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  1. #1
    Gold Member MitchellB's Avatar
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    Default Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    Want to starting a small beginner garden.-3819-west-ave-property-jpg
    The bank just accepted our offer on two adjoining lots behind our home. With any luck we will be closing next week. The land used to be an old church and parsonage build back in the 50s. The church has been demolished, but the little house still remains. The plan is to remodel the house and rent it out to pay for the purchase.
    We are in the city limits, but the land totals a little over an acre and combined with our 2 lots we will have about 2 acres of dirt to play with. However our land is mostly wooded and I have always had poor luck growing a garden here and never enough room with all our trees to use my 8N tractor. However, the new lots we are buying are open land with only a few trees around the outside edges. It was basically a graveled parking lot for the old church, but is very over grown now with weeds, grass and vines covering it. Right after the church was taken down someone used to plow and farm the back 1/3 of the lot making a little garden every year. I remember seeing them plow it with their tractor, but it has not been turned in at least 4 or 5 years while it has sat vacant.
    I hope to be able to clean the land up and put in our own little garden back there now. However, I need to find some attachments for my tractor. A bush hog would be nice, but I think once I get the land cleared the first time, my riding mower can keep it trimmed if I do it regularly every week or two. I know I will need a plow though; either a single (or double) bottom turning plow or middle buster (or both). I think a disc would be handy too.
    You guys got any recommendations on what I need to get for basic farming attachments to make a small 1/3 acre garden using my 1949 8N Ford tractor?
    We are also open to any and all ideas on what would be best to plant.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member sam5570's Avatar
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    south west virginia
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    new holland tn70

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    the first thing i would do is go to your local ascs office pick up a couple of the little boxes for soil sample. go right in the middle of where you think you want to put your garden andd get soil samples. the ascs office will instruct you on what and how to do it.this way you will know what to treat with and how much it will save you alot of time and money.if the ground was plowed 4 or 5 years ago it should plow pretty easy now. i would recomend a single bottom plow for the 8 n im not sure if this will work on that tractor or not but instead of a disc i would look at a small pto tiller. for gardening they do a much better job and alot faster. hope this helps

  3. #3
    Super Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    Quote Originally Posted by sam5570 View Post
    the first thing i would do is go to your local ascs office pick up a couple of the little boxes for soil sample. go right in the middle of where you think you want to put your garden andd get soil samples. the ascs office will instruct you on what and how to do it.this way you will know what to treat with and how much it will save you alot of time and money.
    Good advice about soil testing, but you need to pick up the soil boxes and forms at your local Cooperative Extension office. You can locate your local office here: Locate Your County Center | North Carolina Cooperative Extension

    Here's a video that demonstrates soil sampling procedures: .
    Note that you should collect sub-samples throughout the garden area.

    Good luck.

    Steve

  4. #4
    Gold Member MitchellB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    I'd really like to have a PTO tiller for my tractor, but the ones I have seen cost as much as my old tractor did. I do have a walk behind gas tiller that I made an attachment arm so I could drag it behind my little garden tractor like a trailer instead of holding on to it by hand. That worked pretty good but it is so small it takes a long time to grind up this NC red clay. I'll check into the soil samples though. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Mickey_Fx's Avatar
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    Vancouver Wa.
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    Yanmar Fx24D, Cub 3204

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    Initially, maybe a plow and disk are the way to go but after the plot has been established, I'm a believer in using a tiller. Maybe you can find a rent the plow and disk or have hire someone to do it for you the first time. I'd not over look finding and buying used on the tiller. Definitely get the soil tested. Might even pay to get a large load of compost to up the organic matter in the soil.

    So much of what you need and soil supplements are very locale dependent. Extension service could be a big help here.

    Over the yrs I've noted on topics like this folks in the South (everyone is in the South when you live up North near the Canadian boarder. ) to have LARGE gardens and I've always wondered why. I've been gardening for 40 yrs and even when the kids were small and living at home, our largest garden was something like 40X120 and provided us way more than we needed to eat fresh and preserve for the off months. Maybe for you folks, land is cheap permitting less dense planting and you use larger equipment than I do. Always wondered.
    Yanmar Fx24D,
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    Cub 3204, 48" mower
    Bolen 1257 GT with tiller

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    MichellB,

    If you are just wanting a hobby garden, not out to sell. You might want to try an idea a friend and I found very was very good. Don't turn over the entire area. If you do you end up with a lot of area for the weeds and mud. Here is what we do for tomatoes, beans peas and such. Till stripes every 8 feet or what ever your lawn cutting swath plus a tad. This way you have lawn between your nice wide rows, no mud or weeds. Building the soil is just where it's needed. For tomatoes you can skip the complete row and go for holes filled with good dirt every 4 feet. Taking it a bit further, cut a 16" pc of 4" perf pipe and place it next to each tomatoe plants just pocking up, water in the pipe. during hot dry times water goes right down to the roots instead of training them to look for water on top.


    This system does not maximize your land use, but it nearly eliminates weeding. And let's you focus on building the soil for your plants, not the weeds!

    Patrick T

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    nicholson, pa
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    John Deer Lt160

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    Raised beds are nice too, you could make them out of 2x6's or landscape timbers. Not sure if you may need some fencing to keep rabbits, or groundhogs out they will destroy a garden overnight.
    instead of tilling if you make raised beds you could do a hugelkultur: the ultimate raised garden beds planting.
    I did a modified version in one planting bed. I put firewood I had split in the bottom of the bed, and put dirt, straw, compost on top and planted in there. The moisture level really seemed to be consistant.
    It also saved on the amount of soil i had to put into the bed.
    www.stormspoons.com my website
    http://www.etsy.com/people/Forgeblast?ref=pr_profile
    Is where I also have spoons listed.

  8. #8
    Gold Member PossumHound's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
    MichellB,

    If you are just wanting a hobby garden, not out to sell. You might want to try an idea a friend and I found very was very good. Don't turn over the entire area. If you do you end up with a lot of area for the weeds and mud. Here is what we do for tomatoes, beans peas and such. Till stripes every 8 feet or what ever your lawn cutting swath plus a tad. This way you have lawn between your nice wide rows, no mud or weeds. Building the soil is just where it's needed. For tomatoes you can skip the complete row and go for holes filled with good dirt every 4 feet. Taking it a bit further, cut a 16" pc of 4" perf pipe and place it next to each tomatoe plants just pocking up, water in the pipe. during hot dry times water goes right down to the roots instead of training them to look for water on top.


    This system does not maximize your land use, but it nearly eliminates weeding. And let's you focus on building the soil for your plants, not the weeds!

    Patrick T

    What a great idea Paddy! I've never seen that done, but yet, it makes perfect sense.

    PH

  9. #9
    Gold Member MitchellB's Avatar
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    1958 861D Ford Powermaster Diesel & 2016 Husqvarna YTA24V48

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    "Till stripes every 8 feet or what ever your lawn cutting swath plus a tad. This way you have lawn between your nice wide rows, no mud or weeds. Building the soil is just where it's needed."

    I like that idea also, however dont some crops like corn have to be planted close together to fertilize themselves? We are getting some soil test kits next week and will be sending them off soon for testing; great tip too. I was wondering if a middle buster plow/sub-soiler combination would be a cheap alternative worth investing in, instead of the more expensive bottom turning plow for a small garden? I have a small tine cultivator that can scratch up the ground some also.

  10. #10
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    Kubota b7610 hst

    Default Re: Want to starting a small beginner garden.

    I like to leave narrow grass strips between my rows also. Been doing it that way for a little while now. Good for lots of reasons. I dunno if your land slopes, but if it does, doing it that way on contour works really well to keep your carefully built topsoil where its supposed to be. Also, as your grass strips grow and need to be trimmed you can come through with your weed whacker or whatever you use and then rake the clippings into the beds (the weed whacker sprays most of it into the beds automatically). Instant mulch and soil building organic matter! No hauling/spreading necessary.

    My tractor is a little new to me so this thread is really interesting/educating; been wondering lotsa the same things. Most of my experience up until now has been with a walk behind rototiller and a weed whacker. been thinking about developing a "grass strips" system working with a subsoiler chisel plow kinda thing (planning on making one soon), to break up the soil deep and then using the 2' wide rototiller to turn over just the top layer. preserve soil structure and stuff. The rototiller coincidetally is exactly the width between the tractor's tires.

    The idea is to grow grass strips in between the 2' wide swaths, where the tire tracks go. Like I said, I've never grown crops before with a tractor, but everything Ive ever been told until now is to avoid compacting the soil of your garden beds (Don't step on the garden bed! - sound familiar?). So what Im curious about is why has the whole world of mechanized agriculture grown up planting areas that get driven over with a tractor's tires? discs or tillers that are a good bit wider than the wheelbase of a tractor only go about 6" deep max, as I understand, is that really enough to uncompact where the tires have rolled directly before? Does it matter? (probably not 'cuz all these farmers grow a heck of a lot more food than me and what do I know anyway)

    Sorry to ask a lot of only mildly tangentially related questions on your thread, MitchellB, but this thing about the grass strips has been on my mind for a while. And, Im in kind of a similar spot, about to move into growing food with a tractor.

    MitchellB, did you say you rigged your rototiller up behind your tractor? Howd you go about that? Does it work well? I've got a troy-bilt bolens rototiller marketed by lowes (kinda cheapie), do you think it could work for that? Thanks!

    Oh, and if the grass strips are narrow, like a 1-1.5' comfortable walkway, it works fine for crops that like to be planted in blocks, like corn, has been my experience. Maybe space it closer together in the rows, for the corn at least.

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