Already Planning Next Years Garden!
Posted April 30, 2012 - 08:40 AM
While we had a very mild and dry winter, already this spring we have had several gully washer rains.
2- 3/4" rains over the weekend. Our soil conditions have gone from very dry to overly wet in just two weeks.
Last year and again this year I have tilled the whole garden area and have now got soil erosion( I had none last year).
Al's "Trying Something Differernt" thread has got me thinking.
It's not all that smart to till over 6000 square feet when the vast majority of it is walkways. A serious waste of labor and space? When I got to thinking a bout it I have a strip of unused soil on each side of each planted row.
Besides which all those bare dirt walkways can erode and I'm not doing anything to build up the soil in those areas. And it does not make for a happy home when your tracking all that dirt into the house.
So while I'm pretty well stuck with what I've got this year, I'm planning to go a different direction.
Al's strips make a lot of sense, grassy walkways would be much nicer and keep the happy home.
Allow one to build up the soils in that area not planted by planting nitrogen fixing grasses for future crop rotation
I also want to mechanize more of the tillage work and will need to adapt equipment to this technique.
We have been very succesful and pleased with using raised beds and wide row planting w/o surounds. So I'll be planning to set up a GT mounted Tiller and Bed Shaper over the rest of this year. Am in the process of studying how the commercial Market gardeners are shaping beds, to
Get ideas on how to set up a bed shaper. I've looked at the disk shapers and pan shapers and am thinking a combination of both would be best if I can size somthing in the pull capacity of the GT.
Since I'm putting a lot of labor into forming beds by hand raking and I'm not as strong as I was 30 yrs ago..I tire out too soon.
I'm thinking 36" beds can be tended from either side and 36" grassy stirps between the rows.
Posted April 30, 2012 - 09:29 AM
Posted April 30, 2012 - 10:28 AM
. Somehow the idea of ALLOWING grass to remain in the garden just strikes me as wrong. But you are "growing" a green manure crop, so that is different.
Your certainly not alone in that Howard! Growing up in the midwest in the 50's & 60's when full tillage was practiced, even No Till seems counter intuitive but seems to be proving benificial. And Grass is the enemy.
But having been involved in many organizations over the years, I've found "We've always done it that way" is the biggest deterent to progress. So I find I have to force myself to be open minded and flexible.
I do have a reat motivator, in that my wife pushes me to try new things in the garden and many work very well.
So Green Manureing in strips are worth a try in this case.
Posted May 01, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted May 01, 2012 - 09:49 PM
i was reading an article about that recently and that's another tangent that occupies my mind.. I right now have so many ideas bouncing around in my head on the bed shapers.
i don't know which way to go. I do know that on my first rear tine tiller I had a Hiller Furower that worked great for hilling potatoes.
I've seen bedders as simple as a tool bar with two hiller discs(Hiller Discs can be gotten at Agri-Supply.com) mounted on it. And there are pan bedders.up to and including pro models That mount plastic rolls and lay the mulch and form the bed in one pass..
What is currently in my head is a pan with angled rollers for the bed sides attatched to a rotary tiller for a one pass bedding process.
Though those could be separated and do it in two passes. As I said Ideas,I have plenty of just no definate plans.
Posted May 02, 2012 - 05:48 AM
Posted May 02, 2012 - 06:07 AM
Posted May 02, 2012 - 08:21 AM
Al I don't think the offset would have to be a big disadvantage. As I've said I'm all over the net looking for ideas and especially the way the Pro Market Gardeners are doing things. And looking at the tillers built for CUT's one of the biggest selling features pushed is the ability to offset the tiller. One would just have to drive a bit offcenter to accomodate the offset of the tiller.
The older Troy-bilt Horse models has side skirts on the tiller pan to keep the dirt from rolling out the sides.
Something my Super Bronco does not have and it leaves ridges at the sides of the tiller.
I assume your talking about a tiller on your Power King? I've never been around one though the power king is on my Coveted list. How big of a job would it be to make side skirts for the tiller? The leveling panel could be as simple as a flat panel hinged to the back of the tiller pan.
Edited by JD DANNELS, May 02, 2012 - 08:29 AM.
Posted May 02, 2012 - 10:46 AM
Edited by Alc, May 02, 2012 - 11:01 AM.