what's best for a one acre garden

veggievicki(7b)November 24, 2012

Hubby and I are trying to figure out what to do for a large garden that we might eventually enlarge enough to do some farmer's market sales with. We have a brand new John Deere 110. There is a different brand tiller you can get for it, but not much else you can do with it. Those kubota's have the pto that would let me run some different attachments, but they seem awfully pricey. Appreciate the input.

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larso1(So. CO Zone 5)

My opinion is that your acre is a lot of area for a lawn tractor with aftermarket tiller. More of a toy than a useable setup. Not really designed for that much of a garden. I went with a used Japanese compact tractor and 3-pt tiller, cost about $3500 for the pair. The combo is perfect for getting the work done in a reasonable time. And if you look around there are low prices on used equipment. I used to have a walk-behind tiller but it wore me out. Check the link below for an example of what's available.


The above link is me tilling weeds in hard ground in front of my house.

Here is a link that might be useful: Case 4x4 compact tractor

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 8:56PM
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Thanks. That's what I've been looking toward. I'm regularly surfing eBay. Kubotas run very high here. John deere slightly lower. Massey seems to havE some subcomPacts that are more in my budget but not sure of the quality

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:33AM
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Don't know if this plan would work for you, but-
Maybe hire out the initial tilling to someone with the proper sized equipment.
Use your own smaller equipment on a "staggered" timeline as different crops are harvested to "maintain" tillage.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:48PM
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You need a good garden tractor or even a CUT. You will be better off buying a used 10-year-old good tractor at the same cost as a new lesser tractor. If you are serious about making a go of the farmer's market, the Kubota can be written off as an investment and, amortized over its lifetime, will come out cheaper than a lawn tractor. I don't know anything about the new Massey tractors, but in the old days, they were good machines and the same tractor as Ford.

My brother runs a 15-acre garden for farmer's market sales. He uses 1950's-era Allis Chalmers tractors to do all the work.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 9:17AM
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To get an idea of what these fellows are telling you--take a spade and a pick, and a long-handled shovel out to where you are intending to put a garden, and get to work! You will soon see why they tell you to have somebody plow and till it first! And why a small lawn tractor won't be able to handle the work! First time ground breaking takes lots of muscle, not contained in most all lawn and light duty garden tractors, as foisted off on the average home-owner. You need a machine that uses a hard steel drive-line, not an el-cheapo with belts! JMHO: Rustyj

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:39AM
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I market garden, have for years. My main power is an Massey ferguson 35 w a 60 inch tiller. But I also use 3 cub cadet 12-14 hp tractors. I pull a plow, cultivators and peg tooth drags with them. These are 60s and 70s made by international Harvestor, real tractotrs in small size. The older john deeres and other makes are slo good tools. You can find them for 200 and up depending on condition and area of the country. I collect and restore them, and use em.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 2:43PM
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Riding mowers which look like a ractor or only mowers.The wheels are held on by only 3-4 bolts or even just a split ring. Garden tractors should have a 5 bolt system to hold the tires to the axles, rearends should be cast iron, you should be able to change the trans oil, not a sealed rear. Hydraulics are nice but a spring assited lift works fine. All small tractors are made overseas, the Massey, Fords, and others are all made for AGCO, deetres todays larger Cubs are Yanmars, Kubotas is made by>>>KUbota!! Actually, most all of the sub compacts and really all tractor colors are pretty well made today; ergonomics might be a factor for some tho, usere friendly can mean different things to different folks. The problem with most small garden tractors, like the Cubs, is only around 6 inches of ground clearance, I get around that by using wide rows where the tractor isnt required to straddle the ros for cultivating.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 3:23PM
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When I think of all the work required to plow, prep, and plant a one acre garden, and then add the time to weed and hoe and spray; and then comes the harvesting, Whew! I get tired. And I suppose you want to do this and actually make money too. If so do not sink a lot of money in equipment that will take forever to pay for out of a one acre garden.

I have neighbors living all around me who own tractors, and not one of them get enough use out of them to justify the cost. But it's handy to have them. If I want a garden cultivated, or a field mowed, I just give them a call, and they are happy to help me out. I do pay them a little something.

Make friends with your farmer neighbors.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 4:22PM
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if you don't mind walking, a gravely walk behind tractor with rotary plow will do a great job.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 8:37PM
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i have also had a market garden ( 5-7 acres) and just lately bought a kubota 46 hp, but for years,(and i mean 30+) i did just fine with hiring the big stuff. please do not try to do too much with to little a mach. what you break will end up costing more than hiring it done and 3-4 years from now you will still have a machine that isn't worth much no matter how many new parts it has.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 1:24PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

I have Case Garden Tractors with tiller, turn plow they pull 12 inch turn plow you find deals on package on craiglist by using search tempest. There online help at coltcaseIngersoll dot com all ever need. It take serval hours to get know these tractors, but help you on any Garden tractor you pick I have 7 Case Ingersoll tractors oldest 1974 446 with 3 pt category 0 hitch sleeve adapter and 41" hydraulic tiller reverse-able rotating tines. If buy wisely it sell next Gardner. Come out best buying package.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 6:45AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

IMHO you can't go wrong with an old, but ugly, good running Ford or AC tractor from the 50's. You can buy one with several attachments for around $1,000 here in SC.

The reason for adding ugly is if it has been restored and it is pretty it will cost a lot more but will not necessarily be a better tractor.

The old Ford 8N or 9N would be a better choice on availability of attachments. The old AC's seem to have less mechanical and starting problems than the Fords. But attachments are harder to come by because they use a different hitch system than the Fords. The Ford system is still in use today, while the old AC system isn't.

I have a 1954 AC-CA and it starts right away after sitting all winter. My Dad and my neighbor both had Fords and I had to help them get them started every spring. My Dad had an AC-B also and it would start up right away after sitting all winter.

I also had to do a lot of repairs on the Fords, nothing major. I rebuilt the hydraulic pumps on both of them and replaced and/or repaired many starters and generators on the Fords.

But hardly any repairs on the AC's. The only thing that I have had to do to my AC-CA is repack the lift cylinders when they started leaking. My Dads AC-B had problems with the magneto a couple of times and I converted it to a coil and solved that problem.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 2:46PM
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