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Author Topic: Log 9 - 2012 - Crocuses in compacted gravel.  (Read 901 times)

hwscot

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Log 9 - 2012 - Crocuses in compacted gravel.
« on: March 08, 2012, 03:48:23 PM »
Have not quite finished lusting after Crocus abantensis from this log, but head has cleared sufficiently to ask if you've thought about a drain spade for digging in the compacted gravel of the drive.

New discovery to me, but they're apparently a standard item on building sites. The basic difference compared with a traditional garden spade is that the blade is much narrower and longer ... starts at the top a little narrower than a traditional spade, and tapers down to a cutting edge perhaps half of a traditional spade. They're hand forged, and the blade is about twice the thickness of a traditional spade. It's a much heavier spade, and also very much stronger than modern mass-produced spades. You can lever away with it without feeling it's liable to break or buckle any moment. Silverline's is about 21.

Apologies if drain spades are one of these things everyone else has known about for decades.

H.
Harry
Montrose
You can take the lad out of Leeds, but you can't ..

Maggi Young

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Re: Log 9 - 2012 - Crocuses in compacted gravel.
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2012, 04:12:08 PM »
We've actually got one of these tools, H..... only I call it a "trenching spade"   :-\... Will take a photo of it later and post it here. 
Ours is an old one.... extremely sturdy and also very heavy. It might be possible to use it on the drive.... but it would cause an awful lot of damage.  I think more minor excavations using an ice axe would be less destructive.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Maggi Young

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Re: Log 9 - 2012 - Crocuses in compacted gravel.
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2012, 04:36:07 PM »
Here's the item in question.... next to a regular spade for comparison in size, length...

 You can see by the rusty state of these that neither has been used for some time.

We tend to use a neater stainless steel  spade nowadays... lighter and easier to work around the  congested plantings here.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 04:40:43 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

hwscot

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Re: Log 9 - 2012 - Crocuses in compacted gravel.
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 05:33:51 PM »
I like the picture, Maggi.

You may be right about the destructive capacity of the trenching / drain spade. But I think if Ian is really going to wreck his drive, without resorting to power tools or explosives, where there may be licensing issues, the Faithfull 6-foot Digging Bar, at around 17lbs, is probably the preferred implement.

Where do you stand on wavy spades? (yes, yes, I know there are the little bits for your feet ...)
Harry
Montrose
You can take the lad out of Leeds, but you can't ..

 


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