An improved row cleaning apparatus to selectively clean away residue from conservation tilled fields without cultivation of the soil. When mounted on tractor-drawn implements, including planters, the cleaning action of the present invention improves depth control and planting speed of the planter unit while retaining the residue between crop rows for erosion control and yield enhancement. The row cleaner comprises a pair of toothed wheels rotatably operating in lateral opposition to one another and journalled for rotation each on an axis disposed obliquely to the path of travel of the apparatus. The wheels are mounted asymmetrically relative to each other, the teeth being curved downwardly and forwardly toward the path of movement to drive the wheels in rotation, thereby untangling and selectively clearing residue and other mulch from the path of the trailing planter unit. The wheels are mounted for pivotal, vertical movement independent of the implement or planter while maintaining constant the oblique relationship, the movement permitted by a parallel linkage unit having alternate locked and unlocked positions relative to movement, and having variably limited movement in the unlocked position. An alternative embodiment discloses a single-toothed wheel on either a right or left side of the apparatus fulfilling all other structural provisions of each of the pair of toothed wheels.