Many of us ‘shut our gardens down’ over the Winter months, waiting for the cold, wet months to finish and for the sunshine and warmth of Spring to arrive.

However, if you are keen to do more at this time of year one of the jobs that can produce really good results for your Spring and Summer garden is Autumn digging. Late November or early December is the perfect time of year to dig over heavy soils before the first frosts arrive, especially if your soil condition is poor as you will be able to add organic matter at the same time as digging.

Digging methods fall into three categories – single digging, double digging and simple digging. Single digging requires you to dig trenches to a spade’s depth, turning the soil from one trench into the next as you go. This method works well in regular shaped plots and when you need to add organic matter. Double digging is mainly used when drainage needs to be improved, or on unbroken ground that has never been cultivated. This method involves digging deeper trenches of two spade’s depth and dividing the topsoil and subsoil levels, adding them to subsequent trenches while maintaining their separate layers (please note double digging is very tiring). Simple digging just requires the gardener to lift a spade of soil before dropping it back into its original position and is useful in planted plots or ones that are of an irregular shape.

Once you have decided which method of digging you are going to employ, selecting the right tool for the job is essential to avoid discomfort or injury. Bulldog Tools manufacture a large range of digging spades and forks in various sizes, weights and with different handle choices to suit all types of gardener.

The general rule is that a larger, heavier spade or fork will break up the soil more easily and carry more material, but a smaller, lighter tool will allow the user to work more quickly and will require less strength. Solid forged spades and forks will be slightly heavier, are tougher and will last longer (particularly when digging heavier clay soils) whilst stainless steel tools are lighter and will reduce soil adhesion on the blade. Choosing a spade or a fork with the right length of handle will also add to your comfort during use. We utilise ‘A’ grade hickory in many of our handles which not only makes our tools strong, but also means we can offer a wide range of handle lengths to suit every size of gardener including long straight handles of 48″ for those with back problems or who prefer that style.

If you are at all unsure about which spade or fork you need we would suggest that you use the ‘Find a Bulldog Stockist’ function on this website which will allow you to select a retailer of our tools in your local area and mean you can ‘try out’ a spade or fork before you buy it. Alternatively, many of our mail order suppliers have telephone numbers you can ring for helpful advice on selecting the right Bulldog Tool for you.

You can see the entire range of Bulldog spades and forks here.

Posted in About Bulldog By Stuart Elsom On 14th November 2014

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