Monday, March 11, 2013

Dianna finally gets to use her Christmas present, a new bulb planter!

Just hooked up; the seat covers haven't even been removed.
Wahoo!  It arrived the day after Christmas, but it wasn't until now that our soil was dry enough to try it in the field.  Custom ordered by my husband, Bob, and designed  by a company in Wyoming, it is even painted in my favorite shade of blue.  No more hands and knees crawling in the cold spring ground!  Because I was so excited to take its portrait yesterday, the little extras aren't shown—a larger removable hopper, cup holders (for water, not beer), or the basket for supplies.

Although not completely "automatic" because we like to keep an eye on the spacing and planting depth, the design allows us to sprinkle smaller stock and bulblets within the rows and save space in the field.  Planting stock,  lily bulbs sized 12/14 cm to 16/18, are dropped down cylinders in two rows about eight inches apart from a rotating carousal, with the larger bulbs (18/20 and up) simply dropped individually by the operators while the tractor slowly moves forward.  

Our soil is rich bottom land, without rocks, so there is a tendency for the opening plow to go a little deeper at times, but it allows Bob to make easy adjustments whenever there is a "soft spot" and so the bulbs gently fall onto fluffy soil, without any danger of bruising.   We-use and re-purpose everything on the farm, nothing is specialized and the more uses for an item, the better.

So, guess who just received a 50 pound box of seed potatoes last week?

Yep, there is a piece of open ground just to the west of the lily field and all it needs is a light tilling after the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show.

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