[Market-farming] row spacings

John Ferree john at seldomseenfarm.com
Mon Feb 23 07:45:07 EST 2009

Hey Beth,

we're on 5' centers. . . off the top of my head, 60, 30, 15, and 12"
between rows for 1, 2, 3, and 4 rows to the bed. this seems to be
manageable. 30" is a little tight to get through walking when stuff
starts to get big (broccoli, cauli), but lends well to mechanical cult.
72" centers would be nice, but at this stage it would be expensive to

My experience with g's. . . you may have better luck in NY finding
implements, but we are not in a veggie growing region and tools are hard
to find. The old planet jr cults work well, especially if you can source
or fabricate replacement bushings, weeder mounts, etc. We have three
setup for 2, 3, and 4 rows. one row cultivation is done with a walk
behind rototiller (older plants) or 3pt rolling cultivator. I would like
to add a basket weeder for tight spacings. . . it seems like tools need
to be purchased for a decided spacing. With the 42" rototiller are you
stuck using that spacing or smaller? In that case permanent beds might
be helpful, aka everything you're tilling is bed top, and the cult
tractors can be set on 5' centers. If not, how are you going to manage
weeds and tillage in the walking paths? (we have a 72" tiller and use
rear spring shank cults with narrow points on the g. . . so everything
gets tilled each pass)

Hope that helps
John in IN

Beth Spaugh wrote:
> I think I just turned myself on my head, and need help getting upright
> again.
> 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 geese
> "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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