Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
posted 8 years ago
The broadfork is not a tool for creating good tilth, but is essential for maintaining it. It is a good, non-destructive way to loosen and mix garden soils, but is not "powerful" enough to convert dirt into soil.
Yes! Do it! I use the Meadow Creature broadfork, manufactured right here on Vashon Island WA by my friend Bob Powell. Bob's broadfork is a great tool for hand clearing, well balanced and ergonomic. If, for example, you are trying to clear blackberries in an area where you can't run hogs, the broadfork will be your best friend. Highly recommended.
I made one with 6 - 14" flat tines cut from 1/4" Steel plate. The handles are over 5feet tall so it has great leverage.
I prepare the soil only once with it. It is a bit slow on hard soil but easier on the back.
We put down, compost, some rock dust, maybe kelp, soaked char, little granite dust and matured manure if needed. Sometimes bonemeal too.
The soil is just broken through the added amendments It is then watered, mulched and left to the earthworms to create tilth, mix all and improve fertility. We keep thick mulch over it as much as possible.
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