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Need advice for garden tractor implements to start new garden

Greg H
7 years ago

Hi all,

First a little background. My wife and I have had a small garden for the last three years in two raised beds that I built. When we started it I was a total noob, and after a few years finally had a pretty successful garden but still have lots to learn.

We just moved from a city lot to three acres, and we want to create a much larger garden now. Most of the property is sloped and about half is grass.

I just picked up a JD X530 to mow the lawn, and I was hoping to use some attachments to help prepare a spot for the garden. I've been looking at plows, tillers, harrows, etc. All of this is new to me, so I'm trying to learn how and why to use all of these implements. Initially I was leaning toward getting a tiller but now I'm thinking of plowing instead.

So, questions:

- If I need to move some soil around to level an area, can I use a plow to pull up the existing sod, and a rear blade to move the dirt over to the low spots? Or is this too tedious for a garden tractor, requiring renting a larger tractor?

- Is the plow a good option for mixing in other soil amendments? I'm sure this soil is going to need some work, I know it's going to be rocky at the least, but I assume I'll need to add compost/manure/etc.

- Is there an implement that can help sift the rocks out?

- What is the procedure for getting ready for planting? Plow to turn over cover crop or old crops, then use the harrow to level it with rows? Then is the seed planted in the rows by hand and covered up?

Also any recommended books on the subject? Thanks in advance.

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