How One New Tool Can Start Your Season Off Right – The Black-Steel Pickaxe

I have just made my first purchase for the 2019 Gardening season. A new Steel Pickaxe.

I have been thinking about how I will organize the garden for 2019. For a long time in fact. After last year, I had to think about how I might improve my experience. My goals include:

  1. Start earlier (I did not get the ground broken in 2018 until May 1. Crappy weather was the main cause.
  2. Create better fencing – Dirty Little Creatures decimated some of my crops.
  3. Improve my herb garden.


While 2018 I had purchased seeds and created a good layout for my yard, getting the work done was more of a challenge. And for 2018, the main issue was weather. We had a very wet April. It was late May before I could get a roto tiller to turn over my garden patches. In the end, it did a great job. But it was borrowed. So this year I needed something new.

One of the little issues that anyone deciding to embark on any new project like this is having the tools. Last year showed that I was very weak in this area. I have a lot of gardening tools. But as I found, many of them were either inadequate for my needs or just broken.

I have 4 or five bent or broken rakes. 3 bent shovels. No broom. Various hand digging implements.

As noted I borrowed a roto tiller last year. I started with a shovel, but really had not gotten very far. Way too strenuous and time consuming. The tiller got everything done in a little more than an afternoon.

Probably my biggest wishes last year were for a decent hoe or 2, and a pick. I remember growing up, we had a pick for our garden. It was always a little too heavy for me to use. My dad would get it out to turn the garden beds. I always liked it because it was as close to being an Ax and anything we had. And an ax just seemed so cool (not that we ever needed it).

So with my dreams of a fully plowed garden, no chance of using a roto tiller without paying a bunch for a rental, I wanted a pick. And a mere $31 later, I got my tool. A brand new, carbon fiber handle, black painted steel pickaxe. And I must say it looked a whole lot more cool than I expected.

I picked it up from Home Depot using the HD Gift Card my oldest son gave me for Christmas. I knew that card would come to good use.

When I got it back to the car, I declared that it is my new Maul. Seemed like a good name for it. And cooler than Mattock. My 15 year old laughed at the gleam in my eye as I looked at it in the back seat. And she absolutely howled

with laughter when I went to work on the garden soon after parking in the back next to my grass patch.

Now the job of digging up my grass has not been easy. Even with the roto tiller last year, it took me a couple days and a lot of clearing the blades of strands of grass.After 5 minutes plowing away with the pickaxe though, I am convinced that this is the way to go. The patch was recently wet with rain, so it was ripe for the ripping. And while there was grass grown over it, the soil was still relatively easy to chunk up.

The final confirmation that this was the right purchase was the look on Mikey and Brandon’s faces. Both of them are avid gamers and play both Minecraft and  Fortenite pretty much all day long. So here is a real life pickaxe – that they have been using in games all the time. And they get to use it. It was my turn to laugh , watching them try to heft the 5 lb maul and plunge it into the soil. Worth the purchase just to see the smiles on their faces.