Well for many years I had a slight problem weeding, well apart from weeding itself! It was finding the right tool to use, hand forks, well they dug into my palm of my hand causing blisters the size of well of course the size of handle, the vibrations from hitting the hand fork into the soil, inflamed my tendinitis in my wrists and arm. They are good for a hours weeding but all day nah, such a small working area as well from them, then there’s a border fork, so much better, bigger working area, easier to dig down to the odd deeper root but such a pain with a big handle, just getting in the way when trying to weed on your hands and knees. I wanted something in between and I could never find anything that was ideal, until one day looking online at crocus store, when I came across DeWits border handfork, almost as wide as a border fork at 17cm wide, but with a short dumpy handle giving it a total length of 52cm, even better there was a spade as well. The fork and spade are both hand build in Holland, by a company that’s been around since 1898 and still owned by the family. It’s made from boron steel, one of the toughest out there, they are shaped perfectly and unlike most modern tools, well sharpened and even nicer, given a nice black patina finish, that again is so much nicer that the modern stuff that grips and holds onto the soil so badly. The handles are made of ash and fitted into the socket using a handy bolt, ideal to tighten up if the wood shrinks. Both hand made tools have the their short handles finished with a T shape. What makes these tools idea, is that they are designed for working on your knees or in the very popular raised beds
So how did I get on with them? Well I have used them for the best part of two years now and they are still going strong, the fork has been prefect for all my hand weeding needs, light, very sharp, so strong and a delight to use, the small T shape handle fits prefectly in my hand, the shape reduces the stresses and shocks from the impact of the tool on the ground, making it easier for my wrists as well. The sharp points easily penetrate the hardest of ground, the width of the prongs are indeed prefect for weeding around plants and for not taking up that much soil. They are so good for any gardening work on your hands and knees, from removing or lifting up herbaceous plants, using the handle as a lever to take out even the most stubborn of plant and even lifting the odd big shrub where it’s too close to others or close to a wall, spots where it’s very difficult to get to with a normal size fork. It’s such a useful little tool and has survived without any damaged after all I have put it though! The spade hasn’t been used as much and I found ideal for planting out small bareroot plants, and pots up to 3ltr is with ease, even sliced though roots of brambles in tight spots. All again without any problem. Only fault I have had, is the handle on the spade goes a little loose when it’s dry, could do with a little more glue, might even get it swapped as they both come with a lifetime guarantee from DeWit.
In all I love my border hand tools, they are prefect for my gardening needs when working on my hands and knees, no matter what task I am doing with them. The tools themselves are quality made and that quality comes though and they are really a joy to use at all times in the garden
If you would like them, they cost £24.99 for the fork and £29.99 for the spadeand can be brought from crocus, and from the RHS shops. The rathe excellent DeWit holds some great other tool eye candy for the gardener who love to use quality tools.