Published at Sunday, April 29th, 2018 - 13:52:59 PM. . By Maritza Emerson.
Pry Bar Works Great for Rocky Soil - In the New England garden, rock is our constant companion, and those of you with hardpan know how difficult it is to break through. No list of tilling tools would be complete without the pry bar, or breaker bar. You know the one, 6’of iron bar just perfect for, well, prying and breaking things. This one gets a workout whenever I start a new bed, prying up the inevitable boulder or two that I run across. It also is another tool that can double as a pick, so we’re running out of reasons to own one. If we’re starting a bed, we’re adding compost and humus, mulching and perhaps even moving soil from one locale to another, so I include the barrows and carts in this group. This is a personal decision, based on what you intend to carry and your own personal limitations. The traditional wheelbarrow with the single tire up front is great for working in tight spaces, but it can be unstable with a big load, and anyone who has had to shovel a load of gravel off of a lawn will attest that it is not much of a labor-saving device if you dump it.
Spading Fork - A spading forks four tines are much heavier than those of a pitchfork. If well-made, its a rugged tool, built to do battle with soil and the rocks it contains without bending. It pierces the ground more easily than would a shovel or a spade and is great for pre-loosening soil that you can then lift out with a shovel, and for breaking up heavy soil clumps so that amendments can be added. The stubborn, matted roots of meadow grasses yield to it and can then be yanked intact. Dandelions are pulled out unbroken if a spading fork has probed around them. The digging fork, a similar tool with flattened tines, is the best one for prying out root crops such as carrots and potatoes.
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