A new use for an old tool


I have been using a mattock in the garden for many years, but I recently discovered that it is also a splendid ice-breaker.

My husband spent about an hour yesterday trying to de-ice our front steps. This morning,  the lightbulb went off over my head, and I went to my garden tool bag and took out my mattock.

Nearly done!

Nearly done!

The ice just flew off the stairs, and he had so much “man – fun” doing it that he also chipped a lot of the ice off our driveway. A word of caution: wear glasses or other eye protection when chipping ice, because it really flies around.

That brown fabric under the ice is an ice carpet, a holdover from my life in Montreal. People install them on their stairs and it keeps them from getting slippery. They are made of coco fiber and are very inexpensive and durable. This one is three years old. You still have to clear the snow off it, though….


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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6 Responses to A new use for an old tool

  1. Lee May says:

    I love the multiple uses of tools. Your mattock’s a good one. In a “friendly” (powdery) snow, I’ve used the garden rake and even stiff brooms to blaze trails up the driveway. Both work well.


  2. cj wright says:

    Never thought I’d envy anyone having to scrape ice and snow, but I do miss the snow. It’s another very warm winter in the south.


    • dirtynailz says:

      I could not live in a place that didn’t have cold weather. As for snow, I am a skier, so I need that, too. Unfortunately, RI doesn’t get much anymore, so we have to drive hours to ski (like today, for instance).


  3. Wendy says:

    I took a hammer to the front porch one day and it was sooooooo fun. I think I did get carried away breaking ice as I left little chips in the porch too. 😦


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