My favorite gardening tool, the soil knife

by Caroline Brown

I was thinking about garden tools because as part of your blogger profile, Blotanical asks about your favorites when you sign up. This made me think about how much I really do love my soil knife.

I’m not doing an advertisement for anyone, so I won’t say the brand, though you can probably see the logo if you have good eyes. I think that everyone who isn’t using an old steak knife probably has this same tool!

It’s hard to tell from the pic, but it has one sharp edge and one serrated edge. The 6 inch blade is stainless steel and the handle is one piece of molded “composite,” otherwise known as plastic. Even so, it’s made really well, is a solid tool, and is reasonably priced. A soil knife has a lot of practical uses. I use it to get plants out of pots and to free roots from unwieldy root balls, and it’s good for dividing plants. I also use it for cutting out root masses from dead plants or trees that get in the way when I’m digging planting holes. In a pinch you can use it to pry weeds or make impromptu bulb holes.

I salute my soil knife and can’t wait to start using it soon. I’m interested in hearing about other gardeners’ favorite tools. Tell me about yours when you get the chance.


7 Comments to “My favorite gardening tool, the soil knife”

  1. I love a long handled fork. It is so useful for weeding without getting down on my knees. I loosen the soil all round the weed then only stoop to pick it up and bin it.

  2. I’ve been gardening for years and didn’t know you could get a specialised soil knife. I have half a dozen different knives that I use around the garden, picking whichever one seems most appropriate at the time or whichever is to hand.

    My favourite tool? Lilymarlene could probably guess what I’m going to answer…

    The hoe.

    Not the weeding type hoe that most British gardeners know, but the long-handled, big, heavy agricultural hoe that’s largely gone out of fashion in the UK. My father and both grandfathers used them back in Australia for just about every digging job imaginable, and I’m the same.

    I like my spades and forks, but if I had to pick one tool it would be a long-handled, heavy agricultural hoe.

  3. oh boy, just one? I hope this isn’t cheating: I’m going to give 2 but each is for a different ‘type’ of gardening šŸ™‚

    I love my garden fork too and it’s a staple in my vegetable garden or when I’m digging out perennials.

    But the garden tool I use the most, for all my flowers, is my hand rake. You know the rake that looks like someone’s arthritic hand. I use that for general weeding because it’s a good size for always having handy, no long handles to accidently bop the dog’s head. It moves the soil and loosens the weeds so I can just lift the nasties right off yet I haven’t harmed the roots of the plants. Truth be told, if I was to pick just one, this would be it.

  4. I have two. A very heavy duty trowel which I purchased a number of years ago. And a tool I just picked up last year called a port shovel. It is sort of like a regular shovel, except it is about half the size, and has a three foot handle. Very handy for division of perennials or digging bulbs in a close spaced garden. I use it all the time.

  5. Caroline: I purchased that exact knife at the NEGrows Show just last month! I am looking forward to its’ many uses and am glad to hear you like it so much!

  6. My favourite tool is a punjabi garden tool that is wonderful for weeding in raised beds:

  7. Does Stonehead / anyone else know where to buy an agricultural hoe in the UK? I’ve been converted by seeing someone using one, and he said he got his from Africa.

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