My husband is pretty good about giving me new garden tools for all the major gift-giving days, and for my birthday I have a new grub hoe!
I've been talking about this particular tool for a while now, so it wasn't a huge surprise when I got a very long gift (I didn't stop to count the candles drawn on the box to make sure all 51 were there, but I have been assured that they are).
This is the 4" model for smaller gardens, and it works amazingly well. It isn't for chopping weeds; it's for digging. I tried it out first (notice that I'm not really dressed for gardening in the photo) in the bed that will soon hold eggplants. It turned the soil up like a charm!
When I got serious enough to put on some sturdier shoes, I was able to prepare the bed for peppers in less than half an hour. Working with a shovel or spading fork, it would probably have taken closer to two hours to get that done.
A lot of gardeners, I know, would get this all done even faster with a power tool, but some of my planting beds are small enough (and some are curved) that a power tool isn't any easier in the long-run than a hand-tool, especially when considering maintenance and fuel costs. The grub hoe, and most of my other tools, just need to be filed to keep them sharp and an occasional rub along the handles with linseed oil to keep the wood in good shape.
The funniest thing about the hoe is that it used muscles I didn't even know existed, and I use all hand tools. You'd think I'd have found all those muscles in my upper back by now!
We are having lovely, warm weather, and it has been nice to sit outside and enjoy the day, even though I've also had to do some work for my actual job. I hope everyone has had a great Mother's Day!