The most natural soil nutrients are found in the top few inches down from your garden’s surface. In the long run, chemical fertilizers can take more from the soil than it adds and can cause you to become dependent. These chemical fertilizers can kill the very beneficial microorganisms, worms, and nutrients that you need for your garden to thrive, be self-sustaining, and get better with time.
The same microorganisms, worms, and nutrients that chemical fertilizers kill, are the are the same substances you need for your garden to produce healthy, abundant, flavorful crops. Tilling also works in a similar way as chemical fertilizing. Although, on the surface using a tilling machine may give the appearance that you are making a lot of progress fast. You are hacking through the earthworms found in the ground and hurting your soils long-term production. Furthermore, using a tiller you will see the weeds flipped into the soil, but this actually activates them and they will come back even stronger, in more abundance, and soon.
So how can you effectively loosen up your soil or start a new garden bed, without harming what your garden needs to thrive underneath? Enters the broadfork. The broadfork allows for you to loosen your soil 16” deep, in some cases, which will help your plant’s roots be able to go deeper for nutrients. This makes it to where your plants do not have to compete with each other as much for nutrients. When you use a tilling machine, it does not loosen the soil as deep so your plant roots are forced to go wide to find more nutrients, since they cannot go deeper into the compacted soil.
The broadfork allows for you to give your garden a literal breath of fresh air, as you open the earth without disturbing its substance and leaving your vital nutrients and earthworms in tact. It also allows for the nutrients usually found in the top few inches of soil to go deeper and makes for a more earthworm friendly habitat. With earthworm vermicompost being one of the most powerful natural fertilizers, who wouldn’t want that.
More Benefits of the Broadfork:
● Save Your Back – The broadfork has an ergonomic design and it works with your body weight to get the job done. When using a broadfork you can get more done, with less effort, and virtually little to no back strain.
● Makes Weeding Easier– Other than using the right kind of steel made broadfork to start a new garden bed, you can also use it for easier weeding. When you make a pass with the broadfork, the roots of your weeds are loosened from deep in the ground. From there, it is less resistance when pulling them out.
● Makes Light Work of Harvesting Root Vegetables
See a stronger, more durable broadfork made of steel, which can even be used to start out a new garden bed.
For a cheaper alternative that does not boast as many features or benefits as the broadfork and may well not be as easy on the back, have a look at the Garden Fork.
Fiskars Ergo D-handle Steel Garden Fork