IN FOCUS – Broadfork vs Digging Fork

IN FOCUS – Broadfork vs Digging Fork

Classic small farming tools. Comparing a broadfork to a digging fork. Which one is best for you?
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29 Comments

  1. Ben Falk on August 29, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    Nice overview Curtis – I really like the super burly wide "biointensive fork" or digging fork like you and Jodi/Jeavons use – and so versatile too like you mention, but in larger spaces like for tree planting and big beds we love the Meadowcreature broad fork – 16" size – amazing tool. I unearth mounds of small stones to small boulders each season with it.

  2. Shawn Ueda on August 29, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Okay. So I’m an older woman (5′ 4" tall) and I DO USE broadfork and digging fork. If the broadfork is having a hard time penetrating the ground because you are trying to break up hard and compacted soil , then just rock the broadfork side to side and front to back. If it’s really bad then break first 6 to 8 inches and on second pass go the full depth of 16 inches or so.

    digging fork and broadfork are for different uses. I’ll broadfork a row once every three years or so. No need to do it every year unless you are driving heavy machinery over it or an ATV or walking (shame on you for walking on the rows).

    The handle on your broadfork looks pretty skinny. Mine is about 2" diameter heavy gauge pipe/tube. And my fork only has 5 tines or so. its spaced wide enough that I can manage to miss big rocks. I’ve even used my broad fork to break up a packed crushed gravel driveway. Try doing that with a digging fork or shovel or even a pick axe.

    Broadfork is still way cheaper than subsoiler and it doesn’t require a tractor/ATV. Sure my broadfork cost about $200 but its well worth it. A really good digging fork is going to set you back close to $100.

  3. Marvin Double on August 29, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    Very heavy clay is a challenge – regardless of which fork on choses. I’m establishing new garden beds transitioning from a typical sod lawn. Breaking up the underlying clay nearly breaks my digging fork. The work is very time consuming and physically demanding and puts enormous stress on the fork. I can’t imagine doing this with a broad fork.

  4. Human Bean on August 29, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Curtis, I thank you for being Curtis. I found your channel through John Kohler, though I would have found it otherwise because you are covering everything I need to know to get my small farm started!

  5. Tyler Jordan on August 29, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    I think I’d preference something in between. like a broadfork in shape, but somewhat narrower than Curtis’s. Also, I’d only want tines that are half the length – i.e. only penetrate half the depth. I don’t like deep soil disturbance to my beds once established.

  6. Sebastian Cannavo on August 29, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    great video. thanks

  7. Brock Carpender on August 29, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    Anything on extremely bad toothaches pray to rip my face off

  8. theleadingheadDOTcom on August 29, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    DGB 💙 on coinbase! 💥🚀

  9. ShamanFryd on August 29, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    1:32 just called everyone that complains about the broadfork a bunch of light weights. All you little guys just got served son!

  10. Thom Spengler on August 29, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    I have ruined many a garden fork by bending the tines; they just aren’t strong enough. On Amazon, if you search for “Ymachray 5-Tine Heavy Duty Pitch Fork,” there is a nice, strong Chinese garden fork for ~$50… and shipping is included!

  11. Sign Man on August 29, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    I couldn’t decide, so I bought both! lol Besides, I’m a tool geek and like quality, heavy-duty stuff. I ordered the ‘Peoples’ Broadfork’ from Meadow Creature and the fork you show here. 🙂

  12. TechnocraticDreadnought on August 29, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    3:25 you don’t have to thrust the broadfork into the soil, just step on it and utilise your bodyweigt and a bit of front to back wiggling.

  13. Tom O'Hern on August 29, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    To your point about some broadforks dealing with rocks better than others… I purposely got a heavy duty broadfork becasue my rototiller could not deal with the rocks in my soil. https://goo.gl/photos/rc7g3iPcWTwzczWg6

  14. Permaculture Playground on August 29, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    Good stuff, build myself a broadfork and stumbled on the points you mentioned. I have super dense clay here full of rocks and with me being a lightweight guy it is next to impossible to bang it into the soil in one go.
    It still works but is just a hard job, whichvis actually good to build some muscle and I don’t do big patches anyways.

  15. katier19 on August 29, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    What is the brand/model of the digging fork? Thanks.

  16. Ellenn Oits on August 29, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    is there a video that shows what nutrients u use to feed your plants, thanks

  17. mark fisher on August 29, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    Where’s that new bcs tiller?

  18. Bicycle Montreal on August 29, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    Digging fork is way cheaper as well.

  19. J D on August 29, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    I for real dig this fork video, thanks for making it! 😀

  20. Whiskey Tango-Foxtrot on August 29, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    $26 seemed steep for a digging fork so I fashioned one from a push broom and some old steak knives. It didn’t work very well, and due to the nature of my injuries, my doctor put me on a 72 hour suicide watch. Cannot recommend.

  21. E C on August 29, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    I’m curious if you’ve got any experience with the Gulland Forge or Meadow Creature Broadforks. They might be more effective with the conditions you’re working with. Modern videos of side by side comparisons would be great. I’m incredibly turned off by the Johnny’s Broadfork – the tines are attached to the bottom of the crossbar with a dainty little weld. The Gulland Forge tines run across the back of the crossbar like a spine with what appear to be 3/4" welds on each side of the tine. That makes for an incredibly repairable (easy to weld) and rigid appearing design. However I’ve only used Johnny’s and it was remarkably flimsy. Still I like the concept and am between a Meadow Creature and a Gulland Forge Big Bertha. The hard-pan style tines on the Meadow Creature and the reinforced tines on the Big Bertha are attractive. I think the Meadow Creature Farmer’s Broadfork is what I’ll be after ultimately as I’ve broken the wooden handle on just about every implement I’ve used a long while and at 6’3" and 200 lbs I don’t think a 25 lbs broadfork will hold me back. I’m literally working on top of an ancient sand dune (it’s no longer active, a town sits on it) with some organic matter on top and think the hard-pan style tines will be necessary to accomplish the depth of penetration I want to achieve as well as retaining robust quality as I yank on it. It seems the hard-pan tine is simply for greater torque and that it generally is applicable in hard-pan. Any videos of comparisons would be appreciated as I haven’t found any.

  22. Christopher Smith on August 29, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    I use both broad and digging forks. I’ll use the broadfork to crack open hard clay ground before soaking and tilling on new beds and to open up subsoil for aeration on finished beds. The broadfork sinks right into the finished beds without any problem. I use my digging fork to work out deep rooted perennial weeds from new bed areas and to uproot larger garden plants once they’re past production.

  23. Joe mc glue on August 29, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    if you have a problem with the broad fork have it readjusted for your own use this is a brilliant invention stops back pain  builds shoulder strength & speeds digging time also but not to fast on compacted or over grown  land

  24. Joel C on August 29, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    I have just broken yet another garden fork and need to buy a good one. I like the looks of the one you have. Which one is it. Is it stainless. What is the brand?

  25. thegreenhornets on August 29, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    My feet are usually sore after using a digging fork. Do you think it might be useful to try and weld a couple of foot plates on the top of it on each side of the handle kind of like one of the heavy duty short shovels you showed not too long ago?

  26. itsno1duh on August 29, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    I found a third option a YO-HO 6 tine manure fork.  I prefer this type because the tines are a bit closer and create a better tilth quicker than the broad spaces of the digging fork.   It also comes with a longer straight handle which helps me as I cannot do the constant incline needed to use the DF without a strain.   I found an ancient one at a curb disposal 25 years ago and I have worn it out, literally missing the tips by 4 inches.  Located an on-line farm store that delivered and the only improvement is to make the angle of the handle more in line with the blades like the DF is and eventually replace the handle with a steel pipe for the extra weight.   This is my right hand in the garden and landscape work.

  27. TheLastLogicalOne on August 29, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    On non-stoney soil i wonder which tool preps an outdoor bed faster.

  28. Thabo Mtetwa on August 29, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    Now this is useful information. Thank you for sharing.

  29. georg cantor on August 29, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    (5:44) The digging fork looks like it can also be used for self-defense. Since it’s nimble, you could probably spin it around, toss it in the air, bounce it off the ground, and use it in place of a long spear and make like a Wushu martial artist. Perhaps by doing that, you can intimidate your attackers and scare them away.

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