My question was worded incorrectly. Its a more general question. Thank
Does anybody have experience using a broadfork and/or deep spader?
Wondering if they are worth the money.
No personal experience with the 'deep spader', but I have used (years
ago) the broadfork offered by Johnny's -- double-handled, whole-body
weight used to insert fork into ground. It was manageable for a
middle-sized, middle-aged woman, but I preferred to spend the money to
have someone power-till the garden.
I use one to maintain established beds in the vegetable garden. It
has two handles joined by a bar. It allows me to loosen up the bed
(and pry up encroaching tree roots) with far less disturbance to the
soil than a tiller. And it's much, *much* more effective for this than a
conventional spading fork.
I've used it for more than 15 years (that I'm sure of) and it's got many
more years left in it. It looked expensive at the time, but looks pretty
cheap spread across so many years.
I don't think that *particular* broadfork is the way to go. The
single handle looks inadequate.
The broadforks at Lee Valley or Johnny's Selected Seeds would be better,
though neither is quite like the one I have.
Mine looks more like this one, though not exactly like it:
Heh. Wikipedia even has an entry on broadforks:
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
I have heavy, clay, adobe brick soil. And I have a bit of experience
with forks. Even if you are able to sink it into the ground that 16",
you won't be able to turn the soil or lift it without Superman helping.
I've had luck working at a depth of a few inches, turning it, chopping
up the soil and then prying up a few more inches of soil. It helps if
you soften up the dirt with a good soak a day or two before. -And
warm-up exercises for you!
Spend your money on a nice sturdy fork with a handle at the end you can
really turn without breaking it off - or you could rent a tiller for
Mix in lots of organic matter to keep the soil from turning back into a
brick. Good luck!
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