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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    133
    Location
    Springhill, SC
    Tractor
    Kubota L4400 4WD Hydrostat

    Default Row Spacing & Planter/Cultivator Set up

    Considering purchasing a one or two row planter to use for planting field corn etc., but I have never used a tractor for planting.
    I think my tire centers are currently set at 51.2" based on my measurements (center of rear tire to center of rear tire) and the manual.
    This comes out to 38" between tires, which matches the front between tires (which are not adjustable). I THINK my preference is for 36" row centers, but would not be opposed to 30" or 38", or some sort of twin row configuration. +/-. According to the manual, the max distance the rear centers can go is 60.8" BUT since the front centers cannot be adjusted, that would put the front tires rolling over things that the back tires are not.

    So, I'm having trouble figuring this out. Seems like it makes the most sense to leave the tires where they are because in the current configuration, the front and back tire insides line up with each other +/-.

    So, what are my options here? Not opposed to a single row planter (I think I would actually prefer it for my small scale) if that could make sense some how.

    Any ideas? Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    353
    Location
    Frozen part of WI
    Tractor
    John Deere 855

    Default Re: Row Spacing & Planter/Cultivator Set up

    I think it depends also on what crop you are planting. If it is something that will grow low and you will be doing one or more cultivating passes with your tractor, then you would want the front and rear wheels centered on one another and work with the width available there.

    I have a row hilling implement I can configure for 1 hill or 2 hills per pass. With the 2 hill setting they are to close together to power cultivate, but just fine for hand cultivation and irrigation. Also more plants per acre.

    Also my tractor doesn't set high enough to be well suited to power cultivating.....
    --------
    Single row planter = 1/2 the problems a 2 row planter will give you. But more seat time. Then as you say, it is a small scale thing....

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    133
    Location
    Springhill, SC
    Tractor
    Kubota L4400 4WD Hydrostat

    Default Re: Row Spacing & Planter/Cultivator Set up

    Thanks for the response. I'm not opposed to hand cultivating/rotary tilling.... it's all I know right now, but options are nice.
    Is the row hilling implement also a planter? Could you explain a little about how it works/the idea behind it? What are the row centers? How wide are the rows?

    On my tractor if I were to set it up for 30 inch row centers, I would have about 3.5" between the tires and the plants. I'm thinking this is too close to cultivate, but technically I guess the cultivators could be directly behind the tires anyway, thus 3.5" plus away from the plants. Don't know anything about cultivator set up.... is this the problem you're running into?

    How does this power cultivating thing work. I know how it works with a rototiller, but I'm thinking that with a true cultivator, you're not going to get near the same weed kill. Aren't you basically just uprooting/severing the weed roots?

    I'm ok with the seat time vs the maintenance. I've long since gotten over having fun turning wrenches!

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Row Spacing & Planter/Cultivator Set up

    If you are doing hundreds of acres, the row spacing is important....I gather you are just going to plant a little....if you figure out how far you can space the rows, then use your cultivator to make the bed, come back on the bed with the same tractor with the planter...then follow that with your sprayer with herbicide , hope for rain and a stand, the take your cultivator ,after a few weeks,and the plant being say five inches high, cultivate it with your speed constant..The cultivator should throw a little dirt up under the corn plant, or very close to it...After the plant is up about a foot and three quarters, then you would side dress it with liquid nitrogen..the sprayer would be equipped with drop nozzles.....If it is just sweet corn, incorporate the fertilizer when you are bedding up, and skip that last part....Tony

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    373
    Location
    Darlington, SC
    Tractor
    1957 Ferguson 35, 1977? Yanmar 2200, 1963 Cub Cadet Original

    Default Re: Row Spacing & Planter/Cultivator Set up

    I am a basically self taught farmer/gardner. Never did it for a living or on a big scale. I had 2 tractors and bought the old guy's house next door that had a really nice garden spot so I went for it.

    After talking to a much older cousin that had done some farming on 50 acres with a Super A Farmall, he told me a good bit but also said cultivating is something nobody can really teach you, you got to learn it on your own. But I did learn from him that speed and having your inside sweeps "throwing dirt" to your plants is important. If you plow close enough to cut out the grass n weeds, you plow close enough to take out your plants also.

    To lay my rows off I basically built a 1 row "layoff plow" as I call it. It plows 1 row at a time. After I lay off the first row, I then turn around to do the next row letting my tractor tires run in the same track as my last row. (just 1 side) So my tire track from the last row is also my row marker for my next row. I'm using a small Yanmar 2200 so I'm guessing my rows are somewhere in the 48" width. But it does give me sufficient row spacing to get back in there to cultivate. After my plants get too big to run over with the tractor, too tall or too wide, I then have to resort to a small tiller but tractoring sure beats tilling or hand hoeing.

    As my plants grow I can take my C-tine cultivator and easily keep the grass n weeds out. I built mine and have the two sides mounted seperately on a tool bar. I can easily slide each side out or in, according to how close I need to get and widening the sides out as my plants grow. I'd hate to think I had only 3.5 inches play or clearance between my plants and tires. As they grow they get wider, I'd be driving over top of them. And we all know you won't hold it straight every time. Maybe a seasoned guy will but like you, I'm still in the learning curve.

    Some of you older hands might have a totally different way of doing this but like I said, I basically taught myself. It might not be the right way but this way works. Mr Meyers, maybe reading this, you might have picked up a few ideas that you can use and go with. Thats basically all I had to get started on.
    modify, adjust and improvise....a country boy can survive

  6. #6
    Gold Member wcampbell47's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    486
    Location
    Texas Coast
    Tractor
    Kubota 7510 and B3200

    Default Re: Row Spacing & Planter/Cultivator Set up

    The OP also started a thread about L4400 row spacing so I am guessing his tractor is an L4400. Not exactly a row crop tractor. I have not been very successful in cultivating my garden by tractor as it does not have the clearance a good row crop tractor would have. I must say it has been over 50 years since I cultivated with a tractor.

    Currently I use a disc hilller to form the rows. At the end of a run I turn around and run the opposite direction with only a tire width separating my rows. This is all in prep for hand planting and hand tilling, one row at a time. This is just about right for cultivating the furrow with a small tiller. I don't see why a similar setup would not work for a one row planter.
    Caution: Some of my posts may be politically incorrect.
    Kubota B7510 & B3200

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Aug 2008
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    373
    Location
    Darlington, SC
    Tractor
    1957 Ferguson 35, 1977? Yanmar 2200, 1963 Cub Cadet Original

    Default Re: Row Spacing & Planter/Cultivator Set up

    My Yanmar isn't the best row crop tractor either but I do cultivate with it until my plants get too tall. I can run thru my little garden in 20 minutes with my tractor vs hrs any other way.

    My first year I planted squash n zuccini on the ends of seperate rows. They bush out more. It wasn't long before I could't pass over them. I learned to plant all those bushy plants in the same row and I make it wider. Also learned to plant cukes and build a trellis for them to climb. Makes it a lot easier to keep the grass out.
    modify, adjust and improvise....a country boy can survive

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    373
    Location
    Darlington, SC
    Tractor
    1957 Ferguson 35, 1977? Yanmar 2200, 1963 Cub Cadet Original

    Default Re: Row Spacing & Planter/Cultivator Set up

    While talking about planters, I have an old Cole mule drawn planter with all the plates. I've seen them converted to be a 1 row tractor planter and they seem to work great. Just have a steel mule pulling it. If you could run across one of those on the cheap it makes a good 1 row rig.

    I have one of those small push garden planters. It works so good I've never rigged the old cole. Wouldn't use it for large fields but for a small garden it's hard to beat.
    modify, adjust and improvise....a country boy can survive

  9. #9
    Elite Member blueriver's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    4,340
    Location
    S.E.Oklahoma
    Tractor
    JD 5520 Montana 4340 Farmall Super C

    Default Re: Row Spacing & Planter/Cultivator Set up

    If your tires are 51.2 O.C. ... divide that in half or 25.60 would be your row spacing. That way your tires will run down the row centers.
    "When selling a lifetime ... don't sell it short"
    auctioneer@southernauctionco.com

  10. #10
    Veteran Member vtsnowedin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Row Spacing & Planter/Cultivator Set up

    On food plots and small gardens it doesn't matter but if your going to have it chopped of picked by more then a one row machine then the rows need to match the harvesting head. From what I have seen 30 " is the most common spacing for field corn today. Two rows 30" apart should fit between the inside of your tires without any over tracking.

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