A hand cultivator is a gardening tool that is used to turn the soil where you plan on planting and for removing weeds. In small flower or vegetable gardens, it can also be used like a small plow to dig the planting rows. These tasks are not difficult to perform, but for those who aren't familiar with what to do, this easy to follow step-by-step guide will outline everything you need to know.
Using a Hand Cultivator to Turn Soil for Planting
Step 1 - Wear Your Gloves
Before using a hand cultivator, you should always put on a pair of gardening or work gloves. Some soil can be tough to work with causing the handle of the cultivator to form blisters or calluses on your hands. Continuing to work with blisters is painful and can lead to open wounds, so just prevent them from happening in the first place.
Step 2 - Create Sowing Lines
Take the cultivator and create lines in your garden first, prior to tilling the soil. To do this, simply go to one end of your planting bed or garden, and drag the tool in a straight line to the other side. Keep in mind proper spacing requirements for whatever you are planting to figure out how many rows you will need; then, repeat this process until you have the desired number.
Step 3 - Turn the Soil
To begin turning the soil, take the tool and use it in a chopping motion to dig into the ground along the sowing line you created earlier. Break up any clumps and clods you encounter as well, and dig rocks and stones out of the dirt. Continue working the soil until you have the soft, shallow trenches you need for planting.
Using a Hand Cultivator to Remove Weeds from a Garden
Step 1 - Rake Surface of Soil
As mentioned previously, you can also use a hand cultivator to help remove weeds from your flower or vegetable garden. Begin by raking the surface of the soil. This will help you to smooth the dirt and also identify weeds and their roots.
Step 2 - Locate Roots of Weeds
While gently dragging the hand cultivator across the top of the bed, make sure that the blades dig in by at least half an inch or so. Most weeds sprout close to the surface, so their root structures will usually be very close to the top. Sinking the blades in will help you find where weeds are prevalent so you can be thorough with removal.
Step 3 - Use Cultivator to Pull out Weeds
Once you have located roots for the weeds, give the hand cultivator a good tug and pull them out. Place them all in a pile as you dig them up, and then discard the organic waste in a safe place.
Any small flowerbed or garden can be easily prepared for planting with nothing more than this handy tool. So, head to your local home improvement store, pick one up, and try these steps for yourself!