Anyone have plans for a Bed Shaper?

Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:08 am

Just wondering if anyone has any plans for a homemade bed shapper. Im trying plasticulture and thought maybe someone had already came up with a bed shaper for a cub. (that is Cub without fast hitch). I was looking for one that I can make myself as cub specific implements are rare down in Oklahoma.

Re: Anyone have plans for a Bed Shaper?

Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:09 am

Please forgive my ignorance :oops: What is a bed shaper?
Donegal Cub :D

Re: Anyone have plans for a Bed Shaper?

Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:47 am

You could use two sets of disc hillers on the front to pile the soil, then a bar on th back gang to level the bed.
There are several examples on the net of Cubs laying plastic mulch.
Practice your Google-Fu.

Re: Anyone have plans for a Bed Shaper?

Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:15 am

I was kinda wondering the same thing. Terminology is important as it can relate to so many things. Once I read the post I pretty much had an idea of what Lee meant, but when Mike posted it became clear.

Here is one method - it is labeled as the Hubbard Mulch Laying System which apparently is a home made system:

I still haven't figured out what they do with the plastic after.... :shock: How is it removed from the fields and what is done with it? Can it be reused/recycled or is it simply tossed in the land fill?

Black Plastic for Mulching Beds

Re: Anyone have plans for a Bed Shaper?

Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:11 am

Unless you are using a lot of plastic mulch, you remove it by hand after it is plowed loose.
Some of the large farmers use old roll balers to ball it up after the mulch lifter gets it on top of the ground.
There are re-cycling centers, but they are located near areas that use a lot of plastic mulch.

Re: Anyone have plans for a Bed Shaper?

Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:01 am

I don't think there is a single right answer to your question. The general answer is that a Cub with a set of cultivators (the relatively common Cub-144) can probably be set up to do what you want. What sort of bed do you want to make? If you take a look at the Hubbard Mulch Laying video above, you can see that they already made a fairly narrow raised bed before laying the plastic. That was probably done with just a pair of disk hillers. Some people like to use a fairly wide, flat topped bed. That is a little more involved. You might do that with 2 pair of hillers (or by making 2 passes), possilby followed by some less aggressive tools to smooth the top. The smoothing step can be done with the rear section while the front does the main building of the bed. I haven't done much with raised beds, but have used potato hillers to make a bed for a double row of onions. The potato hillers give you a bed somewhat wider and flatter than you get from a single pair of disk hillers.

The bottom line is you need to decide just what sort of a bed you want then put together the right set of tools to make it. If you give us some more specifics on what shape bed you want, I'm sure you will get some more specific suggetions on how to get there.

Re: Anyone have plans for a Bed Shaper?

Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:35 pm

I was about to start on one of those myself today, until I ran into the issue I'm about to post about...

But basically I'm going for a wide flat bed, planning to use hilling discs at the front of a frame, with angled boards to direct dirt to flow towards the middle of the bed, in order to fill in the middle, with one board across the back, perpendicular to the bed, to smooth it all out.

Do a google image search for "lesche bed shaper" and you'll see the general mechanism. Maybe you already know this design.
The front with the hilling discs attaches solid to the 3-pt hitch, and the rest of the frame floats up+down on chains. Those disc flattener things at the rear are just to break clods, not related to shaping the bed in the first place. The important part is discs to raise soil and guides to spread it where you want it across the bed.


Re: Anyone have plans for a Bed Shaper?

Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:14 pm

I've been thinking of building one, putting my ideas together too, I like the way it works on the Cub, the way the plastic goes right under the tires. I like everything about it, including the watering tube, the only part I don't like is the plastic. I like to keep things more natural. Inevitably the plastic pieces end up blowing around at some point. But I guess it's a trade-off for the weed control and the water conservation.

Kind of reminds me of people who decide they're going to drink a lot of water and be healthy, but then end up buying (promoting the use of) all the little plastic bottles.

Re: Anyone have plans for a Bed Shaper?

Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:04 pm

leerenovations I like your motto.

Re: Anyone have plans for a Bed Shaper?

Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:47 am

Currently we only have about 3 acres in cultivation. with over 30 varieties of veggies. We have our cub with the wheels out wide it makes about a 44" bed.

We simply use the 144 with hillers. Makes a decent bed. Yes it's usually a little low in the middle but a quick raking can level that off. For finer beds, for direct seeding my wife runs the Husk tiller real shallow to make a fine seed bed. I think a 252 bar would give us more options especially in cultivating multiple rows per bed.

Here she is making a bed.

We decided to stay away from the black plastic. We plan on testing more winter kill cover crops as mulch and such.

We use lots of mulch and are ok with a modest amount of weeds depending on the veggies.


One problem we had last year is keeping the cub running, some electrical gremlins from the previous owner, so cultivating got a lil behind but here are our beds with cabbages.

So you can get by with a "shaper" if you need to get busy before its all figured out.

Hope this was helpful.

Re: Anyone have plans for a Bed Shaper?

Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:27 pm

I was wanting something that will make about a 2 ft wide raised bed and cover the plastic about 12 inches on each side (inall a 4 ft wide bed). More like a box shaper. The reason for the plastic is right now, Oklahoma is in the grip of a horrible drought and I want to use my water wisely. And that lesche bed shaper might be a good starting point. Im just not a fan of welding a lot then figuring out I missed a weak point. Thanks