Easy Ways to Break Up Hard Soil for a Garden

Written by amy lukavics
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Easy Ways to Break Up Hard Soil for a Garden
Hoes are excellent at breaking up hard garden soil. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

If you want to plant a garden, it's crucial that all soil is loose, soft and free of any large obstructions like rocks or roots. There are all sorts of garden tools to help break up the soil, but a specific few will really help you get the job done. These tools can be combined to make good garden soil that is ready to be fertilised and used. Alternatively, if you have clay soil, use a rototiller to till the area thoroughly until the clay is broken up with no big lumps

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Hoe
  • Shovel
  • Broad fork
  • Rake
  • Rototiller (optional)

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  1. 1

    Break up the first few inches of the soil with the hoe. Beat the soil with either end of the hoe to loosen up initial plant life and other lightly embedded materials.

  2. 2

    Remove larger and more stubborn rocks with the help of a shovel. Stick the shovel beneath the rock, place your foot firmly on the shovel and pull the handle down to create leverage and lift the rock out.

  3. 3

    Break up and remove any roots beneath the soil with the broad fork. Stab the soil as deep as possible multiple times with the broad fork at a 45-degree angle to penetrate through deeply compacted soil and the roots themselves.

  4. 4

    Rake the area well to remove all smaller pieces of debris from the garden area.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are breaking up clay soil, it will need to be amended before planting, reports the University of California at Davis.

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