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Breaking up rototiller hardpan


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#1 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2016 - 12:44 PM

I hope to be buying a Massey 12 with a rototiller. I like the nice seed bed rototillers produce. I hate the compaction it creates though. Would a cultivator such as this (can't paste link...) 48" cultivator from northern tool work?

More importantly would that Massey be able to pull it?
[attachment=180663:image.jpg

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Edited by Greasy6020, January 01, 2016 - 12:51 PM.

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#2 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2016 - 01:05 PM

You might have to drop back to two shanks to get the depth and fracture the hard pan. I have a cultivator on a three point and to get the depth, three shanks works best.
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#3 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2016 - 01:34 PM

I've never been able to have someone show me this mythical hardpan that a root cannot penetrate.


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#4 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2016 - 02:01 PM

I've never been able to have someone show me this mythical hardpan that a root cannot penetrate.


That is partially true? As a kid I remember being with my dad down in southern Iowa where he grew up.
Dad stopped along a gravel road and we watched a farmer check planting his cornfield. It was interesting because my Dad said he had not seen anyone do that in over 30 years. Dad said the clay soil in that part of the state would till nicely in the spring but the dry hot sun would bake the hard pan clay like bricks and if there would be a drought the crops would die.

Back to the subject, plowing or tilling only goes so deep leaving a compacted (8-inches deep)10below,that does limit crops ability to draw moisture. This is the reason most farmers have abandoned their mouldboard plows and gone to Chizel plows that go 12 inches deep or more. Now the question is if the unit your looking at would go deeper than the tiller and I have my doubts. I have a middlebuster for my 1500 Ford and it will go down about 12 inches, but I can buy a chisel plow to fit it and it would go deeper. To get that deep I am thinking you would need to pull just 1 shovelor sweep with your GT.
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#5 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2016 - 02:21 PM

Ok. I might just sell the rototiller anyhow as my dad has a Massey 135 and all the goodies (plow disk cultivator) to work the garden. I still kinda want a cultivator for doing "custom work" for neighbours and relatives.
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#6 Gtractor ONLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2016 - 03:42 PM

I've never been able to have someone show me this mythical hardpan that a root cannot penetrate.

Most excellent point!  and my response is....

 

Thats because it doesn't exist.

 

At least from a roto tiller. 

However, It very much does exist from aerators that beat straight down like those used on golf courses and athletic fields.

 

Of course the dirt is not being broken up below the tiller - plow - chisel depth so it is obviously more firm down there, but not at all caused by the tiller.  


Edited by Gtractor, January 01, 2016 - 03:49 PM.

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#7 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2016 - 05:04 PM

I might have run into what you described . I used to plow the garden then till and till and till lol The soil would get to such fine powder as deep I could with the tiller . Then rain and turn to concrete . Now I'll plow and till just enough to make a seed bed ,maybe 3-4" deep . The soil below the surface stays a little looser at least in my garden
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#8 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2016 - 06:35 PM

Ok. I might just sell the rototiller anyhow as my dad has a Massey 135 and all the goodies (plow disk cultivator) to work the garden. I still kinda want a cultivator for doing "custom work" for neighbours and relatives.

Depending on how wide your tiller is it may still be very useful and worth having.
I space all my garden rows at 36 inches. a 30 or 33 inch tiller would be nearly perfect if you cn set your tires that width to drive between the rows and cultivate and weed. I do not have a GT mounted tiller the right width for my garden, so have to use my troy built rear tine walk behind tiller.
A cultivator would be useful if you can set your sweeps/shovels to cut the weeds between the rows.

Your Dads MF135 is the dream tractor for the way I garden. Most of my gardening is done wit a Ford 1500 (20 hp diesel weighing a little over 2000 lbs) I have yet to get a cultivator and a 2 row corn planter for it.
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#9 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2016 - 07:06 PM

I might have run into what you described . I used to plow the garden then till and till and till lol The soil would get to such fine powder as deep I could with the tiller . Then rain and turn to concrete . Now I'll plow and till just enough to make a seed bed ,maybe 3-4" deep . The soil below the surface stays a little looser at least in my garden

I agree, you sure can over till the soil. My soil is a clay loam mix, mostly worn out because the previous owner had rented it to a farmer that put corn on it for untold years and poured the chemicals to it to get a crop. I have been putting as much organic material in it as I can for 5 yrs and am now it is starting to get better. I also till it(lightly as you say) and then use a hiller/furrower to raise the beds so the looser dirt is deeper than it would be if flat planted. The only thing I flat plant is corn and if I do not have better luck this year I may plant it in raised beds too.
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#10 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2016 - 07:40 PM

Depending on how wide your tiller is it may still be very useful and worth having.
I space all my garden rows at 36 inches. a 30 or 33 inch tiller would be nearly perfect if you cn set your tires that width to drive between the rows and cultivate and weed. I do not have a GT mounted tiller the right width for my garden, so have to use my troy built rear tine walk behind tiller.
A cultivator would be useful if you can set your sweeps/shovels to cut the weeds between the rows.

Your Dads MF135 is the dream tractor for the way I garden. Most of my gardening is done wit a Ford 1500 (20 hp diesel weighing a little over 2000 lbs) I have yet to get a cultivator and a 2 row corn planter for it.

It's not quite ideal on the disk... disk weighs in near 1000 pounds and the front end gets a little too light too often...

I probably will sell the rototiller now. I was out back and found an 8" horse drawn mouldboard plow... And then save for that cultivator. Could make a good buck doing custom work. Fair price per hour?

The soil around here if you go past 8" is an ugly red clay. Not bad for traction but it stays wet for a while...

Edited by Greasy6020, January 01, 2016 - 07:42 PM.

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#11 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2016 - 08:59 PM

Soil compaction comes from the tractor wheels, not the equipment it is towing.  Going to a larger tractor is going to compact the soil more.  Plow in a lot of organic mater in the fall, disc a time or two in the spring and run your tiller about 3 or 4" deep at most and you can maintain a good seedbed without the soil compaction.  Compaction is the main reason for duels and tracks on farm tractors.  It is lbs. per square inch that does the compacting.


Edited by chieffan, January 01, 2016 - 08:59 PM.

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#12 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2016 - 11:04 PM

Soil compaction comes from the tractor wheels, not the equipment it is towing. Going to a larger tractor is going to compact the soil more. Plow in a lot of organic mater in the fall, disc a time or two in the spring and run your tiller about 3 or 4" deep at most and you can maintain a good seedbed without the soil compaction. Compaction is the main reason for duels and tracks on farm tractors. It is lbs. per square inch that does the compacting.


Understood. But if you run a plow or disk in ground that is too wet it creates a plow sole or plow pan. That's also what a rototiller does in the ground. I would like suggestions on how to break that up.

#13 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2016 - 07:30 AM

Hmmm? Unless your planting carrots I really don't see an issue? Here in New England we plant on stone... My garden is a rock pile and does just fine, I till the dickens out it in between the rows to keep weeds down and the slugs at bay . if you plant your crops under a mulch it won't get compacted... Who cares if the walking rows are hard under them? I irrigate under the mulch also , this conserves water as well as fights weeds. I plant a solid 1/2 acre plot and it does quite well. But we don't have red clay, it is ledge and stone, so it does not hold water!!! It will dry up and turn topsoil to powder, this why we mulch and irrigate.
Are you planting old school wheat? If not 10" deep should be plenty for most gardens, especially if the clay below holds the water, roots don't need to go any deeper for water?

#14 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2016 - 10:20 AM

when I was a kid I remember an old guy a couple blocks away from our house,  he'd actually till the garden, and about every other year, dig the freshly tilled dirt out, and then get in there with his tiller and till the next layer too, then shovel the 1st layer back in; so he'd get 2x the depth of the tiller broken up. seems like alot of work for nothing. His garden was pretty good size vs what neighbors around him had, but comparatively speaking I don't think that he got any more out of it than his neighbors got from theirs.
Here, 30 miles away from where I grew up, we have alot of bedrock and limestone below the ground, with pockets of very sandy soil here and there; 20 miles east it is mostly sand;  back in Mom's area it was mostly clay. I absolutely hated digging that crap such as when the septic tank needed pumped or the well head needed pulled.



#15 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2016 - 12:07 AM

We plant carrots corn potatoes squash tomato kale and other stuff I'm forgetting. I just don't like the carrots that look funny... They don't sell well to people when I try to sell them.

10 minutes north it's nice sandy stuff. garden soils is actually pretty sandy I just was having a brain fart... Still want the cultivator though.

Edited by Greasy6020, January 03, 2016 - 12:11 AM.

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