NEW TOOL for Breaking Clay & Compacted Soil | The PRONG

In this video, I show you a new tool I use to break up clay and compacted soil called the Prong. I also show how to improve the clay soil and plant a fruit tree to give it the best chance of growing fast and producing well!

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Self Sufficient Me is based on our small 3-acre property/homestead in SE Queensland Australia about 45kms north of Brisbane – the climate is subtropical (similar to Florida). I started Self Sufficient Me in 2011 as a blog website project where I document and write about backyard food growing, self-sufficiency, and urban farming in general. I love sharing my foodie and DIY adventures online so come along with me and let’s get into it! Cheers, Mark 🙂


  1. Hassan Kamal on March 16, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    Have you considered an SDS shovel?

  2. Martinus Riovanni on March 16, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    Ah, the elusive rice tree.

  3. Aidan Brooks on March 16, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks for this Mark! We have really heavy clay soils at our place and breaking it up with a big steel bar is a total pain. I’ve got the exact problem with my grape vine that I planted – even though the hole was really big, the clay around it ended up acting as a sealed container … and you can smell the anaerobic reaction after the vine gets really wet. This tool should allow me to at least dig a drainage trench away from the plant. Cheers!

  4. Janice Morelock on March 16, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    I love how you teach, Mark. I live in USA…Colorado. All the stuff you do for clay soil wont work for sand…but still a great video. AndI do learn a lot from you. Thank you

  5. Sara Schoen on March 16, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    That was so helpful! I’m in the south eastern US and it is just straight orange clay through and through. Thank you!

  6. munkey puzzle on March 16, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    love this channel

  7. Samantha Gardener on March 16, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    I wish I was you neabour I would love to help all the time my names jason burgess on my wifes youtube name love watching this channel I love how you do stuff will be subbed for a longgggggg time great content deserves way more subs share share share people

  8. rebecca rosten on March 16, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Is Prong available in EU?

  9. The Sanctuary Norfolk - UK on March 16, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    The Prong looks like a great idea with ground that hard. Great video.

  10. TheTrock121 on March 16, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    Wish I could have seen this 3 years ago. I lost 2 Cherry Trees and a Plum Tree while learning this.

  11. Chris Yarzab on March 16, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    I’m not trying to be mean but why are you using a shovel designed for a midget with a flat end to shovel through dense soil? A Round Point Shovel with a 48" handle would have done a world of difference. Anyways, thanks for sharing. You seem to know what you are doing since I noticed you have nearly 1 Million followers. Subscribed.

  12. M Alias on March 16, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    3:42 seconds before you start using tool- need to edit better

  13. Jim Raynor on March 16, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    We have digging bars in the USA that essentially look like a huge chisel. They’re a long solid piece of iron that’s even longer than the largest prong you have. The downside of them is that the iron is untreated, so they can bend fairly easily. Those prong tools look like they work in moist clay soil, but I doubt they would perform well in dry clay soil. I personally use a demolition hammer with a serrated spade attachment.

  14. Jamie McNeill on March 16, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    It would be even better if the foot peg was on pins, so could be moved up the shaft to enable easier digging in deeper holes.

  15. Hans gimmlie on March 16, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    This thing is amazing.Just ordered one.Greetings from Germany to Down Under : D

  16. Aquapod9 on March 16, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Neat! I wonder if this would help with the absolutely nightmarish stuff we’ve got out here in southern Nevada

  17. gafrers on March 16, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Absolutely perfect for working hard dry Clay soil.

  18. Self Sufficient Me on March 16, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    G’day Everyone, go here for more info on the Prong range of tools: The inventer (Peter) lived down the road from me (same street) in my home town of Toowoomba. By chance, he came across my videos and reached out requesting that I give his range of Prong garden tools a try. Peter is a great guy and a true professional small businessman trying his best to market a top tool he invented out of necessity to dig out rocks in his own backyard. This invention came runners up at the National Innovation Awards in Australia 2013. Cheers 🙂

  19. Zepar The 16th spirit of Ars Goetia on March 16, 2021 at 11:15 pm

    I use pickaxe on this kind of job

  20. B Grover on March 16, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    This looks perfect for the soil in my yard. I live in Western Washington and its nothing but clay and rocks. I’m a short woman and even with a sharp spade digging a hole is nearly impossible. I ordered the Son of Prong and not the Lady Prong because I’m much to prideful to use a tool built for a granny. 😂

  21. Yvencia Simmons on March 16, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    Great video and thank you for sharing!

  22. john ellis on March 16, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    7:33 actually it doesn’t deplete the soil of anything. It does however make those nutrients, especially iron, less available to the plant due to an increase in ph. So if you have acidic soil where you are planting this shouldn’t be a problem.

  23. bubbysbub on March 16, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Man, I could have used this thing three days ago. We dug a 4.5 by 1.5 meter bed in our front yard. All we wanted to do was remove the grass and open up the soil a bit to add gypsum, blood and bone, seaweed, coir mulch (the thick mulch, not the peat bricks, for keeping some air pockets) and compost, and it was near impossible!! The grass had dry, loose soil between its roots and that was it. Took five of us about three hours with mattocks and crowbar to get the grass out, and took me about an hour and a half of ridiculously exhausting work with a seven foot crowbar to open it up no more than ten centimeters. It was insane. It’s taking us a full week to get this bed ready, which is driving me crazy. The Prong is going at the top of my birthday list, because I WANT ONE.
    Incidentally, the one spot in the entire bed that was lovely, was where we dug a foot wide and deep hole (I made the kids dig that one, and it took them forty five minutes, hahaha) for all the heads and shells from our Chrissy prawns. They’re gone but for one shell I found, but that whole area is so ridiculously fluffy the whole way down, I could not believe it. If I wasn’t on a timetable for the Autumn planting, I’d bury a bunch of fish guts and seafood waste the whole way along and wait two months- as it is, I’m doing it now for the fruit trees I wanted to buy in Spring!

  24. Balla21 on March 16, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    I have used one easier.. it’s called a motorized tiller

  25. Light Theory LLC on March 16, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    Goooday from USA Brother

  26. Kim Kirby on March 16, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    I just ordered mine! I saw you use it digging up the stump and had to get it to combat my hollies. Thank you for all the education!

  27. bipola telly on March 16, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    your channel is AMAZING!!!!

  28. Ed Karch on March 16, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Got mine this week using it to grub out bamboo rhizomes

  29. Robert Buckley on March 16, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    A similar tool that I find indispensable over here in Florida is the Meadow Ceature broadfork. it is quite a bit bigger than the tool you’re showing here but in my experience it requires relatively little upper body strength to use

  30. The Kien Lam on March 16, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    What a stupid tool

  31. Richard Yin on March 16, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    you might be interested in a broadfork

  32. JerrythePope on March 16, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    Love the vids mate, however these series of tools sounds like a recreational novelty item, was waiting to hear “King Prong”.

  33. Amer Ali on March 16, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    Mate it’s a rubbish tool

  34. Free Spam on March 16, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    so it’s a burke bar for gardener?

  35. Charlie Bravo Echo on March 16, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    I appreciate the honesty

  36. Werner Larrobis on March 16, 2021 at 11:34 pm

    Would rice hulls work? I just started using it to mix up clay soil about 40% hulls.

  37. Tina Thevarge on March 16, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    This is exactly what I needed to see today. My property ranges from a sand box to compacted clay with very little organic material in either. I struggle to grow grass. But I want to put in some small swales to start water harvesting. I might be stuck with my husband’s pry bar, but it will be a better start than my back breaking mattock.

  38. myles adams on March 16, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    hmm cool tool i also have clay like that i feel your pain. in my own case apart from mounding i have had alot of success using Eco organic brand liquid gypsum really can see the break up difference even before break the soil up.i fill up a watering cans worth in the planting hole and let it seep in and drain before i plant.

  39. Rami Agha on March 16, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Why not use a pickaxe?🤔

  40. karl Boelling on March 16, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Gah, what a terrible video. Looks like a neat tool, and I get what it’s supposed to do but there wasn’t enough focus on exactly what you’d need it for. Sorry, I’m just frustrated living in a world where you get 12 minute videos where a 2 minute video is all you should need to hook someone.

  41. Lada minuetkittens on March 16, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    What happens if you dig just that shallow whole and than fill it with water a few times?
    In my clay garden in California it is the only way.

  42. 50hellkat2 on March 16, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Looks backbreaking. handle too short

  43. Thunderdeer on March 16, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    We have a tool like this in Sweden called a spätt. it’s just a large solid piece of metal rod usually around 20-40kg, great for clearing rocks and breaking up soil

  44. Henrik Petersson on March 16, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    I use a pickaxe for this and it works perfectly fine. Though I would not mind something a bit more back friendly!

  45. Casually Camping on March 16, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    I’d like you to come to AZ and try using that on our soil lol. It’s basically concrete….

  46. Earth Man on March 16, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    Nothing new about that tool mate. Got the same thing made 50 years ago, wrought iron.

  47. Rhiannon H on March 16, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    Cool tool but is it really necessary for the brand to label one as ‘the lady prong’?…if it’s about the height you could just label it as S, M, L etc. Seems a bit ridiculous to me

  48. Spy Wroe on March 16, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!
    I’ve been looking for something for my QLD clay soil, this is amazing!

    I did go asking around, but everyone just told me to use gypsum on it. They didn’t even tell me HOW to use it..

    So this was amazing!

  49. CoDe_{Kanga} on March 16, 2021 at 11:45 pm

    4:05 Triggered flashbacks of the great conflicts in the South West of West Aus.
    The old clay soil battles.
    WE lost a lot of good pitchfork prongs some that were able to be recovered from their injuries were never the same!

  50. James King on March 16, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    Could you did a 6ft hole with this and will it brake throw hard clay stepping on it

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