Almost every gardener has a shovel and probably a trowel as well. And while you can go a long way with a few simple tools, sometimes it’s nice to have the perfect paraphernalia for the job. One such item is the transplant spade. Read on to learn more about how and when to use a graft spade in the garden.
What is a transplant spade?
A graft spade is very similar to a modified shovel. It has a long handle that makes it easier to use from a standing position. However, instead of being wide and tapered to move the ground, the blade is slender, long and the same width all the way to the stop. And instead of getting to a point, the bottom of the blade often has a gentler curve. This shape is intended to penetrate the soil instead of moving it and create a trench of loosened soil around the plant to be transplanted.
When is a graft spoon used?
Graft spades are ideal for deeply rooted shrubs and perennials. Using spades on smaller plants is of course not uncommon, and if you want to use it to move your annuals or perennials with shallow roots, there is no reason not to. The key, however, is in the added depth you can get with its long, narrow shape.
Transplant spades are used to dig a ring almost straight around a root ball and then lift it out of the ground. They can be used to loosen the soil at the new transplant site.
They’re also great for dividing plants, separating and transplanting them. Just position the bottom of the blade where you want to part and press straight down. You should get a clean cut through the root ball that you can then lift out of the ground.