Also known as a shrubbery fork or a ladies’ fork, this is simply a smaller version of the digging fork. Light and easy to use, the border fork is usually up to 25% lighter than the traditional digging fork.
Not only is the border fork ideal for working in tight spaces or narrow borders and raised beds, it is also a valuable general purpose fork for people with smaller frames. It is perfect for weeding amongst plants and shrubs where a larger fork may be too cumbersome or in a confined space such as a greenhouse.
With the head averaging 228 x 127mm (9 x 5 inches), the border fork has a narrower head than a that of a digging fork. For an even more compact border fork, look for head dimensions of 175 x 140mm (7 x 5.5 inches) or thereabouts.
Ideal for the smallest of gardeners, a more compact border fork is not so big and exhausting to use!
Like the digging fork, a border fork has four robust steel tines with sharp points for easy soil penetration. Look for flat-faced tines to give extra pull when digging out awkward roots or turning soil.
The most robust tines are forged from one piece of steel. That is, either a solid socket connection…
…or a strapped socket connection.
A fork with a flattened foothold (or tread) will give support when extra force is needed and helps prevent the foot from slipping. Ever bruised your ankle when digging? Then you will know how painful this can be!
A steel fork should have high quality welds (metal joins) that have no open points to allow water to enter. This will reduce the risk of internal rust and damage. There should not be any fractured seams: welds must look immaculate and as smooth as possible.
The handle grip can be D- or T-shaped. Look for soft, cushioned grips for added comfort. For those with particularly large or small hands, which don’t fit easily around a D- grip, choose the T- grip. Alternatively, look for a wider-shaped D-grip to protect your hands.
As it’s a border fork, designed especially for those with smaller frames and/or for use when space is restricted, the shaft is usually slightly shorter than the standard length. Measurements are usually between 660mm (26 inches) and 700mm (28 inches)