There are plenty of useful garden tools out there, but one that you may never have used (or even heard of), but which can make gardening a whole lot easier, is called the broadfork. Here’s how it works, and why you may want one for your garden.
Whether you are a new or experienced gardener, one of the most difficult parts of starting a new garden is breaking new ground. Tillers, tractors, and other large equipment may be used for large garden spaces, but they can also cause damage to soil, and if you don’t have one already, they are quite an expensive addition to your garden shed.
Digging by hand with a small garden tool such as a shovel or spading fork are fine for tiny garden spaces, but in a larger space, they often require backbreaking amounts of work.
This is where the broadfork comes in. A broadfork is a large spading fork with a wide base with sharp tines and straight handles. It is meant to be stepped on to push it into the soil, and then you pull it down to break up the soil, roots, weeds, or whatever else may be getting in the way of you planting a garden.
Not only does the broad fork clear a larger area much more quickly than a regular spading fork, but it is also easier to use, and requires less lifting and shoveling. You can also use it for quickly loosening and aerating soil in pre-existing garden beds before planting.
The broadfork is a great garden tool for large to medium-sized gardens, and while not the cheapest of garden tools (they typically run anywhere from $80 to $200), they are certainly more affordable (and easier to store) than a tiller or garden tractor.
If you’re looking for a great way to break ground in a large garden relatively quickly, and without spending a lot, a broadfork may be right for you.
Here is some more info from The Grow Network on using a broadfork;
To the uneducated eye, you might think this was a strange piece of tractor equipment or some sort of medieval weapon. It’s got amazingly vicious spikes on the end with a wicked curve to them, and the solid steel construction doesn’t look like any other garden tool most of us have seen.
That’s because it’s NOT like any other garden tool. This is a ground-breaking machine.
The first time I tried my new broadfork, I was amazed how it cut into the ground like a knife…. I can break about 50 square feet of new ground in roughly 15 minutes.
On new ground, the broadforking doesn’t take as long as the weed pulling does, though the weeds come out easily once the broadfork has passed by. Once they’re pulled, the soil is perfect for planting.
You can find broadforks on Amazon.com and other online retailers, and in some garden centers.