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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    7
    Location
    Surrey BC
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    none

    Default Raised beds with walking tractor

    I'm a market gardener and am looking into using a 2-wheel tractor (probably a BCS or Grillo) to establish a raised bed system. I haven't purchased any equipment yet except for an ancient Simplicity which won't do what I'd like.

    What I'm thinking is to use a rotary plow to produce the raised beds (probably 30" wide) and then use axle extensions to straddle the bed with a tiller to do secondary tillage and produce a nice seedbed.

    Has anyone done anything similar? Care to share your experience so I don't have to reinvent the wheel? Or can anyone think of reasons why this wouldn't work?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    24
    Location
    bend, oregon
    Tractor
    ford,pasquali,allis G, bcs, goldoni, ferrari

    Default Re: Raised beds with walking tractor

    I make a pass over the bed area with a spader first and then leave the area as a stale bed. I then rototill 30"s shallowly or power harrow 29"s depending on the weeds. Then I plant or transplant. I have used a rotary plow and if you need beds to be higher then that would be an option. It will take more time to create the bed with a berta rotary plow than a spader. I like straddling the beds with the earthtools axle extensions. I use an old style BCS trailer with the wheels extended out by modifying it to mulch over the row. Good luck with your small farming enterprise.

    small farmer

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Jun 2013
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    7
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    Surrey BC
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    Default Re: Raised beds with walking tractor

    Thanks! Do I read it correctly that when you use the trailer to mulch you could also use that as a manure spreader? That's the one thing I really feel like I'm lacking in 2 wheel tractor, but I see how one could maybe be rigged up.

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    24
    Location
    bend, oregon
    Tractor
    ford,pasquali,allis G, bcs, goldoni, ferrari

    Default Re: Raised beds with walking tractor

    I haven't yet modified my manure spreader to use with the two wheel tractors. I bought a baby one with the correct wheel spacing to straddle the bed. The manure spreader doesn't mulch though. It spreads a very thin layer of material depending on the characteristcs of the compost/manure. If chunky then larger pieces are thrown farther with corresponding larger gaps between pieces demanding more passes over the rows. I used a manure spreader to mulch the garlic beds last fall and my coverage was about half what I do with the modifed trailer and shoveling by hand. I made more passes but didn't have to shovel at all. I'll probably shovel out of the trailer this fall if I'm up to it.
    When modifying any trailer to use with a walking tractor be sure to allow the tongue to twist. This is usually accomplied by a bolt running through a hole that is elongated allowing the twist that occurs when one wheel goes in a hole or ditch. Look at Joel's info on trailers on his EarthtoolsBCS website for a clearer explanation. The tractor can need more traction with a trailer so wheel weights etc. should be used.

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