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Root Slayer Garden Spade
Jim Ruen, La Crescent, Minn.: “The Root Slayer from Radius Garden (www.radiusgarden.com) is the single best spade my wife and I have ever owned in more than 40 years of gardening. And I think we have had them all, from long narrow tree spades and D-spades to square ended spades and everything in between. The Root Slayer blows them all away.
  “The 44 1/2-in. long spade has a carbon steel blade that is 13 in. long and 10 1/2 in. wide at the top, narrowing to 3 1/2 in. at the inverted V, cutting blade twin tip.
  The step is wider than a normal step, about an inch and a half, and angled to keep your foot from sliding off to the side. It focuses down pressure on the center of the blade.
  The O-shaped handle looks a little strange, but once you try it, you don’t want to use anything else. You can grab the soft, contoured grip with one hand or two and hold it in infinitely different positions. The company claims 4 times the gripping surface of a D handle with less arm and hand fatigue, and I can confirm that.
  “The tapered shape easily slides into hard packed soils. However, it is the inverted V-tip and the serrated edges that really set it apart. The edges can rip through roots in the soil or on the surface like a hatchet/saw hybrid.
  “Meanwhile, the twin tip keeps the Root Slayer from sliding off to one side of a root or root ball. It digs in as you step down, while the serrated edges literally saw apart roots and root balls alike. The edges are specially designed root cutting teeth aligned in the same plane with sharpened cutting sides. If used in sand, the tips and teeth are even self-sharpening.
  “We bought the Root Slayer to divide perennials, and it does that job like nothing else I’ve ever used. We have hosta root balls that are 2-ft. and more across. In the past, I would excavate the entire ball and then hack my way through it to divide it up for replanting. I’ve used D-spades and even a machete. Now I simply step the Root Slayer into the root ball, and it neatly slices the root ball into as many sections as I want.
  “My wife put the Root Slayer to work edging pavers around flower gardens. It worked better than anything she had tried before.
  “I’ve used it moving perennials and prying out half buried stones. It is great for digging holes for transplants, too.”

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #5