“ Brand: The Garden Claw „
We attempted to sort out our garden this summer, as it had become a bit of a dumping ground since we had been focussing on renovating the inside of the house. Part of this involved sorting the borders out, and raking over the soil ready to lay new turf, and when my parents heard about our plans they dug out this tool from their garage which they haven't used since moving somewhere without a garden, and donated it to us.
The cultivator tool (or weed remover as my dad calls it!), is designed to loosen soil and help to pull up weeds by the roots, without the need for you to bend down or put too much work into it. The idea is that the "claw" reaches into the soil, and by twisting the tool using the handles at the top, this loosens the soil ready for you to pull up weeds or lay new turf.
I used this cultivator to do some weeding over summer. Being pregnant, I couldn't really get involved with any of the really hard work, so I made myself useful by getting my gloves on and attempting some light weeding. This tool made life so much easier, as our borders were so badly overgrown it would have been quite an overwhelming job if I'd been using a smaller tool or attempting it by hand. Using the cultivator is very easy, you simply twist it once it's in the ground and it loosens the soil for you. This allows you to be able to get a better grip of weeds and pull them out by the root, minimising the chance of them growing back. The height of the cultivator is perfect for me, with the handle being about waist level when I'm using it.
I used this tool a few times over summer, and I have to say that it is much easier to use if the soil is soft. The first time I used it was when we hadn't had any rain for ages, so the soil was quite hard and that did involve putting a bit of effort in which my back wasn't really up to so my mum gave me a hand with that bit and I just pulled the weeds out after she'd done the loosening. After we'd had some rain, I could manage to use this by myself, and the soil was very easy to loosen. In future, I think if the soil is too hard it's probably worth watering it a few days before using the cultivator, to make it easier to use.
I know my parents had this tool for years, and we've had it over the course of the summer and to be honest have left it in the back garden as we haven't sorted the shed out yet. It doesn't seem to suffer any damage for being outside, and shows no sign of rust or wear and tear. The handle is plastic and curved which makes it easy to get a grip of. I always wear gloves when gardening, and even more so at the moment because you have to be careful making contact with soil when pregnant as it can contain some harmful toxins, and I noticed after using it a while I still got a blister on one of my hands. So, I would definitely recommend wearing gloves when using this as it's hard on the hands otherwise.
This is a great tool, and although I've only used it for weeding, my husband also used it to turn over the soil before laying new turf, which he said would have been a more difficult job without using this. I would recommend this to anyone with a garden to maintain, to help make life a little easier. I'm not sure how much my parents paid for this, but looking online the price seems to vary between £12 and £25 so it's worth shopping around.
(Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)