Article on Digging Tools

eric_in_west_seattle(8 Seattle)August 18, 2009


I have not posted here in a while. Still gardening and growing about 15 kinds of bamboo. I just published an article about digging tools on my online magazine/blog.

Please have a look.


Here is a link that might be useful: In search of the best gardening tools: Spades & the demise of Smith & Hawken.

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

That was a really interesting article. I have some info that you will find pertinent in regard to the subject of shovels.

Because I have so much bamboo, I have always tried to figure out the best tools for digging to keep my groves under control. I have actually found a shovel that is better than the King of Spades (although I own one of those, too). The shovel is available from only one vendor in the U. S. as far as I know, and it's expensive...over $200 with shipping. This shovel is called the "Bamboo Spade" and it is made exclusively for MidAlantic Bamboo nursery by W. W. Manufacturing Company, the maker of the King of Spades. It's saved me hours of work, and it's incredibly useful not only for bamboo, but for transplanting everything from large pampas grasses to lilies and irises, as well as for dividing root balls quickly and cleanly.

The Bamboo Spade is all-steel, like the King of spades, and has the same blade. However, it has an important design difference: it incorporates a very heavy cylindrical steel weight that moves up and down on the shaft, like a slide hammer. No digging is required to do the job. You simply set the tip of the shovel down on the ground and then raise and smash down the weight a few times: it drives the shovel into the ground and through any roots. I can now take out a bamboo division in 1-2 minutes that would have taken me half an hour before. Usually I can get out a bamboo with 4 "cuts," although bigger ones may require a few more if the perimeter is large. Typically it's not necessary to pry much at all to pop out the root ball. I think the shovel could stand a lot of prying, but I keep a 5' demolition bar handy to use instead if there is substantial resistance. The only damage the shovel has sustained in several years is that the edge has been dented a little when I drove it down repeatedly on a rock below the surface. Below is a link to MidAtlantic Bamboo's web site that has a sequence of photos showing the tool in use.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bamboo spade

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 4:04AM
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