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Gardening with a small tractor?


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#1 Paulgo ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2016 - 07:03 PM

Hey all!  I grew up on farm tractors. To prepare a field we used the plow, disk, and drag. Those same attachments are available, in smaller versions, for garden tractors. They also make nice pull behind tillers. My question is this; doesn't a tiller do the same job? Is there any need to also own the other 3?

 

Thanks, Paul.


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#2 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2016 - 07:28 PM

The tiller does do it all. BUT, it cuts down on the tractor driving experience. And you don't go down memory lane plowing, discing and cultivating.
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#3 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2016 - 07:30 PM

   I have all the implements your talking about and after years of use I have developed some thoughts on what's needed and whats not. 

 A small disc for garden tractors because of their light weight doesn't want to go down in the ground until it's been broken up with something like a plow. Even then you may have to add weight to the disc. A digger is the same unless the soil is loose in nature. I would plow and then disc. The disc I use is 6.5 ft. wide and pulled by a 30 hp tractor just because it happens to be here. The plows used behind garden tractors are very effective. A garden tractor drag is a good tool to have and works well. I now have a pull behind tiller and like it much more than the mounted one on the CC1250. This is for two reasons, First is that the tractor pulling the tow behind is a standard gear drive and is very easy to keep it moving at a steady speed. You don't have to continually be manipulating the hydro. Second is that it's narrower and works well in the corn rows. 

  I usually disc in old horse manure in the fall and leave it dormant until spring.  Then I will disc or dig it in the spring followed by the drag. A couple weeks later after the weeds start to germinate I will till the garden. Something I started doing a couple a years ago is to roll the garden before seeding. This makes marking the rows very easy and the Earthway planter really likes the smooth surface. 


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#4 poncho62 ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2016 - 07:33 PM

My gardening team.....

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#5 HANKG OFFLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2016 - 07:39 PM

Where I live on the east coast near the water our soil is sandy,  so tilling is really the only tool I need. I find it disappointing though for I would love to make use of the other implements I own . This spring I will attach my plow just for the experience.


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#6 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2016 - 08:09 PM

Like Hank, my soil is sandy so a tiller is the only tool needed. If I had hard clay soil, I would add a plow to the equipment lineup.

 

In two different landscape projects, I used a tiller to loosen the soil first. In the retaining wall adventure, I used a box scraper to move the loose soil behind the wall. For a shrub line, I tilled and removed a foot of dirt in a dish 5 foot wide so I could have room for mulch afterwards. I used a 3 point scoop to move the loose soil to various points all over the yard and a neighbors to get rid of that dirt.

 

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#7 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2016 - 08:31 PM

I kind of hope this gets to be one of those many page subjects. Lots of good reading here.  :D


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#8 Greasy6020 ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2016 - 08:57 PM

Darn right there's a need for the plow disk and drag! It's called seat time😃

I have thought of the idea of a farm run solely with garden tractors. Grow everything a "normal size" farm does (corn wheat beans hay row crops etc) only on gt scale fields. Sell it all off the end of the driveway. To make this possible I probably could rent all the big fields the farm has "here". Bigger guys are always looking for more land.

I would have all the regular farm stuff on a garden tractor scale... Plow cultivator disk harrow seed drill mower hay rake baler forage harvester dump wagons combine and gravity wagons...

Just a dream though...

Back to the original question though! Around "here" I would use the plow disk and drag. Or just the plow and tiller... Whatever works for me may not work for you.
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#9 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2016 - 08:06 AM

A key consideration is the soil type. My soil has many large rocks in it. I had to dig off the top 2' to 3' and run it through a 3" screen to get it workable. I added lots of aged cow manure and tilled with a Troybilt. I rarely go more than 2' without having to stop to throughout(as far as I can) some 1"+ rocks that have made the tiller jump. When I eventually get the garden in god enough shape, I will till with my Allis or Bolens tractor mounted tillers. I'm considering building a 1" screan to eliminate many of the rocks that I still hit. It would take a couple of days to dig and sreen everything but may be worth it in the long run.

BTW every spring the frost pushes up a new crop of Connecticut potatoes(rocks). Good Luck, Rick
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#10 backwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2016 - 08:12 AM

For the sized area that I have for a garden I have a tiller behind my JD 300. I would love to have the room to plow an either use drags or a disc.uploadfromtaptalk1456060353282.jpg
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#11 CanadianHobbyFarmer OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2016 - 08:49 AM

I have fairly heavy soil here but virtually no rocks. I have been using just a walk behind tiller with good results. I also turn pigs loose in the garden after the first frost kills everything off. They do a pretty good job of fall plowing for me, although they don't leave it very smooth.  I have bought a plow and a tiller for the GT, They both need a bit of work, but I hope to try plowing  before tilling this year.

 

Jim


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#12 MolonLabe OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2016 - 10:08 AM

The soil here is called Brookston silty clay loam. It works easily when the moisture content is just right but is nearly impossible otherwise. It goes from muddy to concrete-like very quickly. I turn  the soil in the spring with the 12" Brinly plow followed later with the tiller. The garden gets covered with a blanket of shredded leaves in the late fall followed by another tilling. Lots of quality seat time sweeping all the leaves. I use a 42" rear discharge deck running in the transport position to shred with the sweeper in tow to collect the leaves. Tons of shredding and dumping involved.

 

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Edited by MolonLabe, February 21, 2016 - 10:18 AM.

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#13 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2016 - 03:24 PM

For the sized area that I have for a garden 

 

Looks like plenty of room in the background for try some side hill gardening.  :smilewink:


Edited by Cvans, February 21, 2016 - 03:24 PM.

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#14 ejones037 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2016 - 06:53 PM

Either way works and I find its more of a preference. I have a steady supply of sandstone coming up so run plow,disc and cultivators to save on tines belts and shear pins. I also find that the use of tillers long term leads to more organics needing to be turned in. Here in western NY anyhow.
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#15 easternharvest OFFLINE  

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Posted March 03, 2016 - 11:01 AM

Darn right there's a need for the plow disk and drag! It's called seat time

I have thought of the idea of a farm run solely with garden tractors. Grow everything a "normal size" farm does (corn wheat beans hay row crops etc) only on gt scale fields. Sell it all off the end of the driveway. To make this possible I probably could rent all the big fields the farm has "here". Bigger guys are always looking for more land.

I would have all the regular farm stuff on a garden tractor scale... Plow cultivator disk harrow seed drill mower hay rake baler forage harvester dump wagons combine and gravity wagons...

Just a dream though...

Back to the original question though! Around "here" I would use the plow disk and drag. Or just the plow and tiller... Whatever works for me may not work for you.

That is exactly my intention for my retirement job! Even gonna have miniature cattle (Ebus).


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