A Gallery of Equipment for Ken Laing’s No-Till Vegetable Trials.

This work is in cooperation with the Living Lab-Ontario Project.

For application of Deep Compost Mulch (DCM)

Figure 1. First attempt at mechanizing DCM application, with not great success. Compost did not easily slide down V shaped bin. If the compost was wet or smears easily the compost did not feed down through slot at bottom in spite of 2 stirring rotors in the bin. Dry screened compost just poured right out the bottom when dumped in the bin.

Figure 2. Spreading by hand from dump wagon.

Figure 3. Lancaster 110 bu PTO spreader. Turning the wheels inside out made the tires 60” on centre to match the 60” bed width.

Figure 4. Removal of the widespread and installation of a baffle enabled spreading just on top of bed. The speed of the table chain and ground speed determine the thickness of DCM.

Bed Roller/Crimper 

Figure 5. 60″ roller by Yetter, which is clamped onto the pallet forks with no modification.

Figure 6. Using the Yetter (Figure 5) to roll a cover crop of Crimson Clover in a 60″ bed.

Figure 7. Heavy duty flail mower, usually used for chopping prunings in an orchard, does a nice job of chopping and distributing a cover crop evenly across a bed.

No-Till Drill

Figure 8. Homebuilt drill made with Crust Buster heavy double disc openers on parallel arm unit more commonly found on planters. Tank can be used for liquid amendments or just extra weight. 8 rows 8” apart.

Figure 9. Using the drill (Figure 8) to drill spinach or peas into winter killed sorghum-sudan.

No-Till Vacuum Planter for select vegetable crops including sweet corn, green beans, peas and spinach. 

Figure 10. John Deere vacuum planter set up for no-till 2 rows 24″ apart.

Figure 11. When planting into heavy residue heavy press wheels on the right work better than standard press wheels.

No-Till Transplanter 

Figure 12. No-till transplanter by RJ Equipment. Quite a heavy implement requiring good sized tractor with good weight to counterbalance weight of transplanter and enough lift capacity to lift it. We were able to transplant plugs, plant potato (with small seed pieces) and garlic with slight modification to planting shoe.

Figure 13. 1) Rigid row cleaner; 2) large wavy coulter; 3) subsurface tillage shank.

Figure 14. Transplanting into rolled hairy vetch. 1) Double disc openers; 2) modified closing wheels to close trench.

Figure 15. This is what happens if your coulter does not cut through the residue.

Figure 16. A floating type row cleaner is superior to a rigid type. If set to sweep away some of the excess residue it can help the rest of the machine deal with the residue without creating bare soil that will encourage weed growth.

Figure 17. Rubber flap added to the rear of the planting shoe to force garlic cloves to stay in the shoe until pushed out by the spacing finger (blue part).

Figure 18. Modifications to Willsie 60” 3 PH potato digger to help it work in no-till conditions. Hilling disks at both edges of the bed to cut through residue. Pointed blades, called Carrot Blades by manufacturer bolted to regular straight bar.