Daylilies forum: Best Garden Fork?

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Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
"As for me and my house, we will se
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Keeps Sheep Daylilies Irises Hostas Hybridizer
Cat Lover Hummingbirder Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Lalambchop1
Sep 3, 2016 5:50 AM CST
I need a new spading fork and am not sure what to buy. What's your favorite? I need it to be really strong but not too heavy. Has anyone tried the ones with the O shaped handle on top? A friend in KY swears by his but I don't want to shell out $45-$60 and be disappointed.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Smiling Smiling Smiling Thank you.
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Birds
Garden Photography
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florange
Sep 3, 2016 12:33 PM CST
Leslie, I dearly love my garden fork and did eventually buy a little garden shovel to match. It's a Radius Garden 203 PRO Ergonomic Stainless Steel Digging Fork that is $45 on Amazon. Here is a link to it.

https://www.amazon.com/Radius-Garden-203-Ergonomic-Stainless...
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
"As for me and my house, we will se
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Keeps Sheep Daylilies Irises Hostas Hybridizer
Cat Lover Hummingbirder Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Lalambchop1
Sep 3, 2016 1:35 PM CST
Thanks Arlene. That's just the one I was looking at.
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Mary Anne Jay
Wentworth, NS, Canada (Zone 5a)
Region: Canadian
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Raven
Sep 3, 2016 2:14 PM CST
Lee Valley Tools also sell this spade but they sell one which has shorter tines. That is the one I have and I love it. They are all about the same price. The shorter one is just right for my shorter body Smiling
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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crawgarden
Sep 3, 2016 2:18 PM CST
I like the craftsman products, if they break you take them back for a free replacement.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Sep 3, 2016 2:33 PM CST
Raven said:Lee Valley Tools also sell this spade but they sell one which has shorter tines. That is the one I have and I love it. They are all about the same price. The shorter one is just right for my shorter body Smiling


I tried the round handled one in the Lee Valley store but for some reason it didn't feel right so I got the regular stainless steel green handled border fork. It's narrower than a regular fork so lighter to use. I might have liked the round ergonomic one if I'd actually tried it in the garden, perhaps. Here is their selection including both types:

http://www.leevalley.com/US/garden/page.aspx?cat=2&p=64944

Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Birds
Garden Photography
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florange
Sep 3, 2016 2:37 PM CST
I'm 5'2" and the round handle works well for a short person who has carpel tunnel. I can move my hand to the best location on the handle to get the job done. What's funny that for a short person, I have longer legs so and in FL the plant roots go down quite far in the sand, so it fits the plants and it fits me. I also like that it is full ss because my last fork had a wooden handle that rotted due to moisture.
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
"As for me and my house, we will se
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Keeps Sheep Daylilies Irises Hostas Hybridizer
Cat Lover Hummingbirder Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Lalambchop1
Sep 3, 2016 4:41 PM CST
I ordered the radius and it will be here Monday. Can't wait to try it out. Thanks for all you help.
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Birds
Garden Photography
Image
florange
Sep 3, 2016 7:01 PM CST
I think you will really like it, Leslie! I've wanted one for a long time and finally broke down and got it.
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
"As for me and my house, we will se
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Keeps Sheep Daylilies Irises Hostas Hybridizer
Cat Lover Hummingbirder Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Lalambchop1
Sep 3, 2016 7:03 PM CST
I told hubby this week I wanted one for C'mas and was very surprised when he said go ahead and get it. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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touchofsky
Sep 4, 2016 2:48 PM CST
Lalambchop1 said:I told hubby this week I wanted one for C'mas and was very surprised when he said go ahead and get it. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!


He was probably afraid he would have to try and wrap it up for Christmas Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Birds
Garden Photography
Image
florange
Sep 4, 2016 3:15 PM CST
Plus, it is better to have a good fork at the beginning of planting season instead of in the middle of planting season.
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Sep 4, 2016 4:50 PM CST
I have amended clay soil, I haven't ever used a fork. I wonder if they would do well here. You lift so much soil with a spade.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Sep 4, 2016 5:27 PM CST
I do use a fork often, but the two I have are too short, I would prefer a four footer at least just for the extra lever effect. Make sure not to buy one with a cheap plastic handle attached with a single screw, using mine like a lever I snapped the plastic D shaped handle right off.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Sep 5, 2016 6:18 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1263066 (14)
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
"As for me and my house, we will se
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Keeps Sheep Daylilies Irises Hostas Hybridizer
Cat Lover Hummingbirder Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Lalambchop1
Sep 4, 2016 6:50 PM CST
Teresa,
Phil Reilly taught me to use a fork to dig daylilies and I've never looked back. They bring the plant up without a lot of extra soil and are easier on the roots.
When I'm redoing a bed I use them to turn the soil and break it up. They can be helpful if dividing overgrown clumps.

I can't wait to get my new one tomorrow. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Sep 5, 2016 1:56 AM CST
bluegrassmom said:I have amended clay soil, I haven't ever used a fork. I wonder if they would do well here. You lift so much soil with a spade.


For heavy soil you want a fork with heavy, forged tines. I prefer a fork for two reasons; you don't lose as many roots when you pry out a clump, and once the clump is out, you can sink two forks back-to-back and split it with less damage.

One forking tip I can offer is to be aware of how it reacts as you pry. If you happen to be putting all your weight on one tine because of a rock or tree root, you can bend it.

I can see where the circular handle might offer more hand positions, but with one of these things, your foot does all the pushing. RH's suggestion of the Craftsman fork with a lifetime guarantee is golden advice. It's also a few bucks cheaper than the "fancy" one made in China.

I have one of the Lee Valley stainless steel, green-handled trenching spades, and it's been outside (out of the sun) for at least 10 years now. Because it's out there with me, it gets far more use than one I'd have to go fetch every time I needed it.

[Last edited by CaliFlowers - Sep 6, 2016 5:28 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1263358 (16)
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Sep 5, 2016 3:57 AM CST
Ken, thanks for the tips. I may check and see if Sears has one in stock. I love tools, I have the short spade, miss the leverage. a ditching spade, love the knife / digging tool.

I feel like I might break a handle so free replacement would be a good thing! I always try to buy American made products if possible. Let put America back to work!!
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
"As for me and my house, we will se
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Keeps Sheep Daylilies Irises Hostas Hybridizer
Cat Lover Hummingbirder Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Lalambchop1
Sep 5, 2016 9:44 AM CST
Got the fork and am disappointed. I should have measured the head. The tine area is much narrower than I like. I'll have to send it back. Sad
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Image
bluegrassmom
Sep 5, 2016 10:06 AM CST
Did you order the one with the round handle? I have broken wooden handles before so I need a really strong one!
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
Image
CaliFlowers
Sep 5, 2016 10:15 AM CST
Lalambchop1 said:Got the fork and am disappointed. I should have measured the head. The tine area is much narrower than I like. I'll have to send it back. Sad


That's the thing about buying online. Like shoes and clothing, if the tool is an item that has to "fit", you never know how it will work out. Also, there are clues to quality construction and 'suitability to purpose' that aren't revealed in a picture.

User reviews can sometimes be helpful—particularly on Amazon, because theirs don't appear to be filtered as many others are—but you still have to weed out the shills, the chronically unsatisfied, as well as the easily pleased, such as the buyer who never used the item, but gives 5 stars because the shipping was fast.

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