Can I use a broadfork in wet soil?

Asked June 2, 2015, 11:26 AM EDT

I am trying to finish up some community garden plantings this week, and was not expecting a week of rain. I know that it is very bad to till soil when it is actively wet - that you can destroy the soil structure for an entire season by doing this. (I don't exactly know how, but I know it does.) Is the same true of using a broadfork, which is what I use to prep beds with. I'm guessing not, that a broadfork would be a lot safer to use since you are not actually churning up or turning over the soil, but I wanted to get your opinion on it. Also, for what it's worth, these are beds that have been cultivated for several years, are well-amended with compost, and generally drain well. Thanks for your thoughts on this - Gordon

Montgomery County Maryland

2 Responses

The principal of a broadfork is to fracture the soil down deep to allow for a more friable tilt of the soil. it will work better when the soil is on the dry side. Really do not know how wet the soil is today but with the added amendments,it appears that the soil drains well. Follow the old rule , if you can squeeze a handful of soil into a ball ,toss it into the air , if it falls apart then its ok. . If it stays in a ball then its too wet.

ro

The principal of a broadfork is to fracture the soil down deep to allow for a more friable tilt of the soil. it will work better when the soil is on the dry side. Really do not know how wet the soil is today but with the added amendments,it appears that the soil drains well. Follow the old rule , if you can squeeze a handful of soil into a ball ,toss it into the air , if it falls apart then its ok. . If it stays in a ball then its too wet.

ro