Last Updated on June 22, 2021
A great gardener knows the right tools to use. They know what resource to use depending on the given situation and how to use every resource that they may have. They also understand how their tools work and how to fix one if it should happen to break.
This seems like a straightforward and obvious aspect regarding gardeners. However, many people don’t realize that gardeners should know how to care for their tools.
The garden fork is a well-known and well-used gardening tool. However, if something were to go wrong like the tines were to bend out of shape, you must know how to fix it. In this post, we will go through how to straighten garden fork tines, so you never have to be without them.
The Garden Fork
It can be argued that the tools you use in your garden are as important, if not more important, than the plants you have growing in your garden. Gardening is a fun, loved, and time-standing break from life for many people across the globe.
A garden fork is something that most gardeners will likely keep close to hand. It is a small, handheld tool with a handle that is often made of wood or rubber. The handle extends and splits into three, sometimes four, tines. These tines are usually metal, but you can sometimes find plastic versions, too. If these tines go out of shape, they will become harder to use.
What Can a Garden Fork Do?
The reason so many gardeners will use this tool is because of its versatility. However, you can do a lot with this device, so you must keep it in good condition.
One job that this tool is convenient for is helping to remove weeds. A garden fork is excellent at removing weeds and other unwanted plants from any flower beds you may have.
A garden fork is an excellent resource if you want to dig in your garden. This is because a digging fork has teeth that are spread out. These spread-out points remove more soil quicker and in larger portions.
Like digging, you can aerate your soil with your garden fork to ensure proper drainage and sufficient oxygen go to the roots and sprouting seeds. It is important to aerate your soil to maintain your plants. However, bear in mind that this can be tiring. So, a handheld garden fork may only be suitable for small soil areas such as your flower beds or a small vegetable patch.
Using Your Garden Fork
So now that you know that they are a great tool to have, don’t you think it would be a good idea to go out, get one, and use it? Of course, it would! First, however, it must be remembered that your hand fork needs to be handled with care like any other yard tool. If a hand fork is not handled with care, it could become damaged or broken. Since the steel points are slim, this means that they are susceptible to become damaged. One way in which a hand fork would probably become damaged is by it bending.
A good quality fork should be strong and stable to work on many different plants. However, sometimes there comes along a plant that is tougher than the tines and causes bending. Or perhaps it got damaged in your gardening toolbox?
A bent tine can be disastrous to your gardening routine. It means that it will likely not be as effective and may affect your handy tool ergonomics. In addition, if you have to bend your hand in an unnatural way to use your fork, it could harm your posture and could hurt your arm.
The Process of Straightening Bent Tines
Do not fear. There are ways you can straighten a bent tine back into shape. So don’t throw your fork away just yet; here’s how to straighten garden fork tines back to new.
One way that you can straighten the bent tines is with fire. As many gardening forks have steel tines, this means that those tines are susceptible to bend with fire. You can heat the tines to make them more malleable so that you can unbend them and straighten them out.
To do this, you need a strong source of heat. Long ago, a blacksmith would work with metal over a huge fire to mound the metal into whatever shape they wanted. You can copy this process by holding your stainless steel tines over a fire so that it heats up and becomes warm. When heating the stainless steel, it will gain a rosy colour, such as red, orange or yellow, and you can remove it from the fire.
You can copy this process by holding your stainless steel tines over a fire so to heat them. When stainless steel is heated, it will gain a rosy colour, such as red, orange or yellow, and you can remove it from the fire.
Before the stainless steel tines cool down fully, lever the tines back into shape so that they resemble crisp, fine lines like how they looked when you first got them, after they have been straightened, you can allow them to cool down.
Once the garden fork has fully cooled down, they will return to their normal colour, and you can get back to using them again.
Alternatively, you can use a blow torch or a heat gun to get it to the right temperature.
Unfortunately, many problems can arise while making this kind of adjustment. Therefore, you must observe safety precautions when trying to fix a bent tine.
You can ensure your safety by using an oven mitt or heat-proof blanket of sorts. This will mean you will not be burnt from the high temperature of the tines when manipulating them. You can also use tongs or something similar to hold the garden fork. Be sure not to drop the hot metal on the floor as it could cause damage.
Straighten It Out
As you can see, a well-made fork made of the best materials should not bend. Regardless of this, you should know how to straighten garden fork tines just in case. Although it would take a bit of time to repair, you should always attempt to fix a bent fork instead of buying a new one as a replacement.
If this doesn’t work for you, or perhaps you have a plastic fork that cannot be manipulated in this manner, then we would suggest buying a new one.
Luckily, with enough dedication, you can easily repair your bent tines to make it good to dig in your garden with your plants again, and you’ll never be left without.