Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Finding land, working a small plot or anything else countryside related
Shizuman
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:34 pm
Location: Shizuoka
Has thanked: 85 times
Been thanked: 62 times

Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Postby Shizuman » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:05 pm

Zasso Nouka wrote:
If you are going large then don't buy a smaller hobbyist tiller,


ZN Thanks for the information mate!
I was thinking that if i get the samm one now id regret forking out extra later yea.
I would love a BCS tiller they are soo cool, i dont need one but damn its such a cool big boys toy!
I have an Iseki dealer up the road so ill go and see what they can tel me! I have seen a few big Yanmar diesel machines on yahoo auction as well but i didnt know if they were any good. I might chase those up to!

Thanks again

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2180
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1173 times
Been thanked: 808 times
Contact:

Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Postby Zasso Nouka » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:01 am

Diesel cultivators are good and have immense power but they can be quite heavy and slow to turn at the end of rows, it sometimes feels like you have to wrestle the thing around every time you want to turn it. Petrol powered ones are far easier to swing around and steer. Also you tend to get more options or attachments in the petrol powered models.

Here's the Iseki making rows for spuds, you can see the flap at the back is secured down to make furrows

Image

Here it is making regular flat beds

Image

And here is the Mitsubishi 'tiller' we use for harvesting potatoes

Image

You can see our old Diesel tiller in the background, unfortunately the engine no longer starts when you turn the crank handle so it's been retired.

Shizuman
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:34 pm
Location: Shizuoka
Has thanked: 85 times
Been thanked: 62 times

Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Postby Shizuman » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:26 am

Wow That iseki one looks really versatile,
I had a look at the Honda ones too and they can do a fair bit in terms of attachments.
Thanks for the info on the larger diesel ones, sounds like if your doing a lot of work with them they could get quite tiring
turning them around. I feel like i now have enough information to go to the missus with to state my case cheers!

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2180
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1173 times
Been thanked: 808 times
Contact:

Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Postby Zasso Nouka » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:30 am

No worries and best of luck :thumbup:

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2180
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1173 times
Been thanked: 808 times
Contact:

Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Postby Zasso Nouka » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:14 pm

For pure comedy value here is Mrs Nouka about to be dragged off across our hatake by the old diesel tiller

Image

It really was a powerful heavy beast.

When you go chat to your local Iseki dealer be aware you can probably haggle on the price. Perhaps make a visit to your local Cainz Home or Joyful Honda and see what they are selling Iseki tillers for,often the dealers will start out with astronomically optimistic price but rapidly come back down to something more reasonable and if they don't then go elsewhere. I wouldn't actually recommend buying one from Cainz as they don't do services or repairs so just find another dealer that has a better grasp of economics in the internet age.

Shizuman
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:34 pm
Location: Shizuoka
Has thanked: 85 times
Been thanked: 62 times

Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Postby Shizuman » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:49 pm

Zasso Nouka wrote:
It really was a powerful heavy beast.


I can both laugh and sympathise on that note, been thrown one too many times using post hole diggers up in the mountains back in Aus, good fun!

Zasso Nouka wrote:When you go chat to your local Iseki dealer be aware you can probably haggle on the price. Perhaps make a visit to your local Cainz Home or Joyful Honda and see what they are selling Iseki tillers for,often the dealers will start out with astronomically optimistic price but rapidly come back down to something more reasonable and if they don't then go elsewhere. I wouldn't actually recommend buying one from Cainz as they don't do services or repairs so just find another dealer that has a better grasp of economics in the internet age.


How about self servicing here in japan? parts easy to come by? I imagine given Iseki and yanmar are big companies parts would be plentiful?
The local Cainz stocks a couple of Iseki models, ill make sure i can get a comparison when i visit the dealer. Thanks for the tip!

On that the dealer would be best for attachments right?

And i love the potato harvester! looks great. Is that a bought bit of kit or did you make it?

korekaranoka
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:55 am
Location: Saku, Nagano
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 19 times

Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Postby korekaranoka » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:49 pm

Hello all,

Haven't posted anything in a long time so thought a thread on tilling might be the occasion...

I'm a full-time farmer like Zasso Noka so I'm used to working with a lot more ground than might be the case for most people on this forum (2 tanbu up and running for this summer, teo more for next spring, then working up to a full hectare sometime in the next three years). I'm basically intending to go full no-till, but have opted to use a borrowed kanriki (an ancient crank-start diesel Iseki that weighs a ton) to get my beds formed: I'm currently growing vegetables on eighty-five 5m x 75cm permanent beds and will be up two hundred and ten in the next three years, with another seventy-five or so devoted exclusively to perennial herbs, and it would take just too long to do that all by hand.

For info, here's how I've been going about getting my beds ready:

1. cut the - very long and dense - grass, pulling it to the side and separating dead and green (to turn into compost later which I spread on the surface - I don't want to work the dead grass directly into the soil as in order to decompose it consumes both nitrogen and oxygen which I would rather make available for my plant roots).
2. marking out the rough area where my beds will be (I don't see the point in wasting time ploughing an area I won't be planting in).
3. using the Iseki to cut up the topsoil (the land is unused - for the past ten years at least - terraced rice paddies so it's pretty hard), going over once, twice and three times, going as deep as I can.
4. marking out the exact bed placements with string and bamboo stakes (which I leave in place so I can re-attach the string when I need to reform the beds in the future)
5. raking off the residue that has come to the surface as a result of the tilling: stones and roots, mainly.
6. going over the beds with a broadfork (I use a crafty gatherer from New Zealand) to work the subsoil.
7. going over the beds with a fork (a spear and jackson I brought back from the UK), pulling out all the residue that's left: stones, roots, roots and more roots mainly.
8. raking the beds flat (with an "american rake" from the farmers' store when the soil is still rough, with a spear and jackson landscape rake when it's finer).
9. throwing down lots of organic chicken manure and compost.
10. planting.

This might seem like a lot of hassle (it is) but it does cut out a lot of effort once the initial work is done, saves money on equipment, and is above all very beneficial to the soil (both enabling micro-organisms to flourish, and avoiding the drought-flood cycle increasingly evident on industrially farmed land.

As you can probably guess, I personally do not see the need to buy an expensive tiller (or indeed to even use or own one once once the intial work is done). I think that the mania for bigger, faster and more powerful kanrikis is the same as for most farm equipment: it's hype. There really is no need for soil to ressemble chocolate powder (this really marked me when I first visited farms in Japan: nowhere on any of the farms I had worked on in France did anyone see the need to till their soil that fine) to grow stuff in it. Some of the soil on my farm quite frankly strikes me as being better suited for making pottery than growing stuff in it, and yet barley, tomatoes, cucumber, pumpkins are all growing in it. Nor, as I said, is there any need - or indeed any point - in ploughing an entire field: you only plant in a relatively small percentage of the soil so why waste time and energy on ploughing soil that will only be compacted by being walked on it or drivien over, or indeed just sit there unused, the perfect environment for passing weed seeds?!
Not only that, but constant tilling can be very damaging: I worked for a year as an apprentice on a farm here in Nagano and I will never forget the effects I observed of constantly bringing stones and weed seeds to the surface, and creating an impenetrable hardpan where the tiller blades turned, preventing water and plant roots from penetrating.
When you take all of that into account, I really do think the best thing to do is to borrow (or buy cheap) an old and simple kanriki, use it get started, then neve touch it again.

If you are that way inclined, there are complimentary techniques you can use to speed up the beneficial effects of no-till on your soil:

- tarps: the Americans use sillage tarps, I use 0.15mm 育苗専用遮水シート 3m x 55m which I cut up into 3m x 6m strips to use on my beds to prevent weeds from spreading and help decompose plant residue
- green manure: rye, barley, soba, wheat, vetch, clover etc. to build nitrogen/organic matter in the soil. Some people dig it in. or you can just lay it down on the surface and let worms do the rest. And use tarps to speed up the process.
- gas burners: to burn weeds as the begin to grow, creating a stale bed. Neversink farm in the US has developed what looks like a very good model, Shinfuji here in Japan sells a similar version (not available in the shops it seems) that has four burners you push along your bed.

Sorry for the long answer - and all the unasked for information - but, as I said, it's been a while since I was last on...

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2180
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1173 times
Been thanked: 808 times
Contact:

Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Postby Zasso Nouka » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:54 am

Shizuman wrote:How about self servicing here in japan? parts easy to come by? I imagine given Iseki and yanmar are big companies parts would be plentiful?
The local Cainz stocks a couple of Iseki models, ill make sure i can get a comparison when i visit the dealer. Thanks for the tip!

On that the dealer would be best for attachments right?


You can do the servicing yourself no problem, I do the yearly service on our tractor and rototiller myself but put them into the dealer every couple of years to make sure it's all maintained properly and just in case I've missed something. Engine and transmission oil can be bought from your local home centre, oil filters you'll need to order from the dealer, oil seals will also need ordering from your dealer. Maintaining a good relationship with the dealer is important for emergency situations.

Shizuman wrote:And i love the potato harvester! looks great. Is that a bought bit of kit or did you make it?


That was given to us by someone that was retiring from farming, it's used by cabbage farmers to build up the hilled beds they plant the cabbages on. As Korekaranouka mentions you might also want to look into second hand tillers if you are mechanically minded.

@Korekaranouka,

Awesome post man and thank you. I've been wanting to find something to use as an alternative to the sillage tarps Jean-Martin uses but haven't been able to find a substitute until now. I'm guessing they should last a while as you aren't leaving them outside all the time so it might be time to experiment with some permanent beds. Do you use anything special to weigh the side down or just pile some earth there ?

Totally with you on the burner, don't have the four nozzle one from Shinfuji but you've seen my tank one and it is incredibly effective at killing off small to medium sized weeds and done at the right time is actually quicker and more long lasting than a kusakariki. The smaller handheld wand types aren't that good as they don't get hot enough so very slow to use, quite heavy with the fuel in the wand part and you have to continuously refill them.

Shizuman
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:34 pm
Location: Shizuoka
Has thanked: 85 times
Been thanked: 62 times

Re: Tool recommendations for the vegetable patch or farm

Postby Shizuman » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:56 pm

Great tips guys!

I might go the second hand route, ive done a bit of work with engines so i rekon i can nut it out!
Thanks for the info on no till, ill defiantly keep it in mind!

Also was looking at burners too so that was a timely comment!

Cheers


Return to “Country Life Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 2 guests