This three-pointed trowel doubles as a garden fork
Tested by Marti Neely, FAPLD
A tough trowel is a valued friend for every gardener. I was delighted to discover the DeWit tulip trowel and add it to my collection of favorites. The 4½-inch-long head is made from boron steel that has been heat-treated for strength, and it has a curved blade that can scoop up an ample amount of soil. With a unique forked shape, this tool makes short work of the most stubborn soil, even clay, and can easily cut through roots. The sturdy ash handle is well balanced and easy to maneuver. This trowel is sure to serve you well for many years.
DeWit Tulip Trowel
With a serrated side, this option quickly slices through roots
Tested by Courtney Olander
Every spring I refresh the pots on my back deck in anticipation of summer. Some plants pop out easily, while others are root-bound and won’t budge. In the past, I’d wrestle and tug on those scrappy old plants, but I quickly learned it’s worth investing in a sturdy trowel for this task. My favorite is Berry & Bird’s stainless-steel garden trowel. Using the serrated edge of the trowel as a saw, I cut through the roots until the plants lift out gently. This trowel has a durable wooden handle as well as centimeter and inch measurements imprinted on the face, making it useful for bulb planting in fall.
Berry & Bird’s Stainless-Steel Garden Trowel
A sharp beveled edge pierces soil easily
Tested by Mark Dwyer
I have bent and broken countless trowels due to a combination of poor construction and heavy use. All of that changed when I started using Wilcox brand trowels. I’m a fan specifically of the 10-inch Garrett Metal Detectors trowel. Yes, this trowel is marketed for use with metal detectors, and if it’s tough enough for that work, it’s definitely tough enough for gardening. This handy, multipurpose trowel is made in the USA and comes with a lifetime guarantee. It has a narrow, 2-inch-wide stainless-steel blade that is unbendable and that includes an engraved depth gauge. The beveled edge at the tip stays sharp, and the comfortable, no-slip handle is a welcome bonus.
Garrett Metal Detectors Trowel
Wilcox All-Pro Trowel
Marti Neely, FAPLD, owns and operates Marti Neely Design and Associates in Omaha, Nebraska.
Courtney Olander is a landscape designer based in Seattle.
Mark Dwyer is the garden manager for the Edgerton Hospital Healing Garden in Wisconsin, and he operates Landscape Prescriptions by MD.
Photos: courtesy of the contributors