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  1. #11
    Member MitchellB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    31
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Tractor
    1949 Ford 8N

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    The old walk behind tiller I have is a front tine roto tiller. I made a long bar that connected to my old Lowes 18hp garden tractor's sleeve hitch (it died a few years ago) and to the rear of the roto tiller. It worked pretty good, but all I could do was drive forward with the mower as I could not lift the roto tiller off the ground to back up, but it pulled backwards good though the garden and was much easier than standing there holding the vibrating handles while it dug into my clay soil. I think I could make a 3 point hitch built around the tiller for using my tractor though that might be the poor boy answer to cheap easy tilling.

  2. #12
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    19
    Location
    SW Costa Rica
    Tractor
    Kubota b7610 hst

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    Thanks! I´ll have to go look at the thing and see what i can rig up potentially

  3. #13
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    180
    Location
    SW MO
    Tractor
    1966 John Deere 1020/37 Loader

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    IMHO, stay with the 2 bottom plow and disc. Ground speed on an 8N, even in 1st gear, is too fast for a PTO tiller. Not saying you couldn't use one, just what I've read on a lot of different forums. On our garden patch we grow potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, snow peas, green beans, turnips, 4 different squash varieties, okra, sweet potatoes, and blackberries. This year we'll double the amount of blackberries and add raspberries, a small pumpkin patch and watermelons. We have 3 gardens about 130' square. Seeds and starts are planted on raised hills with the rows about 8' apart. In between the rows when the risk of frost is gone I sow buckwheat. The buckwheat keeps the weeds down, attracts bees for pollination, and when disced under helps build the soil. I work the patches with a 50 8N, 2 bottom plow, 6' offset disc, and a 2 row cultivator. Turn over the sod with the plow, wait a couple of weeks or over winter, then disc to level and smooth. The cultivator is a 2 row, but gets used as a one row until the plants are too big to fit under the 8N. About this time is when the buckwheat will get planted. It grows fast and crowds out the weeds between the rows. Here's a link about buckwheat Buckwheat for Cover Cropping in Organic Farming - eXtension . You don't have to be an organic grower to get the benefits of buckwheat.
    HTH Mark
    Briar Hill Brittanys....."Finest in the Field" www.briarhillbrittanys.com

  4. #14
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    912
    Location
    Bloomington, IN
    Tractor
    Kubota, G5200, KAMA 454

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    MitchellB,

    I'd say for corn this technique would not be so good. Corn likes to be tight. I have always noticed the edge of fields has the shortest, least healthy stalks. I don't and have never planted corn. The 'coons like it too much! And I have no interest in canning or freezing a pickup truck of corn. We have gardened for "at the time consumption". I like to grow, eat and share. Beans are a good crop to stagger so you have beans all summer. you just have to plant another 30 feet or so every two weeks. As soon as the majority have been picked, I yank them and plant more. Snow peas are very good, but for you it's already time to plant! That's what nice about the lawn strips method. When the ground in the early Spring is still to wet to work, you can still walk your grassy strip and poke in your pea seeds. We have left the fence up for years and only have 6" of tilled soil under the wire. Same for cucumbers.

    Another trick I've used for tomatoes is to take a scrap of re enforcing mesh 6" by 6" by 5' high and make a 4 or 5 foot diameter circle. The mesh cylinder is self supportive with out posts. Plant 4 or 5 tomatoes just inside. All the tomatoes are reachable and if the deer visit, most are out of reach. again, not tilling anything but digging a hole like you would for a small bush. At the end of the season, I uncoil the mesh so they lay flat out of the way. All you see in the lawn is 4 or 5 12" dia holes in a circle.

    Paddy

  5. #15
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,308
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    Get the neighbour to cultivate the entire area. Make a drag for your tractor a get it supper level&smooth. Save some of the best topsoil for the garden. Plant grass seeds that do well locally. Use the riding lawn mower for cutting.

    Use raised beds for the garden. The grass clippings can be used for compost. Use walk behind for tilling the raised beds.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  6. #16
    Veteran Member crbr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,684
    Location
    East TN
    Tractor
    Kub - 2K6, B7800

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    Thanks for the picture
    ** Kubota **

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  7. #17
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252
    Location
    Moores Hill, Indiana
    Tractor
    MF 150, TO-35, John Deere 5065E, Caterpiller 953 track loader

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    I may be in the minority here, but I'm not sure you're 8N will run a 3-pt tiller. I have a MF 150 which is about 38 hp at the PTO and have run a 6 ft Woods tiller behind it. It is absolutely all that tractor wants (first gear, low range, wide open throttle). Even then if you hit a wetter spot, it will bog down. Of course I'm in Indiana and have heavy clay type soil. If your soil is different, you may be able to do a 4 ft tiller. It's just nice when the tiller is wider than the tires so you don't pack the dirt back down.
    MBA = More Bad Advice

  8. #18
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,881
    Location
    Meridian Idaho
    Tractor
    Kubota B7100D

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    1/3 of an acre is huge when it comes time to weed it. I use 'drive on' raised beds with grass in between. As long as you are not growing spreading crops like pumpkins you can mow in between but otherwise you have to stop mowing after a while. I if try the 組rass in between method use a grass that doesn't spread by rhizomes. The beds are about 4' wide which is the same width as my tiller. I have a buried 1" black plastic pipe running across one end with 1/2" risers for laying drip down the rows. The 1 runs off a timer and valve. When it comes time to till the beds I remove the drip lines, lay the riser back on the ground with a brick or rock on it to keep it out of the tiller. Next I drive right on the bed, fire up the tiller and try to keep a straight line as I go down the bed I have 8 of the raised beds about 50' long and the last two years I have been planting two in buckwheat and tilling it under. I find this size garden produces way more food than I typically want to deal with anymore. I usually take 1000+ pounds to the foodbank over the summer. Last few years I have been growing mainly 遡eeper crops like potatoes and winter squash as well as some summer squash for fresh eating. Corn fits into both categories. I usually grow a fair number of pumpkins and gourds as my wife likes those for fall decoration along with the corn stalks. I typically give a lot of those three items away to friends as well.

    In addition to the raised bed area I have about 40'x20' that I alternate between corn and pumpkins. This area has no grass; I till it all under and then lay out rows using a cultivator with sweeps as sort of a row hipper prior to planting. This area produces enough corn for eating, freezing and giving to friends and usually some goes to the foodbank as well.

    As mentioned weeding is the real issue, it can be extremely time consuming and usually the only time I have to do it is in the heat of the day after work. I have tried black plastic mulch which works great but is not really all that cheap.

  9. #19
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    19
    Location
    SW Costa Rica
    Tractor
    Kubota b7610 hst

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    Don´t forget to grow green beans! They´re about the best easiest crop I've found, especially the little bush ones. Pole ones produce more per plant for longer but require more thought if you plant a lot. I grow lotsa other stuff too, mostly for home use, but for organic market garden time green beans, lettuce and cherry tomatoes (plum sized) are where its at! Sell them with home baked bread and you've got the start of a rockin' little stand. Green bush beans are the easiest most reliable commercial crop at the small scale. Super easy to plant and grow, almost no problems, no damage during transport and storage, they weigh a lot compared to other bean crops and require no shelling and usually go for a good price. Everybody likes them.

    Down here in Central America, we grow a lot of beans. Like a whole hillside at a time and people who do that don´t buy beans for the whole year. Excellent staple crop, cuz that's real protein and calories, not just a salad or stir fry! To start, you could plant one good wide row with some little bush beans of some sort, or you could do the traditional "three sisters garden" that the Native Americans liked so much, with the corn growing tall, squash vining low covering weeds and conserving water, and pole beans vining up the corn. Growing this trio together yields a heck of a lot more food per area than planting them alone. Get your corn started and then come through when its a few inches high, maybe hoe it up some to get the little weeds, and plant 2-4 pole beans around each corn stalk and sporadically plant squash seeds here and there. You´ll have a heck of a lot of food with very little maintenance.

    Harvest some of your beans fresh after they get color while the pods are still green or turning yellow, a very tasty treat. For storage, (assuming you plant a lot) let them dry in the summer sun until the pods are starting to turn brittle, but don't wait too long or they'll crack open while harvesting and it's a pain in the butt. Let them all dry harvested in the sun the rest of the way, and then on a hot sunny day put them on a big tarp and beat them with big stick real good! Two big sticks, real good! Great way to take out aggressions. all the pods pop open and you move all the trash off the top and you´ll have a lot of beans on the tarp below. When you plant a lot of beans shelling them by hand isn't feasible, it'd be like shelling wheat. Sift the fine trash out by pouring them from one bucket into another in the wind and it'll all get blown away. It might sound like a lot of work, but it's not when taken in the perspective that with just a few days work you can grow a very significant portion of your family's diet for the year. I dunno if it works out monetarily cheaper than buying your beans in the stores up there, down here it often doesn't but it's nice to eat your own, and if you think about food security and self sufficiency and the environmental effects of industrial agriculture then it makes it worth it to me at least. Vegetable gardens are great but it's important to remember your staple crops or you're gonna be hungry. Grow some potatoes, too!

    PS - you probably already know this, because everybody already knows this, but cherry type tomatoes with the great big vining habits (monster indeterminate) have way less problems with critters and disease than regular tomatoes. If you can find a seed for like a plum sized cherry tomato, those are the best I've found to grow. It becomes a big issue down here in the tropics but I know blight fungus exists up there too. This applies regardless of whether or not you're strictly organic, because if your tomatoes get sick you don't want to be out there spraying with gross pesticides and fungicides any more than you have to.

    Good luck!

  10. #20
    Veteran Member Birdhunter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,095
    Location
    Murphysboro, IL
    Tractor
    Ford 3910

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    One thing I have done on my garden is use the horse manure from a neighbors place. I put about 3" down along with 500 pounds of lime last fall and plowed it under then planted wheat and red clover as a cover crop.. which also tells me where the soil is lacking, where the best growing areas are and what area needs something else.
    I made another manure pile and that is where food scrap, egg shells, coffee grinds (and the filter) paper scrap.. just about anything that will break down. My kids (4 year old son and 2 year old daughter) argue over who gets to dump the days scraps in the hole I dig and we often uncover previous dumpings in various stages of decay. It makes for an enjoyable 15 minute ordeal. I also clean out our chicken house once a month and dump the straw and manure in the pile and then turn it completely with the front end loader. I have yet to find a leg bone from an antelope I put in it back in October. We also dump our leftover worms from our fishing ventures in the pile and sometimes dig them back up. That pile has a little bit of everything in it.
    In another month that pile will be moved to teh garden and another will start to take its place. My dad just takes all the table scarps and just buries them in his garden.

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