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Brent_Baumer

Ready for spring gardening - making seed furrows

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Brent_Baumer
Been awhile since I shared this. Thought I would do so again for the newcomers (and also to help sell the cultivator I have for sale). Picked up part of a garden tractor cultivator a couple years ago and had the idea of using it to make sweet corn seed furrows. I simply remove or raise the inner shovels and tow it behind in a freshly tilled garden. I make passes back and forth using the previous row as a guide. As long as the first pass is straight, all passes will be. If you don't like the row spacing, use one outer and one inner shovel and only plant in every other furrow. Beats the heck out of running string and using a hoe. Brent

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sandyhillbill
Brent--I have a friend that has set his tiller (non Simp/ac) up with cultivators behind it so he tills and makes his seed furrows in one pass. I have never seen it in action but this is his second tiller to use like this. He wore the first on out.

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Bergy
OK, I am really itching to get into this gardening thing. Can you give a farming 101? What the heck is a furrow? Is that the trench or the mound? Also, what the heck do you use a mold board plow for and what is the harrow for (that's the thing with the discs, right?) and what is the cultivator for (that's the thingy with the little points, right?) I want to grow tomatoes, peppers, carrots (tried it once but they only got about two inches long and really fat), green beans, rhubarb, silver queen, and anything else a body might want to grow (I'd really like to give brocolli a shot, and onions and potatos, too. I never really knew anything about it, simply chucked it in the ground and waited! I know about grass, (not that kind, the stuff you mow!) and that's about that. I know soil testing and fertilizer applications for lawns but NADA about gardening. Got to admit, it looks cool.

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Dutch
quote:
Originally posted by Bergy
OK, I am really itching to get into this gardening thing. Can you give a farming 101? What the heck is a furrow? Is that the trench or the mound? Also, what the heck do you use a mold board plow for and what is the harrow for (that's the thing with the discs, right?) and what is the cultivator for (that's the thingy with the little points, right?) I want to grow tomatoes, peppers, carrots (tried it once but they only got about two inches long and really fat), green beans, rhubarb, silver queen, and anything else a body might want to grow (I'd really like to give brocolli a shot, and onions and potatos, too. I never really knew anything about it, simply chucked it in the ground and waited! I know about grass, (not that kind, the stuff you mow!) and that's about that. I know soil testing and fertilizer applications for lawns but NADA about gardening. Got to admit, it looks cool.
Here's my farming 101 for you..... 1) Support our nation's farmers to the max. 2) Buy your food from the supermarket. I've got it all....... plows, tillers, discs. harrows, cultivators, rakes, irrigation........... Yup, got it all except a green thumb. Three years ago I tried my first garden. Spent big bucks and many, many, many hours of hard labor. I was rewarded with junk produce that I would have never bought from the market. It was stunted and half eaten by worms, bugs, and wild beasts. But I ate it, and ate it, and ate it until I gagged because I grew it. I estimate that the lousy corn I grew cost at least $1.00 per ear. Beautiful corn from the market costs less than 10 cents. I know you'll try a garden anyway. The only thing I wish you is better luck than mine.

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Chris727
Brent thats a neat idea. I think I'll give it a try. Thanks! Bergy, this year is my fourth time making a garden. My first year was really bad, I planted too late, used seed that was a year out of date, and it was far to dry. I basically got nothing. Then the next year I got a good tiller and got going earlier in the year. We had plenty of rain the last two years and my last two gardens were great. The only thing that I can't get to do very well is corn. Raccoons got mine last year. Watermelons and pumkins are easy. Summersquash are very easy to grow too. As far as implements, you can break new ground with either a tiller or a moldboard plow, there are pics of all these implements in the attachments sections on simpletractors.com . The disc breaks up the plowed ground and is supposed to even it out. The cultivator can be used to break up loose soil or mainly as a device for weeding in between rows. I hope you have better luck than Dutch. Maybe you can get some more advice from a neighbor or someone who is an experienced gardener. There are also lots of books for gardening as well.

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BigSix
Brent: Your garden is huge--that's awesome! The only thing that keeps me from expanding our garden, which looked big at the time, is the fact that I fenced it in.... I can't bear to get into that again any time soon--lol! Bergy: We had our first garden three seasons ago, and it must have been beginners' luck, but we had bumper crops. The next year was rainy, and last year, we had a tomatoe blight, but we did enjoy much arrugla, some tomatoes (yellow ones, too!) broccoli, sugarsnap peas :D, green peppers, radishes, Swiss chard, and I can't remember what all. In short, we love it! Here is a book which suggests a method of gardening which can result in some labor savings, in reduced weeding. However, I should say that this method is (I believe) primarily targeted toward smaller gardens. Furrows, like in Brent's pic, are definitely going to be easier on larger-scale gardens than the Square Foot Method, and especially if you use the footboards. Square Foot Gardening projects other savings, as well, like less rototilling, but I always till the whole garden even though some experts says this actually harms the soil. Anyway, the biggest benefit of the Square Foot Gardening method may be that it almost forces you to plant in successive waves, at different times, so that you can enjoy multiple harvests over the season, rather than have the classic "boom or bust" results which often mean you end up giving your vegetables to your neighbors before they spoil. The book is here: [url]http://www.squarefootgardening.com/[/url] and the gentleman has a website which has more information on it. I think I learned about this book from someone here, in the club. The book has been around since the 1970's, I believe. We don't follow it strictly, but we do plant in squares, with boards (to avoid soil compression--I mainly like it because you can go pick each day's salad and not have muddy shoes when you reenter the house). Many would rather buy their vegetables at the store, and that's fine for them, but it's more than just about the money you might or might not save. You will save, in fact, on expensive-to-buy items like arrugala, if you like a lot of it, as we do. But if we tractor people were only concerned about money saved, we wouldn't spend hundreds (thousands?) of hours and dollars restoring something, to snowblow the driveway with 12 times a year, when we could get it plowed for $35. per, while we slept, by a landscape service, would we? :p The biggest draw, for me and my g.f., is the t-a-s-t-e of fresh vegetables, and the fact that we can grow them organically, without pesticides and other chemicals the FDA says are are safe today, unless it turns out they were wrong, like with Vioxx (knock on wood three times). We know what's in 'em, kinda like we "built" them ourselves, you know? Also, I find it very convenient to just wander out to the garden, open the wooden gate I designed, built, painted and hung, (complete with nails for hingepins--lol) and pick the evening's salad items. Sometimes I just stroll out to eat ripe cherry tomatoes while "watching the Fords go by", (and with the Square Foot Gardening method, there's almost always something ripe to eat, even cherry tomatoes throughout the latter half of the season). Critter fences are important, but I just buried vinyl-clad, rectangular-section wire fencing, a few inches into the earth, built a close-fitting gate (with some fence buried under it) and so far, so good. Don't water in the direct sunlight, as I guess the water droplets can act like a magnifying glass on the leaves? (Not sure the whyfores o' that one, but don't do it). I'm under the impression that corn is hard to do right. I've seen it done, but never tried. Some vegetables are not happy in some locations--you should probably contact your local Cooperative Extension. Also, a local produce grower might tell you what does well in your area, as they're in the business of selling seeds, if they can't sell you the produce. The Extension will also test your soil for you-I think they charge, however. We've never done that, but I'd like to--this way, you know what to spend your money on, or not, when buying organic fertilizers like blood and bone meal, lime, etc.... Watch for bugs--if you're lucky, your female companion will find this the greatest outrage, and will usually get to them before you even noticed them....:o) Neither of us do much weeding, definitely less than with the traditional row method, IMHO (again, my experience has been with gardens like 20'x30', not like Brent's Ponderosa, which I wish I did--lol!) So, I hope you find gardening as fruitful and rewarding as we do.

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Brent_Baumer
I think the success of your garden has a lot to do with the soil. Cantaloupes do very well in my garden, watermelons do not. When I lived further north cantaloupes nor watermelons did well and I used the same methods. All vegetables do better in a horse manure fertilized ( or I suppose any fertilized) plot than one that has not been. Looser soil to a decent depth is better than packed clay that has been scratched a little on the top. I have noticed though, corn seems to do better with the rows planted closer together and the stalks "thinned out" shortly after coming out of the ground. Another factor IS the work you put into it. A few years I put out a big garden then started building a garage or barn or porch or something and neglected the garden. It soon became a weed patch and almost nothing in it did worth a dang. You can help yourself a bit here by planting the rows far enough apart to till between them. Doesn't help much for viney stuff or in-between plants but makes weeding between rows a snap. Have to have a lot of room to do that though if you have a wide tiller. Brent

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snapper1650
Looking good Brent!! I use my Farmall Cub to the same thing, because it is set up for that, and the garden tractor for everything else. My taters and cool weather stuff is up and running, and my tomatoes and peppers are in the ground. Won't be long till I'll be making salsa! The soil is everything. Some things like acidic soil, some things like it nuetral. The trick is learning what wants what, and give it to them in that part of the garden. With the horse manure, as I've said many times, compost it first. Your weeding time will triple if you don't. Plus, it makes it more stable, and the plants are able to uptake the nutrients better. The best thing I ever stumbled across was Dr. Elaine Ingrahms "soil food web". NPK has it's place, but biology is what makes things grow! Thus why I use worms to convert everything into castings (worm poop) and then into my garden. As you've found, weeding, cultivating, etc. lets your veggies get all the nutrients. Let the grass and weeds get out of hand, and you'll have a crappy garden. Dutch, I see your vision of gardening has not changed over the years...LOL

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Bergy
Dutch, you are one funny guy! Man, I fell out of my chair. You have a definite ring of honesty and humility in you. I like that. The same for you other gents, too. I think we all have a little farmer in us because you're right, why do we spend 100's even 1,000's of $$$ on old machines to plow a tiny driveway and mow a little lawn when it could be seriously cheaper to hire a service. I guess it is the streak of independence that farmers have that many don't. I dunno...I have landscaped (actually, I don't know why I call it landscaping, more like lawn care and snow removal) for years and am now just re-entering that scene for the third time but a garden and farming, ahh, now that is something that has been tugging at my soul the older and older I get. I completely identify with that feeling you get, big six, from a good garden. I guess it is a feeling of independence, maybe even knowing that your labors are truly rewarded, like Cain...maybe. I envision strolling out there at sunset, a cool summer evening, the smell of fresh cut grass wafting in the air, checking out the vegetation, (hopefully proud that something is growing) and just connecting. Good machine, good garden, good woman...in that order! Before I ramble too much, I would like to thank you, and very much so, for the heads up with, "The square foot method of gardening". I plan on a complete perusing, forthwith. My mom messes around with a garden and we have tomatoes coming out of our ears every year so I can relate to the feast or famine of it all! That's all she grows now! She used to be one seriously green thumb. I should have paid attention. She never canned, though. I don't know why. I'd like to teach my kids the whole deal. My dad died of cancer but before he died he was on this thing called a macro-biotic diet. I think it helped him tremendously and helped him live another three years! The diet was militant; all the vegetables had to be completely organic. I know I don't eat enough vegetables so I am gonna give this a whirl and try to grow down home 100% organic stuff and force myself to eat better. I don't know what the he** is in the stuff at the store and organic stuff is completely out of my budget. I got to get off this Pizza and wing thing and eat better. Funny, the crappy food costs considerably less than what you should be eating (Good fish, et cetera). Hmmm, I wonder if this is tied to social security???? I don't have a big yard but next door to me is a big open lot. It can't be built on so I am going to do a quasi squatter's ritual and roto-till the he** out of it and see if I can't do something with some corn in a bigger spot. My mom never grew corn because she said it took up too much space. Well, this is a pretty big space! OK, bottom line...if you have a roto-tiller, you don't need all the other stuff (mold-board plow, cultivator, disc harrow? Is it a good idea to put down landscapers mesh (I use it under mulch, like a fabric that lets the rain go through but prevents growth from coming up) between the rows? I didn't think about the weeds. Crap, this might be more work than I thought! I am trying to picture using hand tools! (Not pretty!) If I can't sit on it, I don't like it! On a side note, it snowed here in CT last night and I live smack dab on the shoreline. Man, we only got about three inches but it was like plowing liquid water (I know snow is water but I mean like jello) That crap whooped the he** out of my unit. Didn't roll worth a damn. Until I am released to full duty by my doctor, I plow the sidewalks in Clinton for the school kids to keep busy and then tinker on it the other times. That Simplicity is a real friend during the day when I'm home alone. The town offered me $10/hr and I laughed. "Keep it", I said. "For that kind of offer, it is obvious you need it more than me!" Like I said, I plan on going back into the business I know best and am getting the pieces together but that snow crapped out the transmission drive pulley bearing on my Vari Drive this morning. I am SO HAPPY that Rob Baumuller had a V tranny and I bought it. Now I have to wrestle that damned nut off the shaft. Thanks a bunch guys for what is starting out to be a damned good thread. Jeff

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Dutch
quote:
Originally posted by Bergy
.... I envision strolling out there at sunset, a cool summer evening, the smell of fresh cut grass wafting in the air, checking out the vegetation, (hopefully proud that something is growing) and just connecting....
I heard, "Corn is pollinated by itself. The tassel is the male part and the silk is female. Each silk is atatched to one seed." Maybe strolling in my garden was a mistake. Perhaps I interupted and/or embarrassed the corn while they were having sex.
quote:
Originally posted by Bergy
.... I don't know what the he** is in the stuff at the store....
My brother has visited Mexico. He has a good idea what's in their produce. That's why he won't buy any "Produce of Mexico." I setup a video camera to monitor my "organic" garden. I'd watch the cute little bunnies and Bambi looking deer come at night, eat till they were full, and pee on what they left for me. That's was appetizing. I try not to think about food when I eat. If I can't help thinking about it, I convince myself I'm building my immune system.

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KVANDY12
The old saying is you can take the boy out of the country,but you can take the country out of the boy. I have to agree with all the comment make by everyone, goes to show there two side to everything. Some gardens grow some don't. But if your going to use horse fertilizer you need to make a tea not use put it in the garden. Becouse of the high content of grass and weed seeds. Like the culivator idea.

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lndscpr
Bergy. Your first garden is usually your best garden becuase the ground gets tired and most people including myself don't add the right ammendments(manure, fertilizer etc...) That assumes you are using new ground. Also, you may be disease free for a year or 2. I get the best tomatoes year after year even if I have to throw more than half out due to disease. I don't really have the room or energy to break new ground right now. Go to it. really not that much work with a good tiller.

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AGCO918
Brent , I like your culivator alot.Another idea that comes in my head is space the shovels at what ever you plant your corn and put a sparyer on the back of the culivator & put nozzels to where you can knife in 28 % nitrogen like farmers do in there corn.I have always wanted to take a small 20 gal propane tank and put amonia in & knife it in like farmers do .

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Simplicity314
Bergy--If the lot has grass, is over grown, or hard soil, you will likely need a moldboard plow, sometimes called a "sod-buster." If the ground vegitation is too thick or the soils is hard, a roto-tiller won't penetrate and likely just bounce on the ground. After you get the sod up, if there is sod, you'll have to remove it by hand--don't just turn it under because it will keep growing. After the ground is broken, you can till, then drag a disc harrow over it to smooth it, and finally use the cultivator for your rows.

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Bergy
Yes, that empty lot definetly has sod on it. OK, another toy...moldboard plow. Well, a friend of mine is moving onto a boat (of all things) and has a whole shed full of non Simple City/Allis implements and one is a moldboard plow with a wheelie dealie on the back of it. He has the cultivator but not the harrow. Wasn't there a harrow on Ebay about two months ago? I'm sure there's gonna be more. Anybody in the Northeast on this thread? When do you guys recommend breaking ground? And what about the Farmers Almanac? A buddy of mine told me that that book is a good reference? I never read it...kind of thought it was a prophetic journal of some sort. I like your quote Simplicity314. I just wish that congress was as informed when they passed that intrusive homeland security act.

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Simplicity314
quote:
I like your quote Simplicity314. I just wish that congress was as informed when they passed that intrusive homeland security act.
Thanks, but don't get me started! Anyway, wait till after the thaw and soil is drained/dry to work the soil--never work wet soil. Dry meaning the soil is not mud. Moist, damp, etc. is okay. I also recall hearing that soil should not be worked too much, as with a tiller. I think it breaks the soil down too much, or something to that effect. I'll put in plants after the soil gets to 50-60 degres and there is no more threat for frost. There are exceptions, like peas, which can be put in earlier and can hold up in a frost.

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Chris727
Bergy, a tiller will probably work fine if you have all the grass mowed down good and there aren't large rocks. I have two moldboard plows. They are the most difficult to use, most frustrating implements I have and seem to really strain the tractor. I have been using my 36" rear tiller on my ACB110 for much of my garden work and it works like a dream.

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Agricola
If you are doing corn, plant it in square plots. Corn is wind pollenized and needs to be close to other corn. The extension offices offer lots of help http://cecommerce.uwex.edu/ for example....

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Bergy
Wow, Dutch, I have got to get a digital camera! I thought your cuke was an excellent specimen. Repo Man. Very Cool. I thoght about doing that at one point...was when I had New England Custom Jeep...before they s&^^ Canned the CJ series and came out with the Strangler (Wrangler) toilet that would bend looking at it with that crap frame. Funny, seems like Simplicity is going the way of the Jeep but don't get me started. Me and Weir don't see eye to eye. Anyway, I saw an ad for a 'Repo Man Special!' It was a unit that bolted into the back of a pickup as I am sure you are well aware of. Never panned out, I'll stick with the Lawn Care and Snow Removal thing. I too have gotten round and out of shape and needed to give up the office crap and get a life! Hah, I am psyched about this season. As soon as my shoulder heals up after my Afghanistan injury. In the mean time...GARDEN HO! (and hoe and hoe and hoe!) Thanks Agricola (Simple John) for that link. I don't know if there are rocks under there or not. If I am tilling and hit one of them, what is the probablility of a total tractor implemental catastrophe? Should I moldboard first just to make sure??? Jeff

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Brent_Baumer
quote:
My brother has visited Mexico. He has a good idea what's in their produce. That's why he won't buy any "Produce of Mexico." I setup a video camera to monitor my "organic" garden. I'd watch the cute little bunnies and Bambi looking deer come at night, eat till they were full, and pee on what they left for me. That's was appetizing. I try not to think about food when I eat. If I can't help thinking about it, I convince myself I'm building my immune system.
Dutch, do you ever watch the news? Seems like every 3 years or so there are warnings on the news about washing your store bought vegetables because someone or someones got sick from e-coli. I may be wrong, but I believe e-coli is prevalent in human waste, not animals. The source of the germ is usually found to be the migrant workers who pick the produce....... Brent

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Chris727
Bergy, If you have the plow try it first. The rocks will hurt it much less than they would a tiller. Big rocks, a little bigger than your fist will potentially bend the tines, or can even lead to a break in the chain.

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Bergy
Yeah, I'm getting all psyched out. I picked up a 7117H for my brother a couple of weeks ago. Man, that thing is SWEET!!! It really boog-a-loos! I thought the ole 3314(16)V was a bit quick, but I had NO idea what I was missing. He has two sets of tires, one set of rims. Currently, he has these bar tread tires on it and wants the turf savers to go on. "Put'em on and the Bars are yours," he said. Cool! I keep going out and eyeballing that lot next door and can't help thinking about that moldboard plow breaking the sod. Chris727's warning about plows echos in my head and thinking that it could be a real bear trying to pull that thing with chains and even with the 350lbs of weight (including me) I get on the rearend. Bar Tires, I thought. Got to be bar tires. Farmers use'm, that has got to be the trick. Now, when you use this thing, obviously the sod comes up and then flops over onto the ground. Do you go up one way and then back the other or circles or one way or WTF? I can see that this thing flips up the sod. Then you shake all the dirt out and make a compost but now you have a field with plowed lane and then a gras lane. See what I mean? You cannot do it like a snow plow, can you? When this happens, how do you get the plow to get just the strip with the sod inbetween the rows you already did? It seems like it is going to go where it wills? I don't know, maybe you just have to experience it. How about a checkerboard pattern? This tea thing...how do you do that? This is definetely going to be a project in itself. I can see now that the first year is probably the toughest.

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thedaddycat
This will give you an idea of what you can do, and it's "Reality based", not just a promo photo.... http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=17974&SearchTerms=garden

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