Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forum › Equipment Category › Equipment › Seeking Cultimulcher Info
- August 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm #80882
I am hoping to hear from farmers/market gardeners who have experience working their horses, mules, or oxen on a Cultimulcher. I am gathering info for a potential Rural Heritage article on this subject (with longer term thoughts of a book focused on market gardening with draft animals). Would love to hear about how these machines perform: what job description would you give to your cultimulcher, how well do the single horse ones work, how do they fare in stony soil, have you retired or replaced other primary or secondary tillage tools as a result of having a cultimulcher?
Any and all input would be greatly appreciated,
StephenAugust 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm #80885
I love my cultimulcher. It can replace the disc and drag in some cases and a finishing harrow in most cases. I rely on it heavily for seed bed and transplanting preparation, and also as a stale seed bed tool or bare fallow for killing a weed flush. We have also used it successfully to work in a cover crop seed and to roll it at the same time, not as good as a harrow and cultipacker, but works great right before a good rain. I am going to try killing some tender buckwheat with it tomorrow in preparation for some winter crops.
We have very rocky soil, some rocks get stuck in the rollers, but can usually be freed easily. Of course it helps to pick rocks first, but it will hump up over the big ones. My Schipshe is rugged enough to handle our boney ground.
The one thing that I don’t like about this tool is that if used repeatedly for bare fallowing, it will pack the ground some, so sometimes I will use a disk between cultimulcher uses.
The picture below is after using it during the monsoon season we had in June, I hated to use it while the light rain came in, but no telling if it would rain so much that the ground would be too wet again. While some of the weeds regrew, it certain knocked them back some until it dried out again for another moment to get on this field. Though it is a Woodbridge sandy loam, don’t let that fool you, there are a couple of wet spots in the low parts of this field, I never got sweet corn in because of them.
We have a 5′ 2horse Schipshe with the articulating front roller (a must if you ask me).
Hope this info helps,August 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm #80892
I built a cultimulcher and used to patch the lawn after digging a trench busted up the clumps very well. I have also been reclaiming some ground behind my pond it works well but tends to press the quack roots back in and keep them growing but then it’s a cultimulcher not a quack digger.August 28, 2013 at 5:57 am #80893
Thanks for responses. Thanks, Erika—this is just the kind of info I am looking for. We are using plow and/or disc, spring tooth, spike tooth, and flex harrows (don’t own a roller)for seed bed prep in the market garden—plus, use the cultivator with middle shank to form beds and mark rows. On the plus side, the horses are kept engaged with lots of passes—but, in the rush to get the garden fitted and planted in the spring I have wondered if a combination tool would make a difference.
With our rotation we alternate sections from winter-killed to non-winter-killed cover crops—so that we are not just using plow or disc but rather alternating their use—hopefully thereby avoiding plow or disc pan. Know of some folks who use a single shank chisel with a team to break up compaction.
PS) Attached photo just for fun—from HPD showing this tool on a mighty scale!August 28, 2013 at 9:46 am #80895
I have used the tractor version of a cultimulcher on 3 other farms in the past, I really liked it for weed control and seed bed prep. Here is a video of the Perfecta II that I am used to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8_MCajjA3k. This version comes with a wider duck foot sweep on the s tines and is able to dig deeper than my Schipshe cultimulcher.
Here is what I currently have on all of my tines, http://qualityfarmsupply.com/products/2-3-slash-4-x6mm-2-hole-danish-sweep
Last week I bought a set of more aggressive sweeps for one row of my S tines, they look like this http://qualityfarmsupply.com/products/6mmx4-danish-sweep. I want one row to be more aggressive to larger weeds. The first row of S tines is the least aggressive and the back the most aggressive, I will try these new sweeps on the middle row of tines. I fully expect the pull to be harder, but this time of year the horses are in shape, the weeds are larger and the area being covered is smaller.
I think that any tillage tool has the potential to make a hard pan. Below is some picture evidence of the hard pan that the perfecta on the tractor made after bare fallowing this section of the field for several weeks (the section of all open water to the left of the sweet corn). We had planned on seeding it down to fall crops, but didn’t have time to do it until right before Irene hit, so we opted to wait and see what the storm brought. The field turned into pudding and we weren’t able to do anything but broadcast some rye onto it for the winter and even that didn’t work well, darn lowland clay. Anyway the storm peeled back the layer of topsoil that we had been working with the Perfecta and showed us clear evidence that it can also cause a hard pan.
As Eli points out this type of tool doesn’t do a good job killing quack grass, I leave the disk and chain harrow for that task.August 28, 2013 at 10:48 am #80899
here is a pic of my home made unitAugust 28, 2013 at 12:10 pm #80901
Thanks for all the in-depth description of your cultimulcher set-up, Erika—very useful. I never had the opportunity to use a Perfecta but recognized it as the multiculcher equivalent—-interesting to hear your take on the relative aggressiveness of the two tools.
We rely on the spring tooth harrow to eradicate quack grass and bind weed. Never have seen a quack digger, but have heard this is a common tool in the upper mid-west.
Eli, very impressive to see your home-built version—thanks for posting. Where did you obtain the components? Are you using it to re-mediate pasture or market garden ground?August 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm #80903
Stephen I used mostly parts from an old spring tooth harrow I had lying around and left over stuff from other projects. The ground I am working is in back of our pond I am trying to smooth it out to plant hay. I have been disking cultimulching and picking stones. I plan to plow it in the next few days disk it and use the cultimulcher to prep it for seeding.
Building things I can use is one of my hobbies. When I built the cultimulcher I didn’t have horses to pull it. I tell my wife and kids when I’m gone have an auction then haul the rest in for scrap. Eli
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