[Market-farming] row spacings

Beth Spaugh lists at rhomestead.com
Sun Feb 22 19:52:36 EST 2009

I think I just turned myself on my head, and need help getting upright


We progressed from all hand planting and hoeing, to a small Kubota B6100 –
outer wheel spacing 33”, inner 25”, with a little single row cultivator. But
the cultivator doesn’t have very good (wide or close together) points, so I
turn around and go back down the row twice. The advantage of this is that I
can slide over close to the plants on each side, and effectively plant the
field on 16” rows. Oh, it has a 42” rototiller, which I have been using way
too much, but has been a real blessing. After years of dreaming of getting
an Allis G, I got one. We have it converted to battery, new tires, ready to
get cultivation tools. I am planting 2 ½ to 3 acres.


First step is to decide on tire spacing and row spacing. Tire spacing is
important because we might someday get a forage wagon or manure spreader,
etc, and will get a newer tractor with front end loader, so want to
standardize on a common width. But after drawing the various options out,
having been told that 14” is the minimum I should go with mechanical
cultivation, it doesn’t look like I am gaining much if any planting space
(rows) over the little Kubota. If I go with 5 ½ foot center to center
spacing, with 4 rows it comes out to 16.5 “ average. If I go with 6”
spacing, 4 rows on 15” is 18” average. With 5 12” rows on the 6 foot
spacing, it drops down to 14.4” average. I was going to try to develop
permanent wheel tracks, but am wondering if it is worth it and if I should
just upgrade my little cultivator on the Kubota.


Also, I have the option when doing fewer rows of moving sweeps around, or
just taking one off and not having them evenly spaced (permanent places on
the toolbar for 4 sweeps versus moving them around). How do you do it? I
have thought about planting most things (exceptions – tomatoes, squash,
peas) on 14” centers, adjusting the within row spacing to give space, but
think walking down 14” rows of broccoli to get second cuts could be
challenging. When I have planted on 16 to 18” rows, with the broccoli it is
a challenge – not hard, but not as fast as the edge rows.


Please, what row spacings do you find efficient, and what tractor width do
you find efficient? I have been putting this off because I find it daunting,
but need to get going. Seeds are here. Will start onions next week, so need
to get this wrapped up. 

My strategy is to just call Market Farm Implement and order from them, but
they want to know row spacing, tractor tire spacings and tire width, etc, to
advise me.


Thank you. 


Beth Spaugh

Rehoboth Homestead, Peru, NY

Farm Fresh Food Club CSA - http://rhomestead.com <http://rhomestead.com/> 

Garden fresh vegetables, organically grown, and pastured chicken, duck, and


"How we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used." -
Wendell Berry


"Without power over our food, any notion of democracy is empty." - Frances
Moore Lappe


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