Grelinette – Friend of No-Tilling farming

A human being starts working as soon as she reaches an age when he becomes conscious. As a child, she has to study. And when she matures, she goes to work. Working is intrinsically connected to human life. One works to earn a living. However, there is another kind of work that will not give you money – people still do it because they are passionate about that work, they love doing that work. This is called hobby. Among many hobbies, gardening is the one that keeps us connected to mother Earth. It gives immense pleasure to see a seed germinate and grow into a beautiful plant. However, gardening or farming is as satisfying as it is challenging.

One of the challenges that we face while gardening or farming is to keep the soil fertile all the time. This is a particularly interesting task since it is from the soil that the life of a plant begins. We use many things like fertilizers and manures to keep the soil fertile. One extremely useful way to keep the soil fertile is aeration. Aeration is the process of allowing the air to circulate through the layers of the soil. Broadfork or grelinette is a useful tool to aerate the soil without harming it in any way.

What Is A BroadFork And Why Is It Useful?

As already said, a broadfork is a tool that makes air channels in the soil allowing the air to circulate. A broadfork has long prongs attached to a horizontal bar, and the bar has two long handles on either side of it. To aerate the soil with it, one has to first push those prongs into the soil by standing on the horizontal bar. After that, he has to pull the handles down which makes the prongs to rise upwards, thus loosening the soil. As the soil becomes loose, it can now allow air to pass through the tunnels created by the prongs.


A broadfork or grelinette is useful in the sense that it does not mix the topsoil and subsoil together, thereby maintaining the fertility. What’s more, since a broadfork does not turn the inner portion the soil outward, the seeds of the weeds that remain dormant in the subsoil do not get to see sunlight and remain as it is. A broadfork is thus an inexpensive solution to fertilize a land without much hard work.

Broadfork Vs Rototiller

If you are using a broadfork while gardening, many people will advise you to use a tiller and save your energy. But a tiller is not an ideal way to fertilize the soil. Here’s why –

  1. Tiller harms the Rizophere– Rizophere is that layer of the soil where micro-organisms like earthworms can be found. These are micro-organisms are a great way to ensure soil-health. Tiller disturbs the Rizophere, effectively decreasing the quality of the soil. A broadfork, just loosens the soil without harming the micro-organisms.
  2. Tiller helps weeds to grow – A tiller can bring the dormant seeds of the weeds to the surface where it can get sunlight to grow and annoy the gardeners.
  3. Tiller-prongs are Smaller – The prongs of a tiller are smaller than that of a broadfork. Thus a broadfork can make longer tunnels in the soil than those made by a tiller. These tunnels help the roots of the plants to go deeper and gather more nutrients from the inner soil.
  4. Tiller Makes You Lazy – A tiller is fullky automatic, and you do not have to do any physical labour. However, to push the prongs of the broadfork deeper, one has to stand on the horizontal bar and jump a little. This is a good way to work out without exhausting yourself much.

Broadfork is thus a nice tool to keep the soil fertile in a hassle free way.