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Choose the Shovel for the Soil Type

By Skiekitty
December 27, 2013

If you live in rocky soil / hard clay, use a fiberglass shovel to dig. The right tool for the job!

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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Dec 27, 2013 3:35 AM CST
I live in the land of clay and limestone so a good shovel is a necessity!
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Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Dec 27, 2013 6:12 PM CST
Have fiberglass shovels changed? Many years ago, I had a regular wooden shovel from Sears. You know, the ones that if they ever broke, you just brought them back and they'd give you a new one. After long years of hard use, the day finally came. We live on caliche and rock, supplemented in the yard by some real topsoil, very challenging on tools and backs. So the shovel that finally broke was taken back to the Sears store. Then I found out that that model of shovel was no longer available and they offered me a fiberglass shovel instead. I took it home and the next day I took it out to dig in the garden. It broke immediately! I took it back to the store and Sears let me have one of their regular wooden shovels instead. So you can imagine why I wouldn't want a fiberglass one!
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Leftwood
Dec 28, 2013 12:53 AM CST
I have to say, at the retail store where I work, we get more fiberglass shovels returned with broken handles than wood ones. I can't really say if that means wood is stronger than fiberglass. But indeed it does mean that whoever breaks a relatively new shovel is not using the right tool for whatever he(or she) is trying to do.
Name: Sheila F
Fort Worth TX (Zone 8a)
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Sheila_FW
Dec 28, 2013 8:19 AM CST
I don't think I have ever broken a shovel; I don't have the strength. Linda, sounds like you need a pick axe! LOL!
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Dec 28, 2013 10:37 AM CST
Ha! We have a pick axe in the shed! It's too heavy for me, but on rare occasion when we hire some help, it might be used! My favorite shovel is a sharpshooter type of shovel, but can't always use that kind.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad

tantefrancine
Dec 28, 2013 3:54 PM CST
Since I do not have the strength, I usually use a border fork first, then I have a shovel with a small scoop to take the soil out. And I also use a pick axe (mattock) from Home Depot, the one that I can handle. Also use a hoe (in Indonesian: pacul). Unfortunately I like roses so I have to do a lot of digging. --It helps to dig after a lot of showers, and wait until it is not so muddy--was very proud to dig out small volunteer trees with longer than a yard of roots without breaking them. :-)
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
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Skiekitty
Dec 28, 2013 10:37 PM CST
I've broken many wooden handles, but have yet to break a fiberglass one. Bent it, yes, but it always snaps right back. Now, the Kobold (sp?) brand from Lowes has a life-time guarantee and I've broken 3 from them.. but always the blade & never the handles! I can't see how you'd break the handle on a fiberglass.. and I have dug out many stumps with my shovels.
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Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Dec 30, 2013 11:32 AM CST
Maybe the fiberglass one was not made right. Sears had just come out with that one about that time.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad

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hazelnut
Dec 31, 2013 7:08 PM CST
Ive had my razorback ash-handled shovel for more than 60 years. The handle is still in good condition, but if I had to replace it, wood handles are readily available.
If you are not comfortable replacing it yourself, a local welder could probably reset the handle with rivets.

I can see that a shovel might break if it was misused, using it to lever a large rock for example.

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