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Many gardeners don't understand the importance of cultivating. Yes, it makes the garden look nice, but the real purpose of cultivating goes deeper.
After the soil has been prepared and planting completed, the soil begins to get compacted from pounding rainfall and foot traffic. The soil surface often develops a crust as it bakes in the sun, especially with clay-type soils. By cultivating with a hoe, rake or other tool, the soil crust is broken and soil is aerated to allow better air movement into the soil. Air is essential for plant root development and for the survival of microorganisms in the soil that contribute to health of plants and fertility of the soil. Water will also penetrate into the soil rather than run off its surface. One of our favorite tools for cultivating the soil and removing weeds at the same time is the WeedComb.