My Essential Hand Cultivator
This is a tool beloved of many gardeners but I confess I rarely use it preferring my multi-tool multi-tool Korean Ho-Mi or EZ-Digger. I've only had 2 in my 30 years of gardening as they're a tough tool (I lost the first one in a move) and this is my go-to hand cultivating tool.
Having said that - each to their own and, as I said, there are a lot of gardeners who carry these around faithfully.
The head and neck should ideally be forged in one piece for maximum strength or firmly and securely welded together.
Handles vary in length and you should chose one that you comfortable with. Some handles can be too short making them difficult and uncomfortable to use.
I prefer wooden handles on all my tools but these tend to be more expensive than plastic or metal handled hand tools.
The newer ergonomic designs - easier on the hands and wrists - are also quite popular and I've used some of these successfully on trials. I actually have this Fiskar's tool hanging on my "quick-reach" pegboard in the tool shed in case Mayo (who prefers different tools than I do) wants to use a hand cultivator.
What Do You Use This Tool For
The hand cultivator is used for general weeding and breaking the surface of compacted soil in vegetable plots and between closely planted flowers and shrubs.
It is generally used for quick cultivating jobs - while a hoe would be used for larger jobs.
I carry mine on a belt loop and have it handy for quick jobs whenever I need it. I find if I carry it with me as I work, I get the job doen while if I leave it in a wheelbarrow or tool shed, I tend not to go and get it. So plan on being able to carry the hand cultivator with you. Between this tool and my pruning shears (also on a belt loop) I am able to get most of the garden maintenance done without having to go and get specialized tools.
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