Shovel spade ladle: each tool has its own use for working the ground

Gardening can be a fun activity. You are delighted when everything is growing and your garden is lush. But this requires a certain investment, especially physical. It is important when buying your tools to choose the best quality and the most suitable tool. Each tool has its uses for working the soil, so it’s up to you whether you need a shovel, a spade or a spade. Unless you have the use of all three!

Anyway, shovel, spade or ladle are a priori part of the very first tools that a gardener must have. They allow you to turn the soil, to loosen it…However, between shovel, spade or ladle, what to choose? It depends above all on the nature of the soil.

What is the nature of our soil?

Have you identified whether you are dealing with thick and hard soil or rather light and sandy? Can you tell if your soil is rather clayey, stony, heavy, compact? Because it is according to the nature of your garden that you will be able to decide rather for the shovel, rather for the spade or rather for the spade.

The issue of the handle

Whether you choose a shovel, a spade or a spade, as with many garden tools, it is advisable to choose one suitable for your size. If you are under 1m75 then a 1m65 sleeve will suffice, if you are 1m75 ply then you can opt for a 1m80 sleeve. Which material to choose? Wood is more durable and fiberglass unbreakable. At the time of purchase, make sure that the point of contact between the handle and the head is solid, this is where your tool is most likely to be damaged when you first use it.


Depending on the use and the garden, you may need a large shovel to move a lot of soil or a smaller one to plant flowers and other small plants. The shovel is one of the oldest tools in human history and it is an essential part of gardening. To pick up dirt, sand or leaves, the shovel is essential.

What characterizes the shovel?

A shovel essentially consists of two elements: a generally curved part to contain the material and the handle. The shovel is one of the simplest gardening tools. The shovel is mainly used for picking up and moving materials on the ground, but it is also suitable for loosening the soil. Whether sand, earth or gravel: with a garden shovel you can pick up all kinds of materials standing up, very comfortably and without straining your back. In one hour you can mobilize up to 4 cubic meters of earth. Of course, at this rate you are a professional! In general, hobbyists prefer to take more of their time pouring sand, compost or gravel.

What tasks can you use a shovel for?

  • Evacuate the earth
  • Move volumes (soil, compost, gravel, waste, etc.)
  • Plow an access

The spade

Whether it’s for digging holes or for pulling up vegetables such as carrots or leeks, the spade is very useful, it’s even the gardener’s best friend! You can therefore use it for digging but also for loosening the soil.

Most models have an ash handle because it is very strong and not too heavy. There are also spades made of metal or fiber-reinforced plastic. The most common is the T-handle. It is easy to handle and a bit lighter than the D-handle. There are many typical spade blade shapes. The most classic spade, the so-called “gardener’s spade” with a hardened or stainless steel blade, is the most sold.

If your soil is sandy without pebbles, a light spade will be fine. If your soil is hard and thick, you may therefore prefer a heavier spade.

How to position yourself to use the spade?

Be sure to use a stable handle with either a T-handle or D-handle. If you place your upper arm against your upper body and hold the shovel overhead with your hand, the forearm should be parallel to the ground and the shovel must be straight – then your gesture will be perfect! Of course, you must choose the right tool depending on the type of your soil. Because if it is not adapted, the effort provided will be more consequent.

What tasks can you use a spade for?

  • Return the ground
  • Dig planting holes
  • Transplant shrubs
  • Dividing Perennial Stumps

the ladle

The ladle is a long and narrow shovel whose use is similar to that of the spade. With a spade, for example, you can make your soil less compact. It can also be used to cut some roots and leverage to uproot some small trees.

If your soil is heavy and stony, choose a heavy and very sharp tool like the spade.

What tasks can you use a ladle for?

  • Make the earth less compact
  • Cut the roots
  • Use leverage to uproot, especially shrubs
  • Transplant

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