Broadfork Basics – The Gardening Tool You Didn’t Know You Needed

The Basics of a Broadfork

With 2021 upon us, it has never been more important to be thankful for all the good things we have in our lives and look forward to the rest of the year with the cautious optimism that 2020 taught us to hold. One of those things to look forward to is spring! It’s going to get warmer, the days will get longer, the grass will turn green, and plants outside will come back to life.

This year, the first day of spring is Saturday, March 20, and with that just about two months away, you still have plenty of time to plan out your spring garden.

This year, put a broadfork at the top of your spring essentials list.

Broadfork

WHAT IS A BROADFORK?

A broadfork is a multi-purpose lawn and gardening tool ideal for turning, tilling, lifting, and aerating soil. Broadforks have two pole handles that connect to a row of steel tines along a crossbar, which allows you to put your foot on the tool and drive it into the ground while holding the two grips. They operate, essentially, like a manual rototiller.


HOW DO YOU USE A BROADFORK?

Using a broadfork is remarkably simple and practically effortless. Hold the broadfork upright, so that the tines are angled straight down. Using your bodyweight, push the tines into the ground using your foot. Once all of the tines are underground, gently rock and wiggle the tool to loosen the deep soil. Then, with your foot still on the tine crossbar, grab the handles and pull back using a combination of your body’s and the tool’s leverage. Pulling back should not cause pain or discomfort.

The beauty of this product is that instead of bending over and lifting, like you do with traditional shovels or pitchforks, the broadfork is designed to use your body weight, not your muscles – giving you a great full body workout without hurting your back.

WHY WOULD I NEED A BROADFORK?

The broadfork is a seriously underrated gardening and farming tool and an investment worth considering if you do a lot of work either at home or on the job. Using a broadfork is easy on your body and gentle on the earth, so you can fully enjoy your day in the sun and ensure the proper growth of your plants. Broadforks are also easier (and quieter!) to use than rototillers and accomplish a lot while only requiring a little effort from the person using it. The tool was also designed to reach deeper than rototillers and pitchforks allowing you to till more soil, ensuring that your plants can easily grow deep, and improving the all-over health of your soil.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO USING A BROADFORK AS OPPOSSED TO SOMETHING ELSE?

Whether you plan to grow flowers, herbs, vegetables, or all three, you want your soil to be ready and as healthy as possible for growing season. Having healthy, aerated soil ensures that the seeds that you plan to plant have the best environment to thrive in. Aerating your soil or lawn is important because loosening deep soil creates passages that allow air, water, and nutrients to reach deep into the ground.

Broadforks are the best tools to use to aerate or prepare your garden because they reach deeper than other tools and till without mixing layers of soil. It is important to maintain your soil’s layers because they each have specific, germinating purposes. Loosening the soil without flipping or mixing it makes sure that the proper ecology underground remains intact and allows your plants’ roots to have access to the air, water, and nutrients that they need to survive. Broadforks are also great for breaking new ground and lifting the thick clay that sometimes lives a few inches below the ground.

CAN’T I JUST USE A ROTOTILLER?

Well, yes, but comparatively, rototillers do far more harm than good to your soil, your wallet, and the planet. Rototillers are very powerful, and their blades spin so fast that you have no choice but to disrupt and effectively ruin the ecological benefits layered in the soil that you’re looking to till. Mixing too much brings important soil bacteria and microorganisms to the top layer, exposing them to so much sunlight, oxygen, and water that they lose the benefits that they’ll provide to your plants’ roots.

Not only that, but rototillers are far more expensive than hand-held tools. When you factor in the initial cost of the tiller, the gas and oil it will need to run on for years, and the likelihood that a piece will malfunction or wear down, rototillers are pricey! Especially when compared to a broadfork that only requires you to pay for it once.

Rototillers can also malfunction and break, and there’s nothing worse than gas or oil leaking into your soil. Oil and gas are both easily absorbed by soil and affect the its ecological properties by preventing sunlight, water, and nutrients from reaching and nourishing the bacteria below the soil. This negatively affects the growth of your plants and is difficult to clean up.

And on the subject of gas and oil, it’s 2021 – why spend your hard-earned money on foreign-supplied gas and oil that will harm the planet when you burn it? If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint this year and want your plants to grow as deeply and naturally as possible, a rototiller is not the way to go. From the moment you pull the starter cable to rev up your tiller, the gas and oil inside the machine is burning and releasing carbon emissions into the atmosphere. The highest percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States come from human activities, like using gas-run power tools, so we can all, individually, reduce our carbon footprints by relying on our own manpower. Plus, you’ll kickstart your summer body with great low-impact, full body workout.

For larger projects, rototillers can be helpful, but if you’re just working around your property, it’s far more beneficial to use a broadfork. You’ll be investing in one tool that doesn’t run on oil or gas thereby helping yourself, the planet, and your wallet!

OKAY, YOU’VE CONVINCED ME – WHERE CAN I BUY A BROADFORK?

Lucky for you, we at 100% Made in the USA Bully Tools have the best broadfork your money can buy. Our Broadfork with Fiberglass Handles is powerful, ergonomic, and economic. Constructed from heavy duty, 10-gauge 100% Made in the USA steel, it is up to 30% more durable than that of our foreign competitors. Its overly welded connections make it even stronger and guaranteed to last through all of your toughest jobs. The handles, made of our unique triple layer construction, have a wood core covered in splinter proof fiberglass and are connected to the tines with a thick steel encasement. Each handle comes with a rubber grip on the end for comfortable usage and they detach for easy storage.

Other products on the market have breakable, all wooden handles and lack the extra strength given by our product’s added crossbar.  Not to mention, at just $99.99, our broadfork is one of most affordable out there. Others tend to cost at least $50-$100 more and do not come with the 100% Made in the USA Bully Tools’ limited lifetime warranty and unprecedented history of producing high-quality tools.

Still not convinced that the broadfork is the best? Check out testimonials on our website or Amazon page from other gardeners like you who have used other broadforks and let them tell you why they like ours the best.

HERE’S SOME OF OUR TIPS ON HOW TO ACHIEVE MORE WHILE WORKING LESS WITH YOUR BROADFORK

  • To till your garden – springtime is best; make sure the soil is dry and warm
  • When tilling your grass – don’t till dry soil; a day after a rain shower or a day after watering your lawn is perfect
  • Leave the soil plugs on the lawn after aerating – the soil will break down and its nutrients will work their way back into the ground
  • Use to lift and separate rocks deep underground or to collect potatoes or carrots

Don’t let a difficult patch of dirt or clay stop you from having the garden of your dreams this year. Order a broadfork today and get ready (and excited!) to spend this spring at home.

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