Boost your plants' health and production with a cultivator, a common backyard garden and farm implement. In backyard gardens, it is typically a long-handled rake-like object with metal tines. In a farm, the cultivator is often mechanical and attached to a tractor that drags it through a field. Whatever your type of cultivator, you'll find that it has several beneficial uses for your garden vegetables or field crop.
Break up compact, hard soil with the cultivator's metal tines. This promotes soil health by letting surface nutrients spread through the soil and prevents water from simply sitting on the surface of the ground. Aeration also lets subterranean plant roots and bacteria breathe properly. For best results, use the cultivator before planting and avoid using it when the soil is soggy and wet.
Distribute soil amendments like organic compost and synthetic fertilizers with your cultivator to help feed hungry plant roots. The tool mixes the soil amendments into the ground, helping nutrients penetrate faster with direct access to plant roots. Mixing the amendments into the ground with the cultivator also minimizes nutrient loss due to wind or being washed away by surface water. Fertilize as dictated by your specific plant species' needs.
Drastically reduce weeds amongst your plants with the cultivator, which can also help lower disease among your plants thanks to its ability to weed without damaging your plants' foliage, according to Agriculture Canada. The government organization also states that using a cultivator can be just as successful in combating weeds as conventional weed control like herbicides. The cultivator weeds by uprooting vegetation with its metal tines scraping just below the surface of the soil. For best weeding results, your field or garden dirt should by dry.