Shovel, spade, spade: each tool has its uses for working the soil


Gardening can be fun. You are thrilled when everything grows and your garden is lush. But that requires a certain investment, especially physical. It is important when purchasing your tools to choose the best quality and the most suitable tool. Each tool has its uses for working the soil, so it’s up to you whether you need a shovel, a spade or a spade. Unless you have the use of all three!

Anyway, shovel, spade or spade are a priori part of the very first tools that a gardener must have. They allow you to turn over the earth, to loosen it … However, between shovel, spade or even spade, what to choose? It depends above all on the nature of the soil.

What is the nature of our soil?

Did you identify if you were dealing with thick and hard soil or rather light and sandy? Can you tell if your soil is clayey, stony, heavy, compact? Because it is according to the nature of your garden that you will be able to decide rather for the shovel, rather for the spade or rather for the spade.

The question of the handle

Whether you choose a shovel, spade or spade, as with many garden tools, it is advisable to choose one that is suitable for your size. If you are less than 1.75m, then a handle of 1.65m will suffice, if you make folds of 1.75m, then you can opt for a sleeve of 1.80m. Which subject to choose? The wood is more durable and the fiberglass is unbreakable. At the time of purchase, make sure the point of contact between the handle and the head is solid, this is where your tool is most likely to be damaged when you first pick it up.

The shovel

Depending on the use and the garden, you may need a large shovel to move a lot of soil or a smaller one to plant flowers and other small plants. The shovel is one of the oldest tools in human history and a staple in gardening. To pick up dirt, sand or leaves, a shovel is essential.

What characterizes the excavator?

Essentially, a shovel consists of two parts: a part that is usually curved to contain the material and the handle. The shovel is one of the simplest gardening tools. The shovel is mainly used for picking up and moving materials on the ground, but it is also suitable for loosening the ground. Whether sand, earth or gravel: with a garden shovel you can pick up all kinds of materials standing up, very comfortably and without straining your back. In one hour, you can mobilize up to 4 cubic meters of soil. Of course, at this rate you are a professional! In general, hobbyists prefer to take more of their time pouring sand, compost or gravel.

What tasks can you do with a shovel?

  • Evacuate the earth
  • Move volumes (soil, compost, gravel, waste, etc.)
  • Clear snow from an access

The spade

Whether it is for digging holes or for pulling vegetables like carrots or leeks, the spade has all its uses, it is even the gardener’s best friend! You can therefore use it to dig but also to loosen the soil.

Most models have an ash handle because it is very strong and not too heavy. There are also metal or fiber-reinforced plastic spades. The most common is the T-handle. It is easy to handle and a bit lighter than the D-handle. There are many typical shapes of a spade blade. The most classic spade, the so-called “gardener’s spade” with a hardened or stainless steel blade, is the most sold.

If your soil is sandy with no stones, a light spade will do just fine. If your soil is hard and thick, you may therefore prefer a heavier spade.

How to position yourself to use the spade?

Be sure to use a stable handle with a T or D handle. If you place your upper arm against your upper body and hold the shovel at the top with your hand, the forearm should be parallel to the ground and the shovel must be straight – then your gesture will be perfect! Of course, you need to choose the right tool depending on the type of your soil. Because if it is not adapted, the effort provided will be more substantial.

What tasks can you use a spade for?

  • Turn the soil
  • Dig planting holes
  • Transplant the shrubs
  • Divide perennial stumps

The sparrow

The spade is a long and narrow shovel whose use is similar to that of the spade. With a spade, for example, you can make your soil less compact. It can also be used to cut certain roots and to pry up certain small trees.

If your soil is heavy and stony, choose a heavy and sharp tool such as a spoon.

What tasks can a spade be used for?

  • Make the earth less compact
  • Cut the roots
  • Leverage to uproot, especially shrubs
  • Transplant
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