Anyone used a broadfork?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Do broadforks work as well as the catalogs say? I can't find any around locally to try, so would like some opinions before I order one. How strong do you have to be to use it? I have enough tools around that are not as easy to maneuver as advertised and would like not to add to the collection. Thanks for your help.
-- Catherine (email@example.com), March 16, 2002
Catherine, I have and use a broadfork. I use it primarily after I have double dug a bed. It helps to loosen and aireate the soil without having to dig again. I like it and it is fast. The downside is, mine is heavy (I bought it from Lee Tools) it's all metal. If I were to do it over again I would get one with wooden handels- you really don't put too much force onto the handels and they wouldn't break. If you know someone who does welding, you could have them make one for you.
-- Lynelle SOwestVA (X2ldp@aol.com), March 16, 2002.
We've got a broadfork with wood handles from Johnny's. Its purpose is to loosen up wide rows or raised beds. It worked really well last week for loosening up and slightly mixing sheet compost on last years' wide row potatoes. It's also good for loosening up garden soll that has been fallowed for a year if the soil was not compacted provided the soil is the right moisture for cultivation.
No, you are not going to turn sod with it, but the broadfork has a specific job for which it is the exact tool. The broadfork is best used for working up the texture of a soil that is only mildly compacted from the last crop. Most of the previous plant woody or fibrous residues must be removed. The broadfork is not a rototiller.
If you worked up a bed last fall then the broadfork will do nicely. If you are looking for something to turn under cornstalks, old tomato plants, sunflower stalks get a disc and plow or a rototiller. Although Eliot Coleman claims he can work up half an acre in a morning with the broadfork, you and I would find it a better tool for working a couple of 20 foot long raised beds for the more pampered crops. If you are looking at a 1/3 acre plus garden , you need a rototiller on steroids or somebody with a disc and plow.
Use the right tool for the job,
Sara in IN
-- Sara in IN (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 16, 2002.