The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:39 am

So! It was May 31, traditional day to start the garden here, frost being a long forgotten memory (although the early morning temperature did dip into the high 30s), and the Cub is sidelined, a mere onlooker. But! It seems to think that it could save me lots of sweat and toil. Can you help it out? It observes that I run the rototiller up/down a row, then I hoe by hand up one side; then repeat on the other side so that there's a raised bed. I do this all over again, from rototill in the ditch then more hand hoeing, and a nice raised bed comes of it...also I might actually be losing some weight, but the fact is that I'm very cautious in doing this because of a back issue. Wise Olde Cub says: Get a couple of hillers, hook them up under the engine, and after rototilling, run down the row, form a raised bed, do it again right away and the raised bed is raised even more.

Is this just the Cub talking, or can it really make raised beds this way? I'd like to hear from those who have done it, cussed it, gloried in it. Even some videos if they are available. If it is a doable go to kind of Cub job, I'd think about hillers for next year. Thanks! :D

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:24 am

This is exactly what we do, the soil needs to be fairly dry but the hillers work nicely! You can find some you-tube videos of the this.....

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:40 am

Yes, that's what we do as well. Whether making raised beds or hilling up potatoes…the hillers work great.

Where in western, Mass are you? I'm in Savoy. It was 32 here this AM.

Blair

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:51 am

Dick, exercise is great for those with a good back. I know how you feel, I want to do more, but, my back pain limits me. Where I used to live the garden area was low land and necessitated planting on a hill. Now my garden spot is high and dry so hilling isn't necessary. I'd advise you to listen to your Cub and buy a set of hillers and give your back a break (haha-no pun intended) By the way, I started planting my garden back in March. I've had to do some irrigating, but, it's paid off. This weekend I harvested several peppers (bell & Banana), a mess of squash and new potatoes and one cucumber. The tomato bushes are full of small tomatoes and the peas and okra are full of blooms and the sweet corn is beginning to tassel. :{_}: Good Luck with the garden, Tom.

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:33 am

just to add my thoughts
I spent the last 2 weeks running my Roper with a 4 foot gas tiller over the whole field,
3 acres.
Then with the Cub larger sweep angled I drive straight and drop them on either side of the inside wheel making a rough 30 inch raised bed and an 18 inch path,
they are 200 feet and I planted 28 as potatos and 30 as greens carrots market stuff.
Garlic is in the raised bed just 2 rows per bed straight cultivated,.
10 beds.
The weight of the Cub as lots to me to do with the making of the bed height.

ALL Organic .....

out I go....

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:36 am

If I'm going to plant on a raised bed, I put a furrow plow/shovel on each rear tool bar behind each tire set up for 40" rows. No other attachments. Makes a beautiful raised bed in one pass.

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:45 am

Bigschuss wrote:Yes, that's what we do as well. Whether making raised beds or hilling up potatoes…the hillers work great.

Where in western, Mass are you? I'm in Savoy. It was 32 here this AM.

Blair


Blair, I've sent you a PM, giving my address and phone number. We're in Plainfield. Next door to you. Would like to see the hillers in action.

Cheers, DickB

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:12 pm

We farm with horses and a cub, growing 3 acres of mixed veggies. We bought an amish-made raised bed shaper, fertilizer applicator, plastic mulch and drip tape layer this season, a fancy thing that's built to be pulled by a team of horses. It's been great, but when the horses are tired or I don't have the time to deal with them we've been pulling it with the cub. It does a beautiful job, dropped through the standard drawbar with a gooseneck. I love the multi-generational technologies at work together!

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:16 pm

One word of warning if you are going to go out and buy hillers: we bought the 14" hillers for a different tractor and they just barely fit under the Cub, which came with 12" disc hillers originally......

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:51 am

Oh Wow! Turns out that you guys in lower VT, along with Blair over in Savoy (MA), and me in Plainfield (MA) form what I never thought lived hereabouts: a hilltown Cub enclave. And, yesterday, a visitor from another nearby town said his neighbor used to farm with a Cub but it's been in the barn there for years and years....(yes, I did inquire about that one with an inquisitive wistful look and nod!). So Newfane, Marlboro, et al. Phew, that's nice. Now, to the hiller situation here.

A set of 12" hillers? (and I was wondering about size) Front?? Rear?? Both?? What kind of height do you get for a raised bed? Does the height vary as the distance between the hillers vary. And, can you make up the difference with multiple passes, each going deeper and deeper? Do rocks means there's an issue or do you roll on over them? An Amish hiller setup? Would like to see it.

Now, there's a ban on the Cub here. Not in the garden because of earth compression due to weight. But! I'm thinking here...need some help here.... If the hillers are set directly behind rear (weighted and filled) wheels, then they'd be removing compressed soil...or some of it, right? Would hope that "effortless" raised beds vs. aging back would allow Cub back in garden so long as it stayed on track. ... ...

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:54 am

DickB wrote:Oh Wow! Turns out that you guys in lower VT, along with Blair over in Savoy (MA), and me in Plainfield (MA) form what I never thought lived hereabouts: a hilltown Cub enclave. And, yesterday, a visitor from another nearby town said his neighbor used to farm with a Cub but it's been in the barn there for years and years....(yes, I did inquire about that one with an inquisitive wistful look and nod!). So Newfane, Marlboro, et al. Phew, that's nice. Now, to the hiller situation here.

A set of 12" hillers? (and I was wondering about size) Front?? Rear?? Both?? What kind of height do you get for a raised bed? Does the height vary as the distance between the hillers vary. And, can you make up the difference with multiple passes, each going deeper and deeper? Do rocks means there's an issue or do you roll on over them? An Amish hiller setup? Would like to see it.

Now, there's a ban on the Cub here. Not in the garden because of earth compression due to weight. But! I'm thinking here...need some help here.... If the hillers are set directly behind rear (weighted and filled) wheels, then they'd be removing compressed soil...or some of it, right? Would hope that "effortless" raised beds vs. aging back would allow Cub back in garden so long as it stayed on track. ... ...


I replied to your PM Dick. We are just a stone's throw away. I've been using my Cub in my garden for the past 13 years or so. No issues with soil compaction. I'm guessing our soils are similar...heavy clay, a bit rocky, wet. Every year we add manure, compost, I mulch with straw and newspaper, add a fall cover crop....and our soil keeps getting better and better BECAUSE of the Cub.

You're welcome to come borrow my set of hillers and play around with them if you'd like. I've got both the straight shaft style and off-set style. Won't need them for another month or so.

Blair

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:09 am

Sounds like you are all set for a hiller trial, I have been using them in front of the rear wheels because the soil is less compacted and it raises better, and yes 2runs (moving the hiller inward slightly for the second run) makes a taller raised bed, maybe 8" before the first heavy rain, we are just leaving the wheel tracks for space between beds ( you will have to play with the rear wheel spacing, the owners manual for the 144 cultivators is a gold mine of info.....) And it is not too hard to divide the weight of the tractor by the number of square inches of wheel surface area and give an indication of the total compaction potential, it is not really that much more PSI than a heavy troybilt I don't think, you might get wawy with this line of reasoning?..... And remember that swivelling the hillers will raise more or less dirt but with more or less troubles, you obviously can not turn the hiller perpendicular to the travel of the Cub.....

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:22 am

Sounds like you're on the right track, but I'll give you my experience anyways:

I got the 14 inchers and they fit OK. I put them on the front bars about as far in as they'll go with out the extensions and at a little less than 45 degrees to the row. I also put 3 spring tooth shovels behind the wheels to keep everything loose for drainage. learned that the hard way as the first few rows I made were pretty compacted in between and flooded after a heavy rain. we have heavy silt loam with a few large cobbles here and there - no troubles pushing the disks. the way i had it set up it made a nice bed with a pointy top. I then spread fertilizer/compost on the row and rake the top down to whatever width I want.

So far so good for me! seems the raised beds warm quicker and I've had great germination success with corn and beans. we're sitting in bottom lands right by a flood plane, so we wouldn't be able to grow much of anything without raised beds. also, I wouldn't recommend planting any vine crops this way (squash pumpkins cuckes etc), unless you plan to trellis them, because the fruit will rot in the aisles! that said, have you ever grown pumpkins on a trellis? it looks awesome 8)

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:27 am

Eoghan wrote:also, I wouldn't recommend planting any vine crops this way (squash pumpkins cuckes etc), unless you plan to trellis them, because the fruit will rot in the aisles! that said, have you ever grown pumpkins on a trellis? it looks awesome 8)


That's interesting, because that's all we grow in our raised beds...cukes, squash, pumpkins, and zucchini. We do mulch with newspaper and then add straw over that in the aisles. Maybe that's the difference? But we've never had a problem with rotting.

Re: The Cub, Raised Beds, and those Hillers

Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:06 pm

When you say "Mulch with newspaper" are you just laying sheets down between rows?