Now, I've seed broad forks all over the web for the past few years. I blame Eliot Coleman and his fantastic books for this trend. The problem is that they're expensive and usually need to be special ordered. I'm cheap and I don't have a lot of space in my shed. When a blogging friend wrote about her broad fork a few weeks ago, I realized that I was doing the same thing with my pitchfork. I love a good multi-tasker. Good tools that you feel comfortable with are indispensable.
|Using the pitchfork to loosen the soil|
All you do is shove your fork into the soil, then rock it back to loosen up the soil. Go across the width of the bed. Then take a step backward and do another row. My pitchfork is about half the width of the broadfork, but that doesn't bother me. I'm short, so small is many times better.
|Before prepping the bed.|
After loosening all the soil, I went to work weeding. If you don't have crabgrass, you are very lucky. It's the devil. It spreads under ground through long roots called stolons. You can't smother it. It just simply takes work. When the weeds are gone, I smooth it over and the bed is ready for planting.
|After prepping. Weed free, loose soil.|
New England is experiencing a bit of a drought right now, so I'll have to keep them well watered. Hopefully we'll get some good soaking rains soon. If not, it will be a challenging gardening year. What have you gotten into your beds lately?