How to use a garden hand plow for furrows

Written by meg butler
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How to use a garden hand plow for furrows
Use a hand plough to make long, even rows in your garden. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A furrow, a narrow, indented row in a garden, serves several purposes. It makes planting small seeds or large numbers of seed much easier. Instead of digging dozens of tiny holes, you can simply scatter seed in a furrow and cover them up. Ideal for vegetable gardens, furrows also simplify weeding and harvesting. Further, the space between furrows provides walking room without having to disturb growing or fruiting plants.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Hose
  • Flour
  • Ruler

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  1. 1

    Determine how far apart to make your furrows. The minimum distance between rows is dictated by the plant's species. Most furrows are 12 to 36 inches apart to allow for root spread. Research your garden plant's spacing needs before you dig.

  2. 2

    Determine how deep your furrows must be. Again, planting depth varies widely by species. Make sure you know how deep to go before you begin. Bulbs often need furrows 3 to 4 inches deep, while large seeds like beans and corn grow well at 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep. Fine seeds like lettuce need furrows only 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep.

  3. 3

    Water the garden bed with an inch of water if the soil is dry. Moist soil is much easier to dig.

  4. 4

    Practice making furrows in the garden bed. Hold the hand plough with both hands and push forward in short, straight rows. Vary the amount of pressure you use as you push, until you think you've mastered digging consistently at the same depth. Take a ruler with you to take accurate measurements. Refill the furrows with the soil you excavated.

  5. 5

    Mark off the furrows you intend to dig by sprinkling flour in a straight line.

  6. 6

    Plough the furrows at the correct depth along the flour furrow guidelines.

  7. 7

    Plant the seed and fill in the furrow with the soil you excavated with the hand plough.

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