If you’re a gardener, you’ll agree with me that clay soil can be very frustrating to work with, and very few plants thrive in it. However, you can grow vegetables and flowers to your desire if you improve on the clay soil.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the best shovel for digging in clay. I call the clay soil “Special” because you have to improve on it and care for it like a baby so that you can successfully grow plants.
Another reason why I call it special soil is because you can’t just use any type of shovel to dig in clay. Some shovels work better in clay. If you want to know more, then keep reading.
BEST SHOVEL FOR PLANTING TREES
When it comes to digging the soil, there are different types of digging tools that can be used to do that job.
Tools like gardening fork, spade, shovel, hoe, trowel, mattock, planting auger, a post hole digger, folding shovel, digging knife, power tillers, etc can all be used to dig the soil.
Shovel blades come in different shapes and sizes. They’re generally used for digging, but they also perform different tasks.
Apart from the pointed, square, and round blades, there’s a special shovel used for planting trees. This type of shovel has a long and narrow blade than others, and the blade allows you to dig deep into the ground.
If you want to plant trees and you’re looking for the best shovel for planting trees, then take a look at these products below.
FORESTRY SUPPLIERS LONG HANDLE PLANTING SHOVEL
- This tree planting shovel is made of fiberglass and rubber.
- It can be used to plant pine or hardwoods.
- Shovel blade is 12”L x 6-1/2”W with reinforcement plate welded on the back.
JIM-GEM SPEEDY DIBBLE TREE PLANTING BAR TOOL
- Even if you use this tool to plant 500 trees, the dibble will still look like it just came out of the box.
- It’s great for planting evergreen seedlings and pine seedlings in mostly hard ground/clay.
- Its lightweight, and shorter length allow for fast and easy tree planting.
- This tool works well in variety of soils, especially light to medium and moist soil.
READ ALSO: TROWEL VS SPADE
BEST TOOL FOR DIGGING IN CLAY
Digging is not an enjoyable garden chore, especially when you’re digging in clay. But with the right tools, it will be less stressful, difficult, and more enjoyable.
Different tools can be used for digging, but not all tools can be used for digging in clay soil. Now, let us talk about the best tool for digging in clay.
One important tool every gardener should have is a shovel. What kind of shovel do you need for clay soil? You need a shovel that is nicely pointed and narrow. For my clay soil, I use Spear Head SpadeGardening Shovel. This shovel made work easy for me and I love it.
SPEAR HEAD SPADE GARDENING SHOVEL
- It reduces digging effort in the toughest soil conditions.
- It can be used for all gardening, landscaping and digging task.
- It’s very suited for rocky, clay and complicated soil.
- The handle is comfortable. The large soft cushioned D-grip offers comfort and better leverage for gloved and ungloved hands.
Another tool you’ll need to dig clay soil is a garden tiller. This is a good tool for breaking up compacted soil, preparing seedbeds, cultivating gardens and flower beds.
I recently purchased this electric garden tiller and it has been so amazing. I call it the beast of all beasts.
SUN JOE TJ604E 16-INCH 13.5 AMP ELECTRIC GARDEN TILLER
- This is a powerful 13.5-amp motor that quickly pulverizes dirt, effortlessly slicing through the soil at 370 RMP, ensuring maximum aeration and perfectly preparing the seed beds for planting.
- With this electric tiller, you can cultivate area 16 inches wide and up to 8 inches deep in seconds.
- Sun Joe tames the toughest yard and garden task with more effort and less strain.
- Handle folds for convenient storage and easy transport.
BEST SHOVEL FOR DIGGING IN CLAY
If you’re looking for the best shovel for digging in clay, then you are in the right place. It’s very easy and fun to dig in loose soil. When you’re digging in loose soil, you can use any type of shovel to work. This is not the same with clay soil.
Clay soil needs a special shovel (not a regular shovel) to dig the dry soil and penetrate the solid mass of compacted material with little effort.
When purchasing a shovel for digging in clay, go for a sturdy and resistant one. Below is the best shovel for digging in clay.
SPEAR HEAD SPADE – REINFORCED FIBERGLASS GARDENING SHOVEL
- This shovel is highly weather resistant, low maintenance, and non-conductive.
- The blade is made of high carbon manganese steel that is 33% thicker and 25% harder than normal shovels.
- Spear Head Spade garden shovel has a lightweight cushioned grip, designed to make it easier and more comfortable when doing tough digging.
- This shovel is designed to penetrate tough soil and cut roots.
BEST SHOVEL FOR SAND
What is a sand shovel? It is a tool that uses leverage to help a person move sand from one point to another. A sand shovel is similar to that of a spoon and it features a scoop and a handle.
The scooping section of a sand shovel may be round or square and are excellent for digging up dirt in the sand. A good example of a sand shovel is the children’s shovel.
This type of shovel comes in different shapes, colors, and sizes. They’re made of brightly colored plastic and may come with a bucket.
There are sand shovels for adults. This type of tool is not like the kid’s shovel because it is sturdy, used for lifting heavy shovelfuls of sand, and it’s identical to a snow shovel.
Below is the best shovel for sand.
BOND LH015 MINI D HANDLE SHOVEL
- This shovel is perfect for gardening, camping, off-road or beach use.
- Sharpened edges reduce the effort when breaking up tough dirt.
- The blade head is durable and heat treated.
- It is rust-resistant, strong, lightweight, and has a comfortable non-slip grip.
BEST SHOVEL FOR DIGGING IN ROCKY SOIL
When digging soil, you never can tell what you’ll find in it. As you keep digging, you’ll discover varying soil conditions. When you dig and find old foundations, rocks, tree roots, and other obstructions buried underneath your garden or lawn, it simply means that one tool cannot do the job alone.
Apart from a shovel, you’ll also need tools such as a digging bar, a pickaxe, a mattock, spade, grub hoe, pinch bar, axe, and hatchet. These tools will help you loosen the soil especially when you encounter unexpected rocks and large roots.
If your soil is rocky, and you’re looking for the perfect shovel that will make digging easy for you, below is the best shovel for digging in rocky soil.
LIL’ DIGGER 29″ HEAVY DUTY DOUBLE SERRATED SHOVEL
- The blade of this shovel is 4″ x 8″ with a slight angle to the sides to engage the serrated saw teeth when pushing into the soil.
- The long center spine on the blade adds rigidity and strength.
- It’s super lightweight and tough.
- Larger steps provide a two-to-one advantage in applying pressure to the point.
- Roots and rocky soil giving you fits? Look no further! This the right shovel for you.
HOW TO DIG A TRENCH IN CLAY
It can be challenging to plant a garden and dig trenches in hard soil, clay soil, rocky soil, or soil filled with lots of roots. But with the right tool, you can successfully dig a trench in clay.
In other for you to successfully dig a trench in clay, you’ll need some tools and essentials such as trenching shovel, marking paint, pick mattock, garden hoe, and measuring tape.
Before you start digging, please put on your work glove. It will protect your hands from blisters. Now let’s dig!
- Mark your trench path. Use the marking paint to mark your trench path because it will help you follow your desired path.
- After marking, you can start your excavation with a trenching shovel. Have a bucket of warm water by your side and dip the shovel in the water before each time the shovel is thrust into the dirt. This will stop the clay from sticking to the shovel.
- If you encounter any root, rock, or hard ground, use your pick mattock. Use the pick side to remove roots and rocks, and use the mattock side to shape and widen your trench if it is deep.
- After loosening and excavating the soil with a trench shovel and a pick mattock, you can use a hoe to move the loose dirt from the trench.
BEST SHOVEL FOR MOVING MULCH
What is a mulch? It’s a layer of something such as old leaves, small pieces of wood, or manure which you put on the soil around plants in other to protect and help them to grow.
Apart from protecting and helping plants to grow, mulching makes your garden look neat and reduces the amount of time spent weeding and watering.
Mulch also reduces evaporation, maintains even soil temperature, prevents erosion, controls weeds, and enriches the soil.
I once used my round shovel and square-point shovel to move mulch and found out that the square-point shovel did a better job.
Below is the best shovel for moving mulch.
FOREST HILL MANUFACTURING HOMEOWNER ALUMINUM SCOOP SHOVEL (48-INCH)
- This shovel is lightweight and ideal for mulch, snow, compost, and general backyard use.
- The Poly-D grip handle has been developed with a texture that won’t slip or break.
- The shaft is crafted for superior durability and longevity.
- This shovel is made in USA.
BEST SHOVEL FOR DIGGING UP SOD
I know why you are looking for the best shovel for digging up sod. You are because you want to dip up sod move it elsewhere so that your healthy lawn will be prevented from going to waste.
Sod, also known as turf simply means grass and a small part of the soil beneath it held together by the root system or a piece of thin material or a thin layer of soil.
Sod is not just a total waste. They are very useful and can be installed in places such as recreational fields, lawns (for schools, businesses, and homes), and golf courses.
Apart from installing sod as an appealing ground cover, it can be installed in other to prevent soil erosion, and flood and enhance water and air quality.
Below is the best shovel for digging up sod.
ROAMWILD MULTI-DIGGER GARDEN SPADE
- The ergonomic large grip gives more control and flexibility to different types and styles of digging and shoveling work.
- The unique arrow head shaped head with large surface area foot plates and root cutting edge allows you to dig through sod and root with ease.
- Dual grip handle gives ultimate power and control with easy use.
- The design of this shovel allows the user to translate power directly into the ground where matters, significantly reducing digging efforts by up to 80%.
BEST DIGGING SHOVEL 2020
A shovel is a tool for digging, lifting, and moving bulk materials such as coal, soil, snow, gravel, or sand. Most shovels are hand tools consisting of a broad blade fixed to a medium-length handle.
Shovel blades are usually made of sheet steel or hard plastics and they’re very strong. As long as you have a backyard, a shovel is important for your house, and a very resourceful tool in case you need to dig up some dirt, snow, etc.
The best digging shovel 2020 is:
FISKARS 96685935J LNG HNDL DIGGING SHOVEL
- This shovel is sturdy enough that you can trust it not to break when you get the blade up under a tough agave root.
- The extra-long hand helps in giving additional leverage foe prying.
- The blade of this shovel is strong and reinforced by large, welded foot stops.
- The handle is a single piece of steel welded to the scoop, not attached with screws or bolts.
WHAT DO YOU USE TO DIG CLAY?
A shovel, spade, and a digging fork can be used to dig clay. A shovel and a spade can be is used for digging and moving loose granular materials or bulk materials from one point to another, digging trenches, slicing and lifting sod, digging straight-edged holes, etc.
A garden fork is used for loosening, lifting, and turning over soil.
WHAT IS THE BEST TOOL TO BREAK UP CLAY SOIL
The best tool to break up clay soil is a rototiller. It breaks up the soil and loosens soil prior to planting, keeping non-planted areas and pathways aerated during the growing season.