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Friday, May 2, 2008

A Transplant Spade or A Hoe Lot Of Wonderful

My favorite garden tool is a transplant spade that I have used for over 15 years. Like the much loved Velveteen Rabbit he has lost some of his fur....


As you can see, he has developed a crack and is no longer able to pry stones from planting holes without cracking completely down the center. Although spades aren't typically used to pry stones from planting holes...it's necessity in this yard; born from the gardener's habit of not planning ahead and leaving the keys to the garden shed inside.

It is abuse to continue to use him? I think not! I love this spade and have searched far and wide for his twin. Believe it or not, he was found at a Tuesday Morning store, not a fancy garden center. Wish I had gotten two of him. Have you seen his twin? Or maybe a close relative... Please let me know!

So, unable to locate a transplanting spade locally, I have decided to order a light weight, ergonomic transplanter from a Garden supply internet catalog. Wish me luck. Purchasing a tool on line without trying it out for weight and balance in your hands is a lot like buying a couch with out sitting on it. I will keep you updated.


Thank you Carol from May Dreams Gardens for organizing the Garden Bloggers' Hoe Down

Gail

27 comments:

  1. Yes, that transplant spade looks like it is ready for a well-earned retirement.

    And it is true what you wrote about ordering tools online without being able to hold them, test them out, etc. It's a bit of a risk, but I've gotten some very good garden tools, and hoes, that way.

    Your transplant spade is sure welcome at the Hoe Down!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  2. Thanks Carol for a warm hoe down welcome...I do love that Transplant Spade!

    Gail

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  3. I will keep looking Tina!

    Gail

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  4. It looks exactly like mine that I bought at Sears.

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  5. I will keep my eyes peeled for his twin! Good luck with the replacement.

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  6. BTW hardware stores seem to usually call this type of shovel a "drain spade" although in my family it was always called a "sharpshooter."

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  7. Bill,
    I know they do tend to call it that...this one has a shorter blade (?) What is the technical term for the working part of the spade?
    Is yours a fiberglass handle?

    Gail

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  8. Layanee, Why thank you...I am going to a "Fancy" Garden Center to check once more!

    gail

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  9. I should get a transplant spade. I use my big 'ole shovel for everything.

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  10. Pam's right; I need one of these, too. I use my spading fork, or whatever it is called, for everything, but this spade would be much better for transplanting. Let us know how the shopping goes.

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  11. Hi Gail, enjoyable story of your beloved tool. I have a similar, maybe smaller spade that I can't live without. I think it was ordered from White Flower Farm. All other spades had a handle that was too long for my little short arms to use properly. Hope you got some good rain, but no damaging storms. We got about one third of an inch is all, no damage.

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  12. Pam,

    The TS is the best to use in the tighter quarters of a perennial garden...I find the big shovels too big.


    gail

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  13. Rose,

    I will, I never made it to the nursery yesterday, maybe today! But I will keep ypu informed and post a photo...

    Gail

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  14. Frances,

    I don't know where they measure rainfall amounts; it was a deluge but they say we got a third, too. It rained all day and even during the night. Oh well, any rain helps. You are so right, the right size garden tool is extremely important.

    Gail

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  15. Hey gail-- I like the sound of this handy tool's job description... if I find its twin I wouldn't mind picking one up for myself.

    Hope your internet order works out too. I'm a huge fan of internet shopping only with tools it is one of the things you need to "try on".
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
    Meems @ HoeandShovel

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  16. Ergonomic; that is a vocabulary word us middle agers latch on to; we look forward to the results of your online order.

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  17. Meems,

    I will continue to look...if I find its twin I will let you know! I did have a nice wekend, hope you did as well.

    gail

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  18. Your spade looks well used. I wonder if there is an easy way to replace the broken handle.... Or fix it? If it were up to me I'd use some glue to seal the crack and maybe some duct tape as a reinforcement. Cheesehead says I'm the cheapest person he knows. LOL!

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  19. cinj,

    That is funny! I use it everyday and
    just don't use it for heavy duty work, like prying out rocks.

    Gail

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  20. Gail, your shovel looks very similar to mine, I couldn't live without it.

    My darling pitchfork has the same crack. Someday I will have to break down and buy a new one :-(

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  21. Nope, I haven't seen its twin either. So annoying isn't it when you find a good tool but cannot find a decent recplacement when the times comes. Oh well, perhaps the ergonomic whatsit will do the trick.

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  22. A trusty ol'spade indeed. I don't have one but it looks like it would be great for edging.

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  23. melanie,

    It's had the crack for years and I wonder when it will finally split! I really do like it, but maybe it's what I am used to using...

    Gail

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  24. Yolanda E,

    Yes it is, should we buy two of everything we love...and become super consumers! Probably not and I think I shall wait until I can try one out before buying.

    Gail

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  25. dave,

    It is my trusty sidekick!

    Gail

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  26. Good luck with finding the twin, Gail - I've heard them called a "shooter" by gardeners here... and a "poacher's spade" elsewhere. I love the one I found at a hardware store. It's pretty long so is probably the drain version.

    For prying rocks we use a 6-foot long, heavy pry bar - something my relocator advised me to buy while my husband and I were looking for our first house in Texas 9 years ago.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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