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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    69
    Location
    East-Central Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010HST 4WD

    Default Till Deeper?

    This past fall we increased our garlic planting operation and went from a walk-behind Troy-Bilt tiller to a Befco 50" tiller that we use with our L3010HST.

    I am working ground that has not been worked in many years and would like to loosen the soil deeper than the 6" I get with the Befco.

    Any thougts on a piece of tillage equipment or impliments I could use to go deeper i.e., plow, middle buster, sub-soiler....

    Any help is much appreciated.

    Kevin




  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,239
    Location
    Eastern Virginia
    Tractor
    EarthForce EF-5 mini-TLB (2001)

    Default Re: Till Deeper?

    A middle buster or subsoiler will work well for the application you have in mind, but if you already have a box scraper with scarifier teeth on it, you could use most likely use it to break up the soil down deep. I've taken my 6' box scraper and put extra plate steel on it (you may not need it, depending on how hard the ground is), then shortened the top link all the way, so the teeth get maximum penetration before the blade touches. This has always worked very well for me.

    You won't find many tillers that will till deeper than 7". I've seen a Howard that will till 9" but it was a big heavy duty unit, bigger than your tractor would handle. But if you break it up with the scarifiers first, making several passes in different directions, then run the tiller real slowly, it will dig deep enough that the shaft itself is half buried.

    If you've got a gear drive tiller, you can go backwards and it will dig deep enough to put the shaft a couple inches under the surface. Don't do this with a chain drive, though because the chain tensioner will wear out in a hurry - it's not designed to handle operation in reverse.

    Mark


  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    37,391
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Till Deeper?

    I agree with Mark, of course. My tiller is my most used implement and I've started new gardens simply by making multiple passes (like 8 or 10 passes), but my experience has been that the best way (at least in this hard black clay) is to use the turning plow (moldboard) first, then a couple of passes with the tiller. I don't know just how deep you need to go, but my brother wanted to start a new asparagus patch, in slightly sandier soil than mine, so he ran the tiller over a strip, scooped it out with the front loader, another pass with the tiller, scooped it out, etc. until he created the depth of trench he wanted, then pushed the loose dirt back in.

    Bird

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    33
    Location
    Kentucky
    Tractor
    Kubota L3650 & Bobcat 763G

    Default Re: Till Deeper?

    I wasn't satisfied with my tillers depth either until I took the runner skids off, now I can sink it if I want to. I control my depth with the position control on the tractor. I am at a lost to figure out why a chain drive would wear out the chain tensioner if you back the tiller into the dirt. The power is still being delivered the same, the load on the tines is the same if they are engaging the ground from the front or the back. I must admit that there will be more load on the whole drive train the deeper you till.


  5. #5
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,239
    Location
    Eastern Virginia
    Tractor
    EarthForce EF-5 mini-TLB (2001)

    Default Re: Till Deeper?

    The tensioner is placed between the back side of the gears. The vast majority of the load is on the front side of the gears when the tines are striking the dirt going forward. (Remember the old joke whose punch line was "Have you ever tried pushing a chain?") If you transfer most of the load to behind the shaft, as when backing up, the tensioner takes a beating. My Agric manual specifically says the tensioner is not covered by the warranty if the tiller is used backwards, so I called to ask why.


  6. #6
    Veteran Member gordon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    1,786
    Location
    Delaware
    Tractor
    L4310hst-loader-hydraulic top link

    Default Re: Till Deeper?

    In reverse instead of the chain tensioner being unweighted-chain on the slack side its weighted and the tensioner it being pushed to the limit-not to mention twice the load on the tiller.

    On new ground I use a mold board or boxblade fingers mine are hydraulic so I'm spoiled in that respect but much of it depends on the dirt and if your adding any amount of compost into the dirt.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    69
    Location
    East-Central Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010HST 4WD

    Default Re: Till Deeper?

    Thanks to all of you for so many options.

    I was on the way home tonight and there was an old two bottom moldboard plow for sale less than 2 miles from the house.

    I bought it.

    Anybody have any instructions for adjusting it or where I could learn more about using a plow?

    Kevin


  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    104
    Location
    Golden, IL
    Tractor
    B2150HSD, JD3020

    Default Re: Till Deeper?

    Kevin
    I recently bought an old dearborn 2 bottom plow for my B2150. I have never plowed anything, so I sought advice from anyone who had any. The following is a summary of the pointers ( as my feeble memory remembers them ) on plowing that I have gotten from several farmers and farm workers. My plow is 3-point mounted. If you have a pull type, there are probably similar adjustments.
    First, the plow rolls the soil over to the right, so you work in counter clockwise circles, or right to left if you have a long narrow field and return to the starting end for each pass. The idea is that the right wheel of the tractor is in the leftmost furrow that you made on the previous pass. This means that the tractor, and therefore the plow, is tilted, and the right side is plowing deeper than the left. The trick is to adjust things so that both bottoms plow to the same depth. On my plow, there is an eccentric device on the right side of the fame that will raise and lower the right side of the plow frame relative to the pins that go into the lifting links on the hitch. It will also swing the rear of the frame right and left to cause the plows to throw the ground over more or less respectivly. Naturally, plowing deeper or throwing it over more make it harder to pull. On my plow, I can use a combination of the eccentric and the adjusting turnbuckles ( you raise of lower one side and leave the other alone )on the lift arms of the hitch to swing the plow right and left, and to get the right amount of tilt so that both blades plow to the same depth with the tractor in the furrow. You will want to adjust the top link so that when you lower the plow to plow depth, the bottom of the plow is running level in the furrow. If not, it will not want to dig in, or it will want do pull in too deep.
    When you make your first pass, the right blade will not be plowing to full depth because there is no furrow to run in. You could adjust things level for the first pass and then readjust for the rest of the job, but I have found that running around the field clockwise for the first pass creates a full depth furrow on the perimeter to set your wheel in for the rest of the job.
    My tractor has turf tires, but I was able to drag the plow through garden soil covered with a grass cover crop. There was a fair amount of wheel slip, but with liberal use of the diff lock and lifting the plow with the hitch when it bogged down I was able to get the job done. Your tractor is bigger, so you could probably do some serious sod bustin' with no problem.
    I think I've hit the key points. Feel free to e-mail me if any of this is confusing.
    You may find more at www.antiquetractors.com

    Craig


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