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Fork help!


I'm in need of a new digging fork, mostly for lifting reasonably established plants ready for dividing.  I've read so many reviews online and can't seem to find any consensus!

I'm not tall (5'5")  and would prefer something sturdy but not too heavy.  The soil here isn't too claggy but there's still some improver working it's way into some compacted topsoil in places. 

Can anyone please recommend a fork or brand they're happy with?

My crowded plants and my back will thank you in the Spring!



  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,340
    Border forks are a smaller type of fork. Sometimes called a ladies’ border fork.

    Bulldog is a good brand. Depends on how much you want to spend and how often you are going to use it.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 6,151
    Can’t make any specific recommendations as my fork is 40 years old and the label long since worn off. As a 5 foot nothing weak and feeble 😉😁 woman I do understand the problem.

    Regular border forks tend to be too long and too heavy so I would definitely only look at ‘ladies border forks’. They tend to have a shorter handle and the actual tines are maybe a bit shorter and maybe one fewer - thereby reducing the weight of the tool.

    This is one tool I wouldn’t buy online - you really need to feel the heft of the tool. The shape of the handle is important too. I can only use the D handles. Where (roughly) do you live? Perhaps somebody can recommend a local garden or tool centre with a good range of tools on display.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,923
    I've had a Bulldog border fork with wooden shaft for 5-6 years and have been very pleased with it.
    I also have a bigger fork that I've had for 30+ years, but as above, the label on that has long disappeared
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Tanty2Tanty2 Posts: 125
    Thanks all for the advice, I really appreciate it :)  Off to shop Bulldog, I think...
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 28,143
    I've broken a spade but I'm going to ask if anyone has a spare one on freecycle before committing to a purchase.
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,105
    I think that the job of moving plants is the hardest a garden fork has to do especially when the plant is well established and the soil compact, I have broken many forks and don't trust myself to use one on anything other than forking the ground over. For moving anything other than shallow rooted plants I would favour a pick/mattock but then I am hamfisted.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 4,696
    I have both the full-size and border bulldog forks and can also recommended them, they are maybe a bit heavier than some but are very robust. My ground is pretty tough stony clay and I haven’t managed to bend a tine yet, despite trying very hard  :)  For established shrubs and perennials I would use a spade, tho, to dig a trench around and under and to lift them...
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