Tag Archives: broadfork

To Till or Not to Till in Spring Gardens?

Spring has started and many are preparing their community, home and school gardens. Building soil is important in New Mexico. Jermaine Theragood provided a class today on how to add aged horse manure, soil amendments and compost to create soil.   He discussed how to top dress the soil around plants and use a broadfork to add holes in the soil without tilling a garden. He does not use a rototiller to start new gardens. Jermaine builds the soil sustainability without the use of fossil fuels with his broadfork.

What is a broadfork? It is a large garden fork that is two feet wide. Work on a large garden by using your body weight to insert and move the tool instead of your back and arms. This does not break up the soil, but allows additional space. Eliot Coleman writes about gardening year round and uses this concept for deep aeration of soil while preserving the structure and minimizing weed seed surfacing. This broadfork is one of the handiest tools for turning a garden bed.

Steve Dulfer from Dulfermetal makes broadfork in Santa Fe so we do not have to pay for shipping. It makes preparing your soil easy. 

Description from website: All steel construction with hardened tines make it lightweight and durable.  Cushioned rubber grips on 48″ handles make it comfortable and easy to use.  The 15″ width is just right for a planting row.  Simply step on the crossbar to drive the tines into the soil and pull the handles back toward you to break up and aerate lumpy soil ten inches deep.  Makes preparing new beds or turning in compost and other amendments a snap.

This is a great tool to add to your garden collection. It is less expensive than borrowing a tiller and maintains the soil in large pieces to keep the soil structure.