Preparing your seedbed may same easy from face value. However, proper preparation of your garden in readiness for planting could be the key to getting better yields from your garden. Plowing and harrowing work in tandem in seedbed preparation but are slightly different altogether. Choosing the right tractor and tillers is crucial for you to get the desired results.
What is harrowing? Harrowing is further preparation of a seedbed that comes after plowing. Harrowing come with specialized attachments that help to break up large soil clumps. Many rookies confuse harrowing with cultivating as both are crucial in seedbed preparation.
However, plows dig deeper into the soil and in the process loosening and turning it. Harrows, on the other hand, refine the already plowed ground reducing the size of the soil particles leaving it aerated correctly in readiness for planting.
How To Do Harrowing (Land Preparation Guide)
Tractor harrows and hard soil tillers come in different sizes and shapes, with the common ones having tines, discs, or chains. The evolution of the harrowing machines has seen the manually animal pulled machines replaced by tractor-pulled harrows.
The leveling implements are usually robust and evenly spaced out. Dragging them implement leaves the topsoil refined and it’s recommended for use, especially on large scale farming.
What Is The Difference Between Harrowing And Tilling?
Many people, especially the inexperienced, will differentiate between plows and harrows when they see them. However, very few will tell you the difference in how they work as both works very closely. Tractors and other ATVs drag both, but they work differently in seedbed preparation – tillers.
Tillers are used to break ground, which in most cases, leaves it with big clumps. Its robust tines are responsible for breaking the ground. Such grounds are hostile to seeds and seedlings, making it vital for harrowing. Choosing the ideal leveler for your yard is crucial, especially if the ground is hard and compact. Chain disk harrows make the perfect combination as they break the large clumps and soften the soil. Further, the levelers elevate the unbreakable sods to the soil surface. It is easier for the sods to disintegrate on their own this way.
Why Harrow? – Reasons for Harrowing
Harrowing does more to the soil than reducing the size of soil particles, making it an essential process before seeding. The benefits include:
1. Removing Weeds from the Ground
After plowing, some grasses may get attached to the soil clamps. Harrows help remove the weeds by bringing them on the soil surface, making it easy for seeding. You can also manually collect the weed stumps leaving the seedbed ready for planting.
2. Removing Soil Clumps
Plowing helps to disintegrate robust and compact grounds and turns it up the soil. However, the leveler breaks the soil clumps and sod by reducing their size further – depending on the tiller or harrow width.
It also brings the clamps and sods that it’s unable to cut to the soil surface. In most cases, it breaks all, but in case of rocky soils, the rock particles are brought to the soil surface, making it easy for you in the seeding process.
3. Soil Aeration And Better Water Absorption
Harrowing your yard is crucial for better soil aeration. Soil microorganism thrives better in an adequately aerated soil. In turn, they can break the humus in the ground better, making it more fertile.
Harrowed soil also absorbs water better compared to the one where harrowing has not been done. Water is a vital component in the seeding process as it helps seeds to germinate.
4. Refining the Soil
Harrowing your yard leaves its surface even, and the earth improved – check these tillers for new ground. It is essential for you to properly prepare your seedbed by harrowing as it is beneficial for the germinating seeds. Further, it is easier for seedlings to spread their roots in plowed soil as the soil is soft to them.
What Should You Consider When Buying a Tractor?
As a landscaper or a farmer, you want to get the best harrow implement that will serve you for years and in the process of achieving your desired objectives. We have come up with a list of researched considerations that will guide you to make the right decision before purchasing a harrowing tool. They include:
a) Harrow type
The earth levelers come in different types and shape and below is how to differentiate them:
- Disc Harrow
Disc harrows come with a set of vertically aligned discs that, when dragged by a tractor through the soil, help in breaking clods leaving the ground aerated. The disc harrows are heavy and sturdy and are best suited for breaking bigger clumps compared to other types of levelers like the chain harrows.
- Tine Harrows
Tine harrows are excellent when it comes to the final seedbed preparation before seeding. They are not as massive compared to disc harrows, making them ideal for lighter work. However, they are excellent at breaking the topsoil. As a result, it’s easier for the soil to absorb water. T adequately aerated in readiness for seeding.
- Chain Harrow
The versatility of the use of the chain harrow is dependent on its weight. Heavier chain harrows are useful for smoothing heavy soil clods and bringing them to the surface. Lighter chain harrowing implement on the other and are ideal for lighter work of breaking the soil further in readiness for planting season.
- Chain-disc Harrow
If you are looking for a harrowing implement that will do its work in a single pass, chain disk harrows are what you need. They are excellent and efficient in breaking clods while also smoothing the topsoil in a single pass, leaving it ready for planting.
- Power harrows
The harrowing beasts come with a motor that powers its rotating tines. Many modern farms are slowly replacing the traditional tractors with the power tillers as they are more efficient and fast, making them ideal for large yards.
b) Harrow Power Size
If you have a large yard. Buying a leveler with a large harrowing width is crucial. It takes little time to harrow as you cover a large area in a single pass. A massive harrowing tool comes with many disks that make it a child’s play to work on a large area.
Extensive soil disturbing tools are ideal for large yards as their powerful motor-powered discs can harrow through any soil effortlessly. Disc size also matters when it comes to harrow performance – rear tine tillers are exceptionally good.
The disks come in different sizes and shapes. Plain disc harrows have better control of the soil when it comes to harrowing. Their concave-shaped discs help with inverting the ground better. On the other hand, notched disc blades offer more aggression for better soil penetration and cutting through unwanted weeds.
Harrows get primarily used for eliminating clumps as a follow up to plowing. However, they are also crucial in breaking up sods in the soil, leaving it perfectly aerated. While more prominent clusters would be hard to break, harrows help to bring them on the soil surface where they can slowly erode. Look for harrowing implements that you can use after seeding.
A hard ground requires a sturdy harrow. You need to get a harrow with a strong structure for strength. Ensure that the discs material is strong to withstand the harrowing through tough, compact soil. Many heat-treated disk blades are durable and ideal for use with tractor-pulled harrows. Harrows with thick discs are suitable for compacted soils and will work perfectly with different soil conditions. Ensure that they are made of hard materials so they can last long without any need for replacement.
A harrow is a costly farm implement and investing in one call for proper research. Tracor harrows from established brands are time tested and in most cases, come with a heftier price tag. However, always purchase a tractor harrow that will meet or exceed your harrowing needs. Some upcoming harrowing brands will suit your needs with a slightly lower price tags.
f) Maintenance and Repair
Harrows are relatively easy to clean and maintain. Since many harrowing implements don’t have engines, their maintenance costs are pretty low compared to the powered harrows. Cleaning the tool is crucial to maintain the blade sharpness.
Cleaning harrows keeps the rust away, consequently increasing its durability. Use a hard brush to remove soil particles. Next, use a soapy piece of clothing to clean it further to maintain its shine. When it comes to repairing, it’s effortless to replace the harrow parts as they are readily available in online stores.
Buying an expensive farming implement is never easy. Buying a harrowing implement won’t be easy either. However, now that you have all the information that you need concerning a harrow. However, take care of hallowing safety to avoid unnecessary injuries.
You need to do further due diligence also to understand a harrow and how you can use it in other farm applications. Paying a visit to your local harrow dealer would be an excellent first stop. You will see the harrows tool first hand, and you will be in a better position to further get clarification on the ideal harrow for your yard.