My mattock is long handled but fairly light weight, It has a long 7 or 8 inch digging blade about 3 inches wide and an the other side a nice pick end to get between roots an rocks.
I guess a lot depends on the type of ground you're digging in. Some of this ground is so hard in dry weather you can see sparks fly.
Long handle tool is the way to go. Check out the vid below for how I recommend digging with a larger long handle tool.
I use the tool to break up the ground in a wide circle around where the root is, then take the root out with my fingers.
I have dug with all kinds of tools, flat head screwdriver, and short handle tools (several), but once I tried my long handle digger... I never went back to the smaller tools.
I think the key to getting a long handle hoe type tool that works well ( and does not wear you out from lugging around a big heavy tool) is to get a smaller garden type hoe head, where the handle is round (not oblong).
Most mattox type tools have the oblong type handle and they are just too heavy for my taste. Hard to lug around and work with too.
My long handle tool (whole thing handle and all) weighs less than 3 lbs. Something like 2.6
It also serves well as a walking stick, snake tester, weed beater, etc.. I find that it helps a lot when trying to get around on steep places.
Hi, I live in WI and this is 1st dig. We are soaked with rain, garden rotted first time in 15 yrs. The local deer are into the ginseng in our woods. Every day I go out, I see more damage. The excessive rain has made it difficult to keep the leaves attached or they are simply gone. I marked most areas with painted wood or I would not have found it the next day. Will I be able to sell the roots without the stems attached? Thanks for any help. Lynn Gust L.gust