The use of chain harrows may date back to the Middle Ages, but they still have a place in modern cultivation and grass care.
The most basic harrow is a drag harrow which can be pulled behind your tractor, quad bike or four-wheel drive. This has a bar which holds the mat into shape when in use and, as the name suggests, is simply pulled along behind any vehicle with enough power for the job.
If you have a small or compact tractor you have the alternative to upgrade to – a mounted chain harrow where the bed sits within frame. This will have a 3-point hitch to allow for the harrow to be lifted into position and this avoids any dragging when moving from A to B. Some mounted harrows are also folding, which is handy for any tight spaces or narrow gateways between paddocks and also saves space when stored in the barn over winter.
For versatility when used around smallholdings or estates, your best choice is a harrow bed with 3-way tines. When the tines are down this creates an aggressive harrow, and when pulled in the opposite direction a slightly less vigorous action; finally, the mat upturns for a light harrow.
1) Aerating soil
Getting good grass growth in paddocks can be as simple as a quick harrow. This means water can easily drain and gain access to the roots which is perfect for dense and compacted soil which doesn’t generally drain very well.
2) Removing moss and weeds
This is a quick and simple way to remove any unwanted and unruly weeds from paddocks. Harrows are also handy for ripping out any moss using the aggressive action of the tines.
3) Levelling soil and sand
Don’t those pesky molehills seem to pop up everywhere? Luckily with a chain harrow it is very simple to run over these areas quickly and remove any lumps or bumps in the fields. Equestrian owners will also be pleased to know that harrows can also be used to level out sand schools or arenas.
4) Breaking up and spreading manure
Loosening heavy clods of soil and can break down any surface crusting. Harrows also make light work of spreading out any manure piles in paddocks.
5) Seedbed raking
After seeding, the upturned harrows can be used to rake a loose layer of soil over freshly sown seeds to promote growth.