[Market-farming] Raised Bed Shaper Plans

John Wages jwages at earthlink.net
Sat Jan 25 23:22:50 EST 2003

Has anyone else tried using a rotary plow to make raised beds?  Earth
Tools (http://www.bcssmallfarmequip.com/index.html) carries BCS tractors
and a range of attachments, including a rotary plow (~$700).

The rotary plow works pretty well on our heavy clay, but it still
requires a pass with the tiller to prepare a seed bed.  To prepare a
raised bed with this method, the rotary plow makes one pass down the
right side of the bed, throwing soil to the left (to the inside of the
bed), then one pass up the left side of the bed, throwing soil to the
left (again, to the inside of the bed).  After that, the bed has two
high ridges and two deep valleys on either side, and a more shallow
valley in the middle.  One pass with the tiller converts it to a flat,
raised bed.  

John Wages

John & Gwen Wages
Calceterra Farm
Tupelo, MS

Allan Balliett wrote:
> Ken -
> I tried looking for plans last year. I wound up buying a shaper. Sad
> to say, after shaping about 6 beds, we didn't use it again. I didn't
> like how 'industrial' the beds looks and felt. I imagined that the
> soil would be 'loose' but raised and there w.b. nice gutters on both
> sides of the beds. Not the case. Also, it was all but impossible to
> get a bed as wide as I wanted at the top (probably my fault)
> Anyway, Market Farm can sell you a tool bar, hilling disks and the
> 'i-beams' and heavy angle iron that you need to shape and level the
> soil you raise with the disk. From my experience, you definitely want
> an adjustable unit so that you can play with it until you get the
> 'width and lift' that you want.
> Working with a tool bar (actually, a couple of tool bars, if I
> remember right) will provide you that flexibility for precision beds.
> _Allan
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