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Spade-Type Tree Planter
Raymond Witges, Scheller, Ill., recently sent FARM SHOW photos of a tree planter that he built using the sweep off an old Deere field cultivator.
  "It's built rugged and will penetrate tough soil. It's also a versatile tool. I've used it to do everything from planting trees to digging up sweet potatoes or even weeding out dandelions," says Witges.
  The tool measures 44 in. high and consists of a thick metal rod with a 4-in. wide oval handle at the top and a 1 3/4-in. wide by 9 1/2-in. long sweep welded to the bottom. A 1-in. wide, 9 1/2-in. long angle iron foot pad is welded onto the rod just above the sweep. He used a torch to heat up the sweep and take the temper out so that he could hammer it flat.
  "I step on the foot pad to dig a hole, then place the seedling in it. Then I make a second hole about 3 in. behind the first one and push the handle forward to close the dirt firmly around the seedling. I've had outstanding results with tree survival," says Witges.
  He has used the tool to plant seed corn in a planted field with skips. "The corn came up wonderfully," he says. He has also used the tool to plant strawberries, sweet potato plants, muskmelons and watermelons.
  To remove dandelions, he digs down about 2 in. from the plant and then pulls back "until I hear a cracking sound in the roots. Then I reach down and pull the plant out."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Raymond A. Witges, 1856 N. Scheller Ln, Scheller, Ill. 62883 (ph 618 496-5680).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2