5 Reasons to Use Copper Gardening Tools

Mike's Backyard Garden is supported by its readers. If you buy something with our links, we may earn a commission.

All types of gardening tools are necessary as they all have different uses depending on the type of plants you want to grow. It’s not a commonly known fact, but did you know that the metal used in gardening tools plays a vital role in plant growth? It’s true. For that reason, I’m here to provide you with an in-depth understanding of why copper is the best choice of metal in terms of gardening tools.

Gardening tools made of copper are more durable and flexible to use. Tiny particles of copper mix and enriches the quality of the soil as well as kills harmful microorganisms.

So, why should you use copper gardening tools? And what’s wrong with using iron tools instead? Well, I’ve had my fair share of experience using these tools while gardening for a decade. So, I’ll try to answer all the questions you have as well as provide you 5 reasons to use copper gardening tools while you read through this article. Let’s get to it.

5 Reasons to Use Copper for Gardening

All kinds of metals are biodegradable by nature. Copper is not only a durable and affordable element; it also helps to improve gardening efficiency. Here are 5 important reasons why you should use tools made of copper for gardening purposes.

1. Soil Enrichment

The soil of your garden needs to have adequate copper for your plants to receive it and grow properly. The soil usually has an average of 30 parts per million (ppm) copper in it. By using copper gardening tools, you can enrich the copper deficiency in the soil.

Since plants require a sufficient amount of copper all the time, it’s best to use high-quality copper tools like spades, shovels, etc. while gardening so that the soil can receive more copper.

2. Durable & Flexible

Copper gardening tools have a strong but flexible body that will help you to increase efficiency while digging, filling, or bordering the plant bed. Gardening is not a delicate process and takes a lot of work and sweat to plant and maintain normal tree growth. Copper tools help you by increasing your work speed while maintaining long-lasting durability.

A wonderful property of the element copper is that it can bend to the thinnest form of material compared to other metals. This means that even after you’ve completed using the copper tools for gardening, you can recycle them easily. You can make different DIY items with ease as well as sell them for a good amount of money.

3. Electrical Fields

This is a quite unknown problem that occurs while gardening but isn’t mentioned because it can’t be seen by the naked eye. The soil has its electrical field and reacts to any sort of metal or a non-metal object that touches it. Disruption occurs when magnetic tools like iron or aluminum are used, which decreases the efficiency of the soil.

Fortunately, copper is not a magnetic element. Copper is a conductive element that supports maintaining the electrical field of your garden instead of continuous disruption. This is beneficial for both the soil quality and future plant growth.

4. Aging

Copper ages into a bronze-colored tool with age. You can still keep using copper tools because their aging won’t affect their efficiency and quality. Copper is a lightweight and durable metal. It becomes more efficient as it ages, not to mention the beautiful bronze color it obtains which looks majestic.

Meanwhile, other gardening tools start to rust. Rusting occurs when metals like iron come into contact with water (H20) and air. Together they form a thick and nasty-looking layer above the metal. Rust makes the metal ineffective as well as decreases durability dramatically. So when it comes to gardening, rusting should be avoided at all costs.

5. Low maintenance

Gardening is a dirty job, and it tends to make your whole dress dirty as well as your tools. For this reason, you have to wear an extra layer of clothing that repels dirt from sticking to your clothes. In the same way, high-quality copper or copper alloy gardening tools pick up less dirt while rough usage.

The copper tools are designed perfectly to be lightweight and sharp because of their flexibility feature. So, you don’t have to put too much effort while using them and sharpening their edges. Again, copper has a low-friction tendency which means sticky soil like clay and mud won’t stick to it much too, resulting in low maintenance.

Copper vs Iron Tools

Copper is well known for being the counterpart of Iron in terms of gardening. Although they both are metal and have all the properties of a metal element, they have a lot of differences while gardening. I have a good amount of experience using both types of tools, so I’ll provide you an in-depth understanding by comparing Copper (Cu) to Iron (Fe) only for gardening.

Firstly, copper tools have a high durability rate and they don’t rot either. Rust is harmful when it comes to soil water retention, which is easily taken care of by copper. On the other hand, Iron (Fe) has a sturdy body but causes harm to the soil quality as it forms rust gradually. It also requires maintenance to stay sharp since it’s not as flexible as copper tools.

Secondly, iron tools are usually heavy and unyielding, which leads to low efficiency. Iron also interferes with the electrical field of the soil, disrupting the proper growth of plants. Meanwhile, copper has a lightweight body even in its alloy form and has no magnetism in it. As a result, it doesn’t affect the electrical field of your garden soil.

Thirdly, I’ve already discussed the benefits of copper as it helps to enrich and nourish the soil and plants. Minute amounts of copper that are dropped while using copper tools help to keep the Cu meter in soil and plants balanced. Whereas Iron is already available in vast amounts in your garden soil. So, there’s no further necessity of iron to nourish the plants.

Finally, iron tools invite insects like snails and slugs to your garden. These insects cannot produce their iron, so they have to rely on their food. So, when you use iron tools, you run a high risk of inviting such harmful creatures to your garden that will destroy your plants for sure. Fortunately, copper doesn’t invite any such nuisance to your beloved garden.

And so, you can see the differences between using a Copper (Cu) tool and an Iron (Fe) tool for gardening purposes. There’s no doubt that copper wins over iron in terms of gardening, efficiency, and nourishment of plants by a landslide. My experience while using iron tools and copper tools for gardening is what I’ve written in this part of the article.

Misconceptions Related to Tools Made of Copper

Misconceptions or rumors that are related to copper gardening tools are quite long because of the business competition. Most companies make their tools out of iron and stainless steel because of their availability. I’ll hold up and diminish all such misconceptions that you might find on the internet or other social networking sites related to copper gardening tools.

Fragile Body

This is a false rumor about copper tools because copper tools are as sturdy as steel or iron. You can keep doing rough work with them continuously without fear of breaking them. The best reason for that is because, unlike iron (Fe) tools that can be bent when heated, copper tools are quite the opposite. You need to cool a copper tool to bend it.

Copper tools have no way to bend, even if you use them regularly. However, copper tools have a chance to deform or bend if they are kept under snow for a long time. Copper tools need to be kept in a warm atmosphere that doesn’t go to 0°C. As a result, such rumors only support specific places where you can’t even grow plants because of snowfall.

Harmful Element

This statement made against copper isn’t entirely true. Copper is a necessary component that is required to enrich both soil and plants simultaneously. If you don’t buy a copper gardening tool, you’ll have to buy copper to sprinkle over your soil anyway. But excess usage of a good thing isn’t a good idea.

Excess use of copper can destroy the plant due to the disease Copper Toxicity. This is a troublesome disease because it gradually takes over the whole garden and can’t be neutralized easily. For this reason, copper can be called “Necessary evil” at best, but due to its necessary qualities, it can’t be stated as a fully harmful element for gardening.

Low Durability

This is a wrong idea about copper because copper doesn’t rot even when it ages. Copper becomes yellowish as it becomes ages, but unlike iron, copper tools never grow rust on their surface. Copper tools also become yellowish at a slower rate compared to iron rusting. For this reason, you can keep using the same copper tool for years of great gardening experience.

I’ve used copper tools for a decade and they are still more efficient than the iron tools which I had to throw away because they rusted. My copper tools are lightweight and easy to yield, as well as use roughly in the garden. Durability may vary depending on where you live because copper cannot stand the excessive cold. Overall, copper has long-lasting durability.

Hard to Yield

If you’re looking for the worst misconception about copper tools, this is it. Copper tools are usually lightweight and easy to yield because. You can dig, smash, cut, etc. with ease while using a copper gardening tool. As a result, using a copper tool is not hard if you know how to yield it and can be yielded by youngsters too.

More importantly, copper tools remain sharp and strong even after years of rough usage. Because of its elemental properties, it can be shaped into a width of 1mm or less. This means when you use copper tools for digging holes or cutting weeds, they can cut and tear through objects with incredible efficiency. As a result, copper tools are easy to yield and useful.

Drawbacks of Copper Gardening Tools

Although copper is the best element when it comes to gardening, it has some drawbacks that you should know. You can decide after reading the drawbacks if copper is worth your garden or not because these drawbacks are not applicable for all types of gardens or gardeners. They depend on the type of soil you have and what kind of plant you’re growing.

Copper Toxicity

Copper is necessary for nourishing your plants and enriching your soil. But using an excess amount of anything is never good. If you work too much-using copper gardening tools in the same garden, the excess amount of copper will intoxicate the soil. This will cause your plant to be infected by Copper Toxicity disease.

The symptoms of this disease include your plant turning brown or yellow. The plants in your garden will also start to look blue and stunted, which is the result of an overdose of copper in the soil. Unfortunately, it’s very tough to retain the quality of the gardening soil once it gets intoxicated by copper overdose. So, it’s best to use copper tools less in a day.

Electrical Hazard

The tools made of copper are highly conductive and you shouldn’t use them if you any sort of electrical wirings beneath your garden. The element copper (Cu) has high conductivity to electricity. This is the reason you’ll see that all electrical wires are made of copper. Copper gardening tools can give you the shock of your life if you’re not careful with them.

Although copper helps to maintain the electrical field in the soil, it will connect easily to any electrical outlet compared to iron or stainless steel. A precaution you can take in such situations is that using rubber gloves and foaming the handle of your tool with rubber can save your life in any accidents. Otherwise, it’s advised to keep copper tools away from electricity.

Very Sharp

Tools made of copper don’t bend or lose their sharp edges easily. Unlike tools made of other metals and non-metals, copper edges are sharp enough to cut through rock in one hit. So, it can get very risky if you have a forgetful mind and leave your copper gardening tools all over your yard or house. The situation can get worse if you have infants at home.

Shovel, spades, razors, etc. tools made of copper can get dangerously sharp. They can easily puncture through your flip-flops and cause serious harm to your feet if you’re unaware. For this reason, you must remain vigilant while using copper gardening tools and never leave them outside for the safety of you and your loved ones.

Are Copper Tools More Expensive?

Certainly not. Copper tools are cheaper than gardening tools made of aluminum, tin, nickel, iron, or stainless steel. Although the difference between copper and iron tools is probably 4-5$, copper is still the cheapest. It’s a miracle that such powerful and low-maintenance gardening tools are sold for cheaper costs.

But as you’re thinking, there’s a catch. Since copper does not produce rust when it comes in contact with air, there’s almost no way to understand if the copper tools you’re buying are old or new. An easy way to recognize old copper gardening tools is through their color. Brand new copper tools look yellowish-brown, but the old ones have a tint of yellow and bronze in them instead.

You need to be aware of this small difference before buying a set of copper tools. Overall, compared to their benefits while gardening, copper tools are cheaper and worth every penny you spend buying them.

So, Are Copper Tools Worth It?

Speaking from my experience, copper tools are worth it in terms of gardening. You can increase your efficiency, work more neatly, provide nutrition for the plants and enrich the soil, and save money because of their long-lasting durability. In addition to that, copper tools are cheaper than most other types of gardening tools in the present market.

As gardening is my hobby, I still use my old copper tools every day to plant seedlings, make canals, and turn the soil over and over so that the soil stays well enriched for better and faster plant growth. I’ve found remarkable changes in plant growth and flower production when I changed from iron tools to copper tools.

For this reason, I think copper gardening tools are the best when it comes to gardening on any sort of land. Copper tools do the job fast and easy while providing necessary nutrients to your plants and soil, so it’s a total win situation. Therefore, I’ll say that copper tools are worth it.

Conclusion

Copper is a very useful element that surrounds us because of its abundant usage in machinery and electronic devices. Like every other element, copper also has its quirks and limitations. Still, it’s the best element that helps in gardening with efficiency and ease. There is no better alternative to using copper tools when you are interested in gardening.

So, I’ve provided 5 reasons to use copper gardening tools for you to read and understand why copper is the best compared to iron, tin, or any other metal element. I’ve shared my experience of using copper gardening tools with you so that you can get a heads-up before starting your gardening experience. Thanks for reading till the end.