Garden forks can be used to open up the ground to lift out plants, vegetables, and weeds. Garden forks, digging forks, and spading forks are garden tools with a medium length handle and four sturdy tines. They are used for turning, lifting, and loosening the soil when gardening.
They are like garden spades but are easier to use because the tines allow you to push it into the ground with ease. They can break up dirt clods, and pull out weeds and stones. Stones will not stop the penetration through the ground but they will not be able cut through the roots of the weeds as well as the garden spade.
These garden diggers are different than pitchforks which are generally used for moving manure, piled hay, or compost. They have a shorter wooden handle which has a “D” or “T” shaped end and the tines are shorter, thicker, flatter, and are spaced closer together. These forks not only have a wood handle but the digging end is generally made of carbon steel or stainless steel. There is a smaller version of a digging fork that is equipped with thinner tines that are shorter and closely spaced; this fork also has a full size handle and are called border forks.
The most common is the garden fork and it is used for digging in clay soils, uncultivated ground, digging out plants, aerating and turning the soil, and breaking clumps of soil. They do very well at digging and turning a compost pile. Another good digging fork is a border fork which is sometimes known as a ladies’ fork. The tool does the same job as the garden fork but its head is quite narrow making it easy to dig between rows of vegetables or flowers and in confined areas. It is a perfect tool for the female gardener and a smaller person.
There are a number of other types of garden forks that have specific uses in a garden. A potato fork has flat tines and is perfect for lifting out potatoes and root vegetables. A spiking fork is designed for aerating your lawns. A cultivator fork has curved prongs that are good for digging close to plants, shrubs, and trees; this garden tool is handy when digging the back end of beds without having to stand on the soil.
A Canterbury fork hoe is probably the best tool for the raised garden bed. It is actually a hoe that falls between a rake and a traditional garden fork. It is perfectly designed to interrupt weed growth by loosening the soil. This fork hoe has the proper width that allows breakage and disruption of the growth of the weed that is between the plants. It is sturdy enough to break up large clumps of soil. The Canterbury fork is classified as a fork hoe because of its 3 prongs which are constructed of forged steel and its handle is attached horizontally. It is a favorite tool for the gardener who raises vegetables in raised beds because the prongs are the right depth to till the soil. The four foot long handle of the tool lets the gardener work the entire area without getting on or in the raised beds.
After you have chosen all the garden forks you require the best thing to do is care for them so they will last you a long time. Garden forks need to be kept out of the elements; they should be cleaned after every use, and be hung on a wall and off the floor. All garden tools, not just the garden forks, should be properly cleaned after each use and stored away when not used in order to extend its live.