Advice on shovels

Old 05-20-17, 05:20 PM
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Advice on shovels

I'm new at gardening and have just got a small community garden bed. I'll mostly be planting vegetables and will be getting a pointed shovel.

Would like guidance on the shovel length: The beds are about 1' off the ground.

My back can sometimes get strained. I have a choice of 2 shovels--one is about 3' long and the other about 6'. Recommendations?
Old 05-20-17, 05:39 PM
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Welcome to the forums! A full size shovel may not be what you need, anyway with it raised off the ground. Will you be standing in the raised bed to till it or along side? Control wise and considering your back problems look into a D handle shovel. Easier to handle and not too long. HDX 10.75 in. D-Handle Utility Shovel-2531800 - The Home Depot
Old 05-20-17, 06:29 PM
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My experience with shovels is that longer straight handled shovels are easier on my back because there is less reaching.
Here is a shovel type to consider if you do not have a lot of dirt to move.
It has a small spade to get into tight spaces and is easier to lift than a full size one.
Old 05-21-17, 04:20 AM
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I have raised bed garden beds. If there is real digging to do like turning the soil or mixing in compost I stand in the raised bed and use a shovel with a long handle. This allows you to stand more vertically and use your foot/leg to push the shovel into the ground minimizing strain on my back. Once the soil in a raised bed is ammended and being planted or worked each season it doesn't get compacted and hard so the rest of the time I just use a hand trowel.

I generally only go for a shorter D handle shovel when I need to do more precise digging like making a hole or trench with nice flat bottom. The shorter length and D handle give more fine control over the shovel face but also tends to force me into a more hunched over position and I use my upper body more.
Old 05-22-17, 07:51 AM
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My back is starting to hurt already just thinking about having to dig with a 3' shovel. Get the longer handle.

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