In this lesson we will learn how to use a broadfork.
(A broadfork is a garden instrument used for tilling soil that looks like a fork and which has 2 long wooden handles.)
Gardeners are recommended to use this instrument if they want to reduce damage to soil life.
The broadfork has steel teeth, which enable you to open up and loosen the earth without altering its structure.
As a result the life of sub-soil fauna is less disrupted.
How to use a broadfork
Stage 1: To begin, stand in front of the patch of land that you wish to till.
Stage 2: Drive the broadfork into the soil, transferring all of your weight on top of it. Stand on the instrument so that it penetrates as deeply as possible.
You should not use your legs to force it in. Your body weight is quite enough to push the broadfork into the ground.
Stage 3: Now take a step back. Let your weight fall towards the ground, keeping your back straight. Here too, you should not push with your arms. Simply let your body weight fall .
Stage 4: Raise the instrument shaking it lightly, in order to break up the largest clods of earth.
Stage 5: Now step back 30 centimetres and repeat the previous stages. Drive the instrument into the ground. Take a step back. Use your body weight to open up the soil. Raise the teeth to break up the earth.
A properly used broadfork is a precious ally for the garden. Not only does it allow you to dig and weed more quickly, but it also reduces the effort needed for gardening.
Simply remember not to use your legs to force it in.
Don’t push with your legs
(To force the instrument into the earth,) It’s your body weight that is supposed to do the work.
If you come across stones, or if the earth is too hard, rock the broadfork backwards and forwards while maintaining your weight on top of the instrument. (The broadfork will go in deeply if you do this.)
Don’t push with your arms to open up the soil.
Don’t push with your arms
And keep your back straight.
Keep your back straight!
Once you have finished tilling the earth, rake it a little bit in order to break up the earth one more time.
Your earth is now ready for sowing.