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Digging problem

Hi guys, I have a large patch of ground that half of is covered in weeds and the other is full of shrubs. I have cut most of the shrubs away and now want to dig the whole lot up, however, the sandy soil I have seems to be rock hard and I can't get a spade through it. Any suggestions? Cheers Jo


  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619
    A mattock can be very useful in situations like this.
  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,731

    Or a crowbar.

  • Jo, try a hire firm for a motivator they would know what size and for a few hours or a days hire worth it. They deliver and pick up and will give you or some one a run through on how to use it.
    Or B&Q sell pick axes cheap, I have one, you can use the pointed end to break up the ground or the spade end you whack it in then use the handle as a lever.
    It will be hard graft so have you got a handy man gardener near who would turn it for you.


  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619
    I think Frank meant rotovator, which are excellent tools if you don't have any perennial weeds in the area you want to cultivate.
  • Thanks guys. Looks like its hard graft whichever way I do it.
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,989

    Simplest thing to use is a garden fork with sharp points on the tines. Don't try breaking up the clods leave that to the winter weather.

  • figrat wrote (see)
    I think Frank meant rotovator, which are excellent tools if you don't have any perennial weeds in the area you want to cultivate.

    Yes Figrat although maybe a motivator to get things moving, you have to set yourself up for a period of hard graft so a bit of motivation is probably the answer. Six Mars Bars please and give me the spade.


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,554

    Your soil may well be choked with roots from the shrubs and weeds so a rotivator may also be hard work.  As berghill says, a decent fork will pierce the soil more easily than a spade.  A stainless steel one is better than an ordinary metal one and a small one is better for your back than a large one.

    Whatever you decide, break the soil up into chunks before the winter frosts, toss on loads of well rotted manure or garden compost and leave the worms and frosts to sort it out over winter.  It'll then be easier to work in the spring but you'll have to make sure any new plants are kept watered over their first year as their roots won't have had time to penetrate deep for water and nutrients..

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I bought a digging hoe recently and have no idea how I managed before. It digs out roots, chops them up and digs up compacted soil. I use a solid steel pole to lift stumps and feel like I am starting to see the end now. I don't have a man though, I have a boy and a young woman - my children and we manage with that.


  • Where can i get a motivator from? and can it be male

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