The walking mold-board plow is most commonly used among vegetable gardeners. Sulky gang and sulky disk plows are seldom used, but are becoming more popular.
Fall plowing is; practiced extensively by vegetable growers. It is considered especially desirable on the heavier types of soils. The following advantages may be enumerated: (1) If the land is hilly or rolling, rough unbroken furrows will collect more water than when plowing is deferred until spring, and if harrowing is done as soon as possible, there will be a maximum supply of soil moisture to meet the needs of spring crops; (2) the physical composition of many soils is improved; (3) vegetable matter plowed down in the fall becomes better decayed and more valuable to the spring crop; (4) land plowed in the fall may be harrowed and therefore planted earlier in the spring; (5) some fall plowing often relieves the pressure of the spring work, and makes possible the starting of all crops earlier; (6) fall plowing exposes many insect enemies to destroying agencies and thus reduces ravages from this source. Fall plowing in the North, where the land is sealed by frost during the winter is regarded as more desirable than in the South, where the loss from leaching must be considered. It is especially advantageous to plow heavy sod lands in the fall.
When plowing is deferred until spring it should be done at the earliest possible date. This is important from every standpoint. No greater mistake can be made, however, than to plow before the ground is dry enough. Every experienced farmer well knows the evil effects of such a practice. In order that the soil may be dried out early and that plowing may begin as soon as possible, many gardeners prefer not to spread stable manures until the ground is ready to plow, because such a mulch greatly retards the evaporation of soil moisture.
Most garden crops thrive best in soils which have been ameliorated to a considerable depth, so that deep plowing is favored by successful vegetable growers. No soil should be plowed deeper, however, than the character and depth of the top soil will permit. The intermingling of a large portion of unproductive subsoil is always detrimental to garden crops.
The subsoiling of garden soils has been advocated by many writers, but it is seldom practiced and is of doubtful utility.