question for farmers

Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:26 pm

I am putting cultivators on a SA that Ive restored going to be using it a very little to cultivate with, but my question is, what is the minimum distance between your inside plows, [to clear your row] I know its properly has to do with what your cultivating, but if you didnt want to change it how many inches do you need for, corn, potatoes, onion, tomatoes just a small veg. garden. Thanks

Re: question for farmers

Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:22 pm

I would say it depends on what you will be using to cultivate with and if you are planting on rows or not. You probally will not want to cultivate potatoes with sweeps. You will want to use hillers or rolling cultivators to throw more dirt up on them. If using double sided sweeps on flat ground, around a foot between the shanks, and this will depend on what size sweep you use. I plant everything on hills, and use the rolling cultivators for everything, but still need to adjust the distance out for the taters, as they are on a wider row.

Re: question for farmers

Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:19 pm

Mike,

Raymond has pretty well covered it. In cultivating vegetable crops one size does not fit all, if you are interested in good weed control. If you are willing to hoe the weeds left and hill the taters, by hand, then set the sweeps wide and enjoy the seat time. To be effective when cultivating, adjustments will have to be made, for different crops and for the same crop as the plants grow. Also, soil type has a huge impact on cultivator adjustment. For example, cultivating sweet corn in heavy clay soil will require a dramatically different setup than cultivating the same size sweet corn in sandy soil. The same is true for changes in soil moisture.

Unfortunately you said you had a small garden. Why is that unfortunate? Because getting the cultivator set up for good cultivating sometimes can take a while. You may not have enough of any one particular crop to get the adjustment right before you need to change it for another crop.

So how do you achieve effective cultivation with minimal adjustments? Since there are so many variables, you will need to experiment with the equipment you have on the crops you want to cultivate until you find a setup that does most of what you want done. Start with a wide setting and move it closer together until you find the spot that works for you. Realize that this may not eliminate some hand work necessary to raise your crop.

I'm fairly confident that this is not the answer you were looking for, but it is an answer that, to some degree, reflects the complicated nature of "simple" cultivation.

If you have more questions, please ask them.

Bill

Re: question for farmers

Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:25 am

Ok thanks very much, nothing is simple is it :D , but yes you have told me a lot, sooo I guess I'll just set it wide and do the rest by hand, it is a SAV, with [4] 10 inch sweeps on the front, the inside ones does have the inside of the sweep cut of, with [2] 12 inch on the back, the soil is not clay, its seems soft, I have about 10 rows about 70 ft. long, I measured one old SA that I had and I think they was about 20-22 inches between them, that sounds like it may be a little wide, I'm sure it was used in tobacco, would that take a wide settting?

Re: question for farmers

Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:09 am

Mike,

Start with the setting you suggested and continue to move them closer together until you find the setting that works best. As for your question about tobacco, I have never grown tobacco or been around those who did. I'm sure others, with tobacco experience, will chime in and give you an answer.

Good luck. Keep the questions coming.

Bill

Re: question for farmers

Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:17 pm

I have a similar situation, except my garden is even smaller. I have been using cultivators on a Cub with half sweeps next to the row and full sweeps the rest of the way around. Readjusting for each crop would require more time adjusting than cultivating.

I set them for a fairly wide row so I could do the tomatoes after they had some size, with the whole thing set to fit in rowa planted with a 36-40 inch spacing. Then I planted at 48". When I cultivate, I drive a bit offset from the center of the row so the right side works as close as the specific crop can handle. I run each row both directions so I get reasonably close to each side of the row. Just don't offset so far you get the next row with a wheel or rear sweep.

Rterry now has the cultivator I was using. So I have to start over next year.

Re: question for farmers

Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:44 pm

Jim,

That is neat. Great idea and, as you stated, it works well and no adjustments. What a concept!

Bill

Re: question for farmers

Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:36 pm

That is a good idea there Jim, I'll try about 20 inches, and then if I need to I can cheat a little to one side, good deal :D