[Market-farming] Potato furrows and eggplant (separately)
Vern and Amy
vaspencer at sisna.com
Mon Nov 5 10:15:23 EST 2012
We plant about 3" deep as well. (Our soil is only 6" deep in most places
anyway before the subsoil which is usually clay and rock.)
We don't actually do multiple rows at once (yet). We just have two
small middle busters set at 40" apart and the 6" wide tires set at 64"
on center. We could do two in a bed like that, and probably will next
year. Up to now, we cut the first two rows in the field with both, then
only cut one at time after that with the one not making a new furrow
plowing in the last furrow made to keep the 40" spacing for the new
furrow. I think this is the most efficient use of space (not
necessarily time) for the equipment we have for now.
Since I had less experienced drivers cutting the furrows this year, the
rows strayed from the 40" enough that I had to narrow the tractor down
so I could only straddle one row while hilling instead of two. This is
not a big deal, since I only would hill one row at a time anyway even
while straddling two, because two would be too much work for my little
10 hp 60-year-old tractor. This worked fine, except the rest of the
crops wanted the wheels set back at the 64" spacing. It takes time to
change back, and you either lose time there or things slip through the
cracks while you wait to hill the spuds again before changing. To avoid
this next year, I think we will cut two furrows at once, and throw away
a little space between "beds".
The key to setting your spacing is knowing the spacing of the wheels of
the tractor you will hill and dig with. If you will be using a behemoth
with 16.9" wide tires (which actually eat up 18") set at 64" on center,
40 inches is way to close and you will squish potatoes that are near the
side of the hill. We laid it out (use a 20' long piece of freezer wrap
or pencil it out on the shop floor to show 2 or 3 passes with the
tractor--you'll be surprised what it shows) full scale, including
drawing in the width of the tractor tires. Dad and I have over 60 years
combined experience reading blueprints, and trust me, it's easier doing
this project full scale. I think to accommodate that tractor one year,
we had to plant *at least* 54" apart. It was a space hog, but you don't
want to waste your crop, either.
We can only dig one row at a time.
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