[Market-farming] Potato furrows and eggplant (separately)

Beth Spaugh lists at rhomestead.com
Sun Nov 4 12:29:48 EST 2012

We use a middle buster, but I'd caution against planting very deep with it.
We are in moderately heavy soil, and the middle buster goes on an 18 hp
tractor, so that may have some bearing.  

After several years of slicing off potatoes as we dug them with the middle
buster I do two things differently: First, I plant maybe 3" deep (hard to
judge because in making the furrow you get big side hills.  Both to dig the
furrow and to harvest, DH made a short 12 - 14" top link for the 3-point
hitch, so the middle buster rides maybe 45 to vertical (I look forward
mostly when driving so am guessing). Gives a narrower furrow without the
slick/sliced bottom.  In harvesting, it pushes the potatoes to the side
instead of slicing under them.

Hilling I'm still working on.  We were given an old horse drawn hiller -
piece of oak with two 16" or larger disks.  It is too light to do much in
our soil.  Am considering buying a Buckeye hiller, but that would go at
different spacing behind our 45hp tractor, so I would end up planting
potatoes farther apart.  Soooo,  still cogitating on hilling.  If the
moisture conditions are just right I can run over the potatoes with the corn
cultivator and loosen soil for the disks to throw, but it has to be just

Definitely open to suggestions. Vern (and others) - what is your row
spacing/how are you set up to do multiple rows at once?

Beth Spaugh
Rehoboth Homestead, Peru NY
http://rhomestead.com      http://www.facebook.com/rhomestead

"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

It's not that nice guys finish last. They have a whole different notion
where the finish line is. - unkonown

-----Original Message-----
From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Vern and Amy
Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2012 8:27 AM
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Potato furrows and eggplant (separately)

Ditto on the middle buster and hiller disks to cover.  Our antique 
potato planter does both at once, but is not adjustable from 18" 
spacing.  The G tractor can set the rows tighter and more uniform if we 
cut the furrows a couple rows ahead of people dropping seed in by hand.  
It isn't that hard for even inexperienced friends to guestimate 12" 
apart.  We use two small middle busters set the distance we want our 
rows apart and run one in the last row cut to place the next one at the 
appropriate distance away.   For smaller plantings without a tractor, 
you can even put a left and right-hand plow together on a Planet Jr. or 
HOSS wheel hoe to make an improvised middle buster.

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