Spring Garden Shovel vs. Spade

The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway.
-Michael Pollan

When the colder temperatures of winter draw back and allow the warm spring sun to awaken the little buds and sprouts of the garden, we are reminded of Michael Pollan’s suggestion that we can meet nature halfway. Everything within the garden seems to greet us and as the new growth works to establish itself in our thawing soil, and we embrace the opportunity to do our part to make the garden the most comfortable place for our plants to take root. There are many steps that go into planting a beautiful garden, be it a flower-filled sanctuary or a group of food-providing plants in the corner of your yard, but the primary step is preparing your soil. To tackle the first step of garden prep, we use the Barebones Shovel, a multi-purpose tool that goes above and beyond most digging tools.

There is great variety in the world of garden tools, from shovels to spades, square heads to round heads, and even among the materials used to construct them. When looking at them at face value, there may not seem to be a huge difference between a shovel vs. a garden spade, but the two tools are used for unique purposes. Most spades are made with a flat or square tip that helps scrape weeds or gravel away, and the blade has a very flat angle, which is excellent for edging. A shovel is a powerful digging tool; it has an angled blade that scoops dirt and other materials away, and the sharp edge easily slices into most soils. Other digging tools include the garden hoe that can be used like the spade to skim away weeds, the adze that can be used for digging ditches, and the rake that gathers items like leaves or grass clippings.

The Barebones Shovel is made with a special feature that enables it to also be used for trenching. It’s crafted in the likeness of the shovel that was used by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s for forest management and flood control. The multipurpose shovel has a three-way locking collar that makes it possible to dig in all types of soil, or it can lock the angle of the head at 90 degrees so it can cut waterways for irrigation, and it also enables the head to fold flat to the handle for an easy storage solution. The head is made with sharpened Manganese steel that slices through roots as well as it scoops, and the steel D-ring grip on the end of the Beechwood handle is accented with an additional piece of Beechwood for a strong and comfortable grasp.

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The benefits of digging into a flowerbed or a garden go beyond the delightful sight of colorful blooms, and even past the resulting fresh produce or vegetables. Gardening, including planting and tending to plants, has been proven to decrease stress and brighten moods, on top of the many other health benefits that come with being in the fresh air under the sun. Adding to those many great benefits, gardening with the Barebones shovel is fun. It makes it easy to turn soil and dig ditches, and quickly move onto the next best steps of gardening - planting and harvesting.

When it comes time to sow seeds, Barebones offers a wide selection of smaller hand tools that will support most planting and garden-tending needs. The Barebones Cultivator is ideal for grooming small patches of rough dirt, or for clearing weeds within a garden bed. The three tines are made with stainless steel to prevent rust, and the ergonomic wooden handle prevents fatigue, so your tool and your hands will last for many seasons. If there is hard and sun-baked soil to tend, the hand-held Square Hoe by Barebones has a sharpened, heat-treated steel blade that can break through the crust and slice through tough roots without being rough on hands. Finally, for planting smaller bulbs, or digging spaces for seeds, the Barebones Spade has a pointed tip and slightly-upturned edges that help gradually disperse plant food or soil throughout the garden bed. When used altogether, the Barebones set of tools including the shovel, cultivator, spade, and square hoe can transform an unruly plot of land into a bountiful harvest or colorful sanctuary.

When it comes time to harvest your bounty, or if you want to clip a few flowers to place indoors, the Large Scissors and the Harvesting and Gathering Bag by Barebones are the best combination. Use the sharp garden shears to nip tough stems or slice across wide swaths of leafy greens, then gather your trimmings and nestle them into the removable liner of the waxed canvas harvest bag. The open top of the harvest bag protects long stems and wide blossoms while the multiway strap keeps you comfortable as you gather fresh flowers and ripe fruits and vegetables.

Tending and maintaining the order of a garden also helps maintain a healthy mind and body - and that’s the connection of nature meeting us halfway. When you do your best to help a plant take root and thrive, you will feel yourself blossoming and thriving as well.

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