Broadfork

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Cleansweep 4 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #39613

    Andrea
    Participant

    Lots of American no dig (or “no till” as they say) broadfork their beds every year or so citing aerating the soil as a reason. Is this necessary? I have not done this on my 5 year no dig beds but some market gardeners say that yields go down if you don’t. I don’t walk on my beds to tend or plant them so maybe that is the difference? Any one used a broad fork and seen benefits?

    #39622

    charles
    Moderator

    Yes I often wonder why they broadforking so much
    A trial here of three years comparing forked to no dig and with same compost mulch, gives more crops every year on the no dig
    So I recommend that and see my video on the subject of dig/no dig from September 2016
    If you are unsure, do your own comparison and let us know

    #70438

    Tommy Ryan
    Participant

    I have wondered too if I should consider broadforking. I did notice a bed that had sweet potatoes the previous year perform better than a neighboring bed. This made me wonder if I could get better results with my beds that are only in their second season (or if that was just a coincidence).

    I am resisting adding yet another variable to control. As I observe my soil, it does not seem that compact and that the earth worms and vole/moles are creating some decent aeration of the soil (I know, voles/moles not a great thing to have in the garden, but they seem to have minimal to no damage so far).

    For the American gardener/farmers (and other locations like Sweden where Richard Perkins does small scale farming with nodig principals), it does seem to be a common practice. Although, I have not seen any controlled trials (that I am aware of). Will be interesting to see if anyone has done extensive trials. I know Charles compares to dug beds, but I am not sure if that is broadforking or double digging the beds.

    #70439

    Cleansweep
    Participant

    Without evidence of a problem why would one seek to pre-empt a notional problem? If one observes an issue, then certainly evolve a method to overcome that,within the ethos of ones regime.
    I do not see pools of standing water on compost, my carrots and parsnips reach sufficient depths, sometimes requiring easing to harvest. Planting holes are easily created with dibber or trowel.Producing at least an adequate supply for household consumption has not proved difficult. I shall not be fixing anything till its broke!

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