and window boxes. If you are using a draw hoe, the long-handled cultivator is redundant, but if you prefer the faster hoes, it’s a good tool to loosen that baked-on surface layer in the depths of summer. I have both, and they both get a work-out. The hand model usually comes in a set with a trowel (we’ll cover in planting tools) and a long pointy spear with a fork on the end that you have wondered about, I’m sure. Well, it’s an asparagus fork, (for cutting the spears below the soil level) and before you throw it out (no, we don’t all grow asparagus) it does a famous job of digging dandelions and other tap-rooted weeds, so keep it! The other part of cultivating is cutting and pruning, and there is plenty to look at here. The spade may be Tool Numero Uno, but the pruners (or secateurs) run a very close second. There are a lot of different types out there but if you are only going to buy one pair of shears get a really good pair of by-pass cut shears. I have been a big fan of Felco #2’s since I started in the industry; they are the standard in the biz. Replaceable parts and blades mean you can bring these back to new in a few minutes (and we’re not talking about rebuilding a carburetor) so like your spade, you should have these for life.
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