Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Finding land, working a small plot or anything else countryside related
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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:21 am

xxxxtom wrote: Have you got a 255mm disc?
Any thoughts?
AS Eric says it all depends on what your kusakariki is rated for, stick with the size it is designed for :thumbup:
Eric in Japan wrote:Wow, that just gave me an idea. If we could find out what frequency of sound or vibration causes them to surface, we could make a organic gardener tool. Just put a speaker on the garden bed, or (this will sound kinda dirty) ease a vibrating probe in the ground for a few seconds, and pick up the grubs that surface.
That's an awesome idea Eric, I don't think the frequency would have to be very fast as I wasn't particularly going for it when hoeing.

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Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Post by Zasso Nouka » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:47 am

How are you finding the new disc xxxxtom ?

When the teeth get blunt they are super easy to resharpen, thanks to the angle of the metal behind each tooth. It provides the perfect guide for a sharpening disc and takes no more than a few minutes to have the whole thing like new again.

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Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Post by xxxxtom » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:56 am

ZN , the new disc is excellent. I'll take Eric's advice and stick to the 235mm as that was the size it had when I purchased it.
Regarding sharpening it my neighbour took my original one away and sharpened it. I didn't see him do it but I guess it was sharpened with a grinding stone( not a disc) as those tips are to hard. Is that correct?
Cheers

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Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Post by Zasso Nouka » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:44 pm

Hi xxxxTom,

You can buy the sharpening discs for your grinder at your local home centre, they are diamond coated metal discs and not very expensive (generally around 1,000円). It's pretty easy to do and shouldn't take more than a few minutes to keep a disc in shape.

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Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Post by Shizuman » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:33 pm

Any advice on tillers? Ive got about 60 tsubo right now and looking to go bigger soonish so im wondering what people are using,
I like the look of some of the bigger honda gear as they have some nifty looking attachments but just wondering what others are using and whats reccomended!

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Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Post by Caleb Fuller » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:55 pm

"Any advice on tillers? Ive got about 60 tsubo right now... just wondering what others are using"

A Burgon and Ball garden fork and spade and a long handled garden rake from Nafco...

The fork is used to dig over beds, but it's mainly being relegated to things like potato harvesting and clearing areas where perennial weeds are still an issue. Areas that are relatively under control I've started a no-dig style of management based on Charles Dowding's methods. I use a rake to go over the area, which tends to expose the majority of curl grubs and cut-worms, then just mulch with about an inch of compost, manure, etc. The results so far have been outstanding. I just harvested nearly 7kg of potatoes from 4 potato plants in a 60x120cm (2x4ft) area - that was just one row out of 56 plants in total, but it's a promising start. I have onions that weigh 1/2kg each, zucchinis that are already outgrowing their 120cm alotted area... with results like that, why would I even bother to cultivate?
Also, the weeds are noticeably less intrusive...

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Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Post by Caleb Fuller » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:59 pm

BTW My kitchen garden is roughly 250m2 total, or about 75 tsubo for those who've gone native to the extent they forget systeme internationale units, even when speaking English... ;-)

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Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Post by Shizuman » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:15 pm

Ah yea by hand is a bit more time than i have to spare currently but thanks

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Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Post by Caleb Fuller » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:27 pm

Ahhh... but once you go no-dig it's actually less time and effort than pulling out the cultivator, fueling it, firing it up, trudging along the beds behind it, shaping them up, then dealing with the aftermath of the fact you've just chopped up a bunch of perennial weed rhizomes into ten times the number of divisions.
Or... you could get a bigger version of the thing that's been taking so much time already - your choice...

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Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Post by Zasso Nouka » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:57 pm

I don't mean to denigrate "no dig" and Charles Dowding certainly gets good results, as does Jean-Martin Fortier and Curtis Stone but I'm not 100% sure it's right for every situation. It works very well where there a mature soil ecology has been built up over time or where the kind of techniques practised by Jean-Martin can be used but in some intensive market garden situations a low till approach can actually outperform it and where you can't purchase the huge silage tarps Jean-Martin uses then tilling the soil can still be beneficial. Even Charles Dowding advocates tillage when first setting up a grow area to rapidly incorporate organic matter, compost and manure. There's an interesting video from Curtis Stone



Weeds can be handled using stale beds and perennials can be killed off by repeated tillage over the course of several months. Cutworms and other soil dwelling larvae can be controlled with pathogenic nematodes quite easily.

On our own land we've moved from fairly intensive tillage to low tillage and are now trying to experiment with shallow tillage but I really wish I had one of these


Shizuman wrote:Any advice on tillers? Ive got about 60 tsubo right now and looking to go bigger soonish so im wondering what people are using,
I like the look of some of the bigger honda gear as they have some nifty looking attachments but just wondering what others are using and whats reccomended!
If you are going large then don't buy a smaller hobbyist tiller, it will be useless later. Honda are good, their engines are fantastic but I'd also recommend looking at something from Iseki, Kubota or Yanmar (if you have the money). Repairs and servicing are far easier for them as they are made for full time farmers and have a wide network of dealers and service centres. There's a list of Iseki tillers here Iseki Tillers, Yanmar tillers are here Yanmar Tillers and Kubota tillers are here Kubota tillers. There's not a lot of difference between Iseki and Kubota, it would largely depend on which dealer is closer to you or which one offers the better service. Yanmar are more expensive but very good quality machines. Think about what uses you want to put it to then perhaps drop into your local dealer and have a chat with them or see if you can get to try one out in their demonstration area.

We have an Iseki KMR 400 tiller which is a good all rounder and I'm very happy with it, does most everything I want of it and we have a Kubota tractor which we're also very happy with. Both are well made agricultural machines that just last and last. Never owned a Yanmar but folk that do highly rate them. Our KMR 400 works as a good general purpose tiller but can also be used to raise beds or dig trenches (which is really handy when planting row upon row of potatoes, we planted over 150kg of seed potatoes and couldn't have done it without the tiller). We have a Mitsubishi tiller that we use to harvest the potatoes, it has a kind of plough attachment that you run along the rows and turns the soil over lifting the potatoes up onto the surface of the ground.



If you want to lay mulch you will either need a special attachment or special mulching tiller or just do that bit by hand but if you are laying lots of rows of mulch then it's much quicker using machinery. If using a mulching attachment or mulching tiller then that should have the facility to lay drip tubing or irrigation hose under the mulch at the same time as it puts the mulch down. Whether you need to use irrigation tubing under mulch will very much depend on your situation, sometimes we do and sometimes not.