*Potato Digging Fork*
With the type of soil we have in my area digging potatoes by hand can become a real chore. I have used a digging or manure fork for this task for the past eight years which works well. There were always a few annoying problems, not the least of which is that in order to get the fork down deep into the soil bed below the potatoes required a fair amount of downward pressure. The easiest method of achieving this pressure is to use your foot on the shoulder of the fork. A novel and correct method, however, what works well at the beginning of the task becomes much more difficult as you progress due to the soil getting caked on your shoes and on the shoulder of the fork.
This past fall I decided to change my method. Now, I did not find a more effective means of digging potatoes, but I did alter the tool. I took a standard digging fork and added a foot rest to the shoulder. This provides a very stable place to place your foot when applying pressure while digging.
The digging fork has a standard 2 ½ inch shoulder; I corrected this by utilizing a 30 inch piece of 3/8 inch rebar. Taking the rebar and forming an elongated circle and welding it to the entire length of the fork at the shoulder, I was able to create a foot rest suitable for digging.
This give me a foot rest of 5 ½ inches on either side of the fork. The total length of the rest is 12 inches.
The width of the rest from front the rear is 3 inches
The main reason for creating a loop, instead of a single or double piece welded to the fork, is that I wanted a more stable rest. It also allows soil to fall from your shoes and not cake up on the rods. I hope you can use this project in your gardening system.
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