The ballots are in and the votes have been counted. The winner of the Most Valuable Gardening Tool is………(drumroll) …………..the long handled round point shovel!
And, let me tell you folks, it wasn’t even close. Sure, there were some strong and worthy competitors in the category—the garden rake, the leaf rake, the spade, the trowel. A lot of votes even went to the long handled square point shovel.
But in the end, the judges got it right! The round point shovel is the tool you want to reach for when the chips are down—or when you want the chips to go down, or when you want the compost to go down, or when you want the soil to come up (as in digging a hole to plant a tree!).
That’s right. The round point shovel is the most trusted and most often used workhorse in your gardening shed.
Use it to dig holes when planting most of the larger plants in your home landscape—shade trees, fruit trees, all sorts of shrubs from boxwoods to yews, liriope, dwarf nandina, and hollies.
For adding smaller items into your landscape, such as annuals and bulbs, your hand trowel will work nicely.
Even so, before you break out the trowel to plant these smaller landscaping materials, you may want to use the round point shovel to dig up and loosen the soil in your planting beds—also, to shovel in and mix up soil additives such as peat moss, composted cow manure, and compost with the original topsoil of your beds.
And when it comes to working on existing beds, the round point shovel is a star player again. Need to remove, relocate, or divide some of the plants that have become crowded in your landscape? Grab your round point shovel and get to work.
Its rounded digging edge makes it idea for plunging into tough or compacted soil. The long handle of the shovel provides extra leverage to pry up the soil as you use your body weight to step downward on the top edges of the metal shovel surface.
The round point shovel is the perfect tool for digging up existing clumps of liriope, dividing them, and adding multiple new clumps back into your landscape.
When considering whether to use your round point or your square point shovel for a particular task--as a general rule the square point shovel is more useful for scooping up and moving loose materials like small landscaping pebbles or sand from a smooth surface, while the round point shovel is better for plunging into compacted or dense materials and soils.
In accepting the award for Most Valuable Gardening Tool, the round point shovel remained ever humble and gracious—stunned into silence in fact, as no acceptance speech was given.
Those in attendance at the gala event, however, were in a celebratory mood and, following the presentation of awards, danced the evening away to the big band sounds of Fern Breezeway and his Urban Plowboys (always a favorite among the gardening set!).
The round point shovel was seen slipping quietly out the backdoor to return to the garden tool shed, where he would wait faithfully to be pressed into service again as the landscaping and gardening hero he truly is.