A cultivator is a farm implement for stirring and pulverizing the soil, either before planting or to remove weeds and to aerate and loosen the soil after the crop has begun to grow. It is powered by a tractor and stirs the soil, usually to a greater depth than does the harrow (which is usually unpowered). Similar but much smaller machines are used for gardening.
Small cultivators are used for gardening, powered by small motors, and controlled by an operator walking behind. Garden cultivators can be used to mix soils with manures and fertilizers in preparation for planting. They till the soil and convert soil lumps to a tilth. Different attachments can be used to plough the soil or cut vegetation.
Cultivators are pulled by tractors through the field and can vary greatly in size and shape. Some are as small as wide and larger ones can be as much as wide. Many are equipped with hydraulic wings that fold up to makes road travel easier and safer. Different types are used for preparation of fields before planting, and for the control of weeds between row crops:
Field cultivators are used to complete tillage
operations in many types of arable crop
fields. The main function of the field cultivator is to prepare a proper seedbed for the crop
to be planted into, to bury crop residue in the soil (helping to warm the soil before planting), to control weeds, and to mix and incorporate the soil to ensure the growing crop has enough water and nutrients to grow well during the growing season. The implement has many shanks mounted on the underside of a metal frame, and small narrow rods at the rear of the machine that smooth out the soil surface for easier travel later when planting. In most field cultivators one to many hydraulic cylinders raise and lower the implement and control its depth.
Row crop cultivator
The main function of the row crop cultivator is weed control between the rows of an established crop. Row crop cultivators are usually raised and lowered by a three-point hitch
and the depth is controlled by gauge wheels.