You don’t have to be a farmer or even have a green thumb to grow a thriving garden. Ever notice how farm fields are planted in neat rows?
It’s not just for show. Straight-line planting gives farmers room to thin, weed, and inspect their crops by leaving plenty of space between each row. Plus, the mounds of loose soil created alongside each row, or furrow, can promote healthy runoff and drainage.
You don’t need to own a tractor to furrow, either. Even home gardeners can use furrowers to dig tidy trenches for planting seeds in their freshly turned garden plots.
Just follow the six steps below for perfectly furrowed and tilled garden soil!
1. Make Your Mark
Drive stakes into the ground directly across from one another on either side of your garden to mark the ends of each row.
Make sure your stakes are lined up evenly. Because they mark your rows’ endpoints, they’ll determine how straight your rows will be.
2. Tie Your String
Tie long lines of string from stake to stake. These strings will create lanes and serve as guide lines for you to follow when you create each row.
With your strings in place, you’ll be able to get an idea of how much room you’ll have between your rows of crops once they start growing. When it comes to weeding, you can never have too much space to work.
3. Hook It Up
Attach the furrower to the back of your tiller or cultivator. By furrowing while you break up your soil, you’ll save yourself time (and trips across your garden) by directly making your rows in a smooth blend of well-turned planting material.
Most furrowing tools come with a standard set of parts:
The blade that actually digs the trench
The hiller wings that push the soil to either side
The mounting hardware that attaches the furrower to the tiller or cultivator
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for attaching the furrower.
4. Part the Earth
Furrowers can be used with either tillers or cultivators. Tillers are recommended if you need to prepare a brand-new garden plot, while cultivators are best used to weed or break up crusty topsoil in an established garden.
Whichever tool you’ve chosen to use with your furrower, fire it up and start pushing your way between the strings, treating the strings like guard rails to make sure you stay straight.
As you're furrowing, you should be creating a trench and plowing the soil to either side, forming hills of loose organic garden soil.
5. Sow Your Seed
Once you've cultivated your soil and plowed your furrows, it's time to plant your crops.
Lay your seeds in the trenches, appropriately spaced apart, and then gently shovel the heaps of soil over the top of the seeds to fill in the trenches and smooth out the top of the soil.
6. Quench the Thirst
Water the rows thoroughly and repeat as necessary to keep the soil moist so the seeds can germinate.
Once they sprout and all of your rows are visible above ground, you may remove the stakes and strings and enjoy the look of your healthy, well-organized garden.
A furrower is a great tool to help you save time and energy and reward you with nutrient-rich soil and thriving crops. With a furrower, you may not have a green thumb—but you will have rows of lush green growth to show off instead!