As promised, here are a couple more good garden tools (one rake, one pitchfork) that I not only love, but promise your favorite gardener will too.
For years I have been guilty of buying the convenient and cheap tools that are easily found at the local big box hardware store. Sometimes there are some gems in that selection, but mostly, in my experience, you get less than what you pay for since they are poorly designed (in ways you just can’t understand until you use them) and they don’t last (and on some level you find this relieving since you are typically annoyed with it for some reason or another).
So investing in good tools is my latest strategy for making the work a little easier and the jobs of a garden more satisfying. This Seerboer Leaf Rake and this Dewit Farmers Boeren Fork are my favorite new additions.
I bought both of these at The Garden Tool Company (who I highly recommend for online purchasing!) It appears they may no longer carry the fork, but the Dewit website has a list of suppliers.
The last rake I had owned was 100% plastic – which meant that it was an easy target for my chewy dog. It also had a handle that was once covered in squishy “comfort foam”, but it soon shed that skin to exposed a plain black pipe. Besides the trouble with the molting “comfort foam”, there was the unforseen fact that the handle was simply too fat. I have bigger than average hands who should be able to handle that – but they ached after using it. The Seerboer rake’s wooden handle is perfectly comfortable to hold. And it is also really (really) long. The whole rake is nearly 70″ in length – which means is probably taller than you. It is perfect for long reaches to hard places. If you are a lover of design this lightweight rake with woo you with it its simple lines, pretty construction and general elegance – but if you don’t give 2p about design, you will probably love it because it light and nimble and made to last.
While some tools benefit from being fine and attenuated (like the rake) … others benefit from a hulking brutishness. The Boeren Fork weighs over 8 lbs and this tank of a tool is exactly what I needed when I went looking for something that will not break under the stress of turning a heavy compost pile, prying rocks from the earth, and splitting grasses in the garden. This indestructible and heavyweight fork is perfect for all of these tasks; the weight helps you to gather the gravitational umph that is often needed when hacking away at something. But it is also useful for aerating the grass and flower beds (all pitchforks can be used for this – but this one self sinks – and the tines are big – making more productive holes). I’ve used it for everything I thought I would, but I also harvested potatoes with it, tilled a few beds and even found it handy for prying open a stuck barn door.
Next year I plan to buy a few more ‘forever’ tools… if you have some that you recommend, we’d all love to hear about them in the comments.
image by rochelle greayer