6 Tips for Using a Spike Tooth Harrow
A spike tooth harrow is a garden attachment that is pulled behind a tractor. This type of harrow leaves small indents in the top soil for breaking up sod clumps, aerating the ground, loosening up hard packed soil and getting the garden ready for planting. This type of harrow is also great for leveling landscapes where new soil has been brought in. Many farmers still make use of the spike tooth harrow, while some homeowners with large gardens also use this tool.
Spike Tooth Harrow Design
The spike tooth harrow looks much like a chain harrow in that it has a low profile and drags across the ground. The difference is in the design of the spike and how they are configured. There is a staggered design so that when a sod clump is brushed with one spike, it is also going to pass through several others in rapid succession. This breaks things up much faster and does not let anything slip by. There is a crossbar that holds the chains that attach to the tractor's 3-point hitch.
1. Drive at Low Speed
One of the big disadvantages of the spike tooth harrow is the way that it has a tendency to skip across the field. This is because the operator is usually driving at a rate of speed which does not allow the spikes to dig into the soil. A speed of 3 to 4 miles an hour is the ideal rate at which to use the harrow.
2. Use Angled Teeth for Better Bite in Soil
There are several different types of spikes that can be used for this harrow. In order for the spike tooth harrow to work more efficiently, the tooth should be curved as opposed to straight. It will work into the ground by applying down force once the curved tip is embedded in the soil.
3. Adjust Height for Different Soil Depths
The depth at which the spike tooth harrow digs into the soil can be adjusted a few different ways. The first is by simply placing a few weights on the corners of the harrow. Another is through adjusting the height at which the harrow is pulled by the 3-point hitch. As the operator is driving the tractor they will be able to tell if the harrow is going deep enough. Some adjustments are always needed at the start of use.
4. Drive Slower for Great Depth and Aeration
If you want to have better depth for the teeth and more aeration while keeping the soil from crumbling too much, then a slower speed is necessary.
5. Faster Speeds for More Crumbling and Soil Action
Speeds that are between 4 and 6 miles per hour will help to keep the spike tooth harrow from going too deep, while crumbling up the surface soil. It is important to be careful not to go too fast or the harrow will till the soil rather than crumble it.
6. Keep Close Mounting of Harrow Sections for Intensive Tillage
If you are looking to till the soil rather intensely then keep the mountings very close together. This will keep a uniform tilling and break up the most soil at once.