Here at Hoss Tools, we are firm believers in the FAD System for vegetable gardening. FAD is an acronym that stands for Furrow, Amend and Drip. If you do these three things every time you plant something in your vegetable garden, you’ll be on the fast track to success. Don’t be fooled by the name — this is not a “fad” that will be temporarily popular and short-lived. The FAD system is a proven technique that makes gardening easier and will drastically increase results. Let’s talk about each step in detail and the particular order in which they should be performed.
Details of the FAD System
Creating a furrow lays the groundwork for the remaining two portions of the FAD system for your vegetable garden. The furrow marks the location of your row(s) where your crops will be planted. The furrow doesn’t have to be extremely deep — a furrow that’s about 4-5″ deep will suffice. Our favorite tool for creating a furrow is the Double Wheel Hoe with Plow Set Attachment. If you need assistance pushing a straight line with the Double Wheel Hoe, you can use a string ran between two stakes to help guide you along a straight-line path.
Once the furrow has been constructed, it’s now time to amend that furrow with some quality compost. Instead of amending the entire garden with compost, we only amend the furrow where the seed/plants will be planted. This conserves compost by only placing it exactly where the plants can utilize it. Quality compost has many benefits in the vegetable garden. It adds organic matter which helps condition and soften the soil over time, it provides a fertile bed for the plants that will be soon growing in it, and it also can provide essential nutrients such as calcium which can help to prevent deficiencies such as blossom end rot. We recommend a compost with an animal-based component such as chicken manure or cow manure.
The final step in the FAD system for your vegetable garden is drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is by far the easiest and most efficient way to water your vegetable garden. Drip tape places water exactly where the plants need it — at the roots. We recommend burying drip tape in the furrow with our Drip Tape Layer Attachment, which has many benefits. Burying drip tape virtually eliminates any source of evaporation that could result from laying the drip tape on top of the soil, so that all the water output is available for absorption by plant roots. Burying the tape also makes installation much easier because it is fastened in place by the soil on top and it can’t be twisted by the wind. Finally, burying the tape keeps any rodents from chewing into the tape that might be easily accessible on top of the soil.
The FAD System is your best bet for long-term success in your vegetable garden. The compost will provide benefits to your plants throughout the entire growing season and the drip irrigation will provide efficient and effective delivery of water to your garden plants. If you’d like to see it in action, take a look at the Sweet Potato Planting video below where we implement all three portions of the FAD system for your vegetable garden.