What is a broad fork?
The broad fork, also known as a hand tiller, is a wonderful tool to have for breaking up hard pan and aerating soil. This is an excellent choice for market gardeners, urban farmers or serious gardeners to loosen up lots of soil quickly. Crafted with longevity in mind, all the pieces that go into making it are chosen specifically for their durability and quality.
The ash handles are readily found at the local hardware store and oriented in such a way as to minimize the chance of them snapping from hard use. Should they break, the handles are easily replaced.
The handle sockets and crossbar are 1/8″ square steel tube to balance strength and weight. The 10″ tines are forged from 1/2″ round steel and work hardened. All steel pieces are assembled by a journeyman welder to ensure the welds are of the highest quality.
Clean and apply a light coat of tung oil or linseed oil at the end of each growing season before putting the tool into storage to keep the wood flexible and the steel free from rust.
Why use a broad fork?
Rototillers of all shapes and sizes till the soil to a maximum depth. Repeated tilling at the same depth, as is typical for spring and fall preparation, eventually creates a hard, almost concrete-like layer that prevents drainage and plant roots from penetrating deeper into the ground. The broad fork, with it’s long, 11.5″ tines, pierces that hard layer and breaks it up, improving the quality of the soil. Like machine tilling, this needs to be done only once or twice a year to maintain excellent soil and growing conditions for your plants.