As part of our decision to use the no till method on the farm, we purchased a broadfork to help turn the soil without tearing up the soil micro bacteria with a rototiller. The extremely sharp blades are 12 inches long and you can buy them up to 16 inches long. Using your body weight you step down on the broadfork and pry up the soil. The bed in the picture is the oldest bed used and as you can see it’s terrible clay soil. This tool works.
The next step will be for us to add more organic material and blend it in. We covered the bed over the winter with straw but it was a very dry winter and the idea is to keep the moisture in the bed. These old beds are going to need a lot of amending with compost and we may add sand.
Working on the soil is a lot of trial and error and requires a lot of patience. Fortunately each year is better than the previous year so we are moving in the right direction.