Most people you see preparing a gardening spot today will be using a garden tiller to break up the soil and prepare it for planting. Some people, however, find their gardening plots are just too small to use a tiller on. So, they go back to the old-fashioned method of using a garden fork to turn up the dirt. All it requires is more intense work, but it will still get the job done.
A lot of the work in gardening is light-duty and enjoyable. There are some other jobs, however, that are much more challenging. Tasks such as skinning sod from the ground or breaking the soil are labor-intensive and back breaking. The only way to do these jobs is by muscling through them, and using a garden fork can make the work a whole lot more manageable.
Picking the Right Fork
Garden forks come in a multitude of different sizes and configurations. You can find one to fit every application and should choose the one to buy based on the nature of the job to be done. If you are only tending a small patch of ground, a hand-held garden fork should be able to handle the breaking of soil and the aeration of small plants just fine. You’ll need a much larger, sturdier fork for larger spaces with clay, rocks, and compacted soil as well as for aerating the roots of larger plants.
A special type of garden fork was designed to do garden composting. Its curved tines are made to stop clumps of material from adhering to the fork. The fact that the tines on this fork are farther apart than those of a regular garden fork helps the fork turn and mix the mixture effectively. Except for these adaptations, the composting fork is very similar to a regular garden for.
You’ll find that quality garden forks will have tines made of heavy-duty, forged stainless steel. The handles can be made of a lot of different materials, but the ones designed for the heaviest tasks are made of solid hardwoods or steel. Garden forks large and small will have “D” shaped handles. This is the optimum shape for gripping and allows more leverage for digging tasks.
Rubberized grips are a good for eliminating the chances of your hands slipping on the fork. If your fork doesn’t come equipped with a grip like this, you need to buy one. A rubber grip is a good way to stop blisters from occurring on your hands, too. Blisters are caused when your hand is rubbed over and over by the tool.
After finding out all the things you can accomplish with your garden fork, and how it makes your life easier, you’ll realize it is among the most valuable tools you have. It’s strong enough to take on the punishment of hard jobs while saving you from some hard labor.