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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2000
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    951
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    Sierra Foothills, Northern California
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    Kubota B7300; JD LX233

    Default Mid buster / bottom plow

    I've got a middle buster, which does great for tearing up soil. I was thinking about getting a bottom plow to turn the soil over instead of just ripping it up. I don't have a tiller right now (soon, hopefully! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]), so I'm wanting to prepare my garden (about 1/2 acre) using as much tractor instead of manual labor as possible.

    So I went by my dealer today, thinking that perhaps I could just get a plow blade for my middle buster (the pointed blade just bolts on to the main ripper shaft). No such luck, although they did suggest looking at other dealers.

    I have searched the forum here and done a couple of web searches and all I can find are mid busters (got one) and single bottom plows (which appear to be exactly the same thing as a mid buster with a different blade on it [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]).

    Do I make do with the mid buster and wait for the tiller to properly prepare my soil mostly by tractor (time to plant here - can't wait any longer)? I don't want to buy a single bottom plow - my $$$ are going for a tiller, but if I can just put a plow blade on my buster and fake it on the cheap I'd like to do that.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    Sep 2002
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    669
    Location
    Alachua, Florida
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    JD 790, JD 6420

    Default Re: Mid buster / bottom plow

    Chris,
    If you use a bottom plow you will then need to disc the garden afterward also. A bottom plow will leave a rather rough field which is not nice and smooth. You could just rent a 3 point disc that your tractor can handle and just disc your garden, and, you may find that's better than you would have though. While I think a tiller is great I also think most folks would be very happy with a disc .....
    Leo

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    57
    Location
    North Carolina
    Tractor
    1947 Ford 2N , 1952 Ferguson TO-30 , 1953 John Deere 40 Standard

    Default Re: Mid buster / bottom plow

    Some of the guys may disagree , but to really do things right , you need a turning ( bottom ) plow , disk and cultivator . I use an old Ford 101 single bottom plow that came with one of my old tractors when I got it . It is easy to set up and has a spring loaded trip feature that will trip and lets the plow blade release and pivot if you hit a big rock or a root that is too big to cut . This protects the plow and keeps you from flipping over backwards . All you have to do to reset it is to back up with the plow on the ground and it will reset . Stay away from the shear bolt protected plows . We had a Tractor Supply plow that was very dissapointing . Keep an eye out for an old Ford plow like mine or something similar . Go for a 2 bottom plow if your tractor can pull it . You shpuld be able to pick one up for anywhere between $ 100 and $ 300 . Just take a good look at what you are getting before you buy .

    Now for a disk ..... I have a Leinbach 16 disk ( about 6' wide ) disk that I got for $ 400 . The angle of the disks can be changed so you can rough disk and smooth disk . This can be done in 10 min. or less . I also have a big old Ford disk that I use for breaking up the big clods . You will also need to make a drag to pull behind your disk to smooth the ground before you plant . You really want it to be as smooth as a table top .We made one with treated 6 x 6 lumber and hooked behind the disk with chains . Lots of people pull a log behind theirs .

    You could use your middle buster to lay off your rows . Run your first row then place your front wheel beside the row you cut and lay off your next row . This will give you pretty good spacing . You can then fertilize , plant and rake the dirt in the rows .

    If you are going to plant a lot of the same thing like corn , beans or peas , you may want to get a planter . I picked up a Cole Multiplex planter at a sale for $ 295 . New would be around $ 600-700 . You do not need to lay off rows when you use a planter . Just plant your first row and put the front wheel beside the row and plant the next one .

    Lastly , you will need a cultivator to weed your rows once they sprout . You can pick up a new one for around $ 150 or a good used one for less than $ 100 .

    You can probably get by with a tiller but I don't think that you will get the deep breaking action of a turning plow . You really need this to have proper drainage .

    It all sounds like a lot of work but you can prep a field in a couple of evenings .

    Ideally though , you should plow in the winter and disk before you plant . The freezing and thawing cycles help break up the soil . Unfortunately , we almost always have too wet a winter for me to do this .

    Thsi is free advice so take it for what it cost you !!!!

    Good Luck and let us know how things go !

    Fortyseven2N


  4. #4
    Super Star Member
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    Aug 2001
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    Upper Midwest USA
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    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Mid buster / bottom plow

    You are correct to be a bit unhappy with a middle buster, as it just stirs up the ground, and a disc (depending a lot on its size and weight) may also just do the same (albeit will be smoother in the end).

    A moldboard plow will (if set up properly) turn the ground over, leaving the "trash" from the top at the bottom, and the dirt from 4-7" down up on top. A good moldboard plow will leave a rather smooth looking field of dirt. Now adjusting that moldboard plow to do that is not an easy task. And for sure, it won't happen by bolting a moldboard plow in the place of a middle-buster.

    So, if I was you, I would hold out for the tiller and not try to find a moldboard to add in place of the middle-buster. But you might find a place to rent a tiller in the meantime. Around here, a 3pt tiller rents for about $50 a day.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2000
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    Sierra Foothills, Northern California
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    Kubota B7300; JD LX233

    Default Re: Mid buster / bottom plow

    OK, so what I'm taking away here is...

    - A bottom plow is a good thing. Use one to really "flip over" the soil.

    - You can't "fake" a good bottom plow - buy a "real" one.

    - Next, you'll need to use a disk to smooth it out (along with some kind of drag behind it).

    - A tiller won't accomplish this. Now that part confuses me somewhat - I have rented tillers in the past and they seem to leave the ground pretty darn smooth, perfect for setting rows (a seeder is in my dreams, but not this year [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]).

    Actually, one of the reasons I want to buy a tiller is that I seem to be renting one every year - sooner or later that'll add up to the cost of a purchase. I'm lucky enough to have plenty of room for storage and love to collect toys...uh, tools.

    Looks like this spring it will be the mid buster and...well, maybe I'll rent a tiller. I don't have a ton of cash to spend on implements. The Head Accountant (that would be my wife) is watching pennies in these times.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    657
    Location
    now in S.C.!!
    Tractor
    Yanmar FF205D

    Default Re: Mid buster / bottom plow

    Chris, find a local Yanmar gray market dealer if you can. They have lots of use tillers around, just check the fluid to make sure it is not just muddy water from Japan. seacrch under Yanmar tractor dealer, good luck, bw

  7. #7
    Rch
    Rch is offline
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    Central Wisconsin
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    1986 Ford 1910 with 770B (FORD) loader, 4 MFWD; 1986 Bolens G214,back hoe,loader,MFWD (Iseki) 21 hp)

    Default Re: Mid buster / bottom plow

    chrisjbell, I've got a plow, a disc, a tiller, a subsoiler( herky middle buster), and a spring-tooth harrow. I would get a spear point for the middle buster and set it up to go as deep as possible. Then use that in a cross-hatch pattern to break-up the hard pan; this will go lower than a moldboard plow. Then till it with several passes. Ready to plant [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Put your money into a good tiller [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    436
    Location
    Mississippi
    Tractor
    Kubota M-4900

    Default Re: Mid buster / bottom plow

    fortyseven2n,

    I have been looking around at equipment auctions and other places for a good two bottom plow. Most of them have shear bolts and I assumed they worked ok. As a matter of fact, I was ready to buy one from a local equipment dealer. However, after reading your post <font color="red">"Stay away from the shear bolt protected plows" </font> I'm hesitant to buy one.

    What is the problem with the shear bolt kind? I won't be using it a lot, mostly for garden spots and new food plots.

    THANKS.

    TBone

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2000
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    Sierra Foothills, Northern California
    Tractor
    Kubota B7300; JD LX233

    Default Re: Mid buster / bottom plow

    <font color="blue"> Put your money into a good tiller </font>

    I think you are right. I've got a good lead on one - unfortunately it is located about 700 miles away, so I'm trying to figure out how to get it here.

    I'll bust up the soil and then do the finish work...the hard way. Probably rent a tiller to do it, though [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]. Thanks for all the advice...Chris

  10. #10
    Super Star Member
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    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Mid buster / bottom plow

    The plows with shear bolts are probably lighter weight, and the bolts won't be a problem if you don't hit a rock or root that will cause them to shear.

    If just a garden, chances are there are not any such objects in there to cause a shear bolt to break.

    And if they do, it is just a matter of some time to replace them. Now if you are in a hurry, and have a lot of acres to plow, stopping often to replace shear bolts is a d**n nuisance, which I suspect is why the helpful hint to stay away from them. Those with shear bolts are probably cheaper than the trip kind.

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