Choosing the Right Shovel for Your Garden

A man uses a shovel.

Tending a garden doesn’t have to be a back-breaking task when you have the right shovel. Knowing which shovel to buy when shopping for one at a home or hardware store can be difficult due to the various types available. Choose the right tool for your gardening needs with the following guide on the common types of shovels.

Garden Shovel

The garden shovel is often dependable for landscaping jobs. This heart-shaped shovel is lightweight with its sharp point for breaking up clumps of dirt. It can perform for all of your gardening needs but with limitations due to its shape and workload capabilities.

Round Point Shovel

This is a general use shovel that can be used for digging, scooping, and transporting around your garden. It is heavier than the garden shovel but shares the same design with a rounded tip and has a bowl-type shaft. Also, due to his heavier weight, it can be used for penetrating tougher soil and carrying heavier loads.

Square Point Shovel

The square point shovel is also known as the coal or barn shovel and is used when lifting lighter materials such as snow or fine soil like sand. It has a squared-edge design for evening the edges of soil near a walkway or to square off a ditch. The flat shaft comes in handy when cleaning up small piles in your garden.

Trenching (Irrigation) Shovel

A trenching shovel is used for making ditches to provide water for vegetation. You can also use it when planting things in your garden that require a distinctive vertical hole since the shaft on the trenching shovel is straight. This kind of shovel is good in small spaces where you need to make a deep hole without disrupting plants close to your work area.

Scoop Shovel

Scoop shovels are used when digging large amounts. They are recognizable by a deep, curved shaft for lifting and carrying dry materials like manure. Be careful when choosing this shovel when you have large, wet volumes to work with if you don’t want a backache.

Transplanting Spade

The transplanting spade can be used to transfer shrubs and trees around your landscape. The design of the transplanting spade is so that it will not disturb the roots of your plants with its round tip and narrow shaft.


After the purpose of a shovel in your garden has been determined, you still need to decide which handle will work best for your requirements. Handles are either made of fiberglass or wood, like ash which is a hardwood, with wooden handles more likely to crack and break if stored outside in extreme temperatures. Fiberglass handles are long-lasting in normal conditions and come in a variety of colors, including wood grain finishes.

The length of a shovel’s handle is another consideration when buying one. The longer the handle, the more leverage you will have when working your garden, especially when lifting and carrying dirt and debris. Better leverage means easier work. A shorter handle can be used for smaller jobs on the floor of your garden so choose shovels based on handle lengths accordingly.