The Garden Trowel

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The garden trowel is one of several gardening tools that we as hobby or professional gardeners simply can’t live without, in the same was as garden gloves and possibly even weeding tools.

05-13-08_Trowel The garden trowel is nothing more in reality than, basically, a small shovel but it is a piece of equipment that gets almost constant use, especially during the busy spring gardening season and in the autumn as well.

In addition to the basic garden trowel most people are familiar with, some trowels have serrated edges on the shovel blade, and when it comes to handles, there are several options.

In fact there are many different kinds of shapes of garden trowels, at times for different purposes. A transplanting trowel is narrower than an ordinary trowel and, more often than not, has depth measure on the blade. This is a trowel for, as the name suggest, transplanting and not, necessarily, for other uses.

If you are buying a trowel for the first time, it is probably a good idea to visit the local garden center and give the trowel a “test drive”. It should feel comfortable and be well constructed with a sturdy handle and a carbon or forged steel blade. Don’t skimp on quality. If you prefer a hardwood handle make sure that it is smooth to prevent splinters with a reinforced interface between the handle and blade.

There are different types of trowels available and ensure you get the right one. A transplanting trowel is for doing that task and is not that suited for general purpose gardening use. For the ordinary gardening tasks you want a normal ordinary garden trowel and not a special one.

There are also different constructions of trowels to be had with gel handles and such, like the OXO Good Grip ones and the Thingamadig trowel of which a hardwood handled version also exists from Burgon & Ball.

Another option for finding garden trowels and other small garden tools is to visit flea markets (or antique and collectible shops that specialize in antique garden and farm tools). These tools were built to last so in most cases you can’t go wrong. Avoid too much rust (you can always get rid of a little bit of rust), worn and splintered handles, or excessive wear.

© 2012