Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forum › Sustainable Living and Land use › Sustainable Farming › Walking subsoiler › Reply To: Walking subsoiler
Well, we had at it today. Taking breaks every now and then we were able to work around the 90 plus degree heat, we started around 11, took a break for the afternoon then started again at 6 or so and finished up around 7:30. I say finishing up, but we had to leave the last few furrows un-finished because a mighty thunderstorm blew in. Overall I think it was a great success. We were running the subsoiler at a consistent 15-16 inches deep, sometimes a little more sometimes less. The three horse hitch was definitely necessary. They were able to pull it, and quite readily they did so, though they were working for it.
I was driving the young team out front with the plow and some friends pitched in to drive the three abreast with the subsoiler behind me. A few observations made…I was pleased with the vertical suction of the subsoiler, though I wish that I had been able to set the point at a steeper angle so that the beam would have been able to run a but more parallel to the ground. I set it at this angle by taking measurements off of a yeomans plow shank, and if we set it any steeper it would interfere with the potato plow, when we wanted to bolt it back on, which will bolt back on with two bolts. As it was, we had to flip the vertical clevis upside down to gain enough of a hitch angle to get the subsoiler to bite at this depth. That said though, we were able to make it work, so I’m not sure I have any complaints about it. The beam just looks a bit funny. For the most part when they laid into a stone, it would tend to pop it up onto the surface, though they did hit at least 2 that stopped them dead. The team stopped quickly though and it wasn’t much work to lift the shank out and let the team re-set it again past the stone. For those observant enough, you may have already recognized what the point for the subsoiler is made of. Take a look again and you will see the spike of a pick ax, cut off at the head and welded on the bottom on the beam! I’m debating at this point whether we should try to finish the field as we started or leave the last little bit as a final variable for the comparison of the sub-soiled, non-subsoiled, and bio-drilled gardens. I think we may do this whole plot again next year to finish the field for good. As it was we were running the subsoiler every 12″ or so across the field in each furrow bottom, so we ended up with pretty good coverage I think, but again, if we do it next season as well we would probably break it all up for good!