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.
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.