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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Jan 30, 2015 11:56 AM CST
https://meadowcreature.com/broadforks

Has anyone used these? The idea is to loosen the soil without bringing up weed seeds. Wonder how that works.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Claud
Water Valley, Ms (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member
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saltmarsh
Jan 30, 2015 10:35 PM CST
Sorry Tom, but the idea is bassacwards. If you are familiar with a breaking plow which is used to start the preparation of fallow ground for cultivation, it turns over the top several inches (usually 8" -10") of soil and pulverizes it. This aerates the soil, breaks up the sod while at the same time burying the millions of seeds on the surface too deep for most of them to germinate, but don't feel sorry for the poor seed as enough escape the burying to make new ground a challenge.

If you have access to household current one of these is easier to use and a better value: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Earthwise-11-in-8-5-Amp-Electric-...

I just bought one and it works like a charm. It only weighs 23 pounds, but don't let the weight fool you, it tears through sod and packed dirt. It won't work on rocky ground but the tool you're looking at won't either.

I lucked out. The only one left in stock was the display, but it was up off the floor where customers couldn't mess with it so it was like new. The department manager knocked the price down to $120 and then the store gave me another 10% veterans discount which brought it down to $108. Plus it does an excellent job as a power cultivator. With the wheels down it's easy to control where the tines go and how deep. Hope this helps. Claud
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Jan 31, 2015 5:07 AM CST
I was listening to public radio's talk show called "Garden Talk" where Jean-Martin Fortier was a guest, and he is the author of a book "The Market Garden". He and his wife have a very successeful business on a limited amount of land, and don't use a tractor. He recommended this tool. I have a Troy build Horse tiller that makes quick work of tilling. I deal with the weed seeds by solarizing with black tarps. It keeps the moiture in the ground,and the weeds germinate, but die for lack of sun. works good for me. I put a layer of compost on top of the soil, then the tarp, and let the worms do the work.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Jan 31, 2015 5:52 PM CST
Never saw such a thing. I used the Mantis tiller for some years as I could start it, use it, and pull it apart for maintenance in the spring. I don't really have any areas that require that much cultivation for now. If we are successful in getting 5 or 10 acres out in the valley then I will look at lightweight tillers again. I have been very painstakingly digging up section after section of my garden (late last fall) as the weeds got ahead of me for a while. I dug them up, turned the soil, then put down cardboard and playground wood chips on top of that. I will spread preen on top of the chips next spring. That should at least give me a fighting chance of staying ahead of the little beggars. Except for horsetail. That is soooooo invasive and nothing seems to kill it.

I am making notes on what you large gardeners use for various things and hope to have the room to employ some of your tips.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Claud
Water Valley, Ms (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member
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saltmarsh
Feb 1, 2015 12:13 AM CST
Oberon46 said: I will spread preen on top of the chips next spring. That should at least give me a fighting chance of staying ahead of the little beggars. Except for horsetail. That is soooooo invasive and nothing seems to kill it.

I am making notes on what you large gardeners use for various things and hope to have the room to employ some of your tips.


Are you talking about this or another species? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equisetum_arvense

If so, I use a tea made from the shoots on all my vegetables. I use it to prevent mold, mildew, fungal diseases, and blights.

The horsetails you see growing on top of the ground are produced from a perennial underground rhizomatous stem system which can be much deeper than the clumps on the surface.

I hope you will use it rather than kill it, but you can remove it by applying agricultural lime to raise the soil PH to 7.8 - 8. Claud
[Last edited by saltmarsh - Feb 1, 2015 12:16 AM (+)]
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Feb 1, 2015 11:37 AM CST
That's the little devil. I really cannot raise my pH as the majority of my plants like acid conditions around 6.0. But it would be interesting to try it in a part of the garden. If the tea would kill aphids I would gladly brew a gallon or so. Thanks
Mary
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Claud
Water Valley, Ms (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member
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saltmarsh
Feb 1, 2015 3:50 PM CST
Mary, sorry you can't use lime to solve the problem, but here's another solution. Carefully remove the soil from around a clump of horsetails and follow the stem down to the rhizome. Dig up the rhizome and divide it into pieces (any good sized clump should have a rhizome which can be divided into 4 or more pieces). Plant each section in a 4" pot with the rhizome about an inch from the bottom using regular potting mix. Place the pots in a lightly shaded location and water them enough to keep them from drying out. When shoots appear each pot sells for $15 to $20. If you want to pot the existing clumps in larger pots which sell for more just make sure they have a section of rhizome attached. The clumps are not viable without a section of rhizome attached. Do you feel better about them now?

The horsetail tea won't kill your aphids (or any other insects for that matter) but I use a combination spray when I spray.

I use 1 tablespoon of molasses per gallon of spray - this acts as a sticker so it doesn't wash off as easily in the rain and dew and also acts as a foliar feed.

1 tablespoon of Palmolive Orange dishwashing liquid - this acts as a spreader for better coverage on the plants and also as a contact poison for soft-bodied insects such as worms and your aphids.

Concentrated Garlic, Hot Pepper, and Powdered Sage tea - this is mixed with water (1part tea to 1 part water) and confuses and repels most insects. If the moths don't lay their eggs on your plants a lot of your insect problems never start. I also use this spray when I transplant and plant seeds. I spray the area to be planted first to kill any cutworms and grubs on the soil as well as thin out the flea beatles. Then after I plant to mask the odor of the seeds so birds and animals won't dig them up.

Horsetail tea - 2 1/4 cups of tea per gallon of spray as a preventative and foliar feed (it's also rich in nutrients); 4 1/8 cups per gallon of spray for an active infection (I normally keep a spray bottle of this and spray the wound when I prune or when plants are damaged by wind or rugrats.

Lacto Bacillus inocculant - this helps to eliminate harmful bacteria and promote plant growth.

As a separate spray I use Rosemary tea for stuborn insect problems such as spider mites and stink bugs. I use the dishwashing liquid and molasses with the Rosmary tea.

Several other teas for specific insects such as Colorado Potato Beatle.

If you want the tea recipes, I'll post them. Claud

Sorry for hijacking your thread Tom.
[Last edited by saltmarsh - Feb 1, 2015 3:52 PM (+)]
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Feb 1, 2015 5:33 PM CST
I cannot even imagine why anyone would want to buy horsetail. Although now that you mention it I have seen it for sale at some vendor sites.

I could use the spray for spider mites. I don't seem to have any other pests except aphids. I have cut and pasted your recipes above into word and printed.

Thanks for the assist,
Mary

"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Feb 2, 2015 4:48 AM CST
thanks Claud, That's some really useful information. You should probably start a thread on useful natural insectacides, so others find it. This info is too good!
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Feb 2, 2015 9:02 AM CST
"I cannot even imagine why anyone would want to buy horsetail. "

I was just going to say the same thing... we have it too, the only thing I've found that has really worked to get rid of it is to keep after it whenever it sprouts -- I've pretty much eliminated it from my garden at this point (improving the soil with a lot of organic matter has probably also helped).

Tom, I've been thinking about getting a broadfork too -- last year I wasn't able to till my garden because the previous fall had been so rainy and wet and then the spring was more of the same, and by the time things had dried out enough for tilling I already had lots of stuff planted. I used my regular garden fork the way a broadfork is used -- not actually digging up the soil, just loosening it, before planting my carrots and beets. I really felt that I had less weeds by not tilling, so this year I'm going to give it a try again -- if I still feel the same way I'll probably get a broadfork next year. I think I first heard of them in Eliot Coleman's "Four Season Harvest" book -- Johnny's Seeds sells them and has an instructional video about using them...
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/mediaplayer.aspx?VideoID=33&sourc...

Claud, I agree that a thread on the natural insecticides and such would be very welcome !
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Feb 2, 2015 10:20 AM CST
Well, I wasn't going to weigh in here but I just can't help myself. We have a broadfork and it's great for no till areas. We also had a small tiller, my husband called it a ground tickler. Worthless for us with clay.
Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
josebaca
Aug 3, 2016 12:58 PM CST
Jumping in a little late here, but the number and styles of forks that I own is at least equal to shovels!, and my meadow creature is my prized possession. I too have hard pan clay and this tool eats it up almost as fast as my rototiller ( and THAT thing is a beast! ) and actually does a better job all around than my tiller, it goes deeper causes less structural damage to the soil, and once you get the hang of them, they're alot of fun.If I had to start all over again the first purchase I'd make would be another meadow creature, probably the biggest one they have.Over the years I have tried to work with nature and given the climate, soil and general conditions around here, no other tool is tougher, stronger or more useful.

Wow! after proof reading this, I realize that I sound like some kind of Ad-man for the company! But when you try to keep your investment in trees, bushes and perennials alive in the concrete I have for soil this thing can handle it without damaging them. I also own a bullystick B.F.
which also has it's uses especially in established areas, so as far as I'm concerned, if you have the need, you really can't go wrong getting a broadfork.
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
Aug 3, 2016 1:08 PM CST
Never used one a "Broad" fork but it appears to be a super sized version of the traditional spading fork. I have use these for years for small patches and they do an excellent job. It is hard physical labor tho. Given enough time and sweat you could break an acre garden. I don't think many of us would have the time and stamina tho.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Aug 3, 2016 3:35 PM CST
Hi JR!

Bully Tools Broad Fork: page 20 of 26
http://www.bullytools.com/images/BullyTools2015Brochure.pdf


Johnnies Broadforks:
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/c-1008-broadforks.aspx

Video of a broadfork being used, especially around 2:03.
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/mediaplayer.aspx?VideoID=33&sourc...

other "tool videos":
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/t-videos.aspx#tools

Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
josebaca
Aug 3, 2016 4:16 PM CST
Hey Rick! Howadoing?
Long time no hear! 'preciate the links but, with the 2 I have plus a REALLY big potato fork, I think I'm good for now, um , wait,........NO I'm good.

Farmer Dill;
Sir if you have the oomph to handle a garden fork then trust me, a broardfork will be like bliss. All you need is a good sense of balance and a rather firm grip, just so's ya don't fall on your keister. place the tines where you want them then lift and stab down hard, stand on the tool hold onto the handles and rock. When you're in all the way, hold onto the tops of the handle with your feet still on the bar and squat like a kid who holds onto your leg to keep you from moving, as you feel it give, adjust your balance, and there you are! If it won't come back at you, then push your bottom out and away from the fork this does the trick for me, but I'm going a good 220.

Honestly, you could do that acre in half the time and it'll cost you half the sweat. I actually put down my compost AND perlite before then go at it then wet it down. The top dressing and water fill in the cracks and breaks in the soil then I just come back with my fork hoe, and voila! Hurray!
Name: Cybrczch (Rich)
SE Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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cybrczch
Aug 6, 2016 11:03 PM CST
I used a broadfork to dig up a community garden plot in the fall a few years ago. A little work, but it broke up the clay loam fairly well. One other benefit was that the plot was infested with bindweed - while a tiller just chopped up the roots, all of which would then sprout later, the broadfork pulled up the roots whole and I was able to pull them out of the plot - while I didn't get rid of all of it, it really cut down on it. Plus, unlike my little tiller, it didn't throw the dirt around and out of my border.

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