We’ve been answering Ask Gardenerd questions on the sly lately, but this one seemed like it would benefit other gardenerds who love their tools:
“Can you suggest a good garden furrower? The old single wheel in front style?”
I don’t have a garden big enough for a tiller/furrower so I don’t
have personal experience with one, but I noticed that most of the
furrowers out there attach to giant monster tillers. Before we move on, a momentary side bar about tilling since we’re on the subject:
Tilling is a widely used practice in agriculture, but if you can avoid tilling your soil with a machine, please do. Why? It pulverizes the living soil food web. There are billions of organisms living in your soil and running a blade through there will break delicate strands of fungi, kill beneficial microorganisms, and over time destroy the loamy tilth of your soil. Digging by hand, or not digging at all (talk to permaculturists about sheet mulching) will keep your soil alive.
Now – back to furrowing. Furrowers make trenches for planting crops, they don’t actually till the soil. Furrowing by hand can be a long and difficult task. The old fashioned single-wheeled hoe that you’re talking about may be hard to find, but they really help lighten the workload (and they are run by human power, which makes them eco-friendly). Here’s a page from the 1897 Sear’s Roebuck catalog that shows several offerings of days gone by:
On to Shopping. I did found a few models that seems to have good reviews:
you click on Attachments in the body
of the description, you’ll find the furrow attachment.
Or you can go super-old-school and get the High Wheel cultivator. You’ll be the envy of your gardenerd friends. According to Hoss, the high wheel cultivator is more cumbersome to operate though. They duke it out on the Hoss website above.
There are also seeders that will furrow and drop seeds in specified increments all at the same time:
I’ve used one of those before and it’s quite an amazing tool. The wheel in front has a furrow attachment like a hula hoe, then the basket of seeds above has a wheel that distributes the seeds in just the right spacing, then the chain behind that drags over the soil to cover the seeds. I always wished I had enough space to need one of these!
I hope this helps with your furrowing needs. Hey gardenerds out there, if you have reviews of your favorite furrower, share them here.