Gardening 101: What You Need To Know About Using A Spade

Gardening 101: What You Need To Know About Using A Spade

Gardening is a rewarding activity that anyone can enjoy. From the experienced green-thumb to the novice grower, there are many tools that come in handy while tending to your garden. One tool that you’ll certainly need is a spade, and knowing how to effectively use it is the key to having a successful garden.

What is a Spade?

A spade is a gardening tool that is made up of a long, straight handle and a flat dull blade. The blade is typically used for cutting turf and digging in the soil. It is versatile and can also be used for breaking up hardened soil and for transplanting plants.

How to Use a Spade

  • Start by inspecting the soil. A spade will be most effective in soft, loose soil. If the soil is hard, try using a mattock or a pick axe to break up the hardened soil before using the spade.
  • Place the spade into the soil at a 45 degree angle. Push the spade into the soil as far as it will go.
  • Use your foot to press down on the spade to push it down further into the soil.
  • Angle the spade so that the blade is parallel to the ground and push the spade forward to form a trench.
  • Turn the soil over by placing your foot on the blade and pushing it down into the ground.
  • Remove any large stones, roots and other debris from the soil using the spade.
  • Mix the soil to aerate and break up any clumps.

Is a Spade Better Than a Shovel?

A spade is different than a shovel in that it has a flat blade and is meant for cutting through turf and breaking up soil. A shovel, on the other hand, has a round or pointed blade and is meant for scooping and shoveling soil. So, the answer to this question is that it depends on the task you are completing. Both a spade and a shovel have their own unique uses, so it is important to assess your project before deciding which tool to use.


Knowing how to properly use a spade is essential for any gardener. Whether you are cutting turf, transplanting plants, or breaking up soil, a spade is a versatile and essential tool for tackling any gardening project.