How To Plow Your Garden With A Compact Tractor

Hi. I’m Ted, from Everything Attachments. We’re here today with the model 19-12 plow. We’ve got a new Bobcat tractor that we’re trying out. This is what we’re going to be using for our smaller videos in 2011. We’ve just received this tractor; it doesn’t even have an hour on it yet. All of the linkage is set just like it came from the factory. All we’ve done is install this plow. It does have the optional coulter on it, that’s going to cut the vines and this wire grass before the mow board gets to it so it doesn’t wrap up on the beam. We’ve also installed the optional gauge wheel on it. We probably won’t need the gauge wheel because this tractor does have a position lift on it with a full, from top-to-bottom adjustment, instead of just an up-or-down lift. If you have an up-or-down lift, you probably will want the gauge wheel. We put it on there just to show you. This tractor’s lucky enough to have the telescopic stabilizer bars here. Then we’re going to show you the different adjustments that you’ve got.

This right here will adjust completely, so that’s not going to be a problem on length. This bar over here is solid; it has 2 holes in it. It’s in its furthest-down position, and that’s probably where we’re going to need it to get our full depth on the plow. I doubt this plows going to be able to go as deep as we want to set in this back hole. You’ve got 2 holes here, it’s in the back hole right now. There’s another hole right here in the front. As you move this forward, it’s going to allow it to drop further but raise less. What we’re going to do is a good way to check this, we can start out plowing and we can see if it’s just not deep enough. The other way to check this before you do it, if you’ve got a nice ditch, you can back your tractor to the edge, let your plow down, and if it doesn’t go down but 4 or 5 inches below your tires, then you know you’re going to have to adjust this lift.

If you’ll notice on the plow the right side pin is lower than the left side pin, and that’s because once you get in the furrow, your plow is going to be . . . like right now, we’ve got it adjusted flat for the first row, and then we’re going to readjust it to be flat because the tractor’s going to be on an angle after we make our first pass. See, it’s not going down as deep as I want it to. That’s probably as low as the lift is going to let it go.

After we sell someone one of these plows on their tractors and they’re using it on a smaller tractor, probably the number one question that we get back on a phone call is, “My plow won’t go deep enough. What do I need to do?” Just to give you an idea, remember that you have 2 holes in your lift link here. Going to the bottom hole is going to let your plow go lower. Then you probably, on the smaller tractors, have 2 holes on your lift arms here. These are you lift links. This is you hydraulic top cover. These are your draw bar arms. These are your stabilizers. This is your back hole and your front hole. When this tractor came delivered to us, the hole was in the back and that’s great for lifting up higher. As you want to go lower, like with a plow, you’re going to want to move this forward. I’m just going to show you the difference in how far it goes. If I was in the back hole, like I am right now, it shows this right here. Now I’m going to go to the front hole, and you can see it lifts this up even. You can see just the difference in moving it from forwards to backwards, how much more drop it’s going to give this plow, and that’s what we need to get it down into the ground.

We’ve readjusted our side links here, from the back hole to the front hole. The plow’s going to drop further. We’re going to get the tractor in the furrow. The next furrow’s going to be deeper because we’ve lowered this plow, so we’re going to continually, for the next 2 passes, adjust this side link to get the plow back to running level while the tractor’s running on an angle in the furrow. Just remember if you happen to have a small Kubota B or a BX and your stabilizer’s are running from the outer edge of this bar to the center, then you’re probably not going to be able to use this coulter option. On this particular tractor, they do have the telescopic stabilizer bars, and they’re running to the outside edge there. On this tractor you can do any option.

Peanut’s going to stay in the furrow. We only got it about half as deep as we wanted to. Let me go ahead and pitch the front end down just a little bit. Let’s try that. That may be too short, because it’s running a little bit too much of an angle-down. All right. I’m going to level your plow up. It will still pitch down. I pitched it down just a little bit too much, so I’m going to bring it back up some; that means I’m going to make the top link longer. All right. Let’s try that.

The plow looks like it’s running real level, left to right. The gauge wheel is fully down. The coulter is cutting the grass before, so it’s not wadding up on the beam. That’s some good looking plowing going on right there. See, it looks like the plow’s crooked, up until he gets up in the furrow, then it’s back to level.

That’s a 22-horsepower Bobcat tractor. I’ve used as low as a 14-horsepower tractor; you just have to go a little slower, but you’ve got plenty of power to pull.

OK. Earlier, we pulled the stabilizer bars over to make sure that we were getting all of the area without any plowed area. Really, we moved it over too far and we were only getting about 6 or 8 inches at a time, instead of the full 12 like it’s capable of. You can see the difference here, where we were only taking about 6 inches. It is turned over, but these last two rows we’ve moved it back to the center, and you can just see a difference where it’s rolling the grass over better.

Plowing’s one of those things that it just takes a lot of adjusting to get it right. Once you’ve done it a time or two, you’ll know what you’re doing. This is the first time we’ve used this tractor, at all, with this plow. If you look at the plow sitting here on flat ground, it looks just like it’s all out of whack. It looks like it’s leaning back. It looks like it’s curled over to the side. Once you get it in the furrow, it’s adjusted right. Its level, it’s riding straight from front to back, it’s taking a full a cut. Everything about that plow, after 4 or 5 adjustments, is just right.

We’ve removed the gauge wheel from the plow, and he’s going to try it just by using his hand and lever. The plow’s adjusted right; he’s having to do very little lifting or lowering of his lift. You can see how the coulter’s cutting the ground before the plow gets to it.

We’re about 2 passes or 6, maybe, from where we were last year with our garden. This is our last pass, so I can still drive up through here between my shed. This is really hard ground, it’s never been plowed, but that coulter’s still cutting the grass and everything, and it’s pulling a little hard on the tractor. Those R4 tires are spinning a little bit, especially on the grass side. R4 tires are what are common on most compact tractors now, instead of the agriculture tire. If that was an agriculture tire, it would be much narrower, have a taller cleat, and would be much more aggressive in digging through that ground and plowing. An Ag tire is the best, but since compact tractors are mostly coming with this style of tire because they can mow and do other things on the grass without leaving deep imprints.
We’re going to finish up the end of this garden here. We’re going to square it up, that way we won’t have any hard places in the ground. He’s going to cut us a nice square edge here. Make a couple more passes, that way when we use our garden tiller, we won’t have any areas that hadn’t been plowed.

OK. We’ve plowed about a 55 or 60-foot square here. It took us about 35 minutes to do it; that’s stopping, adjusting everything, loosening different things. If everything was set right to start with, which we know where to set everything now, we would probably plow this in about 15 or 20 minutes. If you had a larger tractor, you could plow it a little bit faster if you wanted to. This is the CT122 Bobcat tractor. These tractors are provided to us for all of our how-to videos, from Bobcat. We’ve got a couple new tractors. We’ve got a new skid steer and an excavator to do all of our videos with for this year. This was a pretty tough way to break this tractor in. We started this, it just had a few tints of an hour on it, now it’s still has less than 1 hour, and we just went straight to plowing with it.

This tractor has some unique features, and we’ll show that in some of our other videos; like the quick attach beam on this small of a tractor. We’re really happy to have Bobcat on to provide us equipment for our videos for this year. For 2011, we’ll be using all Bobcat equipment. We look forward to getting to try all those new Bobcat tractors as we go through the year.

Thanks for watching everything on YouTube, and Everything Attachments. Give us a call or an email. We’ll always be here to help you size the right piece of equipment for your size of tractor.